Someone defined “EPIC SONGS” as songs that tell you that you’re listening to or experiencing something really important. I realize that this is somewhat of a generational thing (I started listening to music in the 60’s) BUT…young people today seem to have no idea what an epic song – (a song with meaning, purpose, a message, metaphors, or whatever is all about. (I feel like I’m about to teach Rock History 201 – Epic Songs & Ballads).
I’m having trouble coming up with a list of top 10 Epic songs – but here are the bands/singers that come to mind (some of these artists put out epic ALBUMS – not just songs:
The Beatles;The Rolling Stones; The Who; Led Zeppelin; Pink Floyd; Yes; Meatloaf; U2; Chicago; Boston; Metallica; Bonnie Tyler; Bob Dylan; Black Sabbath; Lynryd Skynryd; Extreme; Red Hot Chili Peppers; Rod Stewart; Alice Cooper; Elton John; Stevie Wonder; Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band; Heart; Queen; Larry Norman; Santana; Stevie Ray Vaughan; Prince; Jimi Hendrix; Crosby, Stills, & Nash; Neil Young; Nirvana; Talking Heads; PearlJam; Counting Crows; My Chemical Romance; Living Colour; Collective Soul; Poison; Nickelback.
I’m sure I’m missing many bands that would fill the bill – after all, I don’t listen to every genre of Rock.
Music in the 60’s was often ‘epic’ in proportion because artists were singing out against HUGE injustices such as racism, sexism, and the war in Vietnam. Music of this era defined a generation (just watch today’s TV ads and every CSI opener…).
The 70’s saw ‘glitter rock’ – but epic songs were still around. Meatloaf practically invented the EPIC love song genre. (There was that whole ‘disco’ thing, but that’s because there was so much cocaine abuse…).
The 80’s, well this was an all-around bad time for music. You can thank MTV for this. There were a few ‘hair’ bands that kept rock alive though, and New Wave and Punk were an alternative.
The 90’s saw a resurgence of bands with a heart/cause. ‘Stickin’ it to the man’ or simply rejecting what ‘the man’ was offering made it’s way back into the mainstream of music culture.
The 00’s, frankly there’s too many bands and genres of music out now to even try and keep track of anything of epic proportion. Thanks to the Internet, I can have a 1000 favorite bands – which usually means I like a thousand different songs. Truthfully, how many of you really have a Band/Artist where you consistently like the music they produce; listen to all the songs on one of their albums (period), or will sit and listen to an album from start to finish (no skipping tracks, no shuffle mode). Have you ever heard the concept of a ‘concept album’???
Try listening to ‘side 2’ of the Beatles “Abbey Road” album sometime. Of course, how can you tell where ‘side 2’ starts when you’re listening on CD??? Or try syncing Pink Floyd’s “Dark Side of the Moon” to “The Wizard of OZ” and enjoy the similarities – then try to figure out if this was coincidence or planned. Ever hear of ‘back masking’? How do you get your iPod to play a song backwards???
I need to sleep on my top 10 list, there’s so many from which to choose. It’s a nice stroll down memory lane though, and I am thankful for youtube!!!