Top Five Rock ‘N Roll Songs Over The Decades

If you define the “Rock Era” of music to include the period between the mid-1950s to the end of the twentieth century, that gives you five decades in which to determine the five top rock and roll songs.

With that in mind, here are five songs and books, one from each decade of the rock era, that made the most important inroads into rock music.

The 50s: “Rock Around the Clock” by Bill Haley and the Comets. It didn’t “start” Rock and Roll but it gave the movement the kick in the pants it needed to inspire Chuck Berry and all the other pioneers.

The 60s: “I Want To Hold Your Hand” by the Beatles. It’s the song that brought Beatlemania to America and the rest of the world.

The 70s: “Stairway to Heaven” by Led Zeppelin. Say what you want about how sick of it you are, but there is not a person alive who has picked up the guitar and hasn’t tried to play this song.

The 80s: “Sledgehammer” by Peter Gabriel. With the advent of MTV, Gabriel set the bar high by taking one of his best songs and creating one of the best videos ever.

The 90s: “Smells Like Teen Spirit” by Nirvana. Curt Cobain screaming “Here we are, now entertain us” summed up the bored, hopeless attitude of 90s teens as effectively as Pete Townshend did for kids in the 60s.

Boy Bands From The Early Rock ‘N Roll Era

You may think that boy bands like the Backstreet Boys, ‘NSync, and 98 Degrees are a relatively new phenomenon. These groups are meticulously designed by music business elite to drive young girls crazy so that they buy their albums in huge numbers. It works too. This is not a new phenomenon in the music business. Boy bands have existed for years even since the origins of the rock n’ roll era in the 1960s. Some may even say that one of the most popular bands of all time, The Beatles, was a boy band. After all, they were a band of boys.

The best example of a great boy band from the rock n’ roll era is probably the Beach Boys. This band led by Brian Wilson and his brothers and cousins fit in the mold of the more modern day boy bands because when they performed they only sang and didn’t play instruments. Of course, it must be noted that they sang much better than the boy bands of the late 90s and early 2000s. Their album “Pet Sounds” is often referred to as the great pop album of all time because of the layered soundscapes and rich vocal harmonies found on the record.

New Purposes For The Vinyl Record Collection

The vinyl record collection is something great to behold. This music on wax format has been around for years before it got overshadowed by the ever so popular digital age of music. Today the vinyl is something that is hard to find. A DJ may have a large collection, but that is about it. The average American gets more stuff of their music online.

Thankfully, there are people that want to preserve the spirit of the old school music collections. This is why the vinyl records collections have new purposes. At the top of that list is sampling. It is obvious that rappers and R&B singers are digging into the crates of their parent’s music collection. They are taking these records and sampling them for new songs. This is where more than 50% of the new music comes from.

Vinyl collections can also being used to blend old songs together with the new stuff. This is something that is very common in the world of mixtapes and DJ battles. People call it mashing or blending. Either way, this is a cool concept where a DJ may take the instrumentals tracks from one record to seamlessly mix it with another one.