Rock and Roll
Rock and Roll

Top 10 Rock and Roll Songs of All Time

By Kaylee Heath, Associate Writer
Published December 4, 2017
  • Stairway to Heaven, Led Zepplin[1][3]
  • Led Zeppelin Rock
    Over one million copies of the sheet music for Stairway to Heaven have been sold. For other popular songs, the number is between 10,000 and 15,000 copies.

  • Bohemian Rhapsody, Queen[1]
  • Queen Rock Songs
    When Freddie Mercury began to write this song, he referred to it as "The Cowboy Song" because of its western feel

  • Hotel California, The Eagles[1]
  • Hotel California
    The founder of the "Hotel California" the Eagles sang about was a Chinese immigrant named Mr. Wong. He changed his name to Don Antonio Tabasco, wanting locals to believe he was Mexican

  • Free Bird, Lynyrd Skynyrd[1][3]
  • Lynyrd Skynyrd Albums
    MCA Records didn't want to include this song on the band's first album; they thought it was too long for radio stations to play

  • Purple Haze, Jimi Hendrix[2]
  • Jimi Hendrix Illustration
    Jimi Hendrix's public career lasted less than four years total, but his music still remains popular today

  • Comfortably Numb, Pink Floyd[1][3]
  • David Gilmour Vocals
    David Gilmour, the lead singer of Pink Floyd,  performed two hugely popular shows in 2016, 45 years after the band first formed

  • Start Me Up, The Rolling Stones[2]
  • Rolling Stones Tour
    The Rolling Stones put this song on the back burner for four years before adding it to an album; they couldn't initially find a good beat to match the lyrics

  • Back in Black, AC/DC[1][2][3]
  • ACDC Album Cover
    Back in Black is a tribute to AC/DC's former lead singer, who  "died of misadventure" after a night of partying

  • Carry on Wayward Son, Kansas[1]
  • Guitarist Kerry Livgren
    Kerry Livgren, a guitarist for Kansas, wrote this song about his spiritual search for meaning (Keenanrocks / Creative Commons)

  • Smoke on the Water, Deep Purple[3]
  • Deep Purple Rock
    This song was inspired by a fire at a Switzerland rock concert (from a flare gun) which started on stage shortly before Deep Purple was meant to perform

References

1"Greatest Classic Rock Songs." The Top Tens. Accessed: September 9, 2017.

2Kerwin, Bryan. "The 20 Best Classic Rock Songs of All Time." TimeOut. September 15, 2016. Accessed: September 9, 2017.

3"The Greatest Ever Rock Song." Planet Rock: Where Rock Lives. Accessed: September 9, 2017.

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