There were many songs my bands would have liked to play but were too complex for our part time efforts. I have often been involved in discussions about what songs were the greatest. The question is; which are the 3 best English classic rock songs of all time? Here is my list.
I suggest that the top 3 are:
· Stairway to Heaven
Led Zepplin, originally formed as The Yardbirds, became one of the greatest of all English rock bands and “Stairway to Heaven” was their crowning achievement. The song anchored their 4th album which was one of the greatest selling albums in rock history. Never released as a single, “Stairway to Heaven” is still one of the most heavily requested of all rock FM stations in the world. Jimmy Page eclipsed every other solo he had performed as a member of The Yardbirds or led Zeppelin with the brilliant guitar work in this song. The song is over 8 minutes long, thus no AM radio release, begins as a slow acoustic style folk ballad and climaxes as a driving, electric, uptempo, rock classic. It would be difficult to find another rock song as intricately woven and musically complex as this one. It rises above them all!
· Comfortably Numb
David Gilmour and Roger Waters agonized over the chord progression for this song. Waters wanted the (Bm) (A) (G) (Em) progression and Gilmour wanted the (D) (A) (C) (G) progression. The result is one of the greatest compromises of rock history co-writing. The verses are in the (Bm) progression and chechorus is in the (D) progression. “Comfortably Numb” is the anchor of the epic “The Wall” album, the crowning achievement for Pink Floyd. The guitar solos of David Gilmour on this song are the best ever delivered by the band and makes it the most memorable of dozens of great Pink Floyd songs.
John Lennon wrote or co-wrote many songs with Paul McCartney as a member of The Beatles. This song, at the epitamy of his solo career, is without doubt, the best of his illustrious career as a songwriter and performer. It was the best selling single of his solo career. The song challenged the listener to imagine a world without organized religion, without a focus on possessions, without war, with a brotherhood of man, living for today. Lennon’s humanism and view of a utopian world was all revealed at its best in this classic song. It earned a Grammy Hall of Fame Award and was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame’s list of “500 Hundred Songs That Shaped rock and Roll.”