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Top Classic Rock Songs

Updated on August 11, 2015

The Top Classic Rock Songs of all time began in the early 1960s when 4 lads from Liverpool came to the US and went on stage in the Ed Sullivan theatre. This rock and roll craze began with the Beatles and the British Invasion that included the Rolling Stones, the Kinks, the Yardbirds, the Who, Dusty Springfield, Petula Clark, the Dave Clark 5 and many more.

In No Particular Order, Some of my top classic rock songs include:

 

1. Hey Jude - The Beatles

2. Layla - Derek and the Dominos (with Eric Clapton)

3. Celluloid Heroes - the Kinks

4. Bohemian Rhapsody - Queen

5. Born to Run - Bruce Springsteen

6. Brown Sugar - the Rolling Stones

7. Let it Be - the Beatles

8. Kashmir - Led Zeppelin

9, Hotel California - the Eagles

10, Barracuda - Heart

11. A Day in the Life - the Beatles

12. Badge - Cream

13. Voodoo Chile(Slight Return) - Jimi Hendrix

14. Tell All the People - The Doors

15. The Story in Your Eyes - the Moody Blues

16. Suite Judy Blue Eyes - Crosby, Stills and Nash

17. White Rabbit - Jefferson Airplane

18. Black Dog - Led Zeppelin

19. Can't Find my Way Home - Blind Faith (with Eric Clapton, Steve Winwood)

20. Beautiful Day - U2

21. Nantucket Sleighride - Mountain

22. Living in the Past - Jethro Tull

23. Funk #49 - the James Gang (with Joe Walsh)

24. All the Young Dudes - Mott the Hoople

25. Can't Get it Out of my Head - ELO

26. Don't Look Back - Boston

27. China Grove - the Doobie Brothers

28. Stop Draggin My Heart Around - (Stevie Nicks and Tom Petty)

29. Panama - Van Halen

30. Peace Frog - the Doors

31. Good Vibrations - the Beach Boys

32. Tragedy - the BeeGees

33. Get Back - the Beatles

34. Back in the USSR - the Beatles

35. Street Fightin' Man - the Rolling Stones

36. I Feel Fine - the Beatles

37. Jungleland - Bruce Springsteen

38. Lola - the Kinks

39. Harmony - Elton John

40. I Only Want to Be with You - Dusty Springfield

41. Close to The Edge - Yes

42. Susan - the Buckinghams

43. The Immigrant Song - Led Zeppelin

44. We Can Work it Out - the Beatles

45. Heroes and Villains - the Beach Boys

46. Ramblin' Man - the Allman Brothers

47. Mississippi Queen - Mountain

48. Radio Ga Ga - Queen

49. Don't Fear the Reaper - Blue Oyster Cult

50. Foreplay/Long Time - Boston

This list is based upon many memories that have been collected in my lifetime of listening to rock and roll.

I grew up listening to the radio or a stereo player nearly every day of my life, sometimes 4 or 5 hours per day. There is a particularly strong emotional connection when it comes to listening to old classic rock love songs like "I only Want to Be With You" by Dusty Springfield. Later in her life she put together a masterpiece with the Pet Shop Boys called "What Have I done to Deserve This"

I never tire of listening to powerful ballads from Bruce Springsteen like Born To Run and Jungleland. Across the ocean, the Kinks also produced their own special ballads like Lola and Celluloid Heroes.

Listening to powerful guitar riffs always struck a chord when I listened to classic rock. Several of my favorite powerful guitar hits included Voodoo Chile by Hendrix, Funk #49 by a very young Joe Walsh of the James Gang (they played at my high school prom) and Layla by Derek and the Dominos (featuring a very young Eric Clapton). Kashmir featuring Jimmy Page of Led Zeppelin, Badge featuring Eric Clapton of Cream and Mississipi Queen featuring Leslie West of Mountain also contained some powerful guitar.

Another characteristic of a strong rock classic was a unique vocal. I especially love the powerful female vocals of Grace Slick (Jefferson Airplane) in White Rabbit and Annie Wilson (Heart) in Barracuda.

Of course the male leads were also represented very well. Bruce Springsteen (Born to Run and Jungleland), Jim Morrison of the Doors (Tell all the People and Peace Frog) and Freddie Mercury of Queen (Bohemian Rhapsody and Radio GaGa) all had distinct sounds that could be spotted instantly.

Top Classic Rock Songs have a distinct flavor and always bring out strong emotions in the life of people who listened to them. These tunes will live on forever as part of a baby boomer culture that produced some of the best music ever written and performed. Just ask the experts, like Randy Jackson from American Idol.

