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100 most popular rock songs of all time

There could be only one, couldn't there? It had to be this, right? Being "banned in guitar shops" doesn't alter the fact that this epic from Zep's fourth album is undeniably better than ANY other song because it somehow manages to cram pretty much every single rock genre into one sprawling eight minute slice of brilliance. Oh, and don't forget THAT guitar solo Easily the most subversively ingenious song to ever reach number 1 in the UK charts. This song, above all others, summed up exactly what Queen were whilst changing rock music forever. Perhaps the greatest compliment you can pay Free Bird is that when that fade starts to happen about 30 seconds before the end you simply don't want it to end. It's like five minutes of foreplay followed by an almighty explosion of duelling guitar solos and Southern rock brilliance. Who would have thought that the story of a burning casino would have become the most recognisable rock song in history? Undeniably iconic, and a brilliant song to boot.
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iTunes Book Charts

Today's most popular top rock songs downloaded at Apple's iTunes store. To download to the top rock songs from iTunes you must have Apple's iTunes player installed on your system. Chart of the current iTunes top rock songs in the USA is updated daily and includes the best new rock releases as well as classic rock tracks from the genre's top artists. Chart of the top rock song downloads last updated: Tuesday, August 25 , am Pacific Time. Related top rock music charts: top rock albums , top alternative rock songs , and top indie rock songs. In the Air Tonight Phil Collins. Wolf Totem feat. Jacoby Shaddix The Hu. The Sound of Silence Disturbed. Popular Monster Falling In Reverse.

55. That’ll Be the Day (1957)

New York. By entering your email address you agree to our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy and consent to receive emails from Time Out about news, events, offers and partner promotions. Thanks for subscribing! Look out for your first newsletter in your inbox soon! Is it a style or an era of time? Crank it to eleven and start rocking. Buy on Amazon. Don't be fooled by the undemanding funk of that notorious two-tone bass line, this baroque and passionate plea for love from sorcerers Bowie and Mercury still sounds like they might beat you over the head with the mic stand if you don't listen up. This epic track from their magnum opus is a distillation of everything Floyd—swirling, psychedelic organs, a doom-laden narrative of druggy madness and multiple heaven-scraping solos from David Gilmour, endlessly searching for some redemption through the haze. The godfather of grunge comes out swinging on one of his most intense tracks, with the first Bush administration, American malaise and drug addiction catching jabs, all while Young's fierce, fervid guitar work capitalizes on his titular promise.

A rock guitarist since the s, Kelley has been a fan of rock, blues and jazz since the s. This list tries to include some of the greatest rock tunes ever, all of which are classics; that is, songs released before the year Also keep in mind it only includes mainstream rock and roll and we all know what that is, right?

Moreover, most of these songs were released as singles, so their exposure has been much greater than songs only available on albums. Rock and Roll is the most brutal, desperate, vicious form of expression it has been my misfortune to hear. In the old days, this was usually the first tune learned by rock guitarists the chords A, D, Em,D. In , in an interview with the BBC, she said, "My favorite single is 'My Favorite Mistake'; it was a lot of fun to record and it's still a lot of fun to play.

Blondie is a new wave band that shot to stardom in the late s. Written by lead singer Debbie Harry and bassist Nigel Harrison, the song is about a woman who insists she will do whatever it takes to get this man. But Harry decided to inject humor into this song. You know, just shake it off, say one way or another, and get on with your life. Filled with metaphorical descriptions, Thomas said the song was "written in an age when psychedelic imagery was all over lyrics.

A so-called heartland rock artist, Bob Seger has produced countless hits since the s. Found on the album Stranger in Town , the song was released as a single in and reached 28 on the Billboard Hot Then in Tom Cruise famously dances in his shorts and lip-syncs to it in the hit flick, Risky Business, giving the song a monumental kick in the pants.

Prince Rogers Nelson hit the peak of his popularity in when he released the album Purple Rain and starred in the movie of the same title. The album sold 13 million copies and was 1 on the Billboard for 24 weeks. Ray Davies said this about the song: "I was floundering around trying to find an identity. It was in that I managed to do that, to be able to justify myself and say, 'I exist, I'm here.

Also covered by countless rock bands over the decades, its infectious guitar riff is as memorable as just about any in rock history. In , Mick Jagger, who co-wrote the song with Keith Richards, said in an interview for Rolling Stone magazine, the song arose "out of all the acid of Satanic Majesties the Stones psychedelic album. It's about having a hard time and getting out. Just a metaphor for getting out of all the acid things. Depressed by the breakup of the Beatles in , Paul McCartney realized that his greatest friend in the world was his wife Linda, so he dedicated this song to her.

Their second performance was an iconic one at the Woodstock Festival. Consequently, the single was banned on some AM radio stations. After Elvis heard Freddie Bell and the Bellboys perform the tune, he made it the closing song for his shows. Rocketing to stardom in the middle s, Elvis actually became a little too popular for some people, as FBI director J. Bob Dylan began his singer-songwriting career performing as a folk singer or folkie, producing his debut album in But in the middle s Dylan began playing an electric guitar and performing with blues artists and rockers who shunned acoustic instruments.

