|Bob Dylan in Toronto, 1980 (Wikipedia)|
The proof of the greatness of the classic rock genre can be found in any music store where re-releases of albums from the past with the label "digital re-master" drives the collector to purchase this great music - one more time!
I have often been involved in discussions about what songs were the greatest. The question is; which are the 3 best American classic rock songs of all time? Here is my list. I suggest that the top 3 are:
Like a Rolling Stone
Bob Dylan, in addition to being a prolific songwriter has written songs in multiple genres including rock and roll. Written in 1965 it was the centerpiece of the Highway 61 Revisited album and despite being over 6 minutes long it rose to the number 2 position on the Billboard charts.
The song, with Al Kooper's strong keyboard, the strong guitar groove changed Dylan forever from a folk artist to a force in electric rock music. His folk audience turned on him and Dylan and his electric band were booed by audiences expecting acoustic folk anthems.
Dylan was once more on the leading edge of change and "Like a Rolling Stone" was the vanguard of an electric sound and lyrics that were bitter and sharp on the individual level as opposed to the global. "How does it feel, to be on your own, no direction home, like a rolling stone." Once again, Dylan was at the vanguard of new forms in the music of the baby-boomer generation.
Released as a single by The Eagles in 1977, from the album of the same name, "Hotel California" quickly became one of the most well known songs of that time. Written during a time of excess and success for popular rock bands, this song is a snapshot of that era.
The song was co-written by Don Felder, Don Henley and Glenn Frey. Henley's strong vocals and the superb dual lead guitar work makes Hotel California an exciting and interesting listen for rock enthusiasts.
It held the Billboard chart's number 1 position for a week, was certified gold by the Recording Industry Association of America and received a Grammy Award for Record of the Year. It is also one of Rock and Roll's Hall of Fame for 500 Songs That Shaped Rock and Roll.
Voodoo Child (Slight Return)
With his blazing fingers and ability to portray emotion through his guitar Jimi Hendrix dominated the era of the electric guitar, the classic rock era, and this song allowed Jimi to shown off those monumental talents. It is the last track on Electric Ladyland, Hendrix's third and last album.
It is almost as if he purposely saved the best for last. Artists like Joe Satriani refer to it as the best guitar solo of all time. The melody is based loosely on the great Muddy Water's song "Catfish Blues."
The album also has a longer, jam style version called "Voodoo Chile." Of all the great Hendrix solos, this one trumps them all. Audiences got to hear versions up to 18 minutes in length when they were among the lucky ones who got to enjoy Jimi live and in his prime.
Whether or not you agree with my picks, there can be no argument that these are some of the best American classic rock songs of all time. If you like rock songs you might also like to check out Smokin' Joe Wiseman at http://www.smokinjoewiseman.com
He has covered traditional rock songs and writes his own. Click here http://www.smokinjoewiseman.com/free_song to download a copy of his latest single for free.
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