The 100 best rock songs of the 1970s

26/05/2022

Coming off the counter-cultural revolution of the 60s, the rock and roll bands of the 1970s produced arguably some of the best music ever made.

A turbulent time in America meant US rock became music for the people. This list is chokka full of timeless songs that are just as awesome now as they were almost half a century ago.

Pink Floyd, Queen, Led Zeppelin, Lynyrd Skynrd, The Eagles and so, so many more - the 70s made bands that would come to define rock for the rest of time. Scroll through rock 'n' roll royalty and enjoy the top 100 songs of the 1970s.

The songs featured in this list have been chosen based on the international singles charts of the time, radio airplay here in NZ and abroad, and by referencing previous Rock countdowns.

The 100 best rock songs of the 1970s

  • 1: Bohemian Rhapsody - Queen (1975)
  • 2: Stairway To Heaven - Led Zeppelin (1971)
  • 3: Free Bird - Lynyrd Skynyrd (1973)
  • 4: War Pigs - Black Sabbath (1970)
  • 5: Let It Be - The Beatles (1970)
  • 6: Shine On You Crazy Diamond - Pink Floyd (1975)
  • 7: Imagine - John Lennon (1971)
  • 8: Simple Man - Lynyrd Skynyrd (1973)
  • 9: Wish You Were Here - Pink Floyd (1975)
  • 10: Khe Sahn - Cold Chisel (1978)
  • 11: Hotel California - The Eagles (1976)
  • 12: Born To Run - Bruce Springsteen (1975)
  • 13: The Chain - Fleetwood Mac (1977)
  • 14: Sultans Of Swing - Dire Straits (1978)
  • 15: Paranoid - Black Sabbath (1970)
  • 16: La Grange - ZZ Top (1973)
  • 17: Highway To Hell - AC/DC (1979)
  • 18: Kashmir - Led Zeppelin (1975)
  • 19: Baba O'Riley - The Who (1971)
  • 20: Immigrant Song - Led Zeppelin (1970)
  • 21: Comfortably Numb - Pink Floyd (1979)
  • 22: Heroes - David Bowie (1977)
  • 23: We Are The Champions - Queen (1977)
  • 24: Go Your Own Way - Fleetwood Mac (1977)
  • 25: Be Mine Tonight - Th' Dudes (1979)
  • 26: Bat Out Of Hell - Meatloaf (1977)
  • 27: Dream On - Aerosmith (1973)
  • 28: Another Brick In The Wall - Pink Floyd (1979)
  • 29: Black Dog - Led Zeppelin (1971)
  • 30: One Bourbon, One Scotch, One Beer - George Thorogood (1977)
  • 31: Layla - Derek and The Dominos ft Eric Clapton (1970)
  • 32: It's A Long Way To The Top (If You Wanna Rock And Roll) - AC/DC (1975)
  • 33: Rocket Man - Elton John (1972)
  • 34: Child In Time - Deep Purple (1970)
  • 35: Roxanne - The Police (1978)
  • 36: Gutter Black - Hello Sailor (1977)
  • 37: Have You Ever Seen The Rain? - Creedence Clearwater Revival (1970)
  • 38: N.I.B. - Black Sabbath (1970)
  • 39: Changes - David Bowie (1971)
  • 40: April Sun In Cuba - Dragon (1977)
  • 41: I Was Made For Loving You - Kiss (1979)
  • 42: Ziggy Stardust - David Bowie (1972)
  • 43: Piano Man - Billy Joel (1973)
  • 44: Somebody To Love - Queen (1976)
  • 45: Smoke On The Water - Deep Purple (1972)
  • 46: Psycho Killer - Talking Heads (1977)
  • 47: Wild Horses - The Rolling Stones (1971)
  • 48: Dreadlock Holiday - 10CC (1978)
  • 49: American Girl - Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers (1977)
  • 50: Rocky Mountain Way - Joe Walsh (1973)
  • 51: Are You Old Enough - Dragon (1978)
  • 52: Roadhouse Blues - The Doors (1970)
  • 53: Time - Pink Floyd (1973)
  • 54: Angie - The Rolling Stones (1973)
  • 55: You Took The Words - Meatloaf (1977)
  • 56: The Boys Are Back In Town - Thin Lizzy (1976)
  • 57: Thunder Road - Bruce Springsteen (1975)
  • 58: Who Are You? - The Who (1978)
  • 59: Rock 'n' Roll - Led Zeppelin (1971)
  • 60: Hold The Line - Toto (1978)
  • 61: Walk This Way - Aerosmith (1975)
  • 62: Message In A Bottle - The Police (1979)
  • 63: Just What I Needed - The Cars (1978)
  • 64: Iron Man - Black Sabbath (1970)
  • 65: Sweet Home Alabama - Lynyrd Skynyrd (1974)
  • 66: Money - Pink Floyd (1973)
  • 67: London Calling - The Clash (1979)
  • 68: Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap - AC/DC (1976)
  • 69: Cocaine - Eric Clapton (1977)
  • 70: We Will Rock You - Queen (1977)
  • 71: Barracuda - Heart (1977)
  • 72: Riders On The Storm - The Doors (1971)
  • 73: More Than A Feeling - Boston (1976)
  • 74: All Right Now - Free (1970)
  • 75: Let There Be Rock - AC/DC (1977)
  • 76: Carry On Wayward Son - Kansas (1976)
  • 77: Right First Time - Th' Dudes (1979)
  • 78: Don't Fear The Reaper - Blue Oyster Cult (1976)
  • 79: Hurricane - Bob Dylan (1975)
  • 80: Tush - ZZ Top (1975)
  • 81: Blue Lady - Hello Sailor (1977)
  • 82: Killer Queen - Queen (1974)
  • 83: L.A. Woman - The Doors (1971)
  • 84: Computer Games - Mi-Sex (1979)
  • 85: T.N.T. - AC/DC (1975)
  • 86: Brown Sugar - The Rolling Stones (1971)
  • 87: I See Red - Split Enz (1978)
  • 88: Refugee - Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers (1979)
  • 89: Feel Like Making Love - Bad Company (1975)
  • 90: Life In The Fast Lane - The Eagles (1976)
  • 91: Heart Of Glass - Blondie (1978)
  • 92: Dreams - Fleetwood Mac (1977)
  • 93: I Fought The Law - The Clash (1979)
  • 94: Hey Hey My My (Into The Black) - Neil Young & Crazy Horse (1979)
  • 95: I Heard It Through The Grapevine - Creedence Clearwater Revival (1970)
  • 96: Anarchy In The UK - Sex Pistols (1976)
  • 97: Black Magic Woman - Santana (1970)
  • 98: Old Time Rock And Roll - Bob Seger/The Silver Bullet Band (1978)
  • 99: 20th Century Boy - T. Rex (1973)
  • 100: American Pie - Don Mclean (1971)