Ten Greatest Rock & Roll Songs With Words “Rock and Roll” In Title
Fall Out Boy gets it.
The band’s latest album, Save Rock and Roll, came out in April and went straight to number one. During interviews promoting the opus and upcoming Fall Out Boy concerts, members of the Illinois quartet, in particular Pete Wentz, have shown that they know exactly what rock and roll is all about.
Wentz was recently quoted as saying “rock has become this quiet and quaint little thing.” He then goes onto explain that rock and roll needs saving and he hopes Fall Out Boy can do so by inspiring “an attitude of fun, danger.” Wentz is absolutely right. Rock and roll is loud, destructive, rebellious, and a whole lot of fun. When it loses any of those attributes it stops becoming rock and roll and becomes something else. Bottom line, Wentz and his band mates know the true definition of rock and roll. They know rock and roll isn’t necessarily guitar riffs and drum beats but as Wentz said “an attitude of fun [and] danger.”
Fall Out Boy isn’t going to save rock and roll although they’re pretty good live. If you have a chance to get Fall Out Boy tickets make sure you take it. You can also catch Fall Out Boy in Lowell, Massachusetts on Sept. 6; Fall Out Boy in Brooklyn, New York on Sept. 7; and Fall Out Boy in San Francisco, California on Sept. 21. Why can’t they save it? For one, their latest album, the one titled Save Rock and Roll, is more pop than rock. So, if they can’t save it who can?
We have no idea, however we do know all about great rock and roll of the past—the type of music Wentz said is no longer being made. Below, are the ten greatest rock and roll songs that contain the words “rock and roll” in their title. Interestingly, the band that inspired this list, Fall Out Boy, didn’t make the cut. The title track of their latest album, which happens to feature Elton John, is good but nowhere near as good as the following ten songs.
10. "Rock and Roll Never Forgets"
Our first selection may be our most controversial. We picked Bob Seger’s “Rock and Roll Never Forgets” over “Old Time Rock and Roll” because the latter has been covered so many times that it has rendered the original version impotent. Also, Seger’s “Rock and Roll Never Forgets” is a headier song that teaches you that even though you’re too old to rock and roll all the time, you’re never too old to rock and roll some of the time
9. "Rock and Roll Ain’t Noise Pollution"
Maybe it’s not the best song ever written, but there’s certainly no better beginning to a rock track than the opening few bars of AC/DC’s “Rock and Roll Ain’t Noise Pollution.” The song and its poor grammar are the final track of the band’s seminal 1980 album Back in Black as well as its fourth single. During the song, Brian Johnson sums up our favorite musical genre succinctly and articulately by crooning: “rock ‘n’ roll ain’t no riddle man.”
8. “Rock and Roll Fantasy”
“Rock and Roll Fantasy,” and the 1979 album it opens, Desolation Angels, are really Bad Company’s swan song. The single peaked at number 13 and the album at number 3—the band never came close to equaling that type of success again. The song, written by Paul Rodgers, daringly describe just about everyone’s rock and roll fantasy: loud music, dancing in the aisles, and you mother disapproving of your debauchery.
7. “Rock and Roll Hoochie Koo”
“Rock and Roll Hoochie Koo” was the first song Rick Derringer wrote for Johnny Winter. Winter recorded it in 1970 and then Derringer recorded it in 1973. Derringer’s version did much better as it peaked at number 23—Winter thought the song was a little corny. Derringer said the “rock and roll” part came about because that’s what he was supposed to be brining to the mix while the “hoochie koo” part was inspired by Winter’s standing as a blues idol.
6. "Rock and Roll All Nite"
The rock anthem “Rock and Roll All Nite” is KISS’ most identifiable song and since 1976 the closing number of every one of their concerts. The song was written with alacrity by Paul Stanley and Gene Simmons at the behest of the head of their record label. He wanted Stanley and Simmons to write a rock anthem. Boy did KISS deliver. “Rock and Roll All Nite” is one of the greatest rock anthems to ever come out of a guitar. The song speaks to everyone who appreciates the schedule of rocking and rolling all night and partying every day.
5. "Rock and Roll Suicide"
David Bowie’s “Rock and Roll Suicide” is the best written song on our list and the least rock and roll. Some might even call it a show tune. If so, then why is it included? Besides being a masterpiece, “Rock and Roll Suicide” deals with that timeless question of what happens to rock and rollers when they get old. “You’re too old to lose it, too young to choose it/And the clocks waits so patiently on your song/You walk past a cafe but you don’t eat when you’ve lived too long.” “Rock and Roll Suicide” is the last song on Bowie’s “Ziggy Stardust” album.
4. “Rock and Roll”
“Rock and Roll” is one of Led Zeppelin’s most popular tracks and one of the few where all four members of the band share songwriting credits. Zep stumbled onto this song while recording “Four Sticks.” During a break, John Bonham started playing a beat that inspired Jimmy Page to start playing a riff. Tapes were rolling and in a manner of minutes they had the basis for one of the greatest rock and roll songs in the history of humanity. The song’s structure follows the tried and true rock cliché of the 12-bar blues and while bawling out the lyrics singer Robert Plant mentions three classic rock songs: "The Stroll," "The Book of Love," and "Walking In the Moonlight."
3. “Rock And Roll Music”
Chuck Berry wrote “Rock and Roll Music.” His original 1957 version went to number six on the singles chart. The Beach Boys covered the song in 1976 and their version peaked at one better. Of course, the most well-known edition of this song, and a version that fooled many into thinking it was the original, was by The Beatles. Their take on “Rock and Roll Music” appeared on their 1964 album Beatles For Sale. This classic rock and roll song has also been covered by REO Speedwagon and Humble Pie.
2. “I Love Rock and Roll”
“I Love Rock and Roll” is the quintessential rock and roll song. Three chords supported by simple lyrics about a rocker trying to get a “dance” with a perspective paramour. Most people don’t realize that this is not a Joan Jett song although her 1981 cover is by far the most successful and popular version. The original was recorded by Arrows in 1975. We think Fall Out Boy should play this song during their live shows. Think about it when Fall Out Boy performs in Dallas on June 8 or when Fall Out Boy rocks Las Vegas on June 15. Co-songwriter Alan Merrill said he wrote the song as a reaction to first hearing our number one selection…
1. “It’s Only Rock ‘N Roll (But I Like It)”
Although it’s credited to Mick Jagger and Keith Richards, the former composed this classic rock and roll tune in response to critics chirping about The Rolling Stones’ new stuff not being as good as their old stuff. It was also Jagger’s answer to pundits who took the band way too seriously. Jagger originally recorded the song at Ron Wood’s house (long before he was a Stone). Bowie sang backup, the great Willie Weeks played bass, and Kenny Jones, future member of The Who and former member of Small Faces and Faces, played drums. “It’s Only Rock ‘N Roll (But I Like It)” perfectly sums up the genre. Rock and roll isn’t much but it’s still very affable. Leave it to the greatest rock and roll band to write the greatest rock and roll song.
By David B.>