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Zep 4 Life

Definitive Rock Songs of Each Decade

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I spend a lot of time in my car, which gives me time to think up weird things with my brain.

I started to think how Buffalo Springfields 'For What It's Worth' is the definitive 60's rock song (in my mind). The sound, the message, everything about that song just makes me think of the 60's.

What other songs would be considered definitive songs of each decade? I would like to hear others opinions on any/all of the decades....

Please feel free to disagree with my choice above, or any of the others that I list below.

1960's -- Buffalo Springfield (For What It's Worth)

1970's -- Led Zeppelin (Stairway to Heaven)

1980's -- Bon Jovi (Livin' on a Prayer)

1990's -- Nirvana (Smells like Teen Spirit)

Was there rock after the 90's?

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Hmm, not sure some people will consider this song Rock enough? But I do. Thriller (with this #1 single Billie Jean) was released in Summer 1982, and boy, that was it. They played all the songs from it everywhere. And that's okay with me. I rank it as one of the all time best albums of the period.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kXhy7ZsiR50

Good grief, love that bass!

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Agree with your selection of STH as the definitive rock song of the 1970's. I'd like to add another classic that had a lot of impact, imo. :peace:

YES!!

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No one else has an opinion on this subject?

For what it's worth, I don't think in terms of just one song to define a decade. There are too many songs that recall or sum up a certain decade for me...and yes, that includes the 2000s. Rock music still exists.

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60s - The Beatles - Helter Skelter

70s - Led Zeppelin - Whole Lotta Love

80s - Half Man Half Biscuit - Time Flies By (When you're The Driver Of A Train)

90s - Anything off Remasters

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I have a hard time responding to threads like this. Why? Because I'm easily pissed off at the fact that all these songs that you listed have been influenced by FM radio and crap publications like Rolling Stone Magazine. Why are people brainwashed by what FM radio plays, and from what Rolling Stone Magazine prints?

Buffalo Springfield's "For What It's Worth" is a very good anti-war piece, but there aren't none better than Jimi Hendrix/Band Of Gypsys' - Machine Gun, The Animal's - Sky Pilot , or Country Joe's - I Feel Like I'm Fixin' To Die Rag.

Why would Stairway To Heaven epitomize the 70's when we all know Led Zeppelin has other songs that are better? Because FM radio says so, that's why. If you asked 100 random people what album epitomized the 70's, many of those 100 would say Dark Side Of The Moon, and that's absurd to me. Why is it absurd? Because Pink Floyd made three better albums in the 70's than DSOTM - Meddle, Wish You Were Here, & Animals.

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I have a hard time responding to threads like this. Why? Because I'm easily pissed off at the fact that all these songs that you listed have been influenced by FM radio and crap publications like Rolling Stone Magazine. Why are people brainwashed by what FM radio plays, and from what Rolling Stone Magazine prints?

Yikes, lighten up. :) I'm sure I'm not the only person who actually liked FM radio in the 1970's. I wouldn't have most of my vinyl if not for FM. I had friends who introduced me to some music such as Zep, Yes, Neil, and sweet Joni. But after moving out on my own I was grateful to FM to hear what my favorite bands were up to. For example albums cuts from Steely Dan's The Royal Scam or Michael Franks The Art of Tea. You would never hear those albums played on AM radio.

Just because a song or album is played or overplayed on FM radio does not delegitimize it's greatness or lasting impact.

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For example albums cuts from Steely Dan's The Royal Scam or Michael Franks The Art of Tea. You would never hear those albums played on AM radio.

Just because a song or album is played or overplayed on FM radio does not delegitimize it's greatness or lasting impact.

FM radio is a totally different animal these days.

Fact is, FM radio doesn't play those songs you've mentioned. And when a FM radio station does play something like them, they blow smoke up the public's ass by saying "it's a deep cuts weekend" - deep cuts my ass! If a song is good, it should be played regardless!

I made no mention of a song being worse because it's overplayed on FM radio. But remember this, FM radio has too much influence on the overall public. If I played, say, Machine Gun by Jimi Hendrix/Band Of Gypsys as much as For What It's Worth by Buffalo Springfield was played, maybe Machine Gun would be the song of that decade.

Smells Like Teen Spirit is a horrible example of what the 90's was about. Why would one song define a generation? Soundgarden, Pearl Jam, Mudhoney, Mother Love Bone, and the Smashing Pumpkins are equally important as Nirvana for shaping that great period!

