Greatest Classic Rock Songs

The Top Ten
1 Stairway to Heaven - Led Zeppelin Stairway to Heaven - Led Zeppelin Cover Art

To me Bohemian Rhapsody has not aged gracefully. It’s starting to sound a bit dated and corny. Would never say that about stairway to heaven

Definitely Led Zeppelin's best song. There should be more Zeppelin on the list though. Everything is great about it. John Paul Jones's keyboard playing is beautiful. Jimmy Page made the guitar sound amazing, the way he took the slow beginning and turned it into a waling solo and outro. John Bonham's drums make my heart stop. Robert Plant's vocals are probably the best ever. It's the song to end all songs. The best song in existence. Perfect in every way. They couldn't ever possibly make it any better because it is already a perfect song. And that's all I have to say about that.

Greatest ever. Led Zeppelin combines the greatest aspect of every necessary aspect of rock and roll, from Robert Plant on those wonderful vocals, jimmy page on the astounding guitar, John Bonham on those drums that remind everyone why they're voting for stairway to heaven, and then, John Paul Jones on that low, sweet sounding base. The collaboration is simply unreal. Bohemian Rhapsody may be good, but this song makes me do some serious soul searching. Led Zeppelins Staiway to Heaven should never be beat. All who says otherwise is kidding themselves.

Out of the choices given, this is probably my favorite, with Baba O'Riley coming in a close second. My personal favorite song is Since I've Been Loving You, also by Led Zeppelin. I love this song. The guitar is chilling in the beginning, and then it morphs to the great chord progression about halfway through, and then the wonderful guitar solo. The vocals so smooth and emotional, then turn into a loud scream near the end. The bassline complements everything else in the song, with its winding sound. The drums, as always, are excellent. Overall one of the greatest songs ever. -JimiPage

2 Bohemian Rhapsody - Queen Bohemian Rhapsody - Queen Cover Art

This song is number 1 on most lists so why it's at 2 on here I don't know. Personally, it's not my most favourite queen song but its still definitely one of the best. Come on people!

This song (in my opinion) is the best rock song out there. Brian May on guitar giving it that special sound and just the right tone at just the right time really gave this song a major push on the bar of what a guitarist should be like. Freddie Mercury Is one of, if not, the best singer not only in the Rock community, but in the singing community in general. the overall tone of the song is great, pulling all of Queen's styles and crunching it together to make a beautiful song, and it really pushed what a rock band really is.

I can't believe this song is second, its is a bloody masterpiece words can't explain how inventive this song is and how amazing Freddie Brian, Rodger and John are. Bohemian rhapsody is a definite number one, no question asked.

Compared to Stairway to Heaven, which is number 1 on this list, Bohemian Rhapsody is a much greater example of rock at it's best. It pushed the boundaries of music to there fullest and did things never seen before or since. Whilst Stairway to Heaven only makes great what's come before and wasn't even released as a single! Both songs are sensational but can we really doubt the the quality of music and how sensational Bohemian Rhapsody really is. It is the GREATEST ROCK SONG OF ALL TIME.

3 Hotel California - The Eagles Hotel California - The Eagles Cover Art

Sorry Zep fans, this one is haunting, smokey, sexy, seductive and has the better guitar solo.
And Don Henley is a way better singer than Robert Plant.
Bohemian Rhapsody is just a mess. What the hell is it? Confusion does not lead to greatness.
Hotel California is the greatest song ever.

Most beautiful classic rock song ever. Haunting, mysterious, cool rhythm, poetic lyrics, great solo...
Simply the best.
Chillin on the beach, drink in hand, watching the sunset with this playing. No better than that.

The Greatest Song Of All Time. There is no denying this fact. And secondly He Jude was not sung well try to understand and listen properly to understand that Beatles were no singers.

Love the eagles in general, I think this should definitely be ahead of queen because this song makes you find it's own meaning a lot more than bohemian rhapsody. I think the guitar is better here too.

