1. Since You've Been Gone, by Rainbow
When guitarist Ritchie Blackmore parted ways with vocalist Ronnie James Dio in 1979, he wanted a singer that would take Rainbow in a more commercial rock direction. Replacing him was Graham Bonnet, who at the time was more known for doing soul/R&B type music. No song better encompasses what this era of the band sounded like than the main single that brought them the success they wanted Since You've Been Gone. It is a cover of Russ Ballard but done far better in my opinion. The opening riff is iconic and still gets the tune radio airplay today. It's upbeat, catchy, melodic, and fairly relatable lyrically. It's fun, jaunty, and will have you singing along to its chorus in no time.
2. I Just Don't Know What to Do With Myself, by The White Stripes
This song of saddening heartbreak is another cover song (originally by Burt Bacharach). What was originally a soft Motown tune is amped up and rocked out by Jack and Meg White. Oddly enough, while the volume and heaviness is raised up by a noticeable amount, the soulfulness of Jack's voice still keeps the focus on I Just Don't Know What to Do With Myself's soul oriented origins. Fans of the original version might not be too fond of this, but I still feel that the band did it justice and did a fantastic job of taking a song and making it completely their own while still staying true to the original.
3. R.I.P. (Rock in Peace), by AC/DC
If you're looking for straight up bluesy hard rock, look no further. You've come to the right place. R.I.P. (Rock in Peace) is a straight up 12 bar blues song, but with lots of distortion, heavy drums, and howling vocals. This was originally on the Australian release of the album Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap. It wasn't until 2009 that it saw release in the rest of the world on the compilation Backtracks, which featured other such rarities and gems that never saw the light of day in other parts of the world outside Australia. It's loud, it's simple, and it's fun. It's everything you want in a mid-70's AC/DC tune and more.
4. Pressure and Time, by Rival Sons
Rival Sons are a newer band formed back in 2008 in Long Beach, California. Though they are a newer band, they still sound like they came out of the early to mid-70's. However, what sets them apart from all of the other bands trying to go for a nostalgic feel is that they aren't trying to copy off of anyone. They really do have their own style and way of doing things that make them an honest and relevant band. Pressure and Time, the single from their second album Pressure and Time really gives you an instantaneous feel for what the band is about. It exemplifies all the skills and qualities that each of its members possess. It's an upper-mid tempo rocker that you can really jump and headbang to. I can't encourage you enough to give these guys a try.
5. Here Comes the Sun, by The Beatles
For those of you who like things a bit lighter, here is some Beatles for you. Here Comes the Sun is one of George Harrison's best tunes as far as I'm concerned. A lot of times I don't feel that he got enough time in the limelight. Harrison's songs are much better than some of the extra songs that were slapped on some of the records. Here Comes the Sun makes a very nice use of a capo on an acoustic guitar. The higher sounding chords and arpeggios really give the song the more positive and happy vibe he was most likely aiming for while writing it.