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Stairway and Smells were both very influential songs for the 70's and 90's respectively - so I believe they are perfect examples of songs that define the decade they are from. The 80's could be "Born In The USA" with all of the nationalism hoopla that went on during that decade. The 60's....gotta be a Beatles song - maybe "Hey Jude".

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FM radio is a totally different animal these days.

Fact is, FM radio doesn't play those songs you've mentioned. And when a FM radio station does play something like them, they blow smoke up the public's ass by saying "it's a deep cuts weekend" - deep cuts my ass! If a song is good, it should be played regardless!

I made no mention of a song being worse because it's overplayed on FM radio. But remember this, FM radio has too much influence on the overall public. If I played, say, Machine Gun by Jimi Hendrix/Band Of Gypsys as much as For What It's Worth by Buffalo Springfield was played, maybe Machine Gun would be the song of that decade.

Smells Like Teen Spirit is a horrible example of what the 90's was about. Why would one song define a generation? Soundgarden, Pearl Jam, Mudhoney, Mother Love Bone, and the Smashing Pumpkins are equally important as Nirvana for shaping that great period!

Fair enough. My FM listening began about 1974 ish until early 1980's when I gave up on FM radio due to overabundance of lousy music. By then they were literally phoning it in via prerecorded tapes of music. I had a good friend who was a DJ at one of our FM stations here in Tampa. He took me inside the booth a few times where he showed me the rows of albums, the microphones, the listener call in phones, etc. This was around 1977. You could call in and request off the wall stuff and they would play it. That was when FM radio meant something to me. I have no idea what they do today. I wonder where kids get to hear the good music these days. I suppose You/tube, internet, etc.

Back on topic. I thought of a few more songs that might be definitive for the 1970's. I'm using the criteria of hearing these songs blasting from cars during the Friday night cruising, lol. Those would be Smoke on the Water, Born to Run, We are the Champions, Hotel California. And of course, there was Lynryd Skynyrd's Free Bird.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CPWdCvwqQI0

I got sick of hearing this constantly during it's heyday. But on this video from 7 to 10 minute mark there is some damn fine guitar playing going on. Wow, surprised how good this turned out to be!

Hi Walter, agree with you on The Beatles and Hey Jude especially. Hi Plantpothead. I liked all your choices too, except I don't know who Half Man Half biscuit is? Will have to You/Tube it. Enough rambling, please someone else jump in. :) Missy

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Fair enough. My FM listening began about 1974 ish until early 1980's when I gave up on FM radio due to overabundance of lousy music. By then they were literally phoning it in via prerecorded tapes of music. I had a good friend who was a DJ at one of our FM stations here in Tampa. He took me inside the booth a few times where he showed me the rows of albums, the microphones, the listener call in phones, etc. This was around 1977. You could call in and request off the wall stuff and they would play it. That was when FM radio meant something to me. I have no idea what they do today. I wonder where kids get to hear the good music these days. I suppose You/tube, internet, etc.

Back on topic. I thought of a few more songs that might be definitive for the 1970's. I'm using the criteria of hearing these songs blasting from cars during the Friday night cruising, lol. Those would be Smoke on the Water, Born to Run, We are the Champions, Hotel California. And of course, there was Lynryd Skynyrd's Free Bird.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CPWdCvwqQI0

I got sick of hearing this constantly during it's heyday. But on this video from 7 to 10 minute mark there is some damn fine guitar playing going on. Wow, surprised how good this turned out to be!

Hi Walter, agree with you on The Beatles and Hey Jude especially. Hi Plantpothead. I liked all your choices too, except I don't know who Half Man Half biscuit is? Will have to You/Tube it. Enough rambling, please someone else jump in. :) Missy

"Time Flies By........" is the tune to Trumpton with extremely funny words. Their album "Back In The DHSS" is worth a listen.

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The whole point of the thread was to give people the chance to name one song, that, when they hear it just screams 19--'s. I don't think there is a right or wrong answer. Of course there shold be differing opinions, and that is what I wanted to hear from you guys, other fellow Zeppelin fans.

Thriller, Roundabout and Freebird are all good responses. Along with the one person who actually listed their four choices.

If I played 1979 vs Everlong vs Smells Like Teen Spirit, I think that most people would agree that Nirvana would be chosen as the definitive rock song of the 90's.

I also agree that Stairway to Heaven isn't the best Zep song of the decade. But if you mention Zeppelin to just about anyone, they immediately think of that song.

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For North America:

50's Jonny B Good or Blueberry Hill

60's She Loves You or Surfin USA

70's Hotel California or Stairway to Heaven

80's Billy Jean or Pour Some Sugar On Me

90's Teen Spirit or Jeremy

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