All of the elements that make up a great rock song tend to be pretty basic. If you know how to put together a steady drum beat and can play a basic blues shuffle over it, you’re almost halfway to making a decent rock track without even realizing it. It was the beginning of rock and roll, and there are certain songs that seem to change the landscape once they’re unleashed on the world.
Then again, not every song that appears on this list has to be the most complex thing you’ve ever heard either. Throughout rock history, these songs marked a changing of the guard in rock music in one way or another, ushering in a new style of rock that most of us would never have thought of. previously. However, no artist can do this alone, and each of these songs relies on the full band connecting with each other telepathically, working with each other to create something that sounds transcendent when you hear it. for the first time.
Along with the base set, each of these songs also tends to have amazing lyrics behind them, either creating colorful images in your mind as you rap out the rest of the song, or calling for a change in the world. that could actually happen. by the time the world got their ears on the air. You don’t have to be a musical genius to change rock history, but as soon as we grabbed those riffs, the tune felt a little different.
Rock and roll has always been built on the “don’t bore us, skip to the chorus” mentality. It’s not about using the song as an opportunity to stand out, and you still need to make sure there’s an actual melody between the notes to get the crowd moving. If you’re Eddie Van Halen, you don’t even need too many lyrics to blow your mind everywhere.
Back when the Sunset Strip was just starting to take off, Eruption was the moment the whole guitar world changed, with Eddie ripping through one of the greatest solos in just under 2 minutes. Although it was originally used as a track for their cover of The Kinks’ You Really Got Me whenever they performed live, it would become the template for what the shred era of rock guitar was to be, taking the bluesy sounds of the likes of Zeppelin and flipping it, all leading up to Eddie’s signature licks that he played with both hands on the guitar neck.
Nor was it about soloing for the hell of it, always having a sense of melody with lines that were hooks in themselves, like the fast tremolo sections and the almost classic sound of the last seconds. The guitar may have been the band’s most important instrument, but within seconds the era of Chuck Berry-esque rock and roll was over. There was a new guitar god in town.