Sunday, May 6, 2012

The Top 100 Classic Rock Songs of All Time

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This list was originally posted on the Dave’s Music Database Facebook page and website on 4/8/2010. In April 2012, Ultimate Classic Rock Top 100 Classic Rock Songs took on the task of counting down the top 100 classic rock songs (with the maddening criteria that each act could only have one entry on the list). It seemed a good time to update the DMDB’s take on the top classic rock songs of all time. This list was created by aggregating 29 best-of lists focused on classic rock songs.

Stairway to Heaven

1. “Stairway to Heaven” Led Zeppelin (1971)
2. “Hotel California” Eagles (1977)
3. “Layla” Derek & The Dominos (1971)
4. “Bohemian Rhapsody” Queen (1975)
5. “Comfortably Numb” Pink Floyd (1979)
6. “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction” The Rolling Stones (1965)
7. “Won’t Get Fooled Again” The Who (1971)
8. “Dream On” Aerosmith (1973)
9. “Free Bird” Lynyrd Skynyrd (1974)
10. “Another Brick in the Wall Pt. II” Pink Floyd (1979)

Hotel California

11. “Kashmir” Led Zeppelin (1975)
12. “Imagine” John Lennon (1971)
13. “Purple Haze” The Jimi Hendrix Experience (1967)
14. “You Shook Me All Night Long” AC/DC (1980)
15. “Sweet Emotion” Aerosmith (1975)
16. “Like a Rolling Stone” Bob Dylan (1965)
17. “Whole Lotta Love” Led Zeppelin (1969)
18. “Hey Jude” The Beatles (1968)
19. “Sweet Home Alabama” Lynyrd Skynyrd (1974)
20. “Baba O’Riley” The Who (1971)


21. “Sympathy for the Devil” The Rolling Stones (1968)
22. “Money” Pink Floyd (1973)
23. “Light My Fire” The Doors (1967)
24. “Born to Be Wild” Steppenwolf (1968)
25. “A Day in the Life” The Beatles (1967)
26. “All Along the Watchtower” The Jimi Hendrix Experience (1968)
27. “More Than a Feeling” Boston (1976)
28. “Smoke on the Water” Deep Purple (1973)
29. “Sweet Child O’ Mine” Guns N’ Roses (1988)
30. “Sultans of Swing” Dire Straits (1979)

Bohemian Rhapsody

31. “Born to Run” Bruce Springsteen (1975)
32. “Rock and Roll” Led Zeppelin (1972)
33. “Back in Black” AC/DC (1980)
34. “Black Dog” Led Zeppelin (1971)
35. “We Will Rock You/We Are the Champions” Queen (1977)
36. “Paranoid” Black Sabbath (1970)
37. “Time” Pink Floyd (1973)
38. “Let It Be” The Beatles (1970)
39. “Don’t Fear the Reaper” Blue Oyster Cult (1976)
40. “Magic Carpet Ride” Steppenwolf (1968)

Comfortably Numb

41. “American Pie” Don McLean (1971)
42. “White Room” Cream (1968)
43. “Gimme Shelter” The Rolling Stones (1969)
44. “All Right Now” Free (1970)
45. “You Can’t Always Get What You Want” The Rolling Stones (1969)
46. “Maggie May” Rod Stewart (1971)
47. “American Woman” The Guess Who (1970)
48. “Lola” The Kinks (1970)
49. “For What It’s Worth” Buffalo Springfield (1967)
50. “Smells Like Teen Spirit” Nirvana (1991)

51. “Wish You Were Here” Pink Floyd (1975)
52. “Cocaine” Eric Clapton (1977)
53. “L.A. Woman” The Doors (1971)
54. “Sunshine of Your Love” Cream (1968)
55. “Carry on Wayward Son” Kansas (1976)
56. “Nights in White Satin” The Moody Blues (1967)
57. “Tom Sawyer” Rush (1981)
58. “Honky Tonk Women” The Rolling Stones (1969)
59. “Behind Blue Eyes” The Who (1971)
60. “Jumpin’ Jack Flash” The Rolling Stones (1968)

(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction

61. “Aqualung” Jethro Tull (1971)
62. “The House of the Rising Sun” The Animals (1964)
63. “In the Air Tonight” Phil Collins (1981)
64. “Space Oddity” David Bowie (1969)
65. “Paint It, Black” The Rolling Stones (1966)
66. “You Really Got Me” The Kinks (1964)
67. “Black Magic Woman” Santana (1970)
68. “Pride (In the Name of Love)” U2 (1984)
69. “Highway to Hell” AC/DC (1979)
70. “Yesterday” The Beatles (1965)

Won’t Get Fooled Again

71. “Over the Hills and Far Away” Led Zeppelin (1973)
72. “Walk This Way” Aerosmith (1976)
73. “While My Guitar Gently Weeps” The Beatles (1968)
74. “Come Together” The Beatles (1969)
75. “Jump” Van Halen (1984)
76. “My Generation” The Who (1965)
77. “The Joker” Steve Miller Band (1973)
78. “Piece of My Heart” Big Brother & The Holding Company (1968)
79. “Crazy Train” Ozzy Osbourne (1980)
80. “Roxanne” The Police (1979)

Dream On

81. “Who Are You? ” The Who (1978)
82. “Foreplay/Longtime (1977)
83. “Roundabout” Yes (1972)
84. “Rock and Roll All Nite” Kiss (1975)
85. “Ramble On” Led Zeppelin (1969)
86. “Turn the Page (live)” Bob Seger & The Silver Bullet Band (1976)
87. “Go Your Own Way” Fleetwood Mac (1977)
88. “Brown Sugar” The Rolling Stones (1971)
89. “Brown-Eyed Girl” Van Morrison (1967)
90. “Dust in the Wind” Kansas (1978)