 

Layla

Barracuda

White Rabbit

Close to the Edge

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    • James Vernon profile image

      James Vernon 5 years ago from UK

      A great list. A lot of really good ones here.

    • hglick profile image
      Author

      hglick 5 years ago from Ronkonkoma, NY

      Daniel, It was a great song Just not one of my favorites

    • profile image

      Daniel Sheaffer 5 years ago

      Where is Stairway To Heaven by Led Zeppelin?

    • hglick profile image
      Author

      hglick 5 years ago from Ronkonkoma, NY

      awesome comment Jack Straw!!!

    • profile image

      Jack Straw 5 years ago

      Classic Rock Snob Bares His Soul…

      OK, I admit it. I’m a Classic Rock snob.

      But how can I not be, when there is simply no doubt that the music from the era 1965 -1976, was the pinnacle, the height of creativity, genius, and the dawning of the New Enlightenment. (Yes, I know some of you may debate the exact years the New Enlightenment began, but let’s agree that the time frame I’m suggesting, is somewhere in the ballpark.)

      OK. There truly was a change in the world, somewhere around ’65 -’66, a change no less profound than the Renaissance in Italy in the 1400’s.

      And just like during the Renaissance, there was a convergence of energy, creativity and free thinking that all coalesced in one point of singularity. And it culminated into the Biggest Bang, the expansion of consciousness…that created a new wave of music the world had never seen before. And hasn’t seen since.

      Think about it. Even as shitty as Classic Rock stations are, playing the same group of songs over and over, the music has never died…and I don’t believe ever will.

      Being the Classic Rock snob I am, all I can say is, how could this music ever die…when it is timeless, ageless, and well, classic.

      Something happened in 1965-1966. Some cosmic switch got turned on in the collective consciousness of young musicians mostly here in the US and Great Britain. We went from “Help!” to “A Day In The Life”. We went from “King Of The Road” to “Purple Haze”. We went from “I Got You Babe”, to “The End”.

      In my opinion, something BIG changed in that era. The psychic elements of protest, experimentation and thinking without restrictions all combined to take the tame, polite music before this time…into the mind blowing work that grabs you by the balls and doesn’t let go.

      I mean, think about what us Baby Boomers got to do any time we wanted. We could go into the local record store/head shop (do they still have head shops any more?) and browse through the new albums that came out that week. It still makes me ache with nostalgia to think that because I only had $9.00, I had to limit my purchases to the three albums you could get for nine bucks.

      I used to wander around the store, (getting distracted by the new bongs and pipes) then focusing on whether I was going to buy the new releases from the Stones, the Who, the Doors, Tull, The Allman Brothers, The Dead, the Band, the Airplane, Janis, Jimi, Led Zeppelin, Van Morrison, Dylan, Creedence, Yes…and on and on and on.

      Sigh. As I’m writing this, I can see myself and my buddies shopping for over an hour, grinding out the agonizing, excruciating process of elimination, whittling down the purchase, album by painful album. Then seeing my buddies’ choices, now wondering if I made a mistake, and re-thinking my final decision on the new Who album, maybe switching it for the new Tull. What a confusing activity. Then, of course, once I got home, and waited for my parents to go to work, so I could use my Dad’s portable record player, the one with the 33 stem, and the fat 45 adapter, to hear my new choices over and over and over.

      (Always having some level of buyers’ remorse, when I heard a tune on the underground FM station at 2 am, from an album I didn’t buy…wondering if I should have bought it instead.)

      And to be honest, with as killer as the music was (is), part of my enjoyment was knowing that the “Man”, the “Establishment”, and my parents and all their friends, fucking HATED this wonderful and liberating music.

      So, yes, I am a Classic Rock snob, and I won’t apologize for it. You younger kids who have picked up on it, welcome to our world. To those of you haven’t yet joined us, please do. We all need to rock more and worry less!

      Thanks,

      Jack Straw

    • profile image

      Dave 6 years ago

      WHERE IS CCR??????????????? :O

    • profile image

      cheap oakley sunglasses 6 years ago

      Thanks for the posting. Loads of excellent writing here. I wish I had found this site sooner

    • profile image

      cheap trendy jewelry 6 years ago

      zzron, excellent blues rock band ZZtop

    • profile image

      Black Ops aimbot 6 years ago

      Born tu run is the best!!

    • hglick profile image
      Author

      hglick 6 years ago from Ronkonkoma, NY

      Iron Butterfly was actually a pretty good band. I bought the In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida album, which I loved. This prompted me to get the album "Ball" which was also a very nice album.

