1. Cities on Flame With Rock n' Roll, by Blue Oyster Cult
Most people who know of this song these days discovered it through the video game Guitar Hero III back in 2007. However, it is a tune from Blue Oyster Cult's 1972 debut album Blue Oyster Cult. The guitar work on this track is of course fantastic. Through both the music itself and the lyrics to a certain extent I really do get a picture of standing on top of a building in a city in the middle of the night just shredding on a guitar with fire behind me. It is a great musical manifestation of true rock n' roll rebellion.
2. Come On, by Whitesnake
I'm well aware that most of you only know of Whitesnake as the 80's hair metal band that did the famous radio hit Here I Go Again, but this wasn't always their identity. Whitesnake actually got their start back in 1978 as a bluesy/R&B type rock n' roll band when singer David Coverdale was forming a brand new project after the collapse of his former band Deep Purple two years prior. Coverdale decided to get back to his basic musical roots and from the ashes arose some EXTREMELY under rated rock music. This song Come On was one of the first songs the band did and was released on the Snakebite EP in 1978. It is a very uplifting and fun rock tune. It being a Whitesnake song, love is very much the theme of it but it isn't all soft and girly either. It's always put me back in a good mood whenever the weight of the world was getting me down and I bet it can do the same for you.
3. When the Levee Breaks, by Led Zeppelin
This is one of Led Zeppelin's more basic blues based songs, though oddly enough it came on their Physical Graffiti album; which is quite some time after they had changed their direction to more of a straight rock sound rather than their original heavy blues one that had been heard on their first couple of albums. There is some absolutely wailing harmonica that really makes the tune for me in addition to guitarist Jimmy Page's slide guitar work. The pace of the song is fairly slow, but the rhythm still thunders throughout the entirety of the track. If you want a tune that will make you air drum, you've come to the right place.
4. Hit the Road Jack, by Ray Charles
Now I know this isn't exactly a rock n' roll song by any stretch of the imagination, but Ray Charles did have a lot of influence on people who would go on to make such music. Quite frankly, if you don't know this song I would say you have been living under a road your whole life. Then again, knowing today's youth and their crap music I wouldn't be surprised if many of them didn't. The chord progression is pretty basic blues/jazz, but what was done with it was phenomenal. The singing is so soulful and passionate. You can really feel like that woman wants that dirty no good scumbag out of her house and to never come back. This is one of the few songs I would actually consider dancing to.
5. Into the Void, by Black Sabbath
For those of you who like something a bit heavier than Mr. Charles, Black Sabbath has you covered with their song Into the Void from their 1971 album Master of Reality. If you ask me, this was one of the first true long epic heavy metal songs besides a couple of Black Sabbath's earlier tracks. Sadly, this song doesn't get as much recognition as I think it should; though they do still play it at their live shows to this day. It starts off heavy, dark, and slow while set in a very minor key. Things then kick up a couple notches with the verse riff and the tempo picks up. In general this song has a lot of variety to it. It doesn't stay in one mood for too long. Guitarist Tony Iommi really shines on this track with his creativity and overall guitar chops. Singer Ozzy Osbourne's singing really does make you feel like you're traveling through space. I wouldn't say this is a moshing song, but it will definitely get your head moving and your horns raised.