Long live rock ‘n’ roll! It all started back in the late 1940s with the merging of numerous African-American musical elements, lyrics, styles and genres such as jazz, blues, boogie-woogie, gospel music, etc., with swing and country music. The term itself was coined and popularized by a famous DJ from Cleveland, Ohio – Alan Freed – one of the biggest supporters of the genre (as well as of African-American artists) back then and one of the first DJs to ever play rock ‘n’ roll on his radio station. The term itself may refer to the so called “first wave” of music from the 1950s, however as time went by, we just started using it to refer to all rock music, style, fashion and culture in general…
I can talk a lot about the history and development of rock ‘n’ roll – with all the controversies, racism and numerous struggles the musicians (especially African-American artists) had to face during this turbulent time in North American history. However, I’m gonna have to put the history lesson on hold for now. Instead, I’ve prepared something else for you guys.
Do you think classic hard rock bands such as Led Zeppelin, Deep Purple, AC/DC, Def Leppard or Van Halen would’ve chosen such path, without the influence of rock ‘n’ roll fathers and pioneers like Chuck Berry, Bill Haley, Elvis Presley, Little Richard or later on The Beatles and The Rolling Stones? – Because I certainly don’t think so. All of our favorite rockstars (yes, every single one of them) who made rock music in the 70s, 80s and early 90s grew up listening to rock ‘n’ roll and transferred its influence to their own music later on. Rock music surely changed throughout the years; however it all started with rock ‘n’ roll!
Many of the above mentioned rockstars who came in the mid-70s and 80s paid a lot of tribute to rock ‘n’ roll in their songs – even nowadays, rock musicians still sing about rock ‘n’ roll! Therefore, I decided to come up with this playlist, consisting of hard rock songs that commemorate and praise rock ‘n’ roll. The list includes songs by artists such as AC/DC, Def Leppard, Joan Jett, Rainbow and others (I’m not going to include music from “true rock ‘n’ roll” musicians from the 50s and 60s – only those who later on paid tribute to the culture and the genre that started it all). All of the songs I chose have a title which consists of the phrase “rock ‘n’ roll” and are based on a subjective and personal selection. I’m not going to focus on each and every song individually; rather I’m just going to provide a few cool lines from the lyrics. I’m not going to restrict myself with years, even though most of the songs I chose are from the 80s. Let’s rock ‘n’ roll!
1. AC/DC – Got Some Rock And Roll Thunder (2014)
I got some rock and roll thunder
Hey, hey what do you know
I said feeling great and ready to roll
2. Rainbow – Long Live Rock ‘n’ Roll (1978)
In a different time
When the words didn’t rhyme
You could never quite be sure
Then on with the change
It was simple but strange
And you knew the feeling seemed to say it all
3. Joan Jett – I love Rock N Roll (1982)
Singing, I love rock and roll
So put another dime in the jukebox, baby
I love rock and roll
So come and take your time and dance with me
4. Def Leppard – The Golden Age of Rock ‘n’ Roll (2006)
Everybody hazy, shell-shocked and crazy.
Screaming for the face at the window.
Jeans for the genies, dresses for the dreamies,
Fighting for a place in the front row.
5. Led Zeppelin – Rock and Roll (1971)
It’s been a long time since I rock and rolled,
It’s been a long time since I did the Stroll.
Ooh, let me get it back, let me get it back,
Let me get it back, baby, where I come from.
6. Billy Joel – It’s Still Rock and Roll to Me (1980)
Nowadays you can’t be too sentimental
Your best bet’s a true baby blue Continental.”
Hot funk, cool punk, even if it’s old junk
It’s still rock and roll to me
7. Kiss – Rock’n Roll All Night (1975)
You show us everything you’ve got
You keep on dancing and the room gets hot
You drive us wild, we’ll drive you crazy
8. The Ramones – Rock & Roll High School (1980)
Well I don’t care about history
Rock, rock, rock’n’roll high school
‘Cause that’s not where I wanna be
Rock, rock, rock’n’roll high school
9. AC/DC – Rock & Roll Ain’t Noise Pollution (1980)
Heavy decibels bells are playing on my guitar
We got vibrations comin’ up from the floor
We’re just listenin’ to the rock
That’s givin’ too much noise
Are you deaf you wanna hear some more
10. Rainbow – If You Don’t Like Rock & Roll (1979)
You’d never know there was some music playin’
Until you talked your way inside the door
And then a sound like rollin’ thunder
Begins to push you right thru the floor