Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Extra: Best Rock Songs of All Time?

Yes, I did submit my list to WXPN for their annual top 885 countdown, this year's theme: "Best Rock Songs of All Time".  I expect the top 100 to be classic-rock heavy, if not most of the list, but it should still be fun.  I decided not to include ballads or songs more on the pop or folk side of rock, focusing instead on personal favorites that really do ROCK, in my humble opinion.  Killer guitar is a general requirement, and passionate vocals are always a plus.  Great lyrics are good but not necessarily essential.  I leaned more toward classic rock of course (consider my demographic!), but tried to include a few less obvious choices from some iconic bands, plus I threw in a few picks from the 80's and the new millennium.  Narrowing it down to ten was excruciating, and I'm sure in the next few weeks I'll hear a song on the radio or a suggestion from a friend and slap myself in the forehead, V-8 style, saying, "Why, oh why, didn't I include THAT one!?"  But what the heck, here it is.  (Argue away!)

1. Kashmir – Led Zeppelin
2. Baba O’Riley – The Who
3. Shoot Out the Lights – Richard Thompson
4. Whiskey Train – Procol Harum
5. Voodoo Child (Slight Return) – Jimi Hendrix
6. I Got Loaded – Los Lobos
7. Careful with that Axe Eugene – Pink Floyd
8. Why Does Love Got to Be so Sad? – Derek and the Dominoes
9. 10 A.M. Automatic – Black Keys
10. The Rake’s Song – The Decemberists

Honorable Mentions:

In Memory of Elizabeth Reed (live at Fillmore East) – The Allman Brothers
Sympathy for the Devil – Rolling Stones
Mattie Groves – Fairport Convention
Somebody to Love – Jefferson Airplane
Johnny B. Goode – Chuck Berry
Murder or a Heart Attack - Old 97's
Once in a Lifetime – Talking Heads
Use It – The New Pornographers
Your Little Hoodrat Friend – The Hold Steady
I Heard It Through the Grapevine – Creedence Clearwater Revival
Here Comes My Girl - Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers
My City Was Gone - The Pretenders
Divine Intervention - Matthew Sweet
Revolution (single version) - The Beatles
Wah-Wah - George Harrison
I Will Dare - The Replacements
She's the One - Bruce Springsteen


Nancy said...

Bruce, I love a good list! Now that I've discovered Spotify, I can do some listening. I'm not sure I can narrow my list, but I'm eager to see how eveyone weighs in.

P.S. Did I tell you we own a piano that once belonged to the band Steppenwolf?

Dianne Grover said...

It always gives me the thrills to see lists that put Led Zep on top. They are my favorite band of all time! Your list is wonderful. Thanks for mentioning some songs that may not be recognized by many but definitely have what it takes to be remembered. Acoustic lovers (playing with guitar picks for instance) will surely appreciate this post. Great list!