Top 10 Most Important Moments in Music History

These are the moments that rocked the musical world. Welcome to WatchMojo.com and today we’re counting down our picks for the Top 10 Moments in Music History.

For this list, we’re looking at the most memorable and electrifying moments that impacted music as an art form and the public that consumes it. We’re not counting the deaths of any musicians, as they all prove equally sad, and we’re also not including infamous moments like Kanye West’s interruption of Taylor Swift’s VMA acceptance speech, as they deserve a list of their own.

We’re sure you’ve jammed out to “Rapper’s Delight” once or twice, but did you know it was recorded in a single take? Didn’t think so. That single take, recorded by Englewood natives “Wonder Mike,” “Big Bank Hank,” and “Master Gee,” rocked the musical world when in January, 1980, it cracked the Billboard Top 40, landing the number 36 spot. It was the first time a hip-hop track had ever accomplished such a feat, as it legitimized the hip-hop genre as a force to be reckoned with. This moment paved the way for all future hip-hop acts, from Biggie to Kendrick Lamar who can all thank The Sugarhill Gang.

Considered among his best work, Beethoven’s “Symphony No. 9” premiered on May 7th, 1824 at Vienna’s Theater am Kärntnertor to a packed audience. Matching the crowd, Beethoven packed the stage with the largest orchestra he had ever convened, including many of Vienna’s elite musicians. The premiere marked the first time Beethoven had taken the stage in 12 years. During that time he lost his hearing, and as a result wrote the symphony off musical intuition alone. All of this added to the crowd’s anticipation. Sharing the stage with the theater’s kapellmeister, Michael Umlauf, Beethoven’s symphony stunned the audience, earning five standing ovations. The 9th proved to be Beethoven’s last completed symphony, but it lives on as a masterpiece.

The music industry owes a lot to MTV given the game changing impact of its arrival, but the channel should also be recognized for some incredible music moments. Perhaps the most powerful performance ever aired on the channel was Nirvana’s 1993 appearance on “MTV Unplugged.” Recorded in November of that year and aired a month later, it was one of the last televised performances by Kurt Cobain, before his death in April of 1994. In the wake of his death, the performance inherited immense weight, where the funeral like set dressings and melancholic song choices brought Cobain’s declining mental state into focus.

Johnny Cash was never one to play by the rules, and that’s why the public loved the Man in Black. An outlaw spirit who had fair share of brushes with the law, Cash sympathized with prison inmates. He advocated for prison reform, and as early as the late 50s started to visit and perform in prisons. The real moment of magic came on February 24th, 1969, when Cash performed live at California’s San Quentin Prison. Fueled in part by his annoyance with the British film crew filming the concert, Cash led a rowdy crowd of inmates with a rebellious, energetic, and career defining set.

He didn’t create the move, but MJ sure as hell popularized it. The moonwalk has cropped up throughout pop culture since the 1930s, such as James Brown in The Blues Brothers for example, but there’s only one name synonymous with the move: Michael Jackson. He lit up the world when he first rocked the moonwalk at Motown 25: Yesterday, Today, and Forever in March 1983. Jackson added his signature flair and gravitas to the move by spinning and posing in his sequins, black jacket, and white glove, stopping the world for a moment, and then dropping the moonwalk bomb. In modern times it would have broken the internet but in the 1980s Jackson had to just settle for blowing minds.

On July 13th, 1985 the biggest bands in the world of rock and roll came together for Live Aid to support relief efforts for the Ethiopian Famine. On a day featuring a reunited Led Zeppelin, The Who, Black Sabbath, and Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young, and U2’s epic 14 minute rendition of “Bad,” it was Queen that stole the show. In a mere 21 minute set, they crammed in “Bohemian Rhapsody,” “Radio Ga Ga, ”Hammer to Fall,” “Crazy Little Thing Called Love,” and a finale of “We Will Rock You” and “We are the Champions.” The performance was incredible, as Freddie Mercury commanded the stage and the 72,000 person crowd in what proved to be one of his last major performances.

A fan favourite of the Newport Folk Festival thanks to his appearances in 1963 and 64, Bob Dylan rattled the cage a little to hard in 1965. By ’65 Dylan had been labeled the “spokesman of a generation,” and had earned Newport’s headlining bill. Taking the stage with members from the Paul Butterfield Blues Band, and armed with a Fender Stratocaster electric guitar, Mr Zimmerman parted ways with his folk brethren. As boos and jeers erupted from the purists of the festival, including its organizers, Dylan let loose with electric guitars and the energy of rock and roll. It was a major turning point, signalling the decline of folk, and the rise of rock and roll.