    • kenneth avery profile image

      Kenneth Avery 6 years ago from Hamilton, Alabama

      Absolutely LOVE this list of classic rock songs. I noticed that Doug Ingle and Iron Butterly wasn't on your list, but that is cool. I, and my late friend, Al Wynn, once a super garage rocker, were the only two rockers in our town who loved the 13 minute version of In A Gadda Da Vida. And the amazing drum solo by legendary drummer, Ron Bushy, to me, equals John Bonham of Zeppelin's ability to lay the perfect drum foundation to their style of rock. Keep up the GREAT work. You are very talented, bro.

    • hglick profile image
      Author

      hglick 6 years ago from Ronkonkoma, NY

      TY DaveysRecipeRead

    • DaveysRecipeRead profile image

      DaveysRecipeRead 6 years ago

      That's what I call a "wow" list. I don't agree with everything on the list but there's no doubt about it; it kicks butt!

    • hglick profile image
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      hglick 6 years ago from Ronkonkoma, NY

      DR. IN , YOUR OPINION

    • hglick profile image
      Author

      hglick 6 years ago from Ronkonkoma, NY

      zzron, excellent blues rock band ZZtop

    • hglick profile image
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      hglick 6 years ago from Ronkonkoma, NY

      schoolgirlforreal, Why not give it a shot. You may surprise yourself!

    • profile image

      Dr. I .N. Stein 6 years ago

      Lists such as these are really quite pointless. Everyone knows these tunes as they are really just listed for their mass appeal (sales), not necessarily for being great songs. Justin Bieber would be on a list for this reason. The greatest artists/songs for the true rock fan are far more obscure than these.

    • zzron profile image

      zzron 6 years ago from Houston, TX.

      Great list, you forgot this one. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0_EFdod4YDo

    • profile image

      uk dress 6 years ago

      Nice song list,Kashmir is a awesome song....love it!

    • kashmir56 profile image

      Thomas Silvia 6 years ago from Massachusetts

      Nice song list,Kashmir is a awesome song....love it!

    • schoolgirlforreal profile image

      schoolgirlforreal 6 years ago from USA

      Listening to Layla makes me really want to play the guitar!

    • hglick profile image
      Author

      hglick 6 years ago from Ronkonkoma, NY

      Bracey, lol, I hope this list helps out a bit

    • profile image

      Bracey 6 years ago

      Great list matey, I'm a cm on a bingo site and my brain goes dead when trying to think of songs for missing word quizzes haha.

    • profile image

      buy wow account 6 years ago

      Debating the top classic rock songs of all time is a sure-fire way to liven up any road trip or night out. There are countless worthy contenders, endless opinions and really, no wrong choices. Hundreds of thousands of AOL Radio listeners have rated songs on our Classic Rock station over the years. Based on this info, we present the Top 100 Classic Rock Songs of All Time.

    • lust maker profile image

      lust maker 6 years ago

      great hub dude

    • music messenger profile image

      music messenger 7 years ago

      Great stuff here. I have music reviews on my hubs. Take a look and let me know what you think. I voted!

    • tony0724 profile image

      tony0724 7 years ago from san diego calif

      Great job on this one hglick. I can see that you are a fellow music lover like me. Glad you mentioned Mott the Hoople too. I always felt those guys never got their due.

    • hglick profile image
      Author

      hglick 7 years ago from Ronkonkoma, NY

      thank you sreelit

    • profile image

      sreeiit 7 years ago

      great post

    • hglick profile image
      Author

      hglick 7 years ago from Ronkonkoma, NY

      thank you for the kind comments lou16 and zzron

    • zzron profile image

      zzron 7 years ago from Houston, TX.

      Love this hub, great list. Looks like you and I think alike.

    • lou16 profile image

      lou16 7 years ago

      You've chosed some great rock songs there and you're also responsible for Beautiful Day being stuck in my head :)

    • hglick profile image
      Author

      hglick 7 years ago from Ronkonkoma, NY

      Yes Dark Side was a great album

    • profile image

      gjvidrija 7 years ago

      Dark side of the moon doesn't exist!!!...xD

    • hglick profile image
      Author

      hglick 7 years ago from Ronkonkoma, NY

      thanks Mike,

      A bunch of the songs you mention are definitely great stuff.