Free Bird

91. “Suite: Judy Blue Eyes” Crosby, Stills & Nash (1969)
92. “The Weight” The Band (1968)
93. “Tiny Dancer” Elton John (1972)
94. “Revolution” The Beatles (1968)
95. “I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For” U2 (1987)
96. “La Grange” ZZ Top (1974)
97. “Barracuda” Heart (1977)
98. “You Ain’t Seen Nothin’ Yet” Bachman-Turner Overdrive (1974)
99. “Hey Joe” The Jimi Hendrix Experience (1966)
100. “Bad to the Bone” George Thorogood & The Destroyers (1982)

Another Brick in the Wall Part II

Resources and Related Links:
  • Are You on Something Classic Rock Top 500 (date?)

    Date and method of list creation unknown. Looks more like an individual’s list with songs that aren’t typically defined as “classic rock,” such as the Stooges, Ramones, Velvet Underground, etc.

  • CFMI’s 500 (2007)

  • CHRX’s Classic 600 (12/93)

    Vancouver radio station countdown. Only top 14 listed.

  • CKKQ 100.3’s Top 500 Thanksgiving Weekend Countdown (2005)

    Only top 40 listed.

  • Top 500 Rock and Roll Songs (2002)

    Broken link. Different than below list.

  • Classic Rock magazine’s Readers’ poll (Sept./Oct. 1999).

    A list of the top 50 classic rock songs of all time.

  • Classic Rock magazine’s 10 Songs That Changed the Face of Rock (3/00)

    List only.

  • Cranbrook 99.5’s Top 300 (2005)

    Radio station list. Location of radio station and means of compiling list unknown. Only top 40 listed at link above.

  • Digital Dream Door’s 200 Greatest Rock Songs (9/9/05)

    Details of how list was created are unknown. Has links to hear songs.

  • VA – Top 1000 Classic Rock Songs of All Time (2010)

    Link appears dead now.

  • FIQL’s Top 50 Classic Rock Songs of All Time (1995)

    According to Jacobs Media. Published in Classic Rock book. Assume that FIQL is a radio station that broadcast this list, but don’t know the origins of the list.

  • Guitar World magazine’s 100 Greatest Solos of All-Time (2000)

    This list of the greatest rock guitar solos of all time was compiled by editors of Guitar World magazine. The list gives the song titles and featured guitarists for each. Very classic rock in nature so included here.

  • KCFX 101 The Fox, Kansas City’s Top 1001 Rock Songs (1/08)

    As voted on by listeners. Link broken.

  • KISW FM 99.9, Seattle’s Top 1000 (1994)

    Don’t know how list was generated. Only top 40 listed at above link.

  • Steve Knight. The Top 25 Rock Songs of All-Time are… (5/31/07).

    Looks like just another blogger’s opinions. Details are sketchy on his credentials and background, but it appears he was a former radio DJ. Brief commentaries. Appears to now be a dead link.

  • KYYS, Kansas City, MO.

    A best-of-all-time list from a classic rock station. Date unknown.

  • KZOK 102.5’s Top 1000 Classic Rock Songs (year?)

    Radio station countdown. Location of radio station, when list was done, and method for compiling list unknown.

  • Tim Morse’s Classic Rock Stories: The Stories Behind the Greatest Rock Songs of All Time. New York, NY: St. Martin's Griffin. (1998)

    Stories about 225 classic rock songs from the makers of the songs (singers, songwriters, musicians). Broken into categories in unranked format. Also includes a list of the top 25 classic rock albums.

  • Q104.3 New York’s Top 1043 Songs of All Time (2007)

    Radio station countdown. Compiled from listeners’ votes.

  • Q107’s Top 500 (10/12/09)

    Radio station countdown determined by listeners’ votes. Radio station location unknown.

  • Radio Gold’s Top 20 Classic Rock (year?)

    Origin and year of list unknown. Greek-based site.

  • Rock and Roll Hall of Fame’s Top 10 Songs (year?)

    Broken link. How list was created and when is unknown.

  • Rock Radio’s Top 25 Songs of All Time (11/23/04)

    Los Angeles-based (?) radio station. List determined by listeners’ votes.

  •’s Top 100 (2000).

    Lists of the 100 best rock songs and albums of all time, as polled from visitors to the site.

  • Top 500 Rock and Roll Songs (year?)

    Don’t know details about creation or date of list. Has guitar tab links for songs. Annoying list to navigate with only ten songs per page.

  • Top 100 Rock and Roll Songs (year?)

    Don’t know when list was created and site only says that this list was generated from readers’ responses to the “Top 500” list (above). List leans a little toward heavy metal.

  • Ultimate Classic Rock Top 100 Classic Rock Songs (April 2012)

    Top 100 list with the annoying criteria that each act can only have one song on the list. Detailed commentary on each song. Link is actually to the DMDB’s blog post featuring a list of all the songs.

  • WNEW’s Firecracker 500 (1996)


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    1. Thanks for the positive feedback. Check the "index" and "best-of lists" links at the top of the page for the easiest navigation. I appreciate you reading!

      - Dave

  2. Q107 is in Toronto, Ontario, Canada

  3. This is one awesome list! I found all my favorites in top 20! Seldom do I see lists that include only the best. I must say Led Zep’s Stairway to Heaven definitely beat the odds. There is so much to say about them but I will leave it to their music-they speak for themselves! Great post!

    1. Thanks! It is always encourage to read a positive comment.