By the time he performed on the Milton Berle show on June 5th, 1956, Elvis had already appeared on television plenty of times, including a previous appearance on Berle’s show. This time around, however, things were different. Guitar-less and free to move around the stage, Presley became a quivering mass of windmilling arms and gyrating hips while performing an overcharged version of “Hound Dog.” He may have been chastised by the press and conservative America, but Elvis won over America’s youth who very promptly crowned him the King of Rock and Roll.

Woodstock – four days of peace and love—rocked the world with many incredible performances from groups as diverse as The Who to Jefferson Airplane. None, however, had the cultural impact of Jimi Hendrix. Due the festival being horribly off schedule, and following Sha-Na-Na, Hendrix finally took the stage early Monday morning, with a mere 30,000 of the 400,000 plus audience still in attendance. The remaining few were stunned when Hendrix broke out a passionate rendition of the Star-Spangled Banner with the full Jimi Hendrix treatment. It was a performance that both channelled counterculture rebellion and anger towards the Vietnam War, but also Hendrix’s unbridled love for America.

Before we unveil our top pick, here are a few honorable mentions.

  • Gangnam Style
  • Madonna, “Like a Virgin” on MTV Awards
  • Invention of the Electric Guitar
  • The Freddie Mercury Tribute Concert
  • The Who on the Smothers Brothers

The Ed Sullivan Show gave the world a collection of incredible and controversial music moments, like the censored hip swinging of Elvis Presley, but no moment compares to the debut performance of The Beatles. On February 9th, 1964, to an estimated U.S. television record of 73 million viewers, The Beatles took the stage and kicked off the British Invasion. On that night, John, Paul, George, and Ringo bridged the gap between British and American music, globalizing the industry with a forged bond that would forever link the two. The performance launched America into a craze unlike anything before it. Beatlemania had arrived, and music would never be the same again.

Top 10 Power Ballads

Simply Unforgettable

There’s a soft side to everyone including your favorite cold-hearted rockstars. It’s not just that though because “power ballads” are the cash cows that never fail to line their pockets. In a nutshell, it’s a sure sell (do you have any idea how much hairspray, spandex suits and platform boots cost?). You see, for hard-rockin’ musicians, they’re not exactly too keen on adding overly-emotional stuff in their catalog and we totally get that.

Besides, there’s a reason why these songs received massive airplay and are regular fan favorites – they’re catchy tunes and it’s fairly easy to sing along to them. Are they cheesy? Maybe. But to be fair, some of them are seriously good of course, provided you keep an open-mind and not judge them even before listening.

Also, who doesn’t love a good drama? And these power ballads have tons of them – from love lost to longing.

Warning: these MAY range from “Eh, okay” to “How about no?”

10. Skid Row – “I Remember You”

This may not be their best song but it’s sure in the top five. It turns us into a big ball of cheese because we just love it. Part of the reason is Sebastian Bach’s jaw-dropping vocals – oh and did we mention his live vocal performance is as good as the recording, if not better?

This track showcased his range.

“’I Remember You’ was the #1 prom song in the United States of America in the year 1990….You talk about making memories! Literally the whole country of America did their prom dance to ‘I Remember You’ one year, and that’s a real heavy memory to beat.” – Sebastian Bach

Anyone who was a teen in the late ‘80s surely heard this often on the radio. It was a chart-topping hit and most probably, it’s also everyone’s favorite ballad at the time of its release. Admit it, you know the lyrics by heart.

9. Whitesnake – “Is This Love?”

It’s hard to think of power ballads and not include this epic tune from Whitesnake. Sure, the title is like a promise that the song’s going to be tolerable, at best, but hey it delivers. Besides, it’s not every day you get to hear a track that talks about love and still rocks hard. With this, you get the best of both worlds.

Interestingly, this was originally written for Tina Turner.

“Before I’d left [for the south of France] a friend at EMI had asked me for any ideas that would work for Tina Turner. So that was where the original idea for “Is This Love” came from.” – David Coverdale

“Is This Love?” was a huge hit for the band and it peaked at #2 on the US Billboard Hot 100 chart. It remains one of the greatest and most well-loved ballads of all time. It does give us a glimpse into the soft underbelly of David Coverdale and well, who can resist that?

8. Poison – “Every Rose Has Its Thorn”

When glam metal rockers Poison released “Every Rose Has Its Thorn,” you’d think they were going bubblegum pop because of the reaction of some fans. But after all the doubts, skepticism and feelings of betrayal, the initial shock proved to be fruitless. As it turns out, it’s one of the band’s greatest musical moments.

The song itself is well, sad, and just full of drama. But Bret Michaels shined here. And as it turns out, it became their biggest hit.

