15 Classic Rock Songs to Help Get You Through Quarantine
As we deal with the grim reality of the United States becoming the country with the most coronavirus cases, we remain huddled in our homes as the uncertainty relentlessly continues and our collective uneasiness intensifies. I’m feeling that, too, but I know I can’t stay there and need to step back. I know music is what helps me many times, so I offer you a mini playlist of 15 classic rock songs to make the world a bit lighter for a moment.
As a lifelong listener of classic rock who still remembers the joy of vinyl, I have many playlists that feature this neglected genre. Classic rock boasted real musicians who made their own music which is why my rock playlists are my go-tos. One in particular that I am returning to lately just to visualize doing this at some point is “Roadtrip.”
I’ll divide this list up into decades, specifically the 60s, 70s, and 80s. These decades were for me, a golden age of music.
For those of you who remember these songs: enjoy.
For those of you newly discovering some of these cultural touchstones: you’re welcome.
The 60s gave us Woodstock, hippies, and flower power. They also gave us a lot of bands that still endure to this day, like The Beatles and Led Zeppelin. Way before my time, but so worthy.
- “Whole Lotta Love” — This essential Led Zeppelin track will forever live as one of the great rock tracks of all time. Robert Plant’s bluesy voice and Jimmy Page’s ripping guitar stylistics is a must for any classic rock playlist.
- “Sunshine of Your Love” Cream — The iconic bass of Jack Bruce is the star of this track influenced by Jimi Hendrix.
- “All Along the Watchtower” — You can’t have a 60s classic rock playlist without Jimi Hendrix, one of the greatest guitarists of all time. You just can’t.
- “Break on Through (To the Other Side)” — Jim Morrison’s distinct baritone was just hypnotic. We also need to remember that we will “break on through to the other side,” too.
- “Come Together” — John Lennon originally wrote this song for Timothy Leary’s campaign for governor of California. He passed, and Lennon made it the first track of Abbey Road.
Some of the songs on this list are more soft rock, but it was big in this era. When I was younger, I thought some of these songs were corny, but today I listen to them regularly.
6. “Peg” — Steely Dan will be on this list more than once for the musicianship of Walter Becker and Donald Fagen. Jay Graydon’s guitar solo became the most memorable of the band’s career.
7. “What a Fool Believes” — One of The Doobie Brothers’ most famous songs, this song had a catchy hook with the beginning synthesizer and Michael McDonald’s voice singing: “He came from somewhere back in her long ago.”
8. “Escape (The Pina Colada Song)” — Rupert Holmes — One of the great story songs of all time. Just imagine drinking a pina colada on a beach somewhere when this is all over.
9. “Benny and the Jets” — I’m not sure what exactly this Elton John classic is about, but it’s catchy as hell.
10. “Dreams” — A list of 70s classics is incomplete without a song from Fleetwood Mac’s Rumours album. “Thunder only happens when it’s raining.”
11. “Crazy Train” — “Crazy, but that’s how it goes.” This lyric sung by Ozzy Osbourne aptly describes what we’re experiencing right now. Randy Rhoads’ virtuoso guitar playing makes this a track for the ages.
12. “Under Pressure” — I know we all are feeling this way right now, but this collaboration between Queen and David Bowie will endure. The classic baseline is and will always be unforgettable.
13. “Hey 19” — Always trust Steely Dan for a laid-back vibe. This song was made for chilling out and just “being.”
14. “I Can’t Go for That” — This Hall and Oates classic is another one for just chilling out.
15. “Young Americans” — David Sanborn’s saxophone at the beginning of the song is what draws you in. David Bowie’s distinct, incomparable voice is what keeps you.
We all have plenty to think about right now. Let’s give ourselves permission to take it easy once in a while and kick back with some great music.