Picking my Top 10 Rock Songs Of All-Time was a lot like “Sophie’s Choice”. When I asked others what songs would make their list I was surprised that no one was really close to choose the songs I did. I guess my taste is a bit eclectic. Finally, here are my choices in no particular order: *Please note: These are my favourite rock songs, not necessarily “the best”.
Ted Nugent – Stranglehold (1975) This 8 minute guitar attack is my favourite rock song of all time, hands down. If you read my previous post this will come as no surprise to you. The Motor City Mad Man exudes rock n’ roll, and the epic guitar solo in this song was recorded in only one take. I had the pleasure of seeing him perform live years ago when my Dad took me to a Lynyrd Skynyrd concert, and I’ve been hooked ever since. Thanks Dad.
Guns n’ Roses – Nightrain (1987) Pretty much any song off “Appetite For Destruction” could have made it on this list being that it IS the greatest album of all-time. What many don’t know is that it’s a song about being messed up the cheap wine Night Train. Slash’s autobiography is a must-read if you have not done so yet, you’ll have a whole new respect for Appetite. “Nightrain” has been my ringtone for years. So if I’m not answering my phone, don’t be offended. I’m just rocking out. (P.S. – I get to see Slash July 30th, pretty effin’ pumped.)
Rolling Stones – Can’t You Hear Me Knocking (1971) This is an unusually long Stones song because of the jam session at the end. Richards said it happened by accident, after recording the song the tape kept rolling and everyone just kept playing. Featuring some mean Bobby Keys sax and killer beginning guitar riffs, you can’t sit still with this song. Another one-take recording, this just proves rock musicians today are nothing like what they used to be. Scott Weiland does a great cover on Santana’s “Guitar Heaven” too, worth checking out.
Led Zeppelin – Since I’ve Been Loving You (1970) This track arguably has the greatest guitar solo of all-time. Completely improvised at the studio and again done all in one take shows Page is a guitar God. Zeppelin has more “rocking” songs, and honestly picking only one Zeppelin song was the hardest part of making this list. But “Since I’ve Been Loving You” integrates my love for that sultry blues sound, and has to be one of the sexiest songs ever. I can only imagine what it would have been like to hear Page/Plant do this live.
AC/DC – If You want Blood (You’ve Got It) (1979) I’m not AC/DC’s biggest fan, but the first 30 seconds of the song will get your blood pumping and then makes you explode once the full drums kick in. Air drumming is not an option, you just gotta. Plus, this song will always make me think of Lucas in Empire Records, one of my favourite movies ever.
Red Hot Chili Peppers – Give It Away (1991) The music came from a jam session between Flea and John Frusciante. The song itself is about selflessness, and the more the give the more you’ll receive. Anthony Kiedis’ “Scar Tissue” biography (another must-read) said the lyrics are about giving away a favourite jacket. Simple concept, epic song. And as far as live shows go, these guys blow me away everytime.
Alice In Chains – Man In The Box (1991) Layne Staley had one of the most haunting voices. In my opinion this marked the beginning of the 90′s Seattle grunge era, coming out an entire year before Nirvana’s Smells Like Teen Spirit. Once the chorus comes around I just want to dig out some Doc Martins and flannel and just give ‘er. Plus, Jerry Cantrall is pretty kick ass too.
Metallica – Enter Sandman (1991) Metallica is the epitome of ’90′s metal and Hetfield probably has THE best voice in rock. Again, picking only one Metallica song was near impossible, but this is a song about things that go bump in the night and will always remind me of how my buddy Joel and I used to stay up ’till 3 o’clock in the morning jamming to this over and over again. Our guitars took a beating. Bonus of growing up in a very rural village? No neighbours to complain.
Cream – I Feel Free (1966) This is the beginning of the legend that is Eric Clapton. Clapton again infuses that blues/rock that I love and Jack Bruce has that stellar voice. Everything about Cream is unreal. Best supergroup ever?
Golden Earring – Radar Love (1973) I don’t have much to say about this song, it just kicks ass.
Honourable mentions go to: Alice Cooper’s “Feed My Frankenstein”, Joan Jett’s “Bad Reputation”, Poison’s “Nothing But A Good Time”, Jimi Hendrix’s “Hey Joe”, Tom Petty’s “Mary Jane’s Last Dance”, Foo Fighter’s “Everlong”, Twisted Sister’s “I Wanna Rock”, Mötley Crüe‘s “Dr. Feelgood”, and Foreigner’s “Jukebox Hero”.