Best Classic Rock Song?

MichelleMichelle California
edited July 2018 in General
I've been on a deep dive into 1970s classic rock lately and am wondering - what do *you* think is the absolute ultimate best classic rock song (pre-1980)?  You can list as many as you want or just what you think is the single greatest.  There's no right or wrong answer except for anyone who thinks Bennie and the Jets shouldn't be on the list. :tongue: :grin: jk    Let's hear 'em!

I tried to actually list a top 5 in order:

1.  Elton John - Bennie and the Jets
2.  Lynyrd Skynyrd - Sweet Home Alabama
3.  The Rolling Stones - Gimme Shelter
4.  Aerosmith - Dream On
5.  Queen - Bohemian Rhapsody
kingbee67TravisTaraC73cdrive
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Comments

  • kingbee67kingbee67 Los Angeles Ca.
    Just What I Needed - The Cars
    CretanBullTravisTaraC73
  • amyja89amyja89 Oxford, England
    I can’t pick a definitive favourite but a few that come to mind are:

    Fleetwood Mac - Go Your Own Way
    Blue Oyster Cult - Don’t Fear The Reaper
    Led Zeppelin - Kashmir

    MichellecdriveTravisBrandonTheBardOliviaD
  • 1. Substitute - The Who
    2. Rock'n'Roll - Led Zepplin
    3. Manic Depression - Jimi Hendrix
    4. Hush - Deep Purple
    5. Paranoid - Black Sabbath

    MichelleTravis
  • amyja89amyja89 Oxford, England
    Ohhhh and Free - Wishing Well.
    Travis
  • There's plenty of great '70s tracks but one of my favorites has always been Blue Oyster Cult - Don't Fear the Reaper



    And I've listened to this one like 100 times thanks to GTA San Andreas:


    MichelleTravisBrandonTheBard
  • MichelleMichelle California
    edited July 2018
    I really wanted to add a Doors and/or Led Zeppelin song to my top 5 because oh, they're just so good.  But I think the others in my list definitely top them.  But - if I add a #6 to the list, it'd probably be something by either one of them.  Take your pick, they're all good.
    Travisgguenot
  • My mind went straight to Zeppelin and I cant decide between- Whole Lotta Love, Ramble on, Dazed and Confused, and Heartbreaker
    kingbee67TravisCretanBullMichelleOliviaDNoel
  • kingbee67kingbee67 Los Angeles Ca.
    @gguenot I would go with Heartbreaker.
    gguenot
  • Carry on my Wayward Son- Kansas
    Long Long Way From Home- Foreigner


    I totally want to see this thread when it’s done and make a playlist. 

    DeeMichelleTaraC73Naugustine
  • edited July 2018

    I think the quintessential classic rock song is Zepplin's Stairway to Heaven.  As overplayed as this may be, it is still an amazing composition.  Although Jimmy Page worked on the music over many years, the lyrics were largely written in a single evening as Page and Robert Plant sat by a roaring fire at Headley Grange in Hampshire, England.

    Plant has stated that the sprawling lyrics of Stairway to Heaven were his attempt at explaining the meaning of life.  The three tiers of progression are masterful - from ballad to folk rock to hard rock.  Plant may be the only person on earth who can truly sing this song and it includes my favorite drum fill of all time.  There are many, many top notch songs from this era (too many to list) but to me, there is nothing as epic as Stairway to Heaven.


    I'm not sure if the following are the "best songs" but they're a few of my favorites:

    The Who - Baba O'Riley

    Black Sabbath - Paranoid

    The Doors - Riders on the Storm

    Pink Floyd - Wish You Were Here

    Led Zeppelin - Over the Hills and Far Away

    Bob Seger - Still the Same

    Bruce Springsteen - Born to Run

    The Eagles - Hotel California

    Fleetwood Mac - Never Going Back Again

    The Beatles - Get Back

    Janis Joplin - Me and Bobby McGee

    Jimmy - All Along the Watchtower

    CCR - Fortunate Son

    TravisTaraC73OliviaDtom_g
  • TravisTravis CA
    edited July 2018
    I'm having trouble drawing the "classic rock" genre type sound/other pre-80s stuff that doesn't necessarily fit the archetype sound line so I'm just going to throw out some stuff that feels like it might fit and see what sticks:

