Classic rock songs age like a fine wine; they only get better as the years go by. In the age of mumble rapping and music with no lyrics, sometimes it’s nice to revisit this era of music. The electrifying guitar riffs, hard-hitting drums, and powerful vocals are enough to get anyone in the zone. I love listening to classic rock songs in the morning as it gives me a burst of energy
The music industry has witnessed some of the best classic rock songs in this genre. While it was a mammoth task to choose from such a wide variety, we have made a list with some of our favorite classic rock songs. These songs are iconic, and anyone who is just getting introduced to this genre must listen to these songs. Let’s get to it!
1 – Bohemian Rhapsody by Queen
As far as classic rock songs go, this one is the oddest yet the best. It is a musical masterpiece made by this band and no matter how many times it comes on, we all sing! Freddie Mercury, in a documentary, mentioned that he had three songs which he then put together and created Bohemian Rhapsody. (which explains why this song has no chorus). Pro tip: Listen to this with both sides of your headphones/earphones on to get the best experience.
2 – Hotel California by Eagles
There are many interpretations of this song. The band explains that the song is how they interpret the dark side of a glamorous life. The listeners have different explanations ranging from satanic rituals to ghost town. But, whatever the meaning may be, this is treat to listen to. The guitar, the vocals, the drums everything comes together in perfect harmony. [The end has a beautiful guitar solo which is, in my opinion, one of the best I’ve heard]
3 – Baba O’ Riley by The Who
This is one of those classic rock songs that will have you hooked from the moment it starts. It will instantly transport you into a mid 80’s music festival. Apart from the starting loop, the track has a beautifully soothing violin solo which calms you down for a second and then instantly energizes you as it joins in with the other instruments. This track is an anthem and if this doesn’t excite and make you want to conquer the world, I don’t know what will!
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4 – Smoke on the Water by Deep Purple
Anyone who has wanted to learn how to play the guitar, will know the opening riff of this song. But if you are listening to the song for the first time, it is basically a story of the band witnessing a freak accident in Montreux. The lyrics describe what they saw, how they felt and they tied it all together with the iconic riff and raspy vocals. Hands down, one of the most memorable songs in classic rock.
5 – Stairway to Heaven by Led Zeppelin
This is another one of those genius songs in the classic rock genre. It starts off as a soft rock ballad and then seamlessly transitions into a up tempo rock song while maintaining a degree of softness. But towards the end, it takes a energetic turn with a fabulous guitar solo and high pitched vocals. If you haven’t heard this masterpiece yet, you’re definitely missing out.
6 – Comfortably Numb by Pink Floyd
This is another classic rock song which is relatively slower and ballad-like. It is one of those songs to listen to when you are relaxing and need something to sway to. Moreover, it has one of the greatest guitar solos in the classic rock era. The vocals and the haunting riffs contribute to the overall creepiness of the song which, I believe, was their intention.
7- Rock You Like a Hurricane by Scorpions
Looking for one of those classic rock songs you can head bang to? This is the one! This track has loud drums, an energetic guitar riff and powerful vocals. It also has a guitar solo which makes the track all the more exciting. Ideal to listen to first thing in the morning, this track will shoot a surge of energy through your body!
8 – Highway to Hell by AC/DC
This one is considered as one of the greatest anthems in rock music. Much like the song above, this one also has some loud and powerful vocals accompanied by electrifying guitar riffs. The next time you are with a group of friends, play this song and watch how everyone just wakes up and screams these lyrics.
9 – Roadhouse Blues by The Doors
Roadhouse blues is the ideal song to listen to when you are driving (I mean come on, it starts with “keep your eyes on the road, you hands upon the wheel). The chill, breezy melody of this song is bound to relax you. Plus, it is really fun to sing along to!
10 – Sultans of Swing by Dire Straits
Sultans of Swing is one of those classic rock songs which is a great party starter. The up tempo and consistent drum beats with the energetic guitar riffs to complement it makes this one of the best. This track too has one of the best solos that will have you imitating it on an air guitar no matter where you hear it
11 – Fat Bottomed Girls by Queen
This is one of the most fun classic rock songs by Queen. Singing about a love for “fat bottomed” girls, the band says how they make the world go around. In the age of body positivity and self love, this song is truly ideal to listen to!