      I especially loved Blind Faith

    • Mike Lickteig profile image

      Mike Lickteig 7 years ago from Lawrence KS USA

      What a terrific list, and the topic is close to my heart--I was considering a similar post listing my own favorites from the old days. I was overjoyed to see the Moody Blues on your list with "Story in Your Eyes", as well as Blue Oyster Cult's "Don't Fear the Reaper". So many of your songs would be on my list as well. One or two I would include is "California Dreamin'" by the Mama's and the Papa's, "Midnight Rider" by Greg Allman,and "Sea of Joy" by Blind Faith. I could go on and on. Much has been said about Pink Floyd in your comments--I would put "Wish You Were Here" on my list.

      Great post!

    • profile image

      asdf 7 years ago

      loved that you put the doors good job

    • hglick profile image
      Author

      hglick 7 years ago from Ronkonkoma, NY

      Derek - Thank you for the correction. I had the "Dark side of the Moon" album(LP), and meant to refer to the hits off of the album, rather than a song. That's what happens when your memory goes (LOL)

      Actually, I do enjoy (most of all)the hits from the Pink Floyd "Animals" album, which gets no air play at all. "Pigs" made my Top 100 list

      https://hubpages.com/entertainment/Top-100-Rock-So

    • profile image

      Derek Egan 7 years ago

      hglick, pink floyd should most certainly have made the list. and you outta check your musical knowledge. you wrote this "Pink Floyd definitely performed a bunch of Top Classic songs like "Dark Side of the Moon" Pink Floyd never wrote a song called Dark side of the moon. The song is called brain damage and the album is dark side of the moon

    • hglick profile image
      Author

      hglick 7 years ago from Ronkonkoma, NY

      LOL

      elisabeth

      sometimes IMEEM works also

      Thanks, those were great memories

    • elisabethkcmo profile image

      elisabethkcmo 7 years ago from Just East of Oz

      great list, brings back memories...now I gotta go home and pull out some of the old albums...

      oh crap, don't have a turntable anymore.. thank God for

      itunes!

    • profile image

      Alex 7 years ago

      where is the KANSAS and wayward son

    • hglick profile image
      Author

      hglick 8 years ago from Ronkonkoma, NY

      Nick - we can agree to disagree - I respect your opinion because you are(were) a software engineer, and own a cat. I also have fallen into those two categories, except I have a few more cats (5).

    • Nick B profile image

      Nick B 8 years ago from Normandy, France

      Ah - Rock and roll.

      That's not rock. I may be splitting hairs, but Rock music is not the same as Rock and Roll music. That would be like putting Elvis Presley in the same category as Whitesnake, Pink Floyd, Supertramp, Journey, Kansas or Rainbow.

      The Rock genre may be a derivative of Rock and Roll, but they are not the same at all.

    • hglick profile image
      Author

      hglick 8 years ago from Ronkonkoma, NY

    • Nick B profile image

      Nick B 8 years ago from Normandy, France

      It's only an opinion, but there are bands in amongst that lot, that don't deserve the title 'rock' bands. The beatles for one and the Beach Boys for another along with Dusty Springfield.

      They're not rock - they're pop.

    • hglick profile image
      Author

      hglick 8 years ago from Ronkonkoma, NY

      Killerwho - They were not at the top of my list, but I bought and enjoyed the albums "Tommy" and "Quadrophenia" by the Who.

    • profile image

      killerwho 8 years ago

      come on! i hated hotel california, wheres the who?

    • hglick profile image
      Author

      hglick 8 years ago from Ronkonkoma, NY

      ledzep - Check out my main classis rock opinion blog https://hubpages.com/entertainment/Top-100-Rock-So

      You'll find 2 led zep songs there. Also when I was cutting from my top 200 list, there were 3 or 4 more there.

      There were a ton of classic rock songs to choose from. 5 or 6 Led Zep songs in the top 200 out of over 10,000 songs is not too bad.

    • profile image

      ledzep 8 years ago

      oh my god! only one led zep song? dude, you seriously have some hearing problems..

    • hglick profile image
      Author

      hglick 8 years ago from Ronkonkoma, NY

      really,

      TY for your comments. Some songs were overplayed more than others. For instance Stairway to Heaven was never a #1 song but we heard it 10 times a day(minimally), on every radio station. No Beatle song was EVER played to death like "Stairway". It is true that I enjoyed listening to songs like "Stairway" when they first came out but the "in your face tactics" on every commercial rock station with that song and several others like "American Pie" killed them for me.

    • profile image

      really 8 years ago

      no offense but you talk about songs being overplayed and alot of those beatles songs are overplayed what give you or anyone the right to say a song is overplayed? i like your list its just understanding your comments about great songs being over played you liked them before they were overplayed correct!?