4 Baba O'Riley - The Who Baba O'Riley - The Who Cover Art

Baba O'Riley is way better than Hotel California in my opinion.
This song is just more memorable, catchy and has more feel into it! Roger Daltrey's unique vocal range and screams (especially in Won't Get Fooled Again), Pete Townshend's and John Entwistle's intricate, electrifying bass playing that gives you goosebumbs with Keith Moon, the mad, wild genius killing it on the drums being the driving forces of this amazing band, make The Who one of the Top 10 Greatest Rock Bands of All Time, for me at least, with Who's Next being in my Top 10 Greatest Rock Albums of All Time!

Deserves the Number 2 spot. As has been said many a time, the opening keyboards are the sound of freedom. The piano/guitar riff is so great, and the violin solo really caps it all off. The WHO!

I was trying to click to hear what song this is, to find out why this is #5...I've never hear this, and in no way shape or form should "The Who" be on this count down.

Probably one of the best songs of any genre. It would be more fitting for it to be on the first place here on this list.

5 Free Bird - Lynyrd Skynyrd Free Bird - Lynyrd Skynyrd Cover Art

If people could have been up close and seen this song played live, they would easily vote this song #1. I have seen Jimmy l've do his solo and although iconic and legendary, it pales in comparison to Alan Collins and Gary Rossington's live performance to Freebird's guitar lead. What few people know is that they played those simultaneously and seamlessly giving the sound of what most people believe as one lead guitar playing. If you listen closely you can here two distinct guitars from the beginning and about midway through they split into their own tracks. Had I not witnessed this first hand standing less than 10 feet away with Ronnie Van Zant standing between them I would have continued to believe it was one guitar lead with another playing rhythm. It was an awesome concert back in 1975 Brussels, Belgium on their world tour.

There is a distinction between greatest recorded song and greatest live song. As someone else said, if you were lucky enough to have seen the original Skynyrd there was NOTHING like Free Bird live! I have seen them all, and while I actually enjoy other bands music more, NOBODY could touch Free Bird live. I saw them when I was 17 for the first time 40 years ago and I have still never seen anything like Free Bird.

I go back and forth between Free Bird and Stairway as my top of all time. I can listen to either over and over, the soft vocals and gripping guitar solos. I think what does Bird for me is the live version, guitar banging away then at about the 9:40/45 mark it's like they seamlessly roll right into a different song; chilling! Can't ever go wrong with Stairway as a top pick though.

Free Bird is one of the most fantastic songs ever written. It's absolute musical genius in my mind and I absolutely love the sliding intro, and the quick solo with that awesome tone. Truly an amazing, beautiful song.

6 Layla - Derek & The Dominos Layla - Derek & The Dominos Cover Art

This is simply the greatest rock and roll song ever. Eric Clapton is literally God. Nobody plays the guitar like he does. Duane Allman on slide is awesome as well. This song embodies rock in a way others wish they could. The B section is incredible and the piano is legendary. enough Said

This song is so good there are actually two great versions of it, both almost completely different. How many songs can you say that about? How this isn't in the top 5 is beyond me.

This is miles better than some of the other above it, top ten come on. Talk about a real gem of a song, especially when played live, and used in the film goodfellas

How is this song never considered Number 1? It's a masterpiece from that iconic Eric Clapton / Duane Allman guitar lick to Jim Gordon's emotional piano coda!

7 Carry on Wayward Son - Kansas Carry on Wayward Son - Kansas Cover Art

This song just doesn't get old. Icarus (Borne on Wings of Steel), Journey from Mariabronn and Miracles out of Nowhere are the same way for Kansas. Kansas of the 70s is just so timeless and beautiful. Most bands have hits that get duller the more you hear them. Kansas' songs only get better. I think its due to an extra layer or two of complexion which makes the songs just too much to completely predict and know too well after repeated listening.

This song will never get old. Although there are many songs on this list that I also love. This is the song which first popped into my brain when I first thought of great classic rock. It perfectly encompasses that intangeble sound of awesome 70's hard rock. It truely is a flawless gem, which makes me feel stuff in my... Uh emotions.

