Best Rock Songs Of All Time
When it comes to the best rock songs of all time, there’s no room for mediocrity. With their blistering guitars and soaring vocals, these songs are masterstrokes of musical creativity. They’ve got an enduring quality as well, and time has shown their profound impact on rock music.
- “Ace Of Spades” - Motorhead An unrelenting sonic assault from start to finish, this rock song will blow the doors off everything else in your music collection. First seen on the 1980 album of the same name, it’s the song that propelled Motorhead to the top of the rock echelon.
- “Smells Like Teen Spirit” - Nirvana Not only is this 1991 tune one of the best rock songs of all time, it’s also one of the most influential. As the lead single from the album “Nevermind,” this rock song’s popularity ushered in the age of grunge music. Low, gritty and uncompromising, it marked the end of an era for slick, over-produced studio juggernauts.
- “Welcome to the Jungle” - Guns N’ Roses As soon as guitar legend Slash strikes the echoing chords that open this rock song, you know you’re in for something special. Featured on the hit 1987 album “Appetite For Destruction,” the song marked the return to guitar-driven quality in rock music, which the genre sorely needed at the time.
- “Enter Sandman” - Metallica With a slick new look and a polished sound, hard rock royalty Metallica dropped their self-titled album in 1991. This rock song was the lead single, and it showcased the band’s updated style while remaining true to their thrash-metal roots. Utilizing a chest-thumping rhythm section and growling vocals, it’s the best hard rock song of the decade.
- “Kickstart My Heart” - Motley Crue The introduction to this 1989 rock song is reminiscent of a high-powered motorcycle engine. It meshes well into a driving guitar riff that carries the brunt of the song’s power. Featured on the album “Dr. Feelgood,” this rock song showcases singer Vince Neil’s abundant vocal ability during a simple yet catchy chorus.
- “Kashmir” - Led Zeppelin Topping many music fans’ lists of the best rock songs of all time is this iconic 1974 release from the album “Physical Graffiti.” It’s the song that best encapsulates Led Zeppelin as a band. From John Bonham and John Paul Jones’ thundering bottom end, to Jimmy Page’s inventive guitar work, to Robert Plant’s soaring voice, this rock song has never been equaled.
- “Free Bird” - Lynard Skynard A sweeping epic in every sense of the word, this 1974 rock song has provided a soundtrack for countless air guitar performances around the world. First seen on the landmark album “Pronounced Leh-nerd Skin-nerd,” it’s a sonic journey that begins in sentimentality and concludes with one of the best guitar solos of all time.
- “All Along The Watchtower” - Jimi Hendrix Though this rock song was originally penned by master songwriter Bob Dylan, Hendrix reinvented it in 1968 and made it his own. When the song was released on the album “Electric Ladyland,” listeners were treated to Hendrix’s unique vocal styling, sandwiched between guitar solos that never cease to boggle the mind.
- “Paint It, Black” - The Rolling Stones Showing a dark side of the band not often seen, this 1966 song offers a morbid taste of rock and roll greatness. First seen on the album “Aftermath,” it’s an upbeat, sitar-accented rock epic. Mick Jagger’s lyrics are the best part of this rock song, telling a tale of a man drowning in despair.
- “Light My Fire” - The Doors As the band’s signature tune, this rock song is among the most recognizable of all time. After it was released on The Doors’ self-titled debut album in 1967, the song became an instant smash, thanks largely to the swirling keyboard riff and singer Jim Morrison’s haunting vocal style.