The 25 Greatest Songs About Rocking

The 25 Greatest Songs About Rocking | I Love Classic Rock Videos

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Inevitably, a rock star who makes their life as a musician will compose at least one song that is explicitly about rocking. 25 of the finest songs ever written about rock ‘n’ roll are collected here, ranging from stadium-rattling anthems to odes to a bygone era and instructions for a fresh start.

 

Bill Haley & His Comets – “Rock Around the Clock” (1954)

As a result of its inclusion in the film Blackboard Jungle, Bill Haley & His Comets’ “Rock Around the Clock,” which had been released to moderate success in 1954, became a worldwide phenomenon and the first rock song to top the music charts in both the United States and the United Kingdom.

Chuck Berry – “Rock and Roll Music” (1957)

In 1957, Berry brilliantly paid homage to rock ‘n’ roll’s addictive character with his song “Rock and Roll Music.” You could rename rock ‘n’ roll after Chuck Berry, as John Lennon so memorably put it.

Elvis Presley – “Jailhouse Rock” (1957)

Jailhouse Rock’s title song, is the show’s high point, as it was written just for television. Shaking hips, steamy rock ‘n’ roll, and a testament to making the most of a difficult circumstance via music sum up the song nicely.

Chuck Berry – “Johnny B. Goode” (1958)

We tried our hardest to only include one song per artist in this list, but it’s just so hard to overlook Chuck Berry’s rocking vibe in his classic song, “Johnny B. Goode.” His most well-known song is somewhat autobiographical and tells the tale of a young man who finds success by playing the guitar.

The Velvet Underground – “Rock and Roll” (1970)

There are many songs in rock ‘n’ roll history that celebrate the therapeutic power of music, but few come close to the Velvet Underground’s “Rock and Roll” in conveying the euphoria and release of hearing a beloved song on the radio.

Led Zeppelin – “Rock and Roll” (1971)

A rock ‘n’ roll anthem, the song was conceived during a jam session when John Bonham banged out a Little Richard-like beat and Jimmy Page hit a Chuck Berry riff. Led Zeppelin seems to be making up for a lot of lost time with this.

The Rolling Stones – “Rip This Joint” (1972)

The Stones’ “Rip This Joint” is one of their quickest songs, and its lyrics rip across numerous different cities. In the same vein, Mick Jagger screams out the lyrics in fast succession, personifying unrestrained rock ‘n’ roll ferocity.

The Who – “Join Together” (1972)

Pete Townshend wrote “Join Together” as a potential track for Lifehouse, a science fiction–themed rock opera that was ultimately never recorded. Townshend’s words are surprisingly inclusive, given his reputation for slamming guitars and brazen behavior.

Elton John – “Crocodile Rock” (1973)

“Crocodile Rock” is one of Elton John’s most popular songs, even though he has grown bored of it. The song was inspired by the legendary rock tunes of the ’50s that he adored as a child.

Grand Funk Railroad – “We’re an American Band” (1973)

Grand Funk Railroad has a few songs about touring, but “We’re An American Band” is the best one. The song boasts loudly that they are coming to your town and promising to let you party it down to the sound of that ubiquitous cowbell.

Slade – “Cum on Feel the Noize” (1973)

Slade wanted to encapsulate the vibe on “Cum on Feel the Noize,” a song that was made with the audience’s participation in mind. One of seven U.K. number ones for Slade, the song urged listeners to lose their minds along with the band.

Bob Seger – “Old Time Rock & Roll” (1974)

When it came to creating the perfect rocking atmosphere, Bob Seger had some specific requests: “Just take those old records off the shelf / I’ll sit and listen to ‘em by myself / Today’s music ain’t got the same soul / I like the old time rock ‘n’ roll.”

KISS – “Rock and Roll All Nite” (1975)

Even though KISS members Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley are two of rock’s most well-known abstainers of the “rock and roll paraphernalia,” they wrote “Rock and Roll All Night,” one of the genre’s most iconic party songs. It’s mere proof that you don’t need drugs or cigarettes to rock.

