1. Home Sweet Home, by Motley Crue
This is one of Motley Crue's best known ballads and have for the past three decades used it to close their live shows. The piano is the focal point and was written and performed by drummer Tommy Lee. The lyrics pretty much convey what it's like to be so exposed to the world all the time due to vast fame and notoriety while also missing home and just wanting to be there. Like many ballads it is fairly slow paced and semi-soft, but comes to a massive climax during Mick Mars's guitar solo. I really love this song because it was a way for Motley Crue to get the point across that they weren't just about girls, parties, and vices. They actually are real people and feel things too. Such honesty doesn't appear too often in the hair metal genre.
2. No Quarter, by Led Zeppelin
This 7 minute long epic track from one of the greatest bands to ever come out of Britain sadly gets overlooked by the general public (meaning non-fans of the band) a lot in this day and age. It brings the psychedelic style of music born in the 1960's into a heavier and more intense state of being in the next decade. Vocalist Robert Plant sounds as though he is singing under water during this journey. What makes the song unique and fascinating is that while the overall tone is laid back, it still has nuances of intensity laced throughout it. The electric piano, synth, and guitars all blend together into a multi-layered masterpiece. If you have a bit of time to kill and want to try something that may open your mind a bit, give this tune a shot.
3. Everlasting Light, by The Black Keys
Now normally I'm not as much of a fan of what The Black Keys have done since they became more popular (No, it's not because they are popular. I'm not a hipster.), but this tune is one of the exceptions. It reminds me of an updated version of Mambo Sun, by T. Rex but with grittier guitars and higher pitched vocals. It has that same night time, swinging from side to side kind of vibe to it. It keeps the same overall feel to it for the entire song and does not feature much in the way of any noticeable change-ups, but that works to its advantage. It's a great way to start to get yourself moving if you're in the mood for a bit of dancing.
4. Gangland, by Tygers of Pan Tang
Time for something with a bit more balls to it. Tygers of Pan Tang were part of the New Wave of British Heavy Metal movement in the late 70's and early 80's. This band at one point featured lead guitarist John Sykes, who would later go on to join Thin Lizzy and Whitesnake. His lightning fast chops are featured nowhere better than on the track Gangland. It's an upbeat rocker that is very representative of the time and style it comes from, but not something I would call dated. Apart from the flashy guitar work the vocals aren't too shabby either. They can get high, but still maintain enough masculine grit to where the average listener can take them seriously. All in all it's heavy, it's fast, it's in your face. What more can you ask for from heavy metal?
5. Fortunate Son, by Credence Clearwater Revival
This well known hit is one of John Fogerty's magnum opuses. The chord progression is pretty simple, though it features a few simple bluesy licks here and there and packs quite a punch overall. It's the profound lyrical message and the powerful vocals that deliver them that really bring this song to the level of renown it is on. It's hard not to get pumped up and even a little angry at the establishment when this tune is cranked at top volume. Though it isn't heavy metal, I could easily see people moshing to it at a live show.