Classic Rock Songs No One Ever Need Hear Again

Sorry for the click-bait-y, headline, but I want to direct your attention to this article on the topic of classic rock songs that are so burned out that it may take them years to become listenable again. While some songs are timeless and evergreen (at least in my head), there are others that…well, you’ll see. This comes from USA Today:

The “Classic Rock” genre is the most tired in all of music. Often the only purpose it serves is to prove you’re getting older and that you no longer drive the cool car you used to drive when you were in high school, or something. Part of me dies inside when I hear a Nirvana tune — and I don’t even really like Nirvana’s music all that much — sandwiched between Foreigner and Steve Miller Band on the local classic rock station.

However there is something to be said of some classic rock tunes. Once the weather gets warm (77 degrees seems to be the key point on the mercury) and your outside sipping on a canned lite beer, it’s okay. Look, it’s not great, but it’s passable. Tolerable, even. You might even air guitar or air drum … or air bass a little bit … or break out your best falsetto if you can look past all the $150 concert tickets and 65-year-olds still making weird guitar sex faces during songs written five decades ago.

Once this hazy summer nostalgia trip ends, you come to your senses and realize the majority of the genre is tired, played-out crap. The following is but a sample of some of the songs that could be stricken from the airwaves and we’d all be better off for it.

Rule of thumb: if a song can be used as the soundtrack to a Brett Favre relaxed fit jeans commercial or as a mindless sports arena anthem, it probably can find its way onto this list.

You can read the full story here. Meanwhile, here is my totally subjective list on the topic.

  1. Led Zeppelin, “Stairway to Heaven”
  2. Boston, “More Than a Feeling”
  3. Bruce Springsteen, “Born in the USA”
  4. Bachman-Turner Overdrive: “Takin’ Care of Business”
  5. April Wine, “Oowattanite”
  6. Lynyrd Skynyrd, “Freebird”
  7. Steve Miller, “The Joker”
  8. Deep Purple, “Smoke on the Water”
  9. Aerosmith, “Walk This Way”
  10. ANYTHING by The Eagles

Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 30+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

9 thoughts on “Classic Rock Songs No One Ever Need Hear Again

  • July 26, 2015 at 9:20 am

    If someone were to put these particular songs away in a vault for five years or ten years, we’d be doing a disservice to the younger generations who are discovering these amazing songs for the first time. I run a youth group in Toronto and the kids always want to hear what’s good from the old classics, and they can tell that the quality is a million times better than most popular music out there now. In fact, a list of essential classic rock songs needs to be made for the young people of today to jump into and be inspired by.

    • July 26, 2015 at 10:23 am

      Mark makes a very good point. I have a 13 year old that is discovering some of this music.

  • July 26, 2015 at 10:37 am

    I agree with not all, but most of your list, Alan, and I absolutely agree with your point. After working at a hotel front desk years ago, and overhearing an in-house wedding playing “Brown Eyed Girl” and “You Shook Me All Night Long” for the 45th weekend in a row, I decided I ‘d totally be OK with never hearing them again. Deep Purple has got 100 songs that are better than “Smoke on the Water.” I love Pink Floyd, but after years of listening to classic rock radio, I don’t feel compelled to bust out Dark Side or The Wall too often anymore. Throw the Stones’ “Start Me Up” and “It’s Only Rock ‘n’ Roll” on that list, too. They’re better as commercial jingles than rock songs. And yes, all of the Eagles’ music needs to go away forever.

  • July 26, 2015 at 3:18 pm

    The problem is that FM radio sucks. Why is it that all stations now have very short play lists? Who chooses what goes on the air? And why are they making no effort at all? Or are their hands tied?
    I think I could start an awsome Classic Rock station, just by avoiding every songs that ever made the top 10 list.
    Do stations not see that they need to play more “deep cuts”?

  • July 26, 2015 at 6:21 pm

    Who wrote this? Is he a musician? Or just a douche who can’t play shit, but thinks he knows about music and writes about it. Oh, ok…that’s what I thought…

    • July 27, 2015 at 9:58 am

      “Who wrote this? Is he a musician?” – “About The Author: Alan Cross is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker.” Perhaps you missed that part of the page?

  • July 27, 2015 at 6:09 pm

    Enough people online mention Skynyrd, Zeppelin or the Eagles. Let’s try to list some more Canadian examples.

    Alan already mentioned “Takin’ Care of Business” … anybody else notice one of the guitar solos goes very very flat?

    (True story: Randy Bachman tried pitching a reworked version called “Takin’ Care of Breakfast” to an A&W annual convention. I’m so so glad they didn’t decide to use it in an ad campaign!)

    April Wine: “Roller” – perhaps the stiffest whitest shuffle beat on record.

    The Kings: “This Beat Goes ON / Switchin’ to Glide”. Cornball lyrics, an annoying organ sound, and a singer who can’t get enough of hearing his voice echo-o-o. It really does go on and on and …

    Kim Mitchell: I love your guitar playing and really like Max Webster. You’re an entertaining radio host too. But I don’t need to hear “Go for Soda”, “Lager and Ale”, or especially, “Patio Lanterns” again! EVER! Do you really need the money? Please get out your old Beefheart/Zappa vinyl and get inspired to write something new, quirky and catchy. If it doesn’t sell, you’ve got the radio gig and can always license Lanterns for yet another ad campaign. 🙂

    Take heart, good polite Canadians. It is possible to make these songs go away, if you want them too. For example, “Seasons In the Sun” from 1974. I’m not even going to list the artist because I don’t want anyone to look it up on Youtube, like it, and start requesting that radio stations play it. Just don’t. Don’t bring it back from the dead! NOOOOOOOO!!!

  • September 28, 2015 at 11:22 pm

    Opinions are like assholes…

  • September 29, 2015 at 7:21 am

    Alan who ?????


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