Perfect Rock Songs

The Doors’ ‘Love Her Madly’ – Perfection

An early review of the song described it as a “terrific new rocker… sounds like it will rank among their best single songs.” They were right

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The Hollies’ ‘Long Cool Woman’: Admit It, You Don’t Know the Lyrics

It’s a song you’ve heard 100s of times. When it comes on the radio, you perk up because its instantly recognizable guitar introduces a welcome listen

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When Tom Petty Presaged the #MeToo Movement

One of the great American rock songwriters of his generation wrote and recorded a song with lyrics that seem to have anticipated #MeToo by decades

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Doobie Brothers’ ‘Long Train Runnin’: Won’t You Boogie Down?

Some fans who have heard the tune 100s of times think it’s called “Without Love” since those words are repeated many times. The unusual way it became a song

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Tom Petty’s ‘American Girl’: Take it Easy, Baby

Though the second single from the Heartbreakers’ 1976 self-titled