    • hglick profile image
      Author

      hglick 8 years ago from Ronkonkoma, NY

      Hey Bob,

      Great song -- Just overplayed IMHO

    • profile image

      bob 8 years ago

      dude...let it be...comfotably numb...don't stop believin!

    • hglick profile image
      Author

      hglick 8 years ago from Ronkonkoma, NY

      concerned,

      I consider classic rock and roll to be any song that mirrors the original classic rock definition. "Beautiful Day" does exactly that. That is MY OPINION ONLY. I respect your opinion, however, your name calling renders your opinion to be irrelevant and therefore loses all credibility.

    • profile image

      concerned 8 years ago

      why do you have "Beautiful Day" by U2 on this list??? you just lost all credibility. plus the song come out in 2000, therefore it is not classic rock, nor will it ever be.

    • hglick profile image
      Author

      hglick 8 years ago from Ronkonkoma, NY

      Best of Classic rock - I'm having a problem with your link

      Mutt - Thank You for the compliment

    • profile image

      Mutt 8 years ago

      I love most of the songs in here! Thanks for the suggestions, I finally have some songs to put on my Playlist! =D

    • profile image

      Best of Classic Rock 8 years ago

    • hglick profile image
      Author

      hglick 8 years ago from Ronkonkoma, NY

      C.S. Thank You for your nice comment and Perrya, I challenge you to put together a list. I would really enjoy reading it. I am a classic rock music fan and enjoy reading about this era (even opinion pieces)

    • C.S.Alexis profile image

      C.S.Alexis 8 years ago from NW Indiana

      Everyone has a right to their own likings hey! I thought you made some great choices and yes this is a hard one with all the music there is. perrya needs to lighten up and let others live their own feelings, HAH!

    • hglick profile image
      Author

      hglick 8 years ago from Ronkonkoma, NY

      Perrya,

      This is an OPINION piece. It is innacurate based on your opinion.

    • perrya profile image

      perrya 8 years ago

      Your list lacks soooooooooooooo many way better songs. A totally inaccurate hib.

    • profile image

      rushpython 8 years ago

      What about rush??????????

      P.S.„¸¨°º¤ø„¸¸„ø¤º°¨¸„ø¤º°¨¨°º¤ø,, Rush „ø¤º°¨¸„ø¤º°¨ ROCKS!! ``°º¤ø„¸copy & paste this¸„ø¤º°¨¸„ø¤º°¨¨°º¤ø„¸¨°º¤ø everywere

    • hglick profile image
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      hglick 8 years ago from Ronkonkoma, NY

      Deflepsfan - Several Def Leps songs are in my top 500 but none made "MY" Top 100.

    • profile image

      deflepsfan 8 years ago

      no offense, but even if this is an opinion list

      WHERE IS DEF LEPS?

    • profile image

      Micky Hammar 8 years ago

      Where are the 500 top classic rock songs?

    • hglick profile image
      Author

      hglick 8 years ago from Ronkonkoma, NY

      "Stairway to Heaven" is a great song, but this is an opinion piece, and it is on my list of "Played too much" and I got tired of it. It IS HOWEVER, a CLASSIC, If this were just a generic list rather than an opinion piece.

    • profile image

      crackhead 8 years ago

      Stairway?!

    • profile image

      Adam B 8 years ago

      Nice hub, check out my list at the following link: http://hubpages.com/hub/Greatest-Rock-Songs-of-All...

    • hglick profile image
      Author

      hglick 8 years ago from Ronkonkoma, NY

      gjv - Thank You For Your Comment

      Pink Floyd definitely performed a bunch of Top Classic songs like "Dark Side of the Moon", "Wish You Were Here" and "The Wall"  However, I've done more of an opinion piece here and left out those tunes mainly because they are so overplayed where I live, that I personally have grown tired of them. However, In my other blogs I include "Pigs" off of their "animals" album. Although it is more obscure, it is a song that receives no notoriety whatsoever, even though it has a great sound. It is also highly underplayed.

      If this were a generic hub rather than an opinion piece, Pink Floyd is right up there at the top. 

    • profile image

      gjv 8 years ago

      pink floyd?

    • hglick profile image
      Author

      hglick 9 years ago from Ronkonkoma, NY

      You are Probably talking about Steppenwolf (LOL)

      They were a great rock band, but had a limited amount of hits

    • profile image

      denzec 9 years ago

      How come nothing from "Wolfenstein" made it on the list?

    • DJ Funktual profile image

      DJ Funktual 9 years ago from One Nation Under a Groove

      As a fellow Long Islander (Levittown) I just had to give you some love. Great Songs too.