“When we played Every Rose… for our label and management they told us it would end our career. They were like: ‘This song is not Poison. It starts with an acoustic guitar, and you’ve got this cowboy thing going on and it’s just sad’.” – Bret Michaels

Not only did it chart but it became one of their signature songs. Who would have thought Michael’s relationship problem could turn into a classic?

7. Def Leppard – “Love Bites”

When we mentioned earlier that stuff like this sells, it’s an absolute fact. This song was released at a time when power ballad was everything. It dominated the radio stations and everyone who went to prom had to dance to at least one of these tracks.

Def Leppard’s “Love Bites” was their only single to ever top the US Billboard Hot 100. Just like Poison, when this song was brought to their attention, they didn’t know what to make of it because it wasn’t something they’ve done before and it’s not exactly “Def Leppard.”

“It was just a standard rock ballad but it had something else going for it. Lyrically, it kind of painted a picture, and in a song you always want to do that, paint a picture. ‘On a dark desert highway,’ the first line of ‘Hotel California,’ great song, it just paints an image for you straight off the bat and that’s the sign of a really good song. It takes you right there. ‘Love Bites’ did that as well.” – Def Leppard’s Phil Collen

For every band with their first power ballad, it’s always a huge risk – but these songs have proven that most of those paid off nicely.

6. Warrant – “Heaven”

Like the previous groups, this power ballad became Warrant’s most commercially successful single. The response was so overwhelming even Warrant’s own producers were surprised with its success. You see, songs like this have a certain appeal even to skeptical listeners – those who swore they don’t like ballads.

The lyrics are dramatic and emotional, something you don’t think you’ll ever hear from bad ass rockstars. But here’s Jani Lane in all his bluesy glory, singing his heart out.

“It sucks that I get labeled as a ballad writer, but I figure, if I write good ballads, then screw it, I write good ballads. I’ve never been one of those people that think if it’s not X amount heavy, that it’s not cool.” – Jani Lane

He has a good point. One great ballad is still a thousand times better than five mediocre rock songs. Just ask all these groups on this list.

5. Bon Jovi – “Always”

One of Bon Jovi’s main selling points is of course how hot JBJ is. So imagine him singing “And I will love you, baby, always / And I’ll be there forever and a day, always / I’ll be there ’til the stars don’t shine / ‘Til the heavens burst and the words don’t rhyme…” in all his sexy glory.

It’s hyper-emotional, we know, but it’s a lovely track and a definite crowd favorite as evidenced by the numbers – more than 3 million copies sold worldwide.

“It’s a sick little twisted lyric. So many people feel it’s so romantic and so wonderful, but truthfully, this guy is practically a stalker. He’s a sick human being.” – Jon Bon Jovi

Wow, okay, somehow we didn’t think the guy’s a creep. We thought it was just him professing his strong love for the girl. Clearly, JBJ had other ideas. Still, the song sold big time and is still a classic hit.

4. Meat Loaf – “I’d Do Anything For Love”

How can we forget Meat Loaf’s epic ballad masterpiece people are still singing more than two decades after it was first released? It served as his comeback song and man, what a way to announce his arrival! It was a massive success – it topped the chart in several countries and earned platinum status.

It even gave Meat Loaf his Grammy Award for Best Rock Vocal Performance, Solo.

“It sort of is a little puzzle and I guess it goes by – but they’re all great things. ‘I won’t stop doing beautiful things and I won’t do bad things.’ It’s very noble. I’m very proud of that song because it’s very much like out of the world of Excalibur. To me, it’s like Sir Lancelot or something – very noble and chivalrous. That’s my favorite song on the record – it’s very ambitious.” – Meat Loaf

By now you probably know the music industry is very hard to please. And in line with that, this song actually made it to numerous WORST lists. Also, over the years there were speculations about what the “THAT” in “I won’t do that” refers to. Maybe that’s part of the appeal, no?

3. Journey – “Open Arms”

Journey’s biggest hit is also one of their signature songs. Even though it has been covered by other artists, it’s hard not to think of the original version and of course, Steve Perry’s spine-chilling vocal performance.

The thing is, behind every ballad there’s always a band member who’s against it. For them, they feel like they’re abandoning their style and betraying their fans but hey, some of them eventually come around. For Journey, it was guitarist Neal Schon who wasn’t exactly thrilled at the prospect of performing a track which he thought “sounds kinda Mary Poppins.”

“I had to keep my head down on the console when “Open Arms” was on. There is one line in the song that I always wanted to be a certain way. I have ideals about certain things. The line “wanting you near” — I just wanted that line to go up and soar. I wanted it to be heartfelt. Every time it would come by I would just have to keep my head down and try to swallow the lump in my throat. I felt so proud of the song.” – Steve Perry

Well he should be proud, it’s a beautiful track and an unforgettable one at that.

