There is no doubt about it- At Slacker, we love making lists. We have fun making themed mixtapes and we thrive on “Best Ofs.” Most of all, we love picking favorites and taking our listeners on a tour through genres and movements in music that showcase the best as well as introduce the obscure.
Slacker’s new station, 101 Greatest Classic Rock Songs, is the perfect example of everything we love about making these types of lists. It is not your ordinary list (hint “”Stairway to Heaven” is NOT #1). These 101 songs are a journey through the greatest, the biggest, but also the game-changers – those artists that Classic Rock radio usually ignores but helped define the 70’s and alter the course of rock-n-roll in every decade thereafter. In short, Slacker’s experts have created the ultimate list of the 101 most important Classic Rock songs. Period.
To host the countdown, Slacker has called upon Redbeard, the internationally recognized rock expert and host of the celebrated “In The Studio” radio series and website, to provide his unique insights and exclusive interview highlights from the likes of Paul McCartney, David Bowie, Pete Townshend, and many more.
Describing the list- Redbeard exclaims, “Slacker’s 101 Greatest Classic Rock Songs list is refreshingly bold, entertaining, thought-provoking and historically accurate in its choices by including highly influential songs by the Velvet Underground, The Clash, and the Sex Pistols rightfully alongside the universally popular titans such as the Beatles, Rolling Stones, Led Zeppelin, and the Eagles.”
Redbeard, a true rock radio guru, has had a career that has spanned over four decades. If the song was made, he has heard it. If there was a concert, he has seen it. His knowledge and expertise of classic rock music goes deeper than most encyclopedias and as a result, his insight into what truly makes a classic rock song worthy of being called “The Greatest” was not necessarily defined by charts or popular sales.
“We need to realize that the rock music pioneers with the creative vision and courage to change the course of popular music over these last fifty years are not necessarily the ones who later popularized and cashed in on it,” Redbeard points out.
“Everybody knows that Elvis Presley was a game-changer, but David Bowie wanted to play saxophone in Little Richard’s band, not Presley’s. Without the Holy Trinity of British hard rock, Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath, and Deep Purple, Heavy Metal simply would not exist. Without John Fogerty of Creedence Clearwater Revival, Bob Dylan’s Nashville Skyline, and Neil Young’s Harvest, would Country music or Americana sound like this in 2013?”
We couldn’t agree more.
As we explore all of these classic rock tunes, we can’t help but notice that the sound of some of these artists are, more than any other genre of music, known and loved by everyone. Classic rock is one of those genres of music that has stood fast through the decades- and continues to recruit fans both young and old, of all races, genders and demographics. What makes it so universally cherished remains a mystery. But, our host sums it up perfectly:
“To quote what Pete Townshend of The Who told me, ‘This isn’t ‘Art’ with a capital ‘A’, man. This is magic!’