    Elvis Costello - The Angels Wanna Wear My Red Shoes
    Beatles - Dig a Pony
    CCR - Lodi
    Simon and Garfunkel - Big Bright Green Pleasure Machine 
    David Bowie - It Ain't Easy

    HMs: The Who - The Kids are Alright
    Led Zep - Dazed and Confused
    Girlschool - Future Flash (just missed the cut at 1981, but the sound is there)
    the Monkeys - Randy Scouse Git
    The Carrie Nations (fictional band from Beyond the Valley of the Dolls) - Look On Up (At the Bottom)

    EDIT: Damn! I totally forgot about California Dreamin and Time of the Season (Mamas and the Papas and the Zombies respectively). This is a really fruitful topic.
    gguenotTaraC73
  • MurderbearMurderbear Cold Spring, Ky
    The first thing that came to mind:

    Slow Ride - Foghat 
    TravisMichelleTaraC73
  • The user and all related content has been deleted.
  • LordByLordBy Utah
    edited July 2018
    What an impossible list. In no particular order:
    Pink Floyd has to be on there. I don’t know if you pick Time, Money, Wish You Were Here, the entire Wall album or what.
    Zepplin has to be on there. I’d pick Kashmir, but the Starway arguement is strong
    The Beatles have to be on there. Hey Jude or A Day in the Life would be my recommendations
    Stones has to be on there. Gimmick Shelter in my book. Sympathy for the Devil, Paint it Black, and You Can’t Always Get What You Want also good contenders.
    Hendrix. Purple Haze or Voodoo Child

    Then you’re losing a lot of the great Vietnam era songs like All Along The Watchtowers, Stop Children What’s that Sound, We Got to Get Out of This Place, Fortunate Son, etc.

    No Aerosmith (Sweet Emotion), Eagles (Desparado, Hotel California), Doors (Break on Through, LA Woman, Light My Fire), AC/DC (Thunderstruck, TNT, Back in Black), Elton John (Yellowbrick Road, Jumpin Jack Flash, Bennie and the Jets), Billy Joel (Pianoman, Entertainer), Janis Joplin (Peice of My Heart), Bob Dylan (Blowin in the Wind, Like a Rolling Sone, Tangled Up in Blue, The Times They are a-Changing), etc. is a crime,

    I’m not even getting into the Disco Era and the 80s as I don’t know where you want to draw the classic line these days.
    TaraC73
  • hard to pick one, but it is tough to beat the opening riff of "Purple Haze" in thinking of "classic rock" boiled down to it's core


  • DeeDee Adelaide
    My Sharona
  • cdrivecdrive Houston, TX
    TravisMurderbearLordByDummyMichelleChinaskiApril_May_JuneTaraC73CapeGabe
  • For me the 2 that instantly cross my mind are

    Journey - Don't stop believin'
    Bon Jovi - Livin on a Prayer

    I love throwing on the 80s rock playlist on Amazon Music.  So many good songs.
    Travis
  • Top 5 lists are tough because it always depends on my mood at the time. Right now I'd say it's:

    1. Pink Floyd - Comfortably Numb
    2. CCR - Proud Mary
    3. Black Sabbath - War Pigs
    4. Hendrix - Voodoo Child
    5. Styx - Renegade
    Travis
  • MurderbearMurderbear Cold Spring, Ky
    edited July 2018
    It's obviously a sliding scale because that's how time works but what do you all consider the cutoff for "classic rock?" I just went to the website for the classic rock station here in Cincinnati (92.5 The Fox) and the current playlist had Red Hot Chili Peppers - Under The Bridge in there....just makes ya feel old when that's on the classic rock station!
    TaraC73Travis
  • It's obviously a sliding scale be authors how time works but what do you all consider the cutoff for "classic rock?" I just went to the website for the classic rock station here in Cincinnati (92.5 The Fox) and the current playlist had Red Hot Chili Peppers - Under The Bridge in there....just makes ya feel old when that's on the classic rock station!
    In my opinion as soon as it hits the 90s I feel like it hit's more in the alternative rock genre than "classic rock."  It is a very subjective genre of music because classic rock to me is 100% different than classic rock to my parents.
    MurderbearTravis
  • Born in the USA

    Completely misunderstood 
    TaraC73Travis
  • Wow, this is *tough* !  I love every song you guys mentioned!

    I don't think I can name just one, but if I had to, I'd say it'd be a song by The Beatles ... but then I'd have a hard time picking which one!