2. Guns ‘n Roses – “November Rain”

This is Guns ‘n Roses at their finest. GnR with all their bad boy image and typical rock lifestyle is not immune to the allure of power ballads. And they took this to the next level too with the help of an orchestra. It was nothing short of majestic.

It was released in 1992 but according to Tracii Guns, Axl Rose has been working on “November Rain” since 1983, around two years before GnR was formed. Well, all that hard work definitely paid off because it was commercially successful after selling over a million copies.

“When we were doing that EP for L.A. Guns, like ’83? He was playing “November Rain” — and it was called “November Rain” — you know, on piano. The guitar solo is amazing. Way back then. It was the only thing he knew how to play, but it was his. He’d go, “Someday this song is gonna be really cool.” And I’d go, “It’s cool now.”” – Tracii Guns

Only GnR can make something this dramatic still sound kick ass. Oh and don’t even get us started on the phenomenal music video. That’s seriously one for the books.

1. Aerosmith – “Dream On”

The ultimate power ballad is Aerosmith’s stellar tune “Dream On.” It was the band’s first major hit and until today, it continues to remain a staple in any classic rock radio station. It’s an incredibly touching tune that’s difficult not to love.

This song also showcased Steven Tyler’s talents – from singing to playing the piano part. The man was a musical powerhouse.

top 10 sports anthems

Sportsmen always look for a way to Get fans off their feet and get them psyched! and what way is better than music and specifically rock music? this time we want to count down our picks for the top 10 sports anthems . For this list, we’re looking at those songs that have become a staple at sporting events throughout the years, the ones that get the crowd off their feet and psyched up for their favorite team.

 

Welcome to the Jungle – Guns n’ Roses

 #10: Welcome to the Jungle – Guns n’ Roses

This Guns n’ Roses classic is a staple due its ferocity and menacing message. With lyrics like “I want to watch you bleed”, this angsty tune sends a message to the opposing team letting them know that they are in for a hard time. With Axl’s loud, screeching voice, and the thunderous roar of the guitar, this song is definitely one to get any sport fan off their feet and screaming along with the fearless lyrics.

 

 

 

Start Me Up – The Rolling Stones

 #9: Start Me Up – The Rolling Stones

This classic sports anthem almost never saw the light of day, and surprisingly started out as a reggae influenced track. When convinced to release it on their 1981 album Tattoo You, the band had no idea they would be creating a sporting phenomenon. Played live during the halftime of Super Bowl XL, the Stones energized the arena with their already rocking jam and cemented the song into legendary status. Filled with double entendres and a classic guitar riff, the track never fails to gets the crowd singing along and doing air guitar in the middle of the aisle.

 

 

Seven Nation Army – The White Stripes

 #8: Seven Nation Army – The White Stripes

This classic from the husband-wife duo really gets the blood pumping. From the loud, thunderous punch of the guitar during the chorus and the fighting spirit of the lyrics, this song lets the opposing team know that they are in for a fight. With the slow and steady beat of the verses, it builds the crowd’s anticipation before unleashing the loud chaos of the chorus. It’s a song that builds in pressure, and it does the same thing for its audience.

 

 

 

Thunderstruck – AC/DC

 #7: Thunderstruck – AC/DC

This hard rock classic from AC/DC finds a spot in nearly every sports arena. It’s used as the opening song for the Chicago White Sox and Washington Nationals in baseball, as well as the Los Angeles Kings in hockey. It’s a fitting start to a game, with an immediately recognizable opening guitar riff and the bombastic bass of the chorus. Arguably one of the band’s heaviest tunes, this song gets the crowd pumped up and energized for the game to come. No sporting event is complete without it.

 

 

 

Rock and Roll Part 2 – Gary Glitter

 #6: Rock and Roll Part 2 – Gary Glitter

Is there anyone out there who DOESN’T associate this song with sports? Released in 1972, the track was split into two parts, the first having vocals and the second, which is the one played at most events, being purely instrumental. It is so popular that the New Jersey Devils use it as their goal song, and when they tried to replace it, fans were outraged and demanded its return. Forever linked to sports, “Rock and Roll Part 2” will have the crowd singing “Hey!” and pumping their fists in the air.

 

 

 

The Final Countdown – Europe

 #5: The Final Countdown – Europe

Gob Bluth would be proud of us for putting this song on our list. This synth heavy tune from Swedish band Europe may appear to be just another glam metal song from the 80s, but it caught on with sporting events and has remained popular ever since due to its catchy and memorable hook. Songwriter Joey Tempest has said that the song was never meant to be a single, let alone a major hit, but we’re glad they changed their minds, as no sporting event would be complete without it.

