Classic rock

There are so many great classic rock songs. We have compiled a top 10 list. Raise your lighters and see if you agree!

“Sweet Emotion” was Aerosmith’s breakthrough hit. The band was low on funds when they were writing and recording it, so they had to get creative with their resources. It was written in an untraditional manner.

Tom Hamilton said of the song, “We were on a super-tight budget, so we would get the basic tracks done, then there wasn’t a lot left to do for (drummer) Joey (Kramer) and (guitarist) Brad (Whitford). So we would split, and go home to Boston while Joe (Perry) and Jack and Steven stayed in New York. And that’s when Steven would write the vocals to the songs. We very rarely knew what was going to be sung over these arrangements.”

Jimi Hendrix took this cover song and made it his own. It is a Bob Dylan original, but Hendrix crafted it in his own style, turning it into an all time classic.

The song is so tied to Hendrix that Dylan said, “Strange how when I sing it, I always feel it’s a tribute to him in some kind of way.”

“L.A. Woman” was The Doors final album with Jim Morrison. He died just three months after its release. The title track still remains one of the best songs in rock.

Morrison recorded the vocals in a bathroom because he apparently like the acoustics. He went to Paris as the mixes were being prepared. He never returned.

After being fired from Black Sabbath for serious addiction issues, Ozzy Osbourne struck out on his own. He found a guitarist in Randy Rhoades. But, Rhoades wasn’t a Black Sabbath fan and had to be coaxed with $10 for gas money to come audition for a very drunk Osbourne.

The success of “Crazy Train” immediately solidified Ozzy’s solo career. It also gave Eddie Van Halen some serious competition as Rhoades was seen as a guitar legend of that day.

Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believin’” is a song that immediately takes you back. If you were a teen or young adult in the 80s, this might be your theme song.

Keyboardist Jonathan Cain believes the song was successful in part because it “gives the listener permission to dream.” He also reports that the song was written quickly.

The song got new life when it reemerged on the final episode of The Sopranos.


“Gimme Shelter” is known as one of the Rolling Stones best songs, even though it was never released as a single. It’s seen as being a counter song to the peace and love songs of the day.

AC/DC’s “Back In Black” album is the third best selling album of all time. The title track tells us why.

Everyone pulls out their air guitar and strums along to BUM-ba-da-DUM-ba-da-DUM. The song was written as a tribute to lead singer Bon Scott, who had passed away.

With 49 million record sales, that is quite a tribute to Scott.

ZZ Top’s legendary song “La Grange” from their 1973 album Tres Hombres is our #4 song.

The song references a brothel in La Grange, Texas. That same brothel was the subject of “The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas,” which starred Dolly Parton.

The song mixes boogie blues and rock and the end result is classic ZZ Top.

Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody” is unlike any other song on this list. The rock opera takes listeners on a journey that stands the test of time. The 1975 hit was introduced to younger fans in the 1990s when it became a central part of the movie “Wayne’s World.”

The song was recorded in six different studios. Although I have heard the song hundreds of times, it has a new life every time I hear it.

“Baba O’Riley” was the big song on The Who’s “Who’s Next?” 1971 album. The song describes what Pete Townshend witnessed in the audience at Woodstock, hence the “teenaged wasteland.”

The odd name of the song is from the song’s musical and philosophical influences, Meher Baba and Terry Riley.

It’s impossible to consider a “best of” list of classic rock without including Led Zeppelin, who tops our list.

While some consider “Whole Lotta Love” to be their favorite Zeppelin song, Robert Plant himself says “Kashmir” is the best. He likes the energy and positivity of the song.

And as a bonus track, here is one of our favorite classic rock songs of all time. FREE BIRD!

If you are a fan of classic rock, please share this!

H/T: Ultimate Classic Rock

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