The 30 Best Rock Songs That You Need To Have

Updated on May 1, 2024

Do you love rock music and want to add more songs to your playlist? This article has you covered! We've picked out the 30 best rock songs that you need to have.

Get ready to rock out and discover new favorites as we take you on a trip through the best rock songs ever. 

1. “Mr. Brightside” by The Killers

“Mr. Brightside” came out in 2003 and it became a huge hit for The Killers.

It is a mix of pop and rock sounds that will make you want to move your body. 

The song has a catchy rhythm, cool guitar parts, and strong vocals from the lead singer, Brandon Flowers. 

Its lyrics speak of being heartbroken because of a love deception.

“Mr. Brightside” will make you feel excited and remember good times. 

2. “Beggin'” by Måneskin

"Beggin'" is a pumped-up rock cover by an Italian band called Måneskin. 

They took a song by The Four Seasons and made it electric and modern. 

It has a wild energy, with crunchy guitars, Damiano's huge vocals, and strong beats.

The verses talk about begging for someone to love you and show you they care.

This track is raw and real, and you can tell they love playing it loud. 

“Beggin'” makes you feel alive, like you want to break free and rock out.

3. “Psycho Killer” by Talking Heads

This is a super cool rock song that mixes punk and new wave in a way that nobody else could. 

It came out in 1977 and is still one of Talking Heads' most famous songs.

“Psycho Killer” has a dark and catchy feeling, with a thumping bassline, and guitar parts that stick in your head.

The lyrics are like a look inside the mind of a mysterious person, speaking of fear and loneliness.

"Psycho Killer" is creepy and thrilling at the same time, and makes you think about the hidden parts of people.

4. “Don't Cry” by Guns N' Roses

"Don't Cry" is a sad and rocking love song by Guns N' Roses. 

The guitars wail and sing along with Axl's powerful voice, making you want to sing along even if you feel sad.

It talks about losing a love and all the ups and downs that come with it.

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Despite the years, it still endures in Rock history. As one reddit user commented “Don't cry is my favorite song of all time hands down.”

This song makes you think about the hard times in life, but also reminds you that there's always hope. 

5. “I Can't Hold Back” by Survivor

This song came out in 1984 and became a super hit.

“Can't Hold Back” is a rock anthem that encapsulates energy wrapped in a melody. 

It features strong singing, catchy tunes, and memorable guitars.

It tells the story of someone bursting with love and ready to let it out. 

You can't help but feel strong, excited, and understood when you hear it. 

6. “Lonely Boy” by The Black Keys

“Lonely Boy” is a blues-rock anthem by The Black Keys that showcases their gritty sound and infectious grooves. 

The vibe of the song is energetic and soulful. It features catchy guitar riffs, and a driving rhythm.

The lyrics explore themes of isolation and the desire for connection. 

It won a Grammy for Best Rock Song in 2012 and reached important positions in the charts.

“Lonely Boy” produces a sense of liberation, infectious energy, and a feeling of letting loose 

7. “Why Can't This Be Love” by Van Halen

“Why Can't This Be Love” is a catchy rock song by Van Halen that mixes easy-to-sing melodies with strong guitar sounds. 

The song feels like an anthem, full of life and energy. It talks about wanting a deep and real love.

It has complex guitar playing, strong harmonies, and a chorus that sticks in your head. 

This is the perfect choice if you want to find true love.  

8. “R U Mine?” by Arctic Monkeys

“R U Mine?” is a lively rock song by Arctic Monkeys that shows their bold style and attention-grabbing words. 

It has a raw and powerful feeling, with strong guitar riffs, heavy drums, and Alex Turner's unique voice. 

The lines talk about the ups and downs of love. 

A reddit user commented “It's a very popular song but for a good fucking reason it's amazing i love it.” This proves that people still love it even after a decade.

This song makes you feel excited and ready to take a chance. 

9. “Love Hurts” by Nazareth

Nazareth's version of "Love Hurts" became very popular in 1975, and it was near the top of music charts all over the world.

This is a sad rock song that makes people feel sad with its honest words and soulful music. 

It has a slow and thoughtful mood, with soft acoustic guitar, strong singing, and a catchy chorus. 

The lyrics are about the pain and sadness that can come with love. 

With this song you will feel emotionally open and understand the difficult parts of love that everyone goes through.

10. “I Need Your Love” by Boston

"I Need Your Love" is a powerful rock song by Boston that features their unique style of harmonized guitars and powerful vocals. 

It has a positive and energetic tone, with exciting guitar solos, powerful drums and Brad Delp's vocals.

The lyrics talk about wanting love and feeling connected to someone.

You must add this track to your playlist if you want to celebrate love and feel determined. 