 

 

 

You’ll never walk alone – Gerry and the Pacemakers

 #4: You’ll never walk alone – Gerry and the Pacemakers

In the UK, the song’s most successful cover was released in 1963 by the Liverpudlian Merseybeat group Gerry and the Pacemakers, peaking at number one on the UK singles chart for four consecutive weeks. Sung by Liverpool fans in 1963, the song quickly became the anthem of Liverpool F.C. and is invariably sung by its supporters moments before the start of each home game with the Gerry and the Pacemakers version played over the PA system.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Song 2 – Blur

 #3: Song 2 – Blur

This song became a pop culture phenomenon in 1997 and remains extremely popular to this day due to its association with the sports fandom. Featuring the signature “Woohoo!” over the loud, nearly unintelligible lyrics of the rest of the song, this alternative rock anthem always has fans pumping their fists in the air and woohoo-ing along. Intended as a satire of grunge music, the track has been used in almost all sports, from hockey to baseball. Not bad for a song that wasn’t meant to be taken seriously.

 

 

 

Eye of the Tiger – Survivor

 #2: Eye of the Tiger – Survivor

Ever since being used as the theme song of “Rocky III”, this song has achieved tremendous success, both in the field of sports and outside of it. It was so popular when first released that it was the #2 overall single of 1982, behind only Olivia Newton-John’s “Physical.” It is now one of the best-selling singles of all time, and remains a popular staple in the field of sports due to its rocking guitar and motivational lyrics. No sporting event or workout session is complete without a spin of this sports classic.

 

 

 

We Will Rock You – Queen

 #1: We Will Rock You – Queen

This arena-rock tune is a sure-fire way to get a crowd pumped up and singing along. With the signature stomping sound of the verses, the crowd always stomps along, their feet slamming the ground and their hands clapping together. The sound is not complete with the chanting of “We will rock you,” and when tens of thousands of people stomp and sing together, it creates a sense of community in the arena that no other song can match.

Top 10 power ballads of all time

This time we want to write about best power ballads in the history of rock music. Simply, we are talking about those songs that make you want to hold up your lighter up and waving it around. For this list, we’re focusing on rock songs that conjure up intense emotion deep within the soul for listeners and musicians alike.

I Would Do Anything for Love (But I Won’t Do That) – Meat Loaf

 #10: I Would Do Anything for Love (But I Won’t Do That) – Meat Loaf

Ok, let’s be clear: not all power ballads require an epic music video to become legendary, but it certainly doesn’t hurt. For this 1993 hit, Meat Loaf actually recorded a 12-minute album version of the song, in which he passionately, and perhaps obsessively, details out his crippling loneliness, a fondness for both fire and ice, and of course, his fair set of standards for love. From the opening piano to the intense final act, this song would be absolutely nothing without the wrenching vocals of the man known as Meat Loaf.

 

 

Bringin’ On the Heartbreak – Def Leppard

 #9: Bringin’ On the Heartbreak – Def Leppard

Produced by Shania Twain’s ex Mutt Lange, this monster ballad is notable for its powerhouse music video released during the early days of MTV. In other words, lovers suffering from the horrors of heartbreak could not only listen to a mildly depressing jam, but also see their pain come to life though the oddly shaped guitars of Def Leppard and their power mullets. This chorus was specifically designed to make listeners sport their most badass leather jacket, smoke a Marlboro Red and embrace their passing pain. This all coming from the band that also taught us that “Love Bites”.

 

 

November Rain – Guns N’ Roses

 #8: November Rain – Guns N’ Roses

You know it’s about to get real when Axl Rose steps away from the mic stand and cues the orchestra. It’s time for an agonizing power ballad that will gently rip away at your soul and make you sort through old photos of your ex. Let’s face it: “November Rain” wasn’t created for couples enjoying a picnic at the local park. It’s for recently broken-up lovers to lip-synch into the mirror with the passing chance that a cold winter romance could blossom into something more. At almost nine minutes in length, GNR had early nineties rock fans bawling their eyes out to this emotional epic.

 

Open arms – Journey

 #7: Open arms – Journey

It’s really hard to choose one song between “Don’t stop believing” or “Faithfully” or basically any other song by Journey as the best power ballad from this band. It’s almost like they were put on earth only for making epic power ballads. But then again, with those beautiful compositions and vocalist’s amazing and powerful voice, you can’t expect anything else from this band.

