“Without music, life would be a mistake.” – Friedrich Nietzsche
In a world where barriers like culture, race, religion, and language work, more often than not, as divisive factors, music serves as the great unifier. It has the power to move us emotionally, spiritually, and mentally, and it has the innate ability to inspire and arouse the essence within us.
Rock music owes its origins to rock and roll, and it evolved into many sub-styles in the 1960s and thereafter. The highly expansive genre of rock today also draws many cues from blues, folk, jazz, and even classical and indie.
Compiling a list of the best five rock songs of all time is more than an uphill task- it’s near impossible, not to mention highly subjective. Regardless, here are the rock numbers that have influenced us, and much of the world, in more ways than one:
- Jimi Hendrix – Purple Haze (1967): One of the many signature songs of Jimi Hendrix- arguably the greatest guitarist that ever was- ‘Purple Haze’ is a psychedelic rock anthem that has inspired generations of metal guitarists and features at #2 in Rolling Stone magazine’s ‘100 Greatest Guitar Songs of All Time’.
- The Doors - The End (1967): The Doors are the epitome of psychedelic rock. Jim Morrison’s haunting vocals in the gripping 11-minute song only catapulted its philosophical theme to a whole other level- a level which is yet to be surpassed.
- Pink Floyd – Wish You Were Here (1975): ‘Wish You Were Here’ was not just an ode to former band mate Syd Barrett’s struggle with mental problems and the feeling of alienation; it was the song that went on to define classic and progressive rock. The live version of the song in particular has the power to make your hair stand on end.
- Led Zeppelin – Stairway To Heaven (1971): ‘Stairway To Heaven’ is considered by many to include the greatest guitar solo performances of all time. A favorite of radio stations, critics, and music lovers alike, this track is a cult favorite, and for good reason.
- Bob Dylan - Like A Rolling Stone (1965): Considered by many to be Bob Dylan’s greatest song, ‘Like A Rolling Stone’ is legendary for questioning the status quo and societal conventions at the time. It remains an anthem of many rebels and free spirits to this very day.