    But then there's Janis Joplin ... The Doors ... Hendrix ... Fleetwood Mac ... Pink Floyd ... there is a lot of really, really great stuff to choose from!


    Travis
  • kuman07kuman07 Kansas City
    Off the top of my head:
    Led Zeppelin-Kashmir
    Beach Boys- Good Vibrations
    Fleetwood Mac-Rhiannon
    Jefferson Airplane-Somebody to Love
    Pink Floyd-Comfortably Numb
    Queen- Another One Bites the Dust
    The Rolling Stones-Wild Horses
    TaraC73Michelle
  • It's obviously a sliding scale be authors how time works but what do you all consider the cutoff for "classic rock?" I just went to the website for the classic rock station here in Cincinnati (92.5 The Fox) and the current playlist had Red Hot Chili Peppers - Under The Bridge in there....just makes ya feel old when that's on the classic rock station!
    In my opinion as soon as it hits the 90s I feel like it hit's more in the alternative rock genre than "classic rock."  It is a very subjective genre of music because classic rock to me is 100% different than classic rock to my parents.

     538 did a pretty comprehensive analysis of what constitutes "classic rock" and it seems that the bulk of it falls in the late-60's to mid-80's range.



    https://fivethirtyeight.com/features/why-classic-rock-isnt-what-it-used-to-be/
    TaraC73TravisMurderbear
  • MattyWeavesMattyWeaves Mid-State New York
    Free Bird is always my answer in this scenario.
    TaraC73TravisMichelle
  • MrX said:
    It's obviously a sliding scale be authors how time works but what do you all consider the cutoff for "classic rock?" I just went to the website for the classic rock station here in Cincinnati (92.5 The Fox) and the current playlist had Red Hot Chili Peppers - Under The Bridge in there....just makes ya feel old when that's on the classic rock station!
    In my opinion as soon as it hits the 90s I feel like it hit's more in the alternative rock genre than "classic rock."  It is a very subjective genre of music because classic rock to me is 100% different than classic rock to my parents.

     538 did a pretty comprehensive analysis of what constitutes "classic rock" and it seems that the bulk of it falls in the late-60's to mid-80's range.



    https://fivethirtyeight.com/features/why-classic-rock-isnt-what-it-used-to-be/
    To me that is extremely accurate.  Spot on analysis of what I would consider classic rock as well.  Whatever classic rock radio station was mentioned above that was playing Red Hot Chili Peppers is on drugs if they think that's considered classic rock.  
    TravisMurderbearMrX
  • MrX said:
    It's obviously a sliding scale be authors how time works but what do you all consider the cutoff for "classic rock?" I just went to the website for the classic rock station here in Cincinnati (92.5 The Fox) and the current playlist had Red Hot Chili Peppers - Under The Bridge in there....just makes ya feel old when that's on the classic rock station!
    In my opinion as soon as it hits the 90s I feel like it hit's more in the alternative rock genre than "classic rock."  It is a very subjective genre of music because classic rock to me is 100% different than classic rock to my parents.

     538 did a pretty comprehensive analysis of what constitutes "classic rock" and it seems that the bulk of it falls in the late-60's to mid-80's range.



    https://fivethirtyeight.com/features/why-classic-rock-isnt-what-it-used-to-be/
    To me that is extremely accurate.  Spot on analysis of what I would consider classic rock as well.  Whatever classic rock radio station was mentioned above that was playing Red Hot Chili Peppers is on drugs if they think that's considered classic rock.  
    It is almost 30 years old now. At a certain point it should be just called 70-80's rock if they don't mean "classic". 
  • ChinaskiChinaski Santa Cruz, CA
    Thin Lizzy - Boys Are Back in Tow
    Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers  - American Girl
    Dire Straits - Sultans of Swing
    The Who - Pinball Wizard
    Peter Frampton - Do You Feel Like I Do (Live)
    Alman Brothers - Ramblin' Man
    ELO - Don't Bring Me Down
    Heart - Crazy On You
    Cheap Trick - Surrender
    and finally, gotta throw in a Latino from the Bay.. Santana - Oye Como Va
    TaraC73TravisMichelle
  • More Than a Feeling by Boston

    There's just something about that Tom Scholz sound that defines 70s rock more than anything else for me.  The mixture of Electric and Acoustic guitar, the awesome keyboard effects, and the insane harmonies all combine to make this one of their best songs.
    TaraC73Travis
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