ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

My Personal Top Ten Classic Rock Songs of All Time

Updated on June 28, 2020

Growing up, my father would play a lot of classic rock anywhere we would drive to. He would play The Eagles, Styx and Night Ranger on the way to school. He would also play Damn Yankees, Guns N' Roses and Scorpion on our way to baseball games to pump me up. Classic rock was a large part of my life growing up and it still is. I have mild Tinnitus in both ears so I always have headphones in playing music to drown out the ringing. It is almost always a guarantee that I will be listening to some kind of classic rock, I do also enjoy Jimmy Buffet but he is not technically considered classic rock. I figured since this genre of music is such a big part of my life I should make it the first article I publish, to all of you, random strangers on the internet who I do not know. Now, before we get this show on the road I would like to remind you that this is my personal favorite list. This has nothing to do with commercial success, popularity or critic reviews. I am just a kid who grew up loving these songs. I would also love to hear comments about your favorite songs and whether you agree with my list or if you think I made terrible choices.

10. Piano Man - Billy Joel (1973)

Come on, who does not love that instantly recognizable intro piano riff? I have always loved this retelling of Joel's own experience as a piano-lounge singer. It is a calming song that can just melt away all your troubles for five minutes and 39 seconds, just as all the patrons in "the bar" can "forget about life for a while."

9. Love Me Tender - Elvis Presley (1956)

I have to admit that I am partially biased for this song because my girlfriend loves this song and it has become our song together. Putting that aside however, this is still a classic song that has been absolutely timeless over the last sixty years. Love Me Tender will be now and forever a top tier love/ slow dance song.

8. Sweet Home Alabama - Lynyrd Skynyrd (1974)

Now this is a song with a lot of controversy behind it. I do not want to get into anything political, I am strictly going to keep this selection about the music. Even though the lyrics may be controversial, for an innocent kid such as I was growing up listening to this song I did not understand the entire meaning behind it, I simply just enjoyed the song for the catchy chorus and fun guitar riffs.

7. Yesterday - The Beatles (1965)

Now this is not a song I grew up listening to, but as I have grown older I have come to appreciate it more and now it is my favorite Beatles song. Yesterday is a beautiful song with an even more beautiful melody that has such a sad story behind it. This breakup song, as sad as it is, is strangely a good reminder to enjoy the love you have now and to not take it for granted.

6. American Pie - Don McLean (1971)

This is yet another song that is instantly recognizable. While Don McLean refuses to explain the symbolism behind most of the song, we do know that it is mostly about the plane crash that killed Buddy Holly, The Big Bopper, and Ritchie Valens on February fourth, 1959. McLean was a thirteen year old paper boy at the time, hence the lyric "February made me shiver / With every paper I'd deliver."

5. Free Bird - Lynyrd Skynyrd (1973)

The one and only repeated band/artist on this list. Yet another on this list of instantly recognizable classics, Free bird is just one of those songs that makes you feel like you can do anything. It has a beautiful chorus and a melody that evolves over the course of this nine minute and eight second song. This song is all about freedom and the idea that a bird can fly wherever it wants to go, and everyone wants to be free.

4. Dust In the Wind - Kansas (1977)

The guitar riff for Dust In the Wind was originally meant to be a finger picking exercise created by Kerry Livgren, a guitarist for Kansas. This finger picking exercise turned into a glorious song about mortality and the inevitability of death. The inspiration for the song has many origins, such as The Bible, a Japanese war epic, and a book of Native American poetry. Rich Williams, lead guitarist for the band admitted that their most popular songs, Dust In the Wind and Carry On My Wayward Son were flukes. They were not typical of the band's style and they ended up being hits on accident.

3. Knockin' On Heaven's Door - Bob Dylan (1973)

This legendary song was originally written for the film Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid. It was released as a single a couple of months later and reached top ten in numerous countries. I love this song because of the story that is being told along with a beautiful melody that just makes us feel calm and soothed.

2. Bohemian Rhapsody - Queen (1975)

This was a bit of a tough choice for me to put at two because it is probably one of the greatest songs ever written. It was such a groundbreaking song for its time. For five minutes and fifty-five seconds Freddy Mercury, Brian May, Roger Taylor and John Deacon effortlessly switch from a slow introduction to sweet ballad into a face melting guitar solo courtesy of Brian May (my favorite guitarist, I mean come on, have you seen the hair, so majestic) which seamlessly transitions into a beautiful operatic section then incredibly into the headbanging hard rock section and then ends with one of the slowest outros you will ever hear from a song that makes you bang your head this hard. This son is almost six full minutes of pure goosebumps and dopamine.

1. Hotel California - The Eagles (1976)

It was painfully hard to put Boheimian Rhapsody as my number two but, Hotel California will always be my favorite song ever. I love absolute every millisecond of this song. This is probably the one and only song that I can and will never skip in my life. If my girlfriend ever skipped this song in my presence, as much as I love her entirely, I would maybe consider breaking up with her (not really, I love her too much). There is so much I could gush about this song, but I will try to keep it simple. The opening guitar riff instantly gives me goosebumps and I especially love when the two little drum beats come in right before "On a dark desert highway" starts the lyrics. The story behind the song is definitely my favorite story that I have ever heard been told. I watched the documentary about The Eagles called "The Long Run" and in this two part documentary the meaning behind Hotel California was explained. For a long time the band kept it a secret but finally revealed that the hotel was a metaphor for losing your innocence. Once you enter the hotel you cannot leave, just how once we lose our innocence we cannot get it back. As the last two lines in the song states, "You can check out any time you like / But you can never leave", this means that you can die at anytime, but you can never regain the innocence that you lost once you enter the hotel. Last thing I want to say about the song is that it maybe never would have happened if not for Don Felder accidentally recording the introduction guitar riff while at a rented Malibu beach house.

© 2020 Shane Conner

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment
    • profile image

      Person 

      8 days ago

      Amazing list but needs more Queen! I love your specific commentary about certain solos, rifts, and beats! Makes me think more about songs I listen to and appreciate the little details more!

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://maven.io/company/pages/privacy

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
    ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)