Music

Ages Of Rock Stars When They Created A Cultural Masterpiece  

Mick Jacobs
8.4k views 30 items

Genius knows no boundaries when it comes to age. Plenty of renowned rock stars released now-classic music at a young age, some of them creating cultural milestones before they could enter a bar or even vote. Musically gifted child prodigies prove that sometimes genius comes to others the way it came to the young Mozart. While the rest of us entered college, the workforce, or the military, acts like The Runaways, Green Day, and Buddy Holly crafted remarkable songs and albums.

Some of these young musicians died before age 30, making the classics they created all the more valuable to the musical canon. Thankfully, other musicians on this list continued to achieve triumphs long after their breakthroughs.

list ordered by
Joan Jett is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list Ages Of Rock Stars When They Created A Cultural Masterpiece

Jett wrote the lyrics alongside Runaways manager Kim Fowley, while Cherie Curie sang lead vocals. It appeared on the band's '76 debut album.

Avril Lavigne is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list Ages Of Rock Stars When They Created A Cultural Masterpiece

Coupled with other cuts from Lavigne's massive debut, "Sk8er Boi" helped popularize the pop punk sound that reigned supreme during the mid-to-late-aughts.

Siouxsie Sioux is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list Ages Of Rock Stars When They Created A Cultural Masterpiece

Polydor eventually signed the Banshees after a bold fan spray-painted their building with the phrase "Sign the Banshees. Do it now." They then put out the group's landmark debut.

Michelle Phillips is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list Ages Of Rock Stars When They Created A Cultural Masterpiece

Though she wrote the song for another artist, Phillips and her fellow Mamas and Papas saw greater success with it when they made the track their own.

Alanis Morissette is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list Ages Of Rock Stars When They Created A Cultural Masterpiece

Before this album, with its alt-rock basis, Morissette predominantly recorded dance-pop songs.

Billie Joe Armstrong is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list Ages Of Rock Stars When They Created A Cultural Masterpiece

Since the song details someone losing their mind, the band recorded the music video at an abandoned mental health facility.

Elvis Presley is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list Ages Of Rock Stars When They Created A Cultural Masterpiece

Presley's version is a cover of a Carl Perkins song of the same name.

Buddy Holly is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list Ages Of Rock Stars When They Created A Cultural Masterpiece

Holly followed up his hit single with "Peggy Sue Got Married," which was released after his untimely death in 1959.

PJ Harvey is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list Ages Of Rock Stars When They Created A Cultural Masterpiece

At the time of Dry's release, Harvey thought this would be her only album.

Brandon Flowers is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list Ages Of Rock Stars When They Created A Cultural Masterpiece

A track which sends any dance floor into fits, "Mr. Brightside" has appeared on the UK music charts every year since its release in the mid-aughts.

James Hetfield is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list Ages Of Rock Stars When They Created A Cultural Masterpiece

For this monumental metal album, Hetfield impressively wrote all the lyrics.

Kathleen Hanna is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list Ages Of Rock Stars When They Created A Cultural Masterpiece

Technically, all four Bikini Kill members share credit for writing this song.

Paul Simon is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list Ages Of Rock Stars When They Created A Cultural Masterpiece

When the band first released the single in 1964, it flopped and led to the duo's disbandment. In 1965, a radio DJ remixed it, and that version shot to the top of the Billboard charts. Its success brought Simon & Garfunkel back together.

Rivers Cuomo is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list Ages Of Rock Stars When They Created A Cultural Masterpiece

Timed to be released with Holly's theoretical 58th birthday, the song was nearly scrapped from Weezer's debut.

Kurt Cobain is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list Ages Of Rock Stars When They Created A Cultural Masterpiece

Another legendary rock singer, Kathleen Hanna of Bikini Kill, inspired the song by writing the phrase "Kurt Smells Like Teen Spirit" on the walls of Cobain's hotel room.

Janis Joplin is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list Ages Of Rock Stars When They Created A Cultural Masterpiece

Joplin's version is a cover of a 1967 Erma Franklin song.

Brian Wilson is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list Ages Of Rock Stars When They Created A Cultural Masterpiece

Co-written and produced by Wilson, "Good Vibrations" took 90 hours of tape to get right.

Morrissey is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list Ages Of Rock Stars When They Created A Cultural Masterpiece

The single undoubtedly helped solidify The Smiths as an all-time-great band.

Jimi Hendrix is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list Ages Of Rock Stars When They Created A Cultural Masterpiece

Hendrix wrote "Purple Haze" and recorded it with his band, the Jimi Hendrix Experience, in 1967.

Bob Dylan is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list Ages Of Rock Stars When They Created A Cultural Masterpiece

This song was so influential, the handwritten original lyrics sold for $2 million in 2014.

Aretha Franklin is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list Ages Of Rock Stars When They Created A Cultural Masterpiece

Otis Redding originated this tune, but it was Ms. Franklin who turned it into an ubiquitous anthem playable at rallies, commercials, and concerts.

David Bowie is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list Ages Of Rock Stars When They Created A Cultural Masterpiece

Fully titled The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars, the album introduced the world at large to the glamorous and androgynous world of David Bowie.

Pete Wentz is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list Ages Of Rock Stars When They Created A Cultural Masterpiece

More than just a triumph for songwriter Wentz, singer and co-writer Patrick Stump thinks "Dance Dance" is "probably the best thing I've ever done."

Tina Turner is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list Ages Of Rock Stars When They Created A Cultural Masterpiece

Pushed to perfection by Phil Spector, Turner claims she sang the song "500,000 times."

Elton John is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list Ages Of Rock Stars When They Created A Cultural Masterpiece

At the time of its recording, John thought "Bennie and the Jets" was odd and fought against its release as a single.