The fact that this song is ranked in the top ten should tell you something about this list (I.e. it is BS). The following bands have no songs listed (that I could find): Chicago (25 or 6 to 4 much? ); Head East; Humble Pie; Spirit; REO Speedwagon. REO SPEEDWAGON... We are talking classic rock, right?

This gets my vote as the greatest classic rock song of all time. It's so full of power, passion and poignant lyrics. The music stops and turns on a dime then redirects itself. This is one of the few radio songs I never get tired of.

8 Comfortably Numb - Pink Floyd Comfortably Numb - Pink Floyd Cover Art

I don't mean to hop on the bandwagon, but Comfortably Numb has the greatest guitar solo ever. Apart from that, I love the overall creepiness of this song. It makes you feel like you're in an upside-down world. This song should be Top 5 to be honest. It's not my favorite Pink Floyd song, but I gotta acknowledge its greatness.

There is no better written, arranged and performed song in the history of classic rock than Comfortably Numb. It truly is the perfect song. As usual with The Floyd, it is not a song about love, women, sex. It is part of Water's visions of his early life colliding with his visions of his adult life.
And yes, lest we forget Gilmoure's contribution with the greatest guitar solo of all time (twice in the same song). Gilmoure added the Soul to PF's sound. Early and Later Pink Floyd. And even though music writers usually list Hendrix as number 1, Page as no. 2, Clapton as 3 (and they should all be at the top, and I love their music) Gilmour with the most soulful and powerful guitar playing ever could and should be listed at the top of simply, The Greatest Classic Rock Guitar soloist of all time.

Best.. Song.. Ever.. I'm a guitarist going to school for music, and I can say with a good amount of education behind it that Gilmour/Floyd has done something that few other guitarist/musicians can do, and this song is proof of that... To this day, he is the only musician to bring me to tears through his playing alone. Listen to the live version off of the pulse tour, best all around solo I've ever listened to.

Wish you were here? No. Pink Floyd is my 2nd favorite band after the Beatles, but I can't think of one song for the top ten list from either band. Ironic. Another brick in the Wall (we don't need no education...) Is a very powerful song. I think it created more Floyd fans than Money. I'd put that on the top ten, if only to give recognition to the band.

9 A Day in the Life - The Beatles A Day in the Life - The Beatles Cover Art

Everyone flags this song as the Beatles' best, but I'm shocked that "Tomorrow Never Knows" and "Yesterday" don't appear on this list.

Greatest song ever. Easily the best Beatles song, and if it's the best song of the greatest and most inspirational band out there, then it's got to top the chart. Even ROlling Stone magazine says it's number one!

American Pie is the best song of all time, but I picked this one because it's the most significant song of all time. The last true John-Paul collaboration, and the peak of the Beatles career.

It's the Beatles. They changed rock music from buddy holly and the crickets to the rock music we know and love today. Not only is this one of their best songs but it's also their best album.

10 Paint It Black - The Rolling Stones Paint It Black - The Rolling Stones Cover Art

The Rolling Stones was the greatest band in it's time...leaving out the Beatles. The Stones had the greatest song - Satisfaction. But the Beatles was a greater band but, were they really Rock and Roll?

I remember first discovering this song. The day I fell in love was that day too (with the song)

The sitar intro is uniquely epic. The lyrics hit home and the beat never goes wrong.

After they painted my room black I listened to this song, now its all white again

The Newcomers

? The Logical Song - Supertramp The Logical Song - Supertramp Cover Art
? Love Hurts - Nazareth Love Hurts - Nazareth Cover Art
The Contenders
11 Wish You Were Here - Pink Floyd Wish You Were Here - Pink Floyd Cover Art

As with most all of my favorite songs, the tune, the rhythm, the combination of musical instruments synchronized / harmonized so intrinsically perfected together to create this distinct intriguing flow of utterly captivating, and pleasing tunes, causing one to immediately stop whatever he/she is doing at the moment, because they want nothing more than to continue listening to this hypnotizing song until the end. Their only thought at that very moment is finding out the name of the song and the artist(s) whose brilliant minds created such a chillingly beautiful song. So obviously I was initially drawn to the tune of the song. Then I purchase the album/cd/ and listen to this one particular song over & over &til I have subconsciously memorized every word. When I am certain of every word in the song, I have to attempt to figure out the meaning of the song. Some songs obviously aren't written by the person/artist(s) who actually sing it. I still love the songs that weren't written by the ...more