11. “Cryin'” by Aerosmith

“Cryin'” came out in 1993 and was praised by critics, earning Aerosmith several awards, including a MTV Video Music Award for Video of the Year.

This strong rock song by Aerosmith showcases how well they can mix emotional words with powerful melodies. 

It features a mix of acoustic and electric guitars, Steven Tyler's passionate singing, and a catchy chorus. 

Its lyrics express the pain and sadness of a broken heart. 

"Cryin'" makes people feel better, gives them hope, and makes them feel like they're not alone when they're sad. 

12. “Let Me Hear You Scream” by Ozzy Osbourne

“Let Me Hear You Scream” was released in 2010 and was the number one song on the Billboard Hot Mainstream Rock Tracks chart.

It is an exciting rock song by Ozzy Osbourne that shows why he is called the “Prince of Darkness.”

The melody has a strong and rebellious feeling, with heavy guitar sounds, and loud drums. 

The lyrics tell the listener to let go of their fears and be heard. 

This song makes the listener feel strong and willing to show their inner rocker spirit.

13. “Heart-Shaped Box” by Nirvana

“Heart-Shaped Box” blends strong feelings with noisy guitar sounds. 

This is a dark and personal song with heavy guitar riffs. 

With Kurt Cobain's unique voice, and a catchy chorus, its melody will get stuck in your head. 

The verses express the feeling of weakness and the ups and downs of love and being famous.

“Heart-Shaped Box” was praised by critics, winning two MTV Video Music Awards.

14. “We Will Rock You” by Queen

“We Will Rock You” was released in 1977 and has since become one of Queen's most well-known and lasting songs.

It has become a symbol of powerful music that fills stadiums. 

This track has a strong and victorious feeling, with stomping drums, and clapping hands.

Its lyrics encourage people to come together and be strong. 

“We Will Rock You” is the perfect complement to make people feel energetic, strong and connected.

15. “Bed of Roses” by Bon Jovi

“Bed of Roses” by Bon Jovi is a beautiful love song that talks about how love can be both beautiful and hard. 

The song is slow and has a tender feeling to it. 

Jon Bon Jovi's singing is very heartfelt, and the lyrics express how he is willing to go through anything for love.

This song was a hit all over the world. It is still one of Bon Jovi's most popular songs.

Many people have even covered this song. This proves how the general public likes it. 

“Bed of Roses” is a reminder that love is worth fighting for.

16. “Crazy” by Aerosmith

"Crazy" is a rock song with bluesy influences that blends a catchy melody with a little bit of roughness. 

The song feels full of energy and rebellion, with bluesy guitar riffs, Steven Tyler's powerful vocals, and a chorus that sticks in your head. 

The lyrics tell a story about love that is exciting and unpredictable. 

It earned Aerosmith several awards, including a Grammy for Best Rock Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal in 1994. 

“Crazy” will make you feel happy and free to do whatever you want to do for love.

17. “Nothing Else Matters” by Metallica

This surprising song by Metallica, a band known for their loud and heavy music, shows that they can also play softer and more heartfelt music. 

James Hetfield's singing is not as harsh as usual, and the gentle guitar playing creates a feeling of vulnerability and tenderness.

The orchestra adds a touch of elegance to the song, but the focus is still on the raw emotion of the lyrics. 

“Nothing Else Matters” is a simple yet thoughtful song that anyone can relate to.

18. “When I Come Around” by Green Day

With its catchy melody and punk-rock energy, "When I Come Around" became Green Day's breakthrough single. 

The song's lyrics capture the frustrations and anxieties of young adulthood. 

Billie Joe Armstrong's vocals are both sarcastic and heartfelt, perfectly conveying the mixed-up emotions of the generation.

This song is a powerful mix of distorted guitars, driving drums, and catchy hooks. 

“When I Come Around” helped to define the sound of pop-punk and paved the way for the success of bands like Fall Out Boy. 

It is still relevant today, and it continues to speak to the frustrations of young people.

19. “Blame Brett” by The Beaches

The Beaches, an all-girl rock band, uses a garage rock style with a modern twist to speak out against sexism.

“Blame Brett” is about how people are often blamed for things that are not their fault. 

The song calls for more empathy and accountability from people who criticize others online.

The Beaches are part of a long tradition of girl groups and punk bands that have fought for social change. 

“Blame Brett” is a powerful and catchy call to action.

20. “Everybody Hurts” by R.E.M.

“Everybody Hurts” showed that alternative music could reach a wider audience. 

This song is about how everyone feels pain and sadness sometimes. 

Michael Stipe's soft singing and the gentle guitar strumming create a feeling of quiet sadness. 

The song builds up to a powerful emotional release in the orchestral bridge. 