 

 

Home Sweet Home – Motley Crue

 #6: Home Sweet Home – Motley Crue

It’s no secret that Mötley Crüe consumed a heavy amount of hard drugs and alcohol, but they were also passionate storytellers, with “Home Sweet Home” as their most poetic example. Through contrasting themes like “high” and “low,” along with “right” and wrong,” Mötley Crüe showcased their ability to demonstrate the long and winding road of life. Even if their home was a tiny studio off Sunset Boulevard, this power ballad struck a chord with listeners and became one of the definitive videos of the MTV generation.

 

 

Every Rose Has Its Thorn – Poison

 #5: Every Rose Has Its Thorn – Poison

While some of the entries on our list are best listened to AFTER a break-up, this one is best enjoyed during the MAKE-up. Acoustic guitar. Classic ’80s guitar solo. Existential lyrics about an unknown DJ. What’s not to like? In a time when rock stars and their fans were straight up getting buckwild on a nightly basis, Poison dropped this power ballad and essentially offered everybody a time out from the madness.

 

 

Still Loving You – Scorpions

 #4: Still Loving You – Scorpions

You want a heavy dose of power ballad drama, you say? Well, here it is. Behold: heavy opening whispers…followed by a killer riff. Yes, this Scorpions classic contains an ebb and flow of power ballad emotion, as the lyrics touch on the concept of building a psychological wall, only to tear the sucker down with unconditional love. “Still Loving You” takes us on a journey over six stirring minutes, as lead singer Klaus Meine delivers vocals filled with anxiety, pain and unhealthy obsession.

 

 

I Want to Know What Love Is – Foreigner

 #3: I Want to Know What Love Is – Foreigner

Well, here’s a heavy burden to bear for any would-be lover, since it’s one thing to ponder the idea of love, and another to want someone to show you actual love. Ok, you get the idea of this Foreigner hit, well, because it’s all in the title. “I Want to Know What Love Is” came at a crucial moment in music history, as music videos allowed musicians another medium to express their utter confusion in regard to romance, and thus channel their energy to a world of equally troubled listeners.

 

 

Alone – Heart

 #2: Alone – Heart

It’s not our #2 because the title references a universal feeling that everyone can relate to, or even that the band’s name is “Heart,” it’s because of the deeply unsettling lyrics about an individual completely wrapped up in love. Oh, and it’s also because of the irresistible chorus that has inspired countless karaoke renditions around the globe. The lyrics of “Alone” allow listeners to long for their potential lovers, and it’s the perfect companion piece to Heart’s equally potent single “All I Wanna Do Is Make Love To You.”

 

 

Nothing else matters – Metallica

 #1: Nothing else matters – Metallica

I (and probably yourself ) can name a few people that in some part of their life, knew this song as the best song to be heard. Of course Metallica’s commercial power makes it a lot easier than the rest of list for being heard even by those who have no interest in rock genre, and probably make them fall in love with it. It would really hard to find someone who doesn’t find this song amazing.

Top 10 rock songs about apocalypse

This time we want to write about rock song about apocalypse and count down our picks for the top ten doomsday songs. The songs that provide the soundtrack to the apocalypse. In this list we’ll be taking a look at songs that are about the end of the world or have apocalyptic theme. However we won’t be including songs that are more focused on death, such as Blue Oyster Cult’s don’t fear the reaper.

The Man Comes Around – Johnny Cash

 #10: The Man Comes Around – Johnny Cash

The title track off of the Man in Black’s American IV: The Man Comes Around album, this doomsday song draws heavily from the Biblical Book of Revelations for its lyrical content. Inspired by a dream Cash had in which Queen Elizabeth II compared him to “a thorn tree in a whirlwind,” Cash’s own research discovered a similar phrase in the Book of Job, which led him to pen “The Man Comes Around.” Evoking imagery of the judgment of a man, Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, and imminent Armageddon, the religious warnings of this song are made even more unsettling when delivered by Johnny Cash’s calm, soothing voice.

 

 

Until the End of the World – U2

 #9: Until the End of the World – U2

Conceived by Bono as a conversation between Jesus Christ and Judas Iscariot, this doomsday song has a more romantic quality to it, which masks the darker nature of its lyrics. Spoken primarily from the perspective of a remorseful Judas, it emphasizes a bleak dwelling on the inevitable end of times, which adds to the song’s somber tone. Divided into three parts which discuss the Last Supper, Judas’ kiss on Jesus’ cheek in the Garden of Gethsemane and Judas’ eventual suicide, “Until the End of World” draws on themes of betrayal, guilt and despair which make for an appropriately apocalyptic song.

