1. Life on Mars, by David Bowie
I know that David Bowie week is over, but I can't help myself. The man has just way too much good music for me to just let it all go that quickly. Life on Mars is an absolutely FANTASTIC piano ballad backed by a string section. It is an impacting song about the effect of the media on young people still forming their opinions of the world around them. Incidentally, Yes keyboardist Rick Wakeman played the piano on the recording of the track.
2. Shake My Tree, by Coverdale-Page
The 1993 collaboration between Led Zeppelin's Jimmy Page and Deep Purple and Whitesnake's David Coverdale in my opinion is one of the most absolute under rated collaborations to ever happen. It had all the best elements of rock n' roll. This is nowhere more present than Shake My Tree, the opening track of their only album. It blends 12 string acoustic, punching electric, and harmonicas with Coverdale's howls in all the best ways possible.
3. Nights in White Satin, by The Moody Blues
This is some powerful stuff, right here. It's mid-late 60's psychedelic rock at its absolute finest. There are so many different musical layers to it while at the same time the lyrics are immensely emotional and sang with so much passion while backed by what at least sounds like a choir. The verses are pretty soft and backed with synth/strings but when that chorus kicks in - BAM. It hits you like a ton of bricks and leaves you a different person by the time it's done.
4. Elephant, by Tame Impala
This song to me sounds like what The Beatles might sound like were they all still alive, together, and making music today. The vocals have a very John Lennon-esque quality and the music has enough of a swing to it that despite it being almost entirely synth and bass that it would still be fairly passable as a track by the Fab Four. That said, despite its Beatles influence it still has plenty of its own originality to it with some of the subtle nuances.
5. Let Me Know, by Kiss
This is by far my FAVORITE Kiss tune. It's a rather obscure one from the band's first album, but I consider it a hidden gem. It shows a LOT of Paul Stanley's Beatles influence, although the outro definitely has more of a Led Zeppelin kind of vibe to it. Either way, it features Gene Simmons singing pretty melodically, which to be quite frank is not something you hear all that often. The song is fun, upbeat, and catchy. It deserves more attention than it gets.