Not surprisingly, this was a time when progressive rock exploded in popularity. Astonishingly, the song charted one more time in ! This dreamy, violin-laced, ethereal ballad has elements of rock and classical, the latter of which played by the London Festival Orchestra.

Has rock ever been so. The Marshall Tucker Band is a Southern rock assemblage that formed in the early s and has continued performing with various musicians to the present day. Listen to it right now and see if you can keep from gleefully jumping up and down. Moreover, the intro guitar lick, played with power chords, has become one of the most iconic riffs in rock and roll history.

It seems every rock guitarist can play it to some degree. How about you? Widely influential, over artists have performed or covered the song.

Hearing the music inside, he has an inspirational moment and hopes to become a juke box hero, a goal he eventually achieves.

Then one day this same guy spots another young man standing outside the stage door of one of his concerts, then invites him inside and shows him around backstage. Notably, in popular culture, the song is certainly one of the most popular rock tunes ever; it can be heard in seemingly countless movies, premium channel series and TV shows.

Also, during the Republican presidential campaign, Mike Huckabee used it promote his candidacy, but when Tom Scholz found out about it, he told Huckabee to stop, which Huckabee promptly did!

Interestingly, when playing the song live, The Doors performed a much longer version of the song with solos for guitar and keyboard. One of the most commercially successful and popular rock bands of all time, Queen excelled at producing arena rock songs that eventually became anthems of sports teams around the world.

In , it was one of the most recognized rock tunes ever. Don Henley of the Eagles wanted to write a song about life in Los Angeles, California, particularly its emphasis on fame, hedonism and money. Apparently the song worked on many levels, because it won the Grammy Award for Record of the Year in And the dueling guitars coda was rated the greatest guitar solo by Guitarist magazine in The lyrics relate to a real event experienced by members of Deep Purple, while staying at an entertainment complex near the Montreux Casino.

Suddenly a fire broke out in the theatre where The Mothers of Invention were playing and the casino was soon destroyed. Also SOTW is often considered one of the best metal songs of all time, highlighted as it is by its iconic, though simple, opening riff. This is another song with a true story behind it. The name Layla relates to a book entitled The Story of Layla and Majnun, which tells the tale of Majnun, who falls in love with a beautiful young woman; but her father rejects Majnun and he goes crazy with desire.

Eventually, though, Boyd and Harrison got a divorce and Clapton then married Boyd. How sweet! Interestingly, Both Clapton and Duane Allman of the Allman Brothers wrote and played the famous guitar licks throughout the song. Then, during the s, when Aerosmith hit a lull in popularity, the rap group Run-D. C re-made the song, with Aerosmith vocalist Steven Tyler and guitarist Joe Perry making guest appearances in the tune and on the video.

Surprisingly, this version of the song did even better on the Billboard Hot , climbing to 5, and also helped spawn a new genre — rap rock. As the story goes, The Beatles movie needed a title, something other than Beatlemania, so the Beatles suggested a comment made by Ringo might work. Then, once the producers had a title for the movie, they also needed a theme song.

The result — a ballistic rock classic! A solo artist since the late s, Don McLean produced his magnum opus early in his career. P Richardson, aka the Big Bopper, all of whom died in a plane crash in The song is the longest - eight and a half minutes - to reach 1 on the Billboard Hot And in it was voted 5 on the list of Songs of the Century.

The words for the song, seemingly about a man tripping on acid, are simply about a young man going crazy for this foxy lady. No drugs required for that, right? One of the top rock bands in , Journey produced a classic tune for their seventh album, Escape. The song smashed the charts in the US, UK and many other parts of the world, and its subsequent popularity throughout the world cannot be overstated.

Also, in , the Glee TV series version of the song did very well. Among many other tunes on this list, this song is a solid gold rock favorite. Lead vocalist Jon Bon Jovi admired the heroes of the Old West, even the anti-heroes or outlaws, which he likened to rockers who traveled about the country, living the wild life in all the towns and cities where they performed. Not bad for Bon Jovi, a so-called Hair Metal band! Paul felt sorry for kids in broken homes, ya know? Funny thing is, John thought the song was about him! Anyway, the single lasts seven minutes, long for the time, and who can forget the four-minute, orchestral coda?

Sometimes the best songs have the simplest licks. Anyway, the song was performed live for the first time on Shindig! You gotta love it! Many Boomers probably remember watching this memorable show. Yet Atlantic Records released it as a promotional single in Astonishingly, the song was re-released in , after the death of Mercury, and did almost as well as before.

This awesome song is a prime example of the astonishing range of expression in rock and roll! Buddy Holly definitely produced some very good tunes, but I think he died well before hitting his prime songwriting years. As I stated in the introduction, all of these classic rock tunes were released before , which seems classic to me.

It's not worthy. I would put "La Bamba," definitely a very popular tune, somewhere in the top but I'm not sure where. Sign in or sign up and post using a HubPages Network account. Comments are not for promoting your articles or other sites. Thanks for the comment, Kelly Ann Christensen!

I've really enjoyed writing this article; the traffic has been great, and it's gotten even better as I add more songs to it, creating what could be called an epic hub! What a collection of photographs. It looks so funny to see some of these old pictures, and the styles that were in fashion at the time - hair and clothing. Thanks for the walk down memory lane. I enjoyed your article. Thanks for the comment, Wesman Todd Shaw!



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