 

 

 

 

Bad Moon Rising – Creedence Clearwater Revival

 #8: Bad Moon Rising – Creedence Clearwater Revival

A year before Black Sabbath would release their first album, CCR released this doomsday track whose dark imagery and lyrics evoked heavy metal before heavy metal truly began. Despite sounding light-hearted and upbeat at first listen, “Bad Moon Rising” is in fact a warning about an approaching apocalypse, which includes hurricanes, lightning storms, and overflowing rivers that are “bound to take your life”. Cautioning the listener to be prepared for death and that one eye will be taken for an eye, “Bad Moon Rising” is all the more chilling because of its seemingly jovial embrace of the apocalypse.

 

 

Raining Blood – Slayer

 #7: Raining Blood – Slayer

A thrash metal gem rife with foreboding imagery, the closing track on Slayer’s third album Reign in Blood remains a staple of the band’s live shows and one of their most well-known songs. Beginning with an ominous riff that warns of the chaos to come, “Raining Blood” erupts into a metal maelstrom, which foretells of a demonic force lacerating the sky and returning to power as the most sacred of laws are abolished. Wielding the merciless dual guitar attack of Kerry King and Jeff Hanneman, Dave Lombardo’s thunderous drumming and Tom Araya’s haunting vocals, “Raining Blood” welcomes the apocalypse with open bloody arms.

 

1999 – Prince

 #6: 1999 – Prince

A song that takes a more positive approach to dealing with the apocalypse, “1999” is less about despair and more about making the most of the time you have left. When the year 2000 brings about purple skies, destruction and war, the title track off Prince’s fifth studio album encourages celebration and good times instead of fighting or fleeing in terror. Reasoning that life is just a party and parties aren’t meant to last, this more optimistic doomsday song takes a more glass half-full approach to the end of the world, which is a refreshing take on an otherwise gloomy subject.

 

Ænima – Tool

 #5: Ænima – Tool

Third single track from the third album of the same name is about weather changing and disasters in USA, so far that New York and California drown in overflowing ocean. However, artistic directing of the music video of this song by Adam Jones and using Stop-Motion technique, made this apocalyptic song a lot more epic.

 

 

 

London Calling – The Clash

 #4: London Calling – The Clash

One of The Clash’s most memorable songs, the title track off of their third studio album also serves as one of the most notable doomsday songs around. With lyrics that describe an approaching ice age, mass mechanical failure, dying crops and the flooding of London, “London Calling” does not wallow in sorrow over the impending doom but instead takes it in stride. With other apocalyptic topics such as nuclear annihilation and “zombies of death” being referenced, this track is a greatest hits list of potentially world-ending disasters and mayhem befitting an end-of-times song.

 

Hells Bells – AC/DC

 #3: Hells Bells – AC/DC

Beginning with a chilling bell toll which was all the more ominous given the recent passing of singer Bon Scott, “Hells Bells” served as the opening track to Back in Black and as Brian Johnson’s first official foray as AC/DC’s new singer. Spoken from the perspective of Satan himself, this song tells of the devil bringing rolling thunder, lightning and hurricanes as he rings the titular bells. With no one willing to resist and no prisoners being taken, there is little hope for those on the side of good, spelling certain doom for those not willing to join in the apocalyptic destruction. With Brian Johnson’s screeching wail on full display, it’s no surprise that “Hells Bells” is still an AC/DC concert staple.

 

The End – The Doors

 #2: The End – The Doors

A song that showcases the darker side of singer Jim Morrison’s poetic talents, “The End” lives up to its name with its eerie sense of approaching disaster and darkness. Beginning as a dream-like ballad which devolves into a murderous nightmare, the song explores the mind of a man who wants to murder his father and his mother. With the destruction of the nuclear family arguably serving as a metaphor for doomsday itself, “The End” also touches on the generation gap in the late 60’s in the phrase “all the children are insane,” which also carries an apocalyptic tone about the conflict between generations sparked in part by the Vietnam War.

 

It’s the End of the World as We Know It (And I Feel Fine) – R.E.M.

 #1: It’s the End of the World as We Know It (And I Feel Fine) – R.E.M.

Originally released on their fifth studio album Document, this rather cheerful doomsday song by R.E.M juggles the usual dire apocalyptic themes, while maintaining a sense of optimism that is echoed in its simple yet effective music video. With lyrics that touch on natural disasters, political turmoil and social issues, “It’s the End of the World as We Know It” captures the overwhelming weight of the world’s problems in its rapid-fire delivery. However, the song also tries to look on the proverbial bright side of the situation and rejoices in the fact that we will all have some time alone, perhaps suggesting that in this time we will find a way to reflect and begin the world anew again.

Top 10 Anti-War Rock Songs

They say the war is hell on earth which maybe is the reason why so many musicians have railed against it. And today we are counting down our picks for the top10 anti-war songs. For this list we’re picking songs that protest against war in general or those that call out particular or specific battles. We’re basing our choices on a mix of their massage, song quality and overall recognition as an anti-war rock song.