12 – Pour Some Sugar On Me by Def Leppard
Pour some sugar on me is one of those classic rock songs from the 80’s. It has amazing vocals, lots a attitude, a dash of sex appeal and powerful guitar riffs. This song is a definite hit in every party and should not be missed out by anyone!
13 – Born To Be Wild by Steppenwolf
This one’s for all the rebels out there (and for the one ones who used to be rebels). Born to be wild is a fun, energetic track that will pump you up on your lowest days. Now, I’m not saying that you should be breaking rules but this track will most definitely make you feel like you should break at least some of them!
14 – Sweet Child O’ Mine by Guns N’ Roses
Even if you don’t know the whole song, you would definitely know the opening riff. Fun fact about the riff is that Slash was just messing about and played this riff as a warm up. Axl loved it, it was incorporated into the song and the rest, is history! This is one of those loud classic rock songs that will make you feel like a badass as you sing along.
15 – Purple Haze by Jimi Hendrix
Considered as one of Jimi’s best compositions, purple haze can be interpreted as a description of a drug trip. The track is chill and easy going with strong vocals to accompany it. There is some excellent guitar work in this track which is expected as Hendrix was a phenomenal guitarist. This one is a must have for your classic rock songs playlist.
16 – (I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction by The Rolling Stones
This is a very fun classic rock number. It’s one of those songs that will have you swaying from the moment it starts. It has a relatively simpler guitar riff compared to some of other songs in this genre but it is very addictive. It also some really fun lyrics which are great to sing along with!
17 – My Sharona by The Knack
This track opens with a hard hitting drum beat which instantly has you hooked. The guitar solo, repetitive lyrics and the unique drum beats are exciting. It is an amazing song to listen first thing in the morning as it is full of energy and will charge you up for the day
18 – Immigrant Song by Led Zeppelin
With references to Norse mythology aplenty, this is a very energetic track. The track starts with a hiss which, incidentally, is feedback from an echo unit and was intentionally put into the song. It is a powerful track which explains why it was put as a background track in Thor: Ragnarok.
19 – Black Magic Woman by Santana
Originally written by Peter Green from Fleetwood Mac, this song was later covered by Santana. Considered as one of Santana’s best songs, this classic rock track has a Latin music feel to it. The smooth and seductive guitar riffs will definitely make you sway.
20 – Money For Nothing by Dire Straits
Although this song starts of slow, it slowly picks up tempo and the drums bring life to the track making it one of the best classic rock songs of the era. The little guitar solo and the hook “money for nothing, chicks for free” is what makes this song fun to listen to.
21 – I Love Rock ‘N Roll by Joan Jett and The Blackhearts
You can’t have a classic rock songs list without this song. This song is very guitar and drums heavy with repetitive lyrics making it ideal as a rock anthem. Joan Jett was inspired by the the 70’s rock scene and wanted to make this song danceable like other songs of that era. And boy did she succeed!
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22 – Hound Dog by Elvis Presley
Hound dog was originally as blues song which, when covered by Elvis, became one of the most celebrated classic rock songs. His version made this song up beat and fun to dance to. The claps, the guitar, the drums and his dreamy vocals (basically the whole package) makes this song what it is – a masterpiece. [I mean, they don’t called him “The King of Rock n Roll” for nothing right?]
23 – Johnny B. Goode by Chuck Berry
Based on Chuck Berry’s life, this song is all about how a boy from humble beginnings goes on to become a rock star. While there are many songs that celebrate rock n roll music and the culture it has, this one is the most celebrated ones. A true classic!
24 – Another Brick In The Wall Pt. 2 by Pink Floyd
This is another one for all those rebels out there. The track is about how we don’t need people controlling our thoughts, inspiring the listeners to form their own identity. Another Brick In The Wall Pt. 2 is one of the most famous classic rock songs from this album and is a beautifully made masterpiece.
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25 – Hard Day’s Night by The Beatles
For all of those people who are working hard, day and night, and need a song to relax to, this is the one. This song by The Beatles is a classic rock song with pop elements making it super fun and energetic. The guitar riffs are peppy and will put some life into your otherwise long and dull work day!
Also, ULTIMATE CLASSIC ROCK has given the list of TOP 100 CLASSIC ROCK SONGS. In the meantime, The Rolling Stone says in 500 Greatest Songs of All Time article, “When you hear a great song, you can think of where you were when you first heard it, the sounds, the smells. It takes the emotions of a moment and holds it for years to come.”