This song has the best meaning and is just so touching. It is not only pink floyd's best song, IT IS THE BEST SONG IN ROCK AND ROLL HISTORY! Pink Floyd has just the most deepest meanings in his writings and it has the most best meaning to compare to life. Some of Pink Floyd's songs are weird, but not this one. THIS ONE ROCKS DUDES! Who ever does not think that needs to rethink what kind of music they listen to. HAHA!

Lyrically, the best song ever. I'm a huge rock purist, and I love all the songs on this list except Free Bird, which sounds cool. This and Bohemian Rhapsody should be number one and two. I love Pink Floyd, in fact I'm listening to Shine On You Crazy Diamond right now!

I've been scrolling through a lot of songs in this top and realized that many of them deserved to be #1. I voted for this one because I think Pink Floyd is definitely the best band ever. They changed music forever and did totally change my life, too.

12 Dream On - Aerosmith Dream On - Aerosmith Cover Art

No matter what people say about other songs, DREAM ON will always be my most favorite song. This is how a true rock song should be! I can't describe how much I love and enjoy this song every time. I have so many songs that are very special to me, but this one is always a bit higher than any other song even if I am not a die hard Aerosmith fan. I am just so thankful to them for creating such a masterpiece!

This song just speaks to you on so many volumes and really defines what a rock song is. Todays music is all about telling your story and a fantasy you want to live in. But what dream on does best is it's a sing that has a different meaning from each and every perspective. This is when music was not about me but we.

I will always sing along to this song. It is absolutely amazing, especially in its contrast to other songs by Aerosmith. It has great music and astounding lyrics. It's a song that I will always listen to when it comes on, and I think everyone else should, too.

Dream On should be voted up way higher! I can't believe the best song ever is rated down THIS low. Aerosmith is the beat and undoubtedly should this be raised higher.

13 The Final Countdown - Europe The Final Countdown - Europe Cover Art

Needs to be WAY higher up! One of the most iconic themes ever made in the history of mankind. Easily deserves a top 5 spot. In my opinion, it is the most recognizable rock song made.

This should be top 5, no doubt! Incredible solo, incredibly historical, incredible premise. In my opinion, it is like a sung future. Also, Eye of the Tiger by Survivor should be up in top 5.

Come on it should at least be in the top ten, I mean it has a cool beat awesome music video, and great band too

This song gets me fired up, although it's a cheesy song, it's a classic and I Love it.

14 Back In Black - AC/DC Back In Black - AC/DC Cover Art

A pure classic in rock history, starts off in classic AC/DC fashion continues with timeless hard rock vocals, and that classic guitar riff that people who don't even though what this song is knows, this is definitely a top ten pick for rock songs, without a doubt (although stairway is definitely better than this). Great contender for top three I feel, although all of these songs are great.

Awesome song. Awesome guitar riffs, solo and vocals which makes you play the song over and over again! It is one of the best AC/DC songs ever and will always be one of the best rock songs of all time.

This song has literally no flaws at all. The famous guitar riff, the unique vocals and the kick ass solo just makes this an incredible rock song and should be in the top 5 at least

One of the best songs AC/DC ever wrote, next to Highway to Hell. I cannot watch any music show without hearing the famous guitar riff.

15 Thunderstruck - AC/DC Thunderstruck - AC/DC Cover Art

From the start of the song, you can already recognize Angus Young and his famous guitar rift play. It is a rock and roll landmark and should be higher than just the top 20

Thunderstruck is undoubtedly the best AC/DC song. The guitar is CRAZY and the singing is awesome. Every time I hear the guitar, I get the chills.

How is this so far down? This has to be on par with the already mentioned Back in Black. Where is Highway to Hell etc? Vote this bad boy right up there!

