Guitar players and music fans alike should know the 10 best rock guitar songs by heart. These songs contain influential riffs and scorching guitar solos that changed the music landscape forever.
- “Crazy Train” Ozzy Osbourne The rock guitar world would never be the same after Randy Rhodes. The 1980 album “Blizzard of Ozz” contained this gem with Rhodes’s blistering riffs setting the pace for Ozzy’s entire solo career.
- “Smoke on the Water” Deep Purple A familiar staple on the list of the ten best rock guitar songs ever, this song is a masterpiece of simplicity. First seen on 1972’s “Machine Head,” this four-chord juggernaut inspired legions of young musicians to start playing guitar.
- “Sweet Child O’ Mine” Guns N’ Roses Rock guitar idol Slash was the brainchild behind this 1988 single from the breakthrough album “Appetite For Destruction.” As the band’s first number one hit, this rock guitar song brought intricate guitar work to the masses.
- “Walk This Way” Aerosmith As one of the most influential entries on the list of the ten best rock guitar songs ever, this song would ultimately help bring hip-hop into the mainstream. First appearing on 1975’s “Toys in the Attic,” the guitar riff was later featured on rap pioneers Run DMC’s groundbreaking 1986 album “Raising Hell.”
- “You Really Got Me” Van Halen Taking a classic song by The Kinks and turning it into something completely their own, Eddie Van Halen and the gang paid homage on this rock guitar song from their 1978 debut album. The result was a fresh take on a classic.
- “Johnny B Goode” Chuck Berry Way back in 1958, Chuck Berry was playing rock guitar much better than you ever will. “Johnny B Goode” was a boisterous mesh of blues and rock n’ roll, setting the bar for generations to come.
- “Stairway To Heaven” Led Zeppelin Definitely the most recognizable of the ten best rock guitar songs ever, this song is a standard in every sense of the word. First seen on 1971’s “Led Zeppelin IV,” this rock guitar song is a tactile journey of blustering fret-play.
- “Red House” Jimi Hendrix Updating blues rock for a new generation, Hendrix took the genre to places no one had ever dreamed on the 1967 album “Are You Experienced?” Hendrix’s sweltering solos on this rock guitar song are still awe-inspiring to this day.
- “Pride and Joy” Stevie Ray Vaughan Heavily influenced by Jimi Hendrix, Vaughan set a new standard for blues-influenced rock guitar. As one of the many notable tracks on 1983’s “Texas Flood,” this rock guitar song gave birth to head-scratching riffs and solos that take average players years to master.
- “Free Bird” Lynyrd Skynard As the only southern rock entry in the ten best rock guitar songs ever, this sprawling 1973 epic was featured on Skynard’s self-titled debut album. The solo in this rock guitar song is the stuff of legend, injecting the outro with a perceptible vigor you can almost touch.
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