Queen – “We Will Rock You” (1977)

The stomping and clapping rhythm of “We Will Rock You” by Queen, along with its readily shoutable chorus, makes it one of the most identifiable songs in rock history.

Rainbow – “Long Live Rock ‘n’ Roll” (1978)

“Long Live Rock ‘n’ Roll” is the title tune from Rainbow’s final album with Ronnie James Dio as lead singer, and it features Blackmore at the height of his musical talents. Dio’s departure was hastened by the band’s transition from the progressive, neoclassical metal sound of their previous work to this more straightforward kind of rock.

AC/DC – “Rock and Ain’t Noise Pollution” (1980)

It’s understandable that, among all the great tracks on Back in Black, “Rock and Roll Ain’t Noise Pollution” gets forgotten occasionally. From the outset, Angus Young plays a serene but immediately memorable riff, until the song explodes into the hefty power chords for which AC/DC is renowned.

Joan Jett and the Blackhearts – “I Love Rock ‘n Roll” (1981)

In 1975, the British band the Arrows released “I Love Rock N’ Roll”; Jett covered it four years later. With its memorable chorus that continues to serve as a rallying cry for music enthusiasts everywhere, “I Love Rock ‘n’ Roll” was an instant smash.

Night Ranger – “(You Can Still) Rock in America” (1983)

The album Midnight Madness’ opening tune, “(You Can Still) Rock in America,” the Night Rangers raised their musical fist in support of rock ‘n’ roll. Although it didn’t make the Top 40 on the Billboard charts, it’s become a fan favorite nonetheless.

Def Leppard – “Rock! Rock! (Till You Drop)” (1983)

It would be difficult to find a harder opening track than the one featured on Def Leppard’s breakthrough album, Pyromania. Joe Elliott’s larynx-shredding vocals on “Rock! Rock! (Till You Drop)” and a solo from newly acquired guitarist Phil Collen that is equal parts melodious and scorching set the tone for the remainder of the album.

Twisted Sister – “I Wanna Rock” (1984)

The Twisted Sister album Stay Hungry featured Dee Snider at the height of her creative powers. Similarly, “I Want Rock” is a booming, defiant core mission, with Snider sneering in the face of the band’s critics.

Dire Straits – “Money for Nothing” (1985)

Being a rock star generally means living a lavish lifestyle, which might be envious for others who don’t enjoy such luxuries. By adopting the persona of a typical critic, Dire Straits’ “Money for Nothing” drives the argument home.

Aerosmith – “Let the Music Do the Talking” (1985)

Originally the title track from the Joe Perry Project’s 1980 self-titled debut album, “Let the Music Do the Talking” was reworked with new lyrics for Aerosmith’s 1985 album, Done With Mirrors. The title was appropriate on both occasions since Perry was trying to get away from the drama surrounding Aerosmith in the past and didn’t want to revisit their stupid shenanigans.

ZZ Top – “Can’t Stop Rockin’” (1985)

Dusty Hill’s vocal performance on Afterburner album’s “Can’t Stop Rockin'” undoubtedly stirs up some dirt. With a little reprieve from singing lead, Billy Gibbons lets loose on guitar to a self-driving groove that only appears to gain momentum.

Neil Young – “Rockin’ in the Free World” (1989)

Neil Young has always used music as a means of achieving freedom, whether that freedom is personal or political, and “Rockin’ in the Free World” is perhaps the most iconic expression of this theme.

Oasis – “Rock ‘n’ Roll Star” (1994)

The song is a tribute to rock star aspirations, imagining a life in which one abandons the formality of urban living for the excitement and mayhem of the spotlight. While it’s obvious that the Gallagher brothers live rock ‘n’ roll dreams, the lyrics of this song speak volumes about their fantasies.