Its lyrics talk about feeling overwhelmed by pain and even thinking about suicide, but they also offer hope and support.

“Everybody Hurts” became a hit on both rock and adult contemporary radio stations. 

This song showed that it was okay to be vulnerable and emotional, and it helped many people feel less alone. 

21. “Creep” by Radiohead

Radiohead's “Creep” expresses feelings of doubt and unrequited love

It combines strange sounds with analytical lyrics to explore postmodern uncertainty.

This unique style resonated with many people who felt like outsiders. 

Without losing its emotional impact, "Creep" became a pioneering song about alienation, influencing intellectual rock music after grunge ended.

22. “T.N.T.” by AC/DC

“T.N.T.” is a perfect example of AC/DC's explosive, stripped-down sound. 

LIt features guitar riffs, pounding rhythmic chords and wild vocals.

This raw intensity made it a favorite of fans and musicians.

Although the song didn't get much radio play, its fiery live performances and rebellious attitude made it a rock anthem.

“T.N.T.” proved that you don't need fancy technical skills to make great music.

23. “Knockin' on Heaven's Door” by Guns N' Roses

Guns N Roses' version of Bob Dylan's song “Knockin' on Heaven's Door” originated in a fight between Axl and a police officer, for which the musician spent a few days in the hospital.

They stayed true to Dylan's folk song, but Slash's guitar playing and Axl Rose's singing made the song even more emotional. 

This song has been a fan favorite for many years, and it shows that even punk bands can appreciate the work of great singer-songwriters. 

The band's problems made this song even more sad and tragic, and it's a reminder of how great they were when they first started out.

24. “Ghosts Again” by Depeche Mode

The 2023 rock hit "Ghosts Again" reflects on life and death, following the untimely passing of Andy Fletcher.

This song has dark, throbbing synthesizers and Martin Gore's deep voice.

The lyrics are open to interpretation, but the emotions they create are powerful and real. 

“Ghosts Again” mixes rock and electronic music to turn feelings of loss, change, and nostalgia into something meaningful and upbeat.

25. “Killing in the Name” by Rage Against the Machine

“Killing in the Name” is a powerful protest against injustice.

It showed that hard rock could be a powerful tool for political protest, and this song was more than just angry shouting. 

This is a raw and honest song that uses music to fight against corruption and apathy. 

This song helped inspire other protest musicians, who continue to speak out against injustice today.

26. “Iridescent” by Linkin Park

“Iridescent” is a message of hope and strength, even in the face of adversity. 

The song's soaring strings and Brad Delson's chiming guitars create a sense of hope

Also, Mike Shinoda and Chester Bennington's lyrics encourage people to never give up. 

This song can make you feel understood and supported.

27. “Zombie” by The Cranberries

"Zombie" is a powerful rock song by The Cranberries that talks about the troubles in Northern Ireland. 

It has a strong beat, emotional singing by Dolores O'Riordan, and a catchy chorus. 

The verses are calm and the chorus is powerful, showing the sadness and anger of the violence. 

This song calls for peace and understanding. 

“Zombie” became The Cranberries' most successful song, reaching number one in many countries.

28. “Sweater Weather” by The Neighbourhood

“Sweater Weather” is a chill and dreamy indie rock song by The Neighbourhood that explores feelings of love and longing. 

Its melody features a relaxed tempo, gentle vocals, and a catchy chorus that blends indie rock with R&B influences. 

The lyrics describe a desire for connection and intimacy, creating a sense of wistfulness and comfort. 

According to Twitter users, this song has impacted an entire generation and produces nostalgia in them.

“Sweater Weather” became a huge hit, topping Billboard's Alternative Songs chart.

29. “Freewill” by Rush

“Freewill” came out in 1980 on Rush's album “Permanent Waves” and has been a favorite of fans ever since. 

This song is hard to understand but makes you think a lot. 

It has complex music, Geddy Lee's cool voice, and meaningful words. 

Its melody is a mix of intricate guitar work, wildly changing bass lines and interesting drum patterns.

It talks about the idea of free choice and the responsibility that comes with it. 

This track makes you think about things, look inside yourself, and think about the choices you make in life. 

30. “Psycho” by Muse

This is a powerful and energetic rock song by Muse that features heavy guitars and strong vocals. 

The song has an aggressive and rebellious feel, and it criticizes the influence of mass media and the way society is controlled. 

For some Twitter users it is one of the best songs ever and makes them feel different emotions.

“Psycho” makes you feel excited and rebellious, and it encourages you to fight against the system.

In conclusion, building a rock music collection is like taking a trip through time, filled with both old favorites and new discoveries. By adding these 30 great rock songs to your playlist, you'll have a mix of songs from different periods and styles of rock music. So, turn up the volume and let yourself be carried away by the music.