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10 All-Time Rock Anthems
The heart of rock 'n roll is located in the heart land.
Heart of Midwest Beats With Syncopated Rhythm
I may be the single most qualified "particular individual" to judge the 10 all-time most anthemic rock songs of all time. Just some of my qualifications:
- I'm geographically centered East of Chicago, West of Cleveland, South From Detroit, and North of Cincinnati. Heart of the Midwest, heart of rock and roll. My heart beats the syncopated rhythm of rock from my own chest, starting with two bass drum beats and a clap.
- I've worked in factories where classic rock is ubiquitous, whether radio, internet, satellite, or digitally played, it's nothing but classic rock, all the time.
- I've traveled around in the region for work described above and a bit beyond. I've heard all the radio stations and what people like in the different regions. I've been to, NY, LA and Frisco a number of times too.
- I lived overseas as a Foreign Exchange Student for a year in a German High School. All the songs on my list are ones I know I heard there in the 90's, or later when I returned on business up to the present day.
- I'm a musician and love Classic Rock. I've played it since the late 80's when I started on guitar.
- I've taken a midnight train going anywhere, in South Detroit, watching streetlights and people. I won't stop believin' (I know it sounds like a cat poster). And I'm holding on to that feelin'.
- I watched the first 8 hours of MTV broadcast over and over. I even HAD it recorded on VHS- hello youtube!!! :-(
Some Stupid (shit) With His Flare Gun (fired it into the acoustical fabrics hanging from the ceiling during a concert).
"Funky" Claude was running in and out.
Starting the Countdown. Number Ten: The Rock Anthem That Tells A Story
Is there a better anthem for the storied rock concert of legendary proportions? Is there another song as recognizably elegant after the first 2 seconds? How many centuries will pass before kids no longer pluck dem strings attempting the opening riff of "Smoke on the Water"? I think it's a rite of passage for every teenage boy on day 1 of playing guitar. It's best to do it in a music store on the most expensive model, with the biggest amp turned all the way up. The staff will shower you with praise, at your ability to learn the instrument so fast. It's a great way to get a lot of love. Also, if you make a mistake, they won't even notice, they'll be so impressed by your awesome choice of song to play testing out that guitar you're really likely to purchase just after you lay down an impromptu-virtuosic-improvised-screechy-feedback-laden, shredder guitar solo. If you see their fingers in their ears, it's because they're getting them cleaned out to hear your amazing solo even louder!
There actually was smoke on the water from the fire.
Anthem By Which To Get Fired Up
The anthem's anthem for those who are ready to rock, and deserve respect from those who appreciate such a state of being. This song is dedicated to such people for the purpose of boosting their foresight in achieving a state of readiness through due diligence in preparation for the time to rock, such as just before an AC/DC concert. Dr. Johnny Fever recommended you satiate your appetite for rock. He also saw you have the fever, and gave you a prescription for the only thing that can cure that fever. More cowbell. But you can't take that until you have begun to rock.
Reagan: Mr. Gorbechev, Tear Down That Wall. Kennedy: Jelly Doughnuts Want To Rock the Block. Me Too. I'm Also A Jelly Doughnut
What song embodies the fall of communism better? 8 months after the Berlin Wall fell, over half-a-million people rocked out to this song over the actual, broken down wall. I was there a year later, and the reverberations could be felt as I picked up a few pieces of graffiti-painted concrete.
Anthem of Rebellion
A band from Europe, an American Movie, and a Motorcycle. Only a classic rock anthem would do. This happens to be perfect. Just listen to the scratchy distortion overtop the frantic bass and popping beat. Imagine watching it live as he swings the microphone like a lasso wearing a leather biker's outfit with sunglasses on. Now imagine someone legit, original, and authentic actually pulling off such a display today. Yeah, that's what I thought. Now bugger off, you!
Rock's Autobiographical Anthem
The Stones (another name for rocks - clever!) are considered to embody rock. If rock were here sitting next to me, and I asked it, now tell me about yourself, start from the beginning, he would say:
"I was born, in a crossfire hurricane... one thing led to another... and it's all right now, in fact it's a blast (nobody says it's a gas anymore).
5 We Are the Champions
Rock's Message to You
We are the champions of the world. That's right. Classic rock dominates in a way that Pop will never understand. Rocks paid his dues, time after time. Rocks done his sentence though he's committed no crime. Bad mistakes, he's made a few (like the video for I want to break free) sand kicked in his face, but he's come through thanks to you. We are the Champions of the World.
Curtain calls, fame, fortune and all. It's been a challenge though, and against the whole human race we've come through. No time for Pop Stars, 'cos we are the champions, we'll keep fighting the record industry until it ends, 'cos we are the champions of the world.
The Moral of the Story
So Rock's Journey is thematic. The theme, or anthem for this is that you do not stop believing. Hold on to that feeling. Like me, I'm just a city boy, born and raised south (of) Detroit. Actually, I have taken a midnight train going anywhere! I'm serious this time. It's true!
3 The Lost Guitar Solo of Cleveland
Mythical and Legendary Anthems in Solo Form
Where would classic rock be without the visceral existence of a jammin' solo? Nevermind that we rarely choose to listen to someone's musical masterbatory display. People often pretend to like them, so how hard is it to distinguish the greatest ones, especially to select the one greatest candidate for this list of anthems? Hard for most people, but I've seen the solos real people working in factories actually choose to hear. Two names come to mind, Eddie Van Halen, and Randy Rhoads. Of the two I have to choose Randy, because
- His riffs are recognizable today (think: sports)
- He had much less time to compose and nuance his work (about 5 years)
- He nailed the audition to be Ozzy's guitarist by playing solos.
- Crowds came to see Ozzy do Black Sabbath material, and stayed for Randy.
- People remember his stuff, lost bootlegs are still hitting youtube and getting attention.
Zep is the greatest rock band in the ears and eyes of many, with some of the greatest songs in the genre today. Stairway's intro may not be a great example of originality (having borrowed it from the band Taurus), Kashmir deserves the title of original rock Anthem. To play it, you have to use alternate tuning on your guitar. Second, its chromatic chord progression is a hard one to compose, it's nothing like rockabilly or a Chuck Berry chord map. The vocals, both lyrical and strangely melodic, hang over top the structure like a chandelier in a haunted mansion. It's totally rock. And it's the best song of the ridiculously expensive concert "Celebration Day" in England. The son of the deceased drummer playing in place of his Dad adds an emotional element to this awesome HD performance. The fact that it had been a long time since Zep rock and rolled together, and are likely not going to again, makes this performance all the more legendary.
Most Requested, Most Worthy Anthem of Rock
Play Freebird! A thousand years from now, musicians playing live (if it is still not done by robots) are going to hear "Freebird!" from the audience. It's science. But the solo and subject of the song are art. And the number one Rock anthem of this list.