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Five Great Rock Songs

Updated on August 30, 2012

This is a very personal choice of my favorite rock songs. These five songs all have something in common: they were recorded four decades ago, between 1965 and 1971, at a time when rock music reflected and influenced political changes - these songs are excellent examples for that; it was handmade music, free from the synthetic overproduction we find nowadays in popular music; and we, our children and our grandchildren are still listening to this music, a fact that in my opinion will not change in the next four decades. Let's listen again to these five wonderful songs!

John Lennon
John Lennon

John Lennon - Imagine

"Imagine" became Lennon's signature tune and was written as a plea for world peace. Published in 1971 on an album with the same title, the song would later become an anthem for anti-war movements. Former US President Jimmy Carter said, "In many countries around the world - my wife and I have visited about 125 countries - you hear John Lennon's song 'Imagine' used almost equally with national anthems."

Bob Dylan - Like a Rolling Stone

Recorded in 1965 and released on Bob Dylan's album "Highway 61 Revisited", "Like a Rolling Stone" is one of the most celebrated recordings in rock history. It is a song directed at a woman who once lived a life of privilege but has now experienced a reversal in fortune. Dylan himself commented, "I'm not gonna be able to make a record better than that one... Highway 61 is just too good. There's a lot of stuff on there that I would listen to."

Jimi Hendrix - All Along the Watchtower

Recorded in 1968, this song is considered as one of the best cover versions ever recorded. Composer Bob Dylan has described his reaction to hearing Hendrix's version: "It overwhelmed me, really. He had such talent, he could find things inside a song and vigorously develop them. He found things that other people wouldn't think of finding in there. He probably improved upon it by the spaces he was using. I took license with the song from his version, actually, and continue to do it to this day."

The Doors - The End

First released in 1967, "The End" was most famously used in Francis Ford Coppola's 1979 anti-war film Apocalypse Now, in which its dark, poetic passage marked the film's descent into the surreal. The sound of helicopter rotors from the beginning of the film are often included in recordings of the song. However, this version of the song is also incomplete, and the sounds of a jungle replace most of the lyrics in the second half of the song.

Julie Driscoll, Brian Auger & The Trinity - Czechoslovakia

Published in 1969 on the album "Streetnoise", this song was a direct reaction to the Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia in August 1968. In 1970, Julie married jazz pianist Keith Tippett and became a jazz vocalist. In 1984 she performed at the Jazzfestival in the Slovak capital Bratislava, in a quintet together with her husband and three German musicians.


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    • Sunshine625 profile image

      Linda Bilyeu 

      6 years ago from Orlando, FL

      Rockin' list of songs! I never heard of #5 but the 1-4 are awesome!!

    • RunAbstract profile image


      6 years ago from USA

      Great Hub and great music!

    • quicksand profile image


      7 years ago

      The title attracted my attention. I expected at least one track from the Rolling Stones!

      Cheers! :)

    • tonymac04 profile image

      Tony McGregor 

      8 years ago from South Africa

      Love these songs too! Great selection. Happened to meet and spend some time with Keith Tippett when he was out here in South Africa a few years ago - we went together to the grave of Harry Miller to pay our respects to a departed brother.

      Love Julie's work with the Dedication Orchestra.

      Love and peace


    • Mr. Happy profile image

      Mr. Happy 

      8 years ago from Toronto, Canada

      I had never heard the last one. I mentioned to a friend of mine not too long ago that as long as humans will exists, Jim Morrison will always be heard; this is true of all classic rock more or less.

    • music messenger profile image

      music messenger 

      8 years ago

      Good hub and great choices. All great rock songs! I have rock reviews and info on my hubs. Take a look. Good job

    • janiek13 profile image

      Mary Krenz 

      8 years ago from Florida's Space Coast

      I am a big John Lennon fan, Imagine is actually my ring tone. Great selection!

    • nadp profile image


      8 years ago from WEST PALM BEACH, FLORIDA

      Great hub! The first four songs are so nostalgic for me - bring back another place and time. I never heard The Trinity - but I like it - and you're right - it does fit so well with the others. Reminds me some of Grace Slick and the early Jefferson Airplane.

    • Missi Darnell profile image

      Missi Darnell 

      8 years ago from Southern California

      Like this hub! Who doesnt love "Imagine"? Always one of my faves.

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      must admit "imagine" has always been a favourite of mine,

      "like a rolling stone", Jimmy Hendrix and Doors aree also favourites of mine - your choice of songs is great and I enjoyed this hub -thank you

    • Beata Stasak profile image

      Beata Stasak 

      8 years ago from Western Australia

      What an amazing collection. All the best on your travels. I have also just succumbed to the majority requests /my kids and family all around the world/ and join the Facebook. As I believe it is for trusted friends and people with the same outlook on life and interests, i would like to inform you as you are my loyal hub follower. All the best from Beata

    • James A Watkins profile image

      James A Watkins 

      8 years ago from Chicago

      Excellent selections, my friend. You have fine taste in music. Enjoy the journey.

    • nadp profile image


      8 years ago from WEST PALM BEACH, FLORIDA

      Great picks! I'm not familiar with the last one, and I don't have time to listen now but I will be back for sure. You might like my hub "Just the Right Words". It's about the Cat Stevens song, "Oh very young" For some reason, I'm not able to paste the correct url here.

    • gusripper profile image


      8 years ago

      Nice job mister.Rock in heart

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      It makes me feel old that I know all of these songs! I grew up with an older brother musician, so my tastes are a little bit older than me. In our teens, we were listening to Emerson, Lake & Palmer, Janis Joplin, Carole King, and Kansas.

    • jayjay40 profile image


      8 years ago from Bristol England

      Great rock songs, love them all good choice

    • profile image

      Tammy Lochmann 

      8 years ago

      Imagine is my favorite. Good choices.

    • Ken R. Abell profile image

      Ken R. Abell 

      8 years ago from ON THE ROAD

      Great songs. Thanks for sharing them here.

    • alekhouse profile image

      Nancy Hinchliff 

      8 years ago from Essex Junction, Vermont

      Thanks for an interesting trip down memory lane. Good hub.

    • janiek13 profile image

      Mary Krenz 

      8 years ago from Florida's Space Coast

      All great songs, "Imagine" is my favorite, it is also my ringtone on my phone. Great hub!

    • wallacemd profile image


      8 years ago

      it's not often I agree with other peoples taste in music but hey there are some great clips here

      all the best


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