Cranberries – zombie

 #10. Cranberries – zombie

The Irish band the Cranberries wrote zombie in response to the Irish republican Army’s 1993 bombing attacks which killed two small children. Including references to the 1916 Easter rising the song decried violence that had engulfed Ireland and England for too long and which had claimed far too many innocent lives. Featuring an angry grunge inspired sound the lyrics of zombie condemned the acts of war that tear through the brains of everyday people.

 

 

 

System of a dawn – BYOB

 #9. System of a dawn – BYOB

The United states invasion of Iraq was a source of great controversy with many vocally deriding it including this song. In BYOB the band directly levels a familiar charge against the architects of war that those who initiate and maintain wars are never the ones who suffer or fight them. The song hammers the point about the disproportionate amount of poor people involved in fighting wars while presidents and other leaders sit back and watch.

 

 

 

Metallica – one

 #8. Metallica – one

Set to have been inspired by the tragic world war one film “Johnny got his gun” which is in turn based on the novel of the same name Metallica’s one is a gut wrenching plea from a wounded soldier. Having been horribly injured by a landmine, the soldier is kept alive by a feeding tube. He can no longer see or hear, smell or taste. All he can do is feel and all he can feel is pain. The soldier longs for release from the hell that his life has become but he’s unable to even convey this wish to those keeping him alive.

 

 

 

Megadeth – the holy wars

 #7. Megadeth – the holy wars

Another song inspired by the Irish troubles, holy wars condemns the role that religion has often played in the cause of war. While the situation in northern Ireland was the impetus for the song, the lyrics are applicable to many conflicts in which religious differences play a large part. The second half of the song referred to as the “punishment due” makes reference to the Marvel Comics character The Punisher. Perhaps implying that the force of justice will someday destroy the forces of war.

 

 

 

Bob Dylan – Masters of war

 #6. Bob Dylan – Masters of war

Bob Dylan’s melody for masters of war is based upon a traditional folk song but the lyrics are pure Dylan. A blunt condemnation of world leaders at the time and especially those with power in America, the song takes aim at both the military-industrial complex and the cold war mindset that it gained an unhealthy influence over the course of U.S affairs at the time. Dylan is giving no quarter here and allowing no excuses in this matter. It’s a harsh denunciation that still packs a tremendous punch.

 

 

 

Plastic ono band – give peace a chance

 #5. Plastic ono band – give peace a chance

John Lennon’s “Imagine” is a beautiful piece in praise of a Utopian world, his give peace a chance is more prosaic but it strikes an equally deep chord through its simple catchy chorus. The verses are simply a rhythmic list of labels applied to those who oppose war and support peace. And they drive the massage that don’t pay attention to who people say we are but listen to what we have to say. Eventually the song takes on the characteristics of a mantra, becoming a spiritual voice against war.

 

 

 

 

Bruce Springsteen – born in the U.S.A

 #4. Bruce Springsteen – born in the U.S.A

When born in the USA became a monster hit in 1984, many mistakenly took the title at face value and assumed it was a patriotic anthem. In fact Springsteen is critical of the country he loves for many reasons. One of them being its tendency to wage wars without regard to what it does to those who fight them. And veterans who are out of place when they return home as one of the silent tragedies of war.

 

 

 

 

Scorpions – Wind of change

 #3. Scorpions – Wind of change

Wind of change is a song by German band Scorpions, with the goal of celebrating the end of cold war, returning hope to people and the fall of soviet union Republics. You can even find references like the name of a river in Moscow, Moskav, and a traditional Russian instrument called balalaika. Beautiful melody of this song with the soothing whistle and voice of Klaus Meine brings us a gospel of the impending victory of peace in the end of every war.

 

 

 

Black Sabbath – War Pigs

 #2. Black Sabbath – War Pigs

 

The Vietnam war was raging in 1970 when Black Sabbath released “war pigs” and the anger behind the song is palpable. Comparing generals to evil witches and condemning all those that fought and design war, Black Sabbath makes if clear that a day of judgment will come when they will get their due. War pigs established Black Sabbath as one of the premier heavy metal bands. The searing lyrics and crashing music make a combination that even decades later tears at the listener.

 

 

 

Creedence Clearwater Revival – Fortunate son

 #1. Creedence Clearwater Revival – Fortunate son

War has never been waged in an equitable manner but in the 1960s and 70s, more and more people spoke out against the unfairness war engenders. Fortunate son clearly and insistently hammers home the point that the poor and the powerless pay the price in war. Those with rich and influential daddies can escape service or at least avoid direct combat. John Fogety’s impassioned vocals make this two and a half minute rock song into a condemnation of the rule rich men play at war.