Rock, from its birth in the 1950’s, took music by storm and created a genre that no one can go through life without being exposed to. The mix of blues and jazz with the western ideals of country music created a sound that is unavoidable. Ask your parents, that Rolling Stones concert they attended in 1978 was one of their favorite memories to reminisce on to this day.
Here’s a top list of my favorite rock songs that I enjoyed as a kid and have taken with me into my early adulthood.
- “Into the Great Wide Open” Tom Petty
This song changed my fucking world. The story portrayed in the lyrics is easy to follow and the journey that goes along with it feels great. The story follows a guy named Eddie who hitchhikes to Hollywood and meets a woman and becomes a rock star. I don’t even know how to explain the beauty in the instruments that create this song. The tune is one of a kind. Petty’s soothing voice accompany the song and make it something of ultimate beauty.
Not to mention, the music video for this song is awesome. The video follows Johnny Depp (Eddie) through the story that Petty unfolds as he sits in a room with his orange suit, matching top hat, and round glasses narrating the story.
2. “Crazy” Aerosmith
Nothing like a great ballad by Steven Tyler himself to make the heart sore. It’s a class ‘A’ piece of art that Aerosmith released. Talking about going crazy for a woman, Steven uses his hard-to-miss original voice to show the aching anguish that he’s in. This song definitely makes it on one of the top 10 best Aerosmith songs.
3.“Nothing Else Matters” Metallica Feat. The San Francisco Symphony Orchestra
The first version I heard of this song was when it was accompanied by the San Francisco Symphony. I like to think that’s a better version (although that may just be me). I have nothing against the original, but something about the way a whole orchestra of music gets put into an already emotional song really gets me. They lyrics are simple yet beautiful and the way James Hetfield’s voice comes across with such beautiful music in the background makes it a classic.
4. “Clap for the Wolfman” The Guess Who
This song is the SHIT. The Guess Who made a good decision by adding Wolfman Jack onto the track and letting him use his awesome voice to be a part of the song. Wolfman’s voice and the pieces of sentences he sings paired with the upbeat tune and clapping of The Guess Who makes it a one of a kind.
5. “Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds” The Beatles
This song has an aura around it. A cool aura that takes someone who doesn’t like The Beatles (me) and makes them like The Beatles for the duration of this song.
6. “People are Strange” The Doors
The funky sound that The Doors produced always peaks my interest. How were they so funky?! Jim Morrison knew how to sing and he knew how to sound funky. I can’t stop saying that The Doors were funky because I can’t find a better word. Morrison sings about people being strange and not remembering his name.
“Women seem wicked, when you’re unwanted, streets are uneven when you’re down.” That’s a powerful lyric to look at. The lyrics and the sound definitely pair together to make someone think deeply.
7. “Strange Magic” Electric Lights Orchestra
This song is one where I can put it in on the CD player and reminisce on my parents playing it for me when I was a kid. ELO is a cool band where every song is different and powerful and this is the case.
8. “I Got a Name” Jim Croce
This song has had me sitting in my car at two in the morning bawling my eyes out. Not necessarily the lyrics, but the thought of Jim Croce singing them. His voice is one of a kind and thinking about “moving me down the highway, rollin’ me down the highway, movin’ ahead so life won’t pass me by,” really gets to me. It makes me feel like I want to go into the woods and appreciate nature for what it is. I want to scream the song at the top of my lungs while staring at a pine tree.
9. “I Don’t Wanna Miss A Thing” Aerosmith
If you can’t tell by now, Aerosmith is one of my all time favorite bands. This song has to be added to the list because of the pure fact that so many people have listened and enjoyed it. You hear it playing on the radio with your friends in the car and you can’t do anything else except turn it up and blare it to each other just as Steven Tyler wanted you to. I know it had me as a little kid thinking about a dude wanting to be with me and stay awake, just to hear me breathing.
10. “Sympathy for the Devil” The Rolling Stones
What a crazy awesome song to finish up the list. If you ever get a chance, please look up the lyrics to this song. Mick Jagger hits the nail on the head by pairing wonderfully gruesome lyrics with his funky voice. The background sounds and music also make for an interesting experience. The song never gets boring.
Guns N’ Roses also covered this song and it sounds great sung by Axl Rose as well.