This song will get you going no matter where you are, what you are doing, or how you are feeling.

16 Go Your Own Way - Fleetwood Mac Go Your Own Way - Fleetwood Mac Cover Art

Best album of all time - Rumours. Simple.

Rumours one of the top 3 albums ever.

A timeless classic.

17 More Than a Feeling - Boston More Than a Feeling - Boston Cover Art

Boston and Tom totally changed the way people approached music production; even if some critics thought the production was made by computers (had to live through the 70's to understand how different Boston's music was and how far Tom took things from where other bands had thought to go or try different). Note: This was done on their debut release and not like the claimed Guns N' Roses debut release which wasn't their first realease even though the music industry wants to ignore their EP realease earlier.
Both Brian May and Tom were engenius and are not the most technically talented players; but both have produced incredible music. I always preferred people that are more creative than technical. I know Tom taught himself as he was mainly a keyboard player; but I'm not sure about Brian May. Even Hendrix had lessons and played with earlier bands before his solo stuff later on.

Seriously? Forty-seven? Why is this song at 47? This song belongs in the top 10. Amazing vocals, an unforgettable chorus, a memorable guitar solo, terrific all-around performance, and everything else required for a song for the ages. Why this song clocks in at 47 simply defies belief.

Incredible 12 string riff with electric harmonies. Tom Scholz is an absolute genius and Brad Delp is one of the most underrated singers of all time. This song is an absolute classic and is for sure in my top 10.

From 1976 to 2018, the most CONSISTENTLY played classic rock song of all-time. The variety of radio stations I've heard this song on is legendary. The number of stations I listen to that play this song on a daily basis,well...

18 (I Can't Get No) Satisfaction - The Rolling Stones (I Can't Get No) Satisfaction - The Rolling Stones Cover Art

Achievements of Bohemian Rhapsody: Made the Billboard Top 40 three times, climaxed progressive rock, got a really good movie named after it
Achievements of Stairway to Heaven: Is considered Led Zeppelin's best song even though it was never released as a single, spat progressive rock out of its womb, clearing the path for BoRhap, produced one of the greatest guitar solos in history.
Achievements of Satisfaction: Made highly distorted electric lead guitars a mainstream phenomenon, popularized blues rock, drew the blueprints of hard rock, topped both the US and UK charts despite basically being banned from most legal radio stations, shot the Stones into popularity, gave rock its signature sex appeal, created the sexy frontman persona that many rock bands have used, made about five thousand girls faint, could be perfectly recreated live, and opened the doors for the careers of Led Zeppelin, the Yardbirds, Cream, Jimi Hendrix, and basically every other blues rock act that came after ...more

When this came out in 1965, I remember that it was the lyrics more than the melody ( which is of course a great melody ) that moved me. This was really a song about the " Them against us " generation. No satisfaction to find in T.V., commercials, radio and yes, no satisfaction in girl action... All American garage bands in 1965-66 were suddenly trying to write lyrics of no satisfyin' subjects. Really a classic song.

To the man who said that The Stones are more talented than Pink Floyd... that can be proven false, if you compare both the bands' record sales. Pink Floyd has far more sales than The Rolling Stones, and not to mention The Dark Side of The Moon is the 3rd best selling album in the whole world.

I never understood why these idiots became so famous. They're just a rip of the Beatles and this song and Jagger have no musical quality or speciality what so ever.

19 The Show Must Go On - Queen The Show Must Go On - Queen Cover Art

This song should be higher than 92. It is the most dramatic, incredible, strong sounding song I've ever heard. They recorded this song when Freddie could barely walk!

Amazing song and vocals. Very emotional, too.

Simply superb.

This song makes me very sad... :'(

20 Won't Get Fooled Again - The Who Won't Get Fooled Again - The Who Cover Art

This song should be in the Top 10 to be honest. Even though it's 8 minutes long, it stays intriguing the whole time. I Pete Townshend's groovy guitar playing with Keith Moon's fast paced drums are all you need. Roger Daltrey's high pitched screams just add exactly what the song needs to be a legendary song. The fact that Baba O'Riley is in 4th is ridiculous. That song is so overrated and doesn't match the quality of this album-closer.

