I don’t understand how people define rock. I always emphasize that rock isn’t a mere genre that is cruelly stereotyped by your racist iTunes. It is a way of life; an uncontrollable emotion; rock is love and rock is all the elements of being combined in an unconfined fire.
I was recently watching a live version of The Pixies’s ‘Where is my mind?’ right before my exam, mind you, and I realized that it’s an art to love music so utterly and purely that nothing seems more pristine in comparison. The grounds where the concert was taking place was overflowing with humans, lit scarcely by a yellow floodlight; pretty women held up on strong shoulders; men sweating profusely but eyes closed in bliss.
The place. The time. And the music.
Like I said, being a fan is an art that not everyone can master.
I hence, bring to you, served old and classic like the greatest wine you’d ever have tasted, which will quench your thirst and feed your appetite quite well (hopefully), a list of tracks that have issued the maximum number of screams from our dear gentle ladies and have catapulted innumerable men into hurling abuses and obscenities in a fit of excitement that might involve de-clothing themselves as well.
Stairway to Heaven- Led Zeppelin
Stairway to Heaven is undeniably my favourite classic song. It is soothing beyond belief, owing to the fact that Robert Plant’s voice has an overwhelmingly calming effect to it, as compared to the usual handiwork of electric guitars and resonating drums.
Sweet Child of Mine- Guns N’ Roses.
Guns N’ Roses was, is and will always be a cult classic, a band that won’t fade out with the tides of time. Sweet Child of Mine takes control over your mind with drums that alternate perfectly with the lyrics. Slash is notoriously popular for his legendary skills with a guitar; in fact, his stardom escalated so much that he came up with his own solos/featured alongside several other artists with such mind blowing intermissions of nothing but his creative genius at feverish work.
Highway to Hell- AC/DC
Don’t you ever feel like hopping on in a lavish car sumptuously laden with all possible luxuries that include a very vibrant sound system and just set off on a road trip?
It is just a long road to nowhere, smooth as silk, the sun blazing down upon you with all the glory that it can muster and of course, music blaring on your speakers?
Highway to Hell is adrenaline. That song is pumping; it gives you a high from the moment it begins. AC/DC, in fact, has this effect with all of its songs. The lyrics are plain rustic; I don’t know about you but I’m always reminded of middle aged sex starved truck drivers piling up at roadhouse pubs for a drink or two.
Freebird- Lynyrd Skynyrd
Freebird is one of the first songs that drew me towards classic rock. This song gives me chills, not because of that insane repetitive trademark tune, but because of the pain of goodbyes and separation hidden beneath every “And I’m as free as a bird now”.
Smoke on the water- Deep Purple
If you haven’t heard this song by now, you have probably been living under a rock. Deep Purple ignites interests through Smoke on The Water.
This one song has been covered live by numerous artists including Nirvana who, mind you, did a pretty disastrous job with it.
Deep Purple is the king of roadhouse rock. Their songs are a wide range of anything and everything. Whatever they sing, they find a way to make you feel. I was never able to figure out what ‘Hush’ was all about, but nevertheless; it is treacle to the ears. Their lyrics are brilliant; they make a lot of sense for people who are singing and playing rock; this one fact is proven is “Soldier of Fortune” which stands as my favourite by Deep Purple.
Love Bites- Def Leppard
Def Leppard is primarily known for its hit number “Pour Some Sugar on Me” which, as the name suggests, has some very explicit and spicy lyrics, asking or rather begging women to “get it on in red hot thongs”. The video shows all the band members with tangled and mangled remains of what they call ‘hair’, jumping around the place with electric guitars and the usual band-sy mumbo jumbo.
Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door- Bob Dylan/Guns N’ Roses
‘Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door’ is timeless and its presence in the timeline of rock is inevitable. This song is contemporary, the guitar solos are exemplary and you can’t help but fall in love with the song. It doesn’t offer you with any other option; the lyrics perfectly compliment the music.
Although this song is an original composition by Bob Dylan, its Guns N’ Roses cover gathered its widespread acclaim and rightfully so.
Baba O’Riley- The Who
This song is a tad different from all the aforementioned songs, practically because it reminds you of a candy wending machine emitting a monotonous Casio driven tune stuck in repetition.
Light My Fire- The Doors
Jim Morrison’s voice is nothing short of miraculous. The song reached the peaks that it did practically because of this reason. It is your typical mid-60s rock; the essence of the song lies in how it proclaims that the urge to get higher is both tragic and romantic because it usually ends in death.
Songs like this deserve a vinyl.
Turn the Page-Metallica
Metallica is a universally acknowledged legend; foregoing its mention would almost be punishable. ‘Turn the Page’ made it to the list because this song is devastating and painstakingly heartbreaking. This song gives a brand new iron encrusted meaning to ‘Wanderlust’; it is emotive beyond measure. The lyrics are, of course, trademark Metallica: strong with an occasional wisp of smoke emanating from half burnt cigarettes; long and forlorn highways with far too frequent water mirages.
‘Black’ by Pearl Jam reminds me of summers. This song has everything that a good song should have. Eddie Vedder has a strange cracking voice that makes his singing even more soulful and effective. This very effect is magnified a thousand fold in ‘Black’, probably because of its sheer austerity.
‘Smells like Teen Spirit’ isn’t downright one of the best songs by Nirvana but it surely is the first you might have heard of the band. This song catapults people towards checking Nirvana out and fair judgement hands down; every song of theirs isn’t what you would get out of your bed for.
P.S: Check out Pennyroyal Tea, Polly and Dumb if you haven’t.
Now that you are checking out Nirvana, do listen to Lithium, Heart Shaped Box and Oh Me too.
Still Loving You- Scorpions
Scorpions is one of the most underrated bands in the whatever-little-bit-of-music-that-our-generation-is-introduced-to-through-vh1-and-youtube’s most featured videos. Klaus Meine’s voice adds to the element of pain in most of their songs; the plain virtuosity behind their music is indelible.
They came up with an album called “Humanity” in 2007 which is good unlike usual plummeting trend of comeback albums.
Van Halen is the boss of 70s rock. Appearance wise, they’re your typical bushy haired, clad in skinny bell-bottomed jeans with pointed leather shoes; traipsing and performing stunts conceived as extremely abnormal onstage in a semi-sober state.
And now, all those of you who survived the article so far, Hear Hear! For we have a word for your condition.
I didn’t mention bands like ‘Pink Floyd’, ‘Queen’ and ‘Wolfmother’ because believe it or not, I will rant about them in the future too and this list had to be made as concise as possible.
So raise your fists as high as you possibly can and just rock on.
Here is a link to another list of some old school music.