Top 10 Rock Songs

Selecting the top ten rock songs can be as tough as picking the best stones out of a heap of diamonds. All aspects of the song have to be taken into consideration, the lyrics, the music, the audio sound, the video presentation and the actual sales of the song. The category rock is also hard to define. Rock and Metal almost border on each other. The rhythms in rock have changed over the years. It is a mixture of rock and roll, rhythm and blues, country and traces of jazz. Two factors definitely distinguish this genre of music, the singers are white and the electric guitar is used to an overbearing extent, so much so that it can be bone jarring. There may be many other songs, personal favorites of selectors but these ten cannot be ever ignored. The modern version of Rock can be and has been classified under Alternative Rock. Taking all this into consideration these are the all time favorites in Rock:-


1. Pink Floyd – Money

This is a very popular song from the high selling Pink Floyd album Dark Side of the Moon. The  released in 1973. The distinctive sound of the song depends on the clever splicing of several different sounds into one track. The different sounds are of coins clinking, cash registers ringing, currency notes being torn and the clear hard sounds of the guitar. This was one of the songs which made the album such a super hit.


2. Guns n Roses – November Rain

This song written by Axl Rose who is also the lead singer of the band Guns n Roses was released in 1992. It is a very long song with lengthy orchestral arrangements. The ending guitar solo by Slash is considered one of the best amongst guitar solos in a song. The popular video of the song shows Axl getting married to his girl friend before a storm ruins the wedding.


3. The Eagles – Hotel California

The authenticity of this ranking cannot be disputed by anyone in the world on a top ten chart. There might be demands of placing it at number one. The song was released in1977 and was written by Don Henley, Don Felder and Glenn Frey. The song sold a million copies within three months of its release. The Eagles also won the album of the year Grammy in 1978. The song’s solo is ranked number eight.


4. Credence Clearwater Revival – Have you ever Seen the Rain

Have you seen the rain was released in 1971 and was written by John Fogerty for the band Credence Clearwater Revival.  It records the end of personal idealism of the band a nostalgia for the good times that do not last too long. The song keeps getting revived and replayed in movies and televisions shows. It is from the album Pendulum.


5. Coldplay – Viva la Vida

This is an example of alternative rock and the British invasion of the American Rock scene. Viva la Vida is the collective writing effort of the entire band of Cold Play. The song was released in 2008 and won the Grammy for the Song of the year in 2009. It was a hit in both the UK and the USA. It is one of the few songs which have had 4 million paid downloads. Viva la Vida means ‘long live life’ in Spanish.


6. Nirvana – Smells like Teen Spirit

Some people have called it one of the greatest rock songs ever. It catapulted Nirvana to fame when this song was released in their album Nevermind in 1991. The song was written by Kurt Cobain, Krist Novoselic and Dave Grohl.  This marked the homecoming of alternative rock and its acceptance into rock culture. The words of the song are still a mystery, unknown and the meaning unclear.


7. Eric Clapton – Cocaine

Cocaine is Clapton’s song with a message. It is an anti drug song. In modern singings he sings Dirty Cocaine to emphasize the harmful drug. The song was written by JJ Cale one of the many that Clapton sang of Cale’s lyrics. The song is also recorded by JJ Cale. It was released in 1976.


8. Queen – Bohemian Rhapsody

Another example of the British invasion, Bohemian Rhapsody was released in 1975. The writer of the song is Freddie Mercury the lead singer of the band. The recording of the song using the techniques available then was very elaborate. It was a Christmas hit on both sides of the Atlantic. The words and the video are intriguing and mysterious. In 2009 a vote by Classic Rock discovered him as one of the greatest singers of all time. Freddie Mercury was the heart and soul of the band. He died in 1991 a victim of AIDS.


9. Pink Floyd – We Don’t Need No Education/Another Brick in the Wall

We Don’t Need No Education was released in 1979 as a part of the double album The Wall. This album is an iconic music album with the other songs like ‘Comfortably Numb’ becoming part of Rock history.  The Wall is indeed a Rock Opera telling the story of Pink in the movie of the same name. The song was number one in the Billboard charts and the UK top 40. The album is number 87 on the Greatest Albums of all time.


10. Animals – The House of the Rising Sun

The House of the Rising Sun is an American folk lore song which was made into this super selling rock/folk song and released in the year 1964. It is a song of disillusionment set in New Orleans.  The song was number one in Canada, the UK, Sweden, USA and Finland. Some say it has its origins in England and the new world colonizers brought it along with them. The BBC called it the first folk rock tune. This song is supposed to have shaped the future of Rock and Roll. It got a Grammy in 1999 as a Grammy Hall of Fame song. The song has been sung by many artistes but Dolly Parton is one who did it with admirable success.

About The Author

3 Responses

  1. jake

    Are you crazy? Money and Brick in the Wall aren’t even on the top 10 Pink Floyd songs. Number 1 rock song would probably be Comfortably Numb or Brain Damage.

  2. Sam

    Who came up with this list? Do heavy Metal songs count as rock songs? if not, then that explains why they are not on the list. Songs like War Pigs, Iron Man, Master of Puppets, Enter Sandman…


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.