This is the best song from a very long list of songs from The Who. It never gets old and has every element you look for in a notch vocals, great guitar, and premier bass and drums. I love, love this song.

One of the best. This is a great song that closes off a great album. It was one of the first classic rock songs I really liked and Roger Daltry's scream will be forever etched in my mind as well as the drum solo, the synth solo and everything else that makes this song amazing to me.

I will never understand why this song is so disrespected and put at a disgraceful number 71. This song has by far been one of the greatest Classic Rock has ever seen

21 Paranoid - Black Sabbath Paranoid - Black Sabbath Cover Art

Paranoid, a masterpiece subjective to the spontaneous product of the human mind; did you know that Paranoid was created as a 'filler'? Here's what Geezer Butler said... The Song 'Paranoid' was written as an afterthought. We basically needed a 3 minute filler for the album, and Tony came up with the riff. I quickly did the lyrics, and Ozzy was reading them as he was singing. " Remarkable.

Paranoid is Europe's Free Bird. Classic song by the originator of "heavy metal" guitar-Tony Iommi. Must play song for classic rock cover bands. Long live Black Sabbath.

How is this song at 26? "Paranoid" was one of the first songs that got me listening to rock & metal back in middle school. This song is a legendary masterpiece.

I think something that makes me love this song even more is that this was originally planned to be a random filler song for Sabbath.

22 All Along the Watchtower - Jimi Hendrix All Along the Watchtower - Jimi Hendrix Cover Art

One of the best songs of any genre. Was an okay song to start with but Hendrix turned it into a masterpiece. The guitar is brilliant as well

How can you turn a brilliant Dylan song into something that is a work of art in its own right?

Others have tried, but not like this - ever!

The fact that this song isn't in the top 5 is a disgrace, you get one of the greatest guitar solos of all time, and jimi's psychedelic vocals. simply perfection

I am officially out! I give up! #98? Really? You must be kidding me. Again, easily Top-20 or 25 (at minimum)! Come on people!

23 Alone - Heart Alone - Heart Cover Art
24 Smoke on the Water - Deep Purple Smoke on the Water - Deep Purple Cover Art

Smoke on the Water is the most well known song world. You know most Americans are light weight rockers. Deep Purple ruled in most corners of the world. They were the most influential with the most history and the other great bands that came from the Purple tree with the best guitarist in the business. Ritchie s peers will tell you he was the best and influenced more guitarist world wide. And a much longer career than all those other guys. This is a insult to the most known Riff ever.

When you think rock anthem, the first notes in Smoke On The Water are the ones who come to the mind of 90% of the population. You really have to think hard to come up with anything else. The beginning hit of Jealous Lover by Rainbow is a close second... You can't even describe it.. Blackmore is king.

RITCHIE BLACKMOORE IS THE BEST GUITARIST! Jimmy page himself said that : how much harder I play guitar.. Ritchie will be always a step ahead" I feel though the solo of stairway to heaven is amazing.. Smoke on the water deserves to be at number 1... And next of course stairway to heaven at NO 2...

The best text, the most realistic story, the most exciting rhythm, the precision of orchestral interpretation, the most exciting solo voice, the most virtuous solo guitar. The number one rock anthem.

25 Kashmir - Led Zeppelin Kashmir - Led Zeppelin Cover Art

When you hear the song you feel power. Greatest band and riff ever. This song creates a exotic atmosphere, lyrics are so good.. And the drums are so magnificent, it's like a song dedicated to god.

The best song ever written bar none. This is because of how epic it is and how vast it is without ever getting boring. It is way better than Stairway to Heaven and any true Zeppelin fan will tell you that.

Just epic, you can't overcome the greatness of this song. The coolest drums, the melodies that run through this whole piece of great song. A celestial hymn from the greatest band of all time..

Kashmir is mystical. The orchestration is magical. If you can hear this song and not see visions, then you lack a cortex. It is without a doubt one of the greatest rock songs of all time.

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