Free Bird (album version)v
These first two were difficult to choose between; both have been played out equally severely. The deciding factor was that any musician who ever played local dive bars can tell you about at least one time in which this song's name was drunkenly bellowed through the smoky darkness. Musically it is fairly inoffensive (save for the overwrought dual guitar solo at the end that seems to drag on for ten minutes), but the lyrics are about as hokey and cliche as they get. No doubt Ronnie Van Zant wrote them from the heart and his death at the age of 29 in a plane crash that also claimed the lives of guitarist Steve Gaines and his sister Cassie indeed give them a measure of poignancy. but it doesn't mean this song has had more use than a public restroom.
Stairway To Heaven By Led Zeppelinv
Many Zeppelin songs could go here, but this one was an easy choice. Any song worthy of being banned in music stores (even if it was just in a movie) has to hold one of the two top spots. Long, overwrought, over analyzed and over-rated to the very end, even forty years after its release it remains almost an hourly staple of classic rock radio.
Simplistic, silly, and full of what would become heavy metal cliches, this song's lunkheaded riff is instantly recognized, and instantly annoying.
Smoker on the Waterv
Anybody who has ever worked at a music store can tell you what's wrong with this one; Richie Blackmore may have been essential in the development of the power chord with this song's opening riff, but it is amazing how many different ways it can be played incorrectly. It is not a bad song, but it is still played way too much on modern radio.
This rock anthem contains one of the most rebellious and awesome screams in the history of rock. Its impact (for me anyway) has been dulled by its association with the insufferable David Caruso and his Ray Bans. It may have made for a great internet meme, but it is not even the Who's best song.
The most overplayed song off of one of the more over-rated albums of all time, the sounds of change clanking and cash drawers opening can send many a person darting across the room to change the station, even before Roger Waters' killer bass line kicks in. DSOTM is indeed a great album, but this song is almost a parody of itself at this point.
Now don't get me wrong, I love Queen. They are one of the most influential bands of all time and Freddie Mercury is arguably the greatest singer/frontman in the history of rock. This bombastic, groundbreaking masterpiece's broad appeal is a testament to its stature, but it is another song that just gets far too much airplay. Queen have a deep and varied catalog of excellent songs, many of which are far superior to Wayne and Garth's favorite cruising song.
Famous for its no so veiled jab at Neil Young, Sweet Home Alabama is a classic rock testament to the attitude that the genre imbodies; gritty, upbeat and in your face. It is also played far too much, and one cannot help but see the irony in the song's locale, seeing as how Lynyrd Skynyrd were from Jacksonville, Florida.
Few artists have been as big a victim of their own success as Peter Frampton. "Frampton Comes Alive" set the template for live albums, and it remains an impressive listen. It was also beat into the ground, and several of its tracks could hold this spot on this list. I simply chose this track because it is the one most likely to spawn terrible covers by non-rock artists.
More Than a Feeling (album version)v
Tom Scholz' engineering prowess cannot be questioned; he recorded Boston's smash debut in his basement, an almost astonishing feat for the 1970s and long before the advent of digital home recording. Musically it is a pleasant song, with its memorable riff and swirling harmonies. Unfortunately it is also a prime example of bloated arena rock bombast.
This song put the Doors on the map, but it also overstayed its welcome. Its seemingly neverending organ solo makes it a bit tiresome, but the radio edit with the majority of it excised seems to make this song oddly worse. There are several tracks on the band's 1967debut that deserve far more attention.
L The List