^ Julian Schaap and Pauwke Berkers. “Grunting Alone? Online Gender Inequality in Extreme Metal Music” in Journal of the International Association for the Study of Popular Music. Vol. 4, no. 1 (2014) p. 105
Most songs on this list were singles but, at least at first, this one wasn’t. Hey, the Zep didn’t do singles! Yet Atlantic Records released it as a promotional single in 1972. Appearing on Led Zeppelin’s fourth album, “Stairway to Heaven” is a song in three parts, each one increasing in tempo and volume, until the thunderous crescendo, punctuated by guitarist Jimmy Page’s orgasmic trills, and then tune slowly fades away with an acoustic coda. This breathtaking tune was picked as #3 on VH1’s 100 Greatest Rock Songs compiled in 2000. Incidentally, the rock band Spirit claimed it had created the song’s signature riff, but Spirit lost the copyright infringement lawsuit in 2017.
Many metal musicians when performing live engage in headbanging, which involves rhythmically beating time with the head, often emphasized by long hair. The il cornuto, or devil horns, hand gesture was popularized by vocalist Ronnie James Dio while with Black Sabbath and Dio. Although Gene Simmons of Kiss claims to have been the first to make the gesture on the 1977 Love Gun album cover, there is speculation as to who started the phenomenon.
Led Zeppelin defined central aspects of the emerging genre, with Page’s highly distorted guitar style and singer Robert Plant’s dramatic, wailing vocals. Other bands, with a more consistently heavy, “purely” metal sound, would prove equally important in codifying the genre. The 1970 releases by Black Sabbath (Black Sabbath and Paranoid) and Deep Purple (In Rock) were crucial in this regard.
Coined by Black Sabbath drummer Bill Ward, “downer rock” was one of the earliest terms used to describe this style of music and was applied to acts such as Sabbath and Bloodrock. Classic Rock magazine described the downer rock culture revolving around the use of Quaaludes and the drinking of wine. Later the term would be replaced by “heavy metal”.
So who defines the parameters of this seemingly genre-free category? It’s actually you – the listener. Very little is played on classic rock stations without extensive market research to find a niche amongst their audience, and that’s how regional popularity will always trump age or genre in defining the musical category of classic rock. Read more here about the carefully crafted classic rock subset and how age alone isn’t the only thing that can make a song truly “classic.”
Classic rock was borne out of a radio format that used to be named as “album oriented rock,” also known as AOR. While classic rock leans more on the whole album, “oldies” on the other hand is primarily geared towards singles that became successful on the music charts. You could say that “classic rock” is also a marketing ploy to help “immortalize” sales as well as glowing perceptive memories of rock music from the late 1960s to early 1980s.
Smoke on the Water is the most well known song world. You know most Americans are light weight rockers. Deep Purple ruled in most corners of the world. They were the most influential with the most history and the other great bands that came from the Purple tree with the best guitarist in the business. Ritchie s peers will tell you he was the best and influenced more guitarist world wide. And a much longer career than all those other guys. This is a insult to the most known Riff ever.
“Black Sabbath’s audience was…left to scavenge for sounds with similar impact. By the mid-1970s, heavy metal aesthetic could be spotted, like a mythical beast, in the moody bass and complex dual guitars of Thin Lizzy, in the stagecraft of Alice Cooper, in the sizzling guitar and showy vocals of Queen, and in the thundering medieval questions of Rainbow…. Judas Priest arrived to unify and amplify these diverse highlights from hard rock’s sonic palette. For the first time, heavy metal became a true genre unto itself.”
When love is real, when love is true the only person that matters most in this world is the one that you love. Released in 1969, this song continues to prove why it is one of the greatest classic rock love songs ever in music.
This song will never get old. Although there are many songs on this list that I also love. This is the song which first popped into my brain when I first thought of great classic rock. It perfectly encompasses that intangeble sound of awesome 70’s hard rock. It truely is a flawless gem, which makes me feel stuff in my… Uh emotions.
Jump up ^ Ankeny, Jason. “Boz Scaggs – Artist Biography”. AllMusic. Retrieved 25 May 2015. One of the great blue-eyed soul singers, he started gritty but had more success when he turned toward smooth soft rock in the back half of the ’70s.