Top Ten Most Important Rock Songs


The Top Ten

1 Stairway to Heaven - Led Zeppelin

Shouldn't be on top. Good song, also influential but not that important. I mean not like that deserves the first spot. - zxm

Great song, super popular, probably the most popular in the rock era. Not nearly as important as some of the groundbreaking songs that came earlier. Interestingly it is back in the news, as the estate of Randy California [Spirit] sues LZ because the intro is a pure ripoff of Spirit's "Taurus". Supposedly Randy gave verbal permission, but there is no record of it. The lawyers will be the only ones who win in the end.

2 Bohemian Rhapsody - Queen
3 Johnny B. Goode - Chuck Berry
4 Smells Like Teen Spirit - Nirvana
5 Back In Black - AC/DC
6 Smoke On the Water - Deep Purple
7 (I Can't Get No) Satisfaction - The Rolling Stones
8 Hotel California - The Eagles
9 Free Bird - Lynyrd Skynyrd
10 Rock Around the Clock- Bill Haley & His Comets

The Newcomers

? Jailhouse Rock - Elvis Presley

Elvis Presley didn't write his own songs. But his vocal was one of the most unique vocals at that time. - zxm

? Rock Awhile - Goree Carter

Although I know about the distortion experiment in early 40s but haven't heard any distorted song before this. - zxm

The Contenders

11 She Loves You - The Beatles

The most prominent song when the Beatles debuted in American on the Ed Sullivan Show. Easily the single most important moment in rock history, as rock was fading away after its initial surge; Elvis was in the Army and then Hollywood, Buddy Holly died, and Little Richard & Chuck Berry were in big trouble with the law.
Music was moving away from rock, with surf music spinning away from it, and folk music the polar opposite. What we would call AC today, like Tony Bennett and Tom Jones were also prominent, with Frank Sinatra as the elder statesman.
Then suddenly, this musical Tsunami came in, so huge and powerful that it swept away everything that came before it, establishing rock as the dominant music format for the next 4 decades.
Over 50 years later now, and there is still nothing that comes remotely close to the musical importance of what the Fab Four did as they lead the British Invasion.

12 All Along the Watchtower - The Jimi Hendrix Experience
13 Rocket 88 - Ike Turner

Generally considered to the be the very first rock-n-roll song.

14 Heartbreak Hotel - Elvis Presley

First hit by the most important, most popular, and biggest selling solo act in the history of rock.

15 Like A Rolling Stone - Bob Dylan

This song was kind of a landmark in music. Personally, it's one of my favorites. - MontyPython

16 Black Sabbath - Black Sabbath

The first metal song.

17 Tutti-Frutti - Little Richard

First big hit for "The Architect of Rock and Roll", though he had been regionally popular in the deep south for several years.

18 That'll Be The Day - Buddy Holly and The Crickets
19 Heart Full of Soul - The Yardbirds

This is the first song purposely featuring a psychedelic sound, predating the other early numbers by more than a year.

20 Maybellene - Chuck Berry

Chuck Berry is often called The Father of Rock-n-Roll, and this was his first big hit.

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List Stats

24 listings
2 years, 164 days old

Top Remixes

1. Stairway to Heaven - Led Zeppelin
2. Bohemian Rhapsody - Queen
3. Johnny B. Goode - Chuck Berry



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