50 Greatest Rock Songs

My list of the “50 Greatest Rock Songs” is hopelessly subjective and changes in my own head constantly, but it was fun to try to pin them down.

The opening lyrics of the 50 Greatest Rock Songs:

I can’t seem to face up to the facts / I’m tense and nervous and I can’t relax … I saw it written and I saw it say … There ain’t no reason things are this way / It’s how they always been and they intend to stay … When you walked into the room / There was voodoo in the vibes / Poor old granddad / I laughed at all his words … I was sitting there, I had a comfortable chair / And that was all that I needed … Aboard a craft bereft of oar / I rowed upstream to find Lenore … Half a mile from the county fair / And the rain came pouring down … Music is a world within itself / With a language we all understand … When I get to the bottom I go back to the top of the slide / Where I stop and I turn and I go for a ride … Yeah, you got satin shoes / The mama pajama rolled out of bed / And she ran to the police station … I’m so glad, I’m so glad / I’m glad, I’m glad, I’m glad … Sunrise and sunset … I’ve seen the bright lights of Memphis and the Commodore Hotel … Here come old flat top / He come groovin’ up slowly … Seems I’ve got to have a change of scene / ‘Cause every night I have the strangest dreams … She’s a rich girl / She don’t try to hide it / Diamonds on the soles of her shoes … We strolled through fields all wet with rain / And back along the lane again … Crazy Janey and her mission man / Were back in the alley tradin’ hands … If you find me in a gloom … I shot the sheriff, but I did not shoot no deputy … Crazy mama, where you been so long? … Summertime / Child … Well, I’m a steamroller, baby / I’m gonna roll all over you … I hope my little brother puts a call in today … You’re gonna wake up one morning as the sun greets the dawn … Sheets of empty canvas, untouched sheets of clay … Well, the witches stare with their limbs akimbo / Silhouettes of statues up in the window / Call me to come in with a crooked crescendo / But I don’t … I’m thinking about my doorbell / When you gonna ring it, when you gonna ring it / Yeah, I’m thinking about my doorbell / When you gonna ring it, when you gonna ring it … I met my old lover / On the street last night / She seemed so glad to see me / I just smiled … If my words did glow with the gold of sunshine … Well, I built me a raft and she’s ready for floating / Old Mississippi … Got a black magic woman / Got a black magic woman … Lord, I was born a ramblin’ man … There must be some kind of way out of here / Said the joker to the thief … Early one morning the sun was shining / I was laying in bed / Wondering if she’d changed at all / If her hair was still red … Strange brew, killing what’s inside of you / She’s a witch of trouble in electric blue … Oh, let the sun beat down upon my face / Stars to fill my dreams … There is a town in north Ontario … Got to find me a way / To take me back to yesterday / How can I ever hope to forget you? … Looking back on when I / Was a little nappy headed boy … When the wind blows and the rain feels cold / With a head full of snow / With a head full of snow … Well, it’s a marvelous night for a moondance / With the stars up above in your eyes … Spotcheck Billy got down on his hands and knees / He said, “Hey momma, hey, let me check your oil alright?” … When I get off of this mountain / You know where I want to go / Straight down the Mississippi River / To the Gulf of Mexico … Come down off your throne and leave your body alone / Somebody must change … We are not like all the rest / You can see us any day of the week / Oh come around, sit down, take a sniff, fall asleep / Baby, you don’t have to speak … I look at you all see the love there that’s sleeping / While my guitar gently weeps … Everywhere is freaks and hairies / Dykes and fairies, tell me where is sanity …

50 Psycho Killer — Talking Heads
49 Pink Moon — Nick Drake
48 Ain’t No Reason — Brett Dennen
47 So Into You — Atlanta Rhythm Section
46 Ooh La La — Faces
45 Take, Take, Take — The White Stripes
44 Guelah Papyrus — Phish
43 And It Stoned Me — Van Morrison
42 Sir Duke — Stevie Wonder
41 Helter Skelter — The Beatles
40 Can’t You Hear Me Knocking — Rolling Stones
39 Me and Julio Down By The Schoolyard — Paul Simon
38 I’m So Glad — Cream
37 On Your Way Down — Little Feat
36 Dixie Chicken — Little Feat
35 Come Together — The Beatles
34 Feelin’ Alright — Traffic
33 Diamonds On the Soles Of Her Shoes — Paul Simon
32 The Way Young Lovers Do — Van Morrison
31 Spirit in the Night — Bruce Springsteen
30 Whispering Pines — The Band
29 I Shot the Sheriff — Eric Clapton
28 Crazy Mama — JJ Cale
27 Summertime (live) — Janis Joplin
26 Steamroller — James Taylor
25 Right in the Head — M. Ward
24 You’re Gonna Miss Me — The 13th Floor Elevators
23 Black — Pearl Jam
22 She’s Mine — Brett Dennen
21 My Doorbell — The White Stripes
20 Still Crazy After All These Years — Paul Simon
19 Ripple — Grateful Dead
18 Black Water — Doobie Brothers
17 Black Magic Woman — Santana
16 Ramblin’ Man — The Allman Brothers Band
15 All Along the Watchtower — Jimi Hendrix
14 Tangled Up in Blue — Bob Dylan
13 Strange Brew — Cream
12 Kashmir — Led Zeppelin
11 Helpless — Crosby, Stills, Nash, & Young
10 Why Does Love Got To Be So Sad? — Derek & the Dominos
9 I Wish — Stevie Wonder
8 Moonlight Mile — Rolling Stones
7 Moondance — Van Morrison
6 Fat Man in the Bath Tub — Little Feat
5 Up on Cripple Creek — The Band
4 Can’t Find My Way Home — Blind Faith
3 Who Knows What Tomorrow May Bring — Traffic
2 While My Guitar Gently Weeps — The Beatles
1 I’d Love to Change the World — Ten Years After

See also: 47 Years of Great Rock (History of rock in a song a year)

About Marcy

I blog about trying to get out of my comfort zone, completing 101 things in 1001 days (and beyond), and writing my memoirs. My book: Timid No More.
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6 Responses to 50 Greatest Rock Songs

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  2. MultipleMum says:

    My goodness you have gone to some effort with this post! I am impressed by your techy skills. I don’t even know how to download a video to my posts let alone link 50 songs together. Thanks for joining the Weekend Rewind. I am a very late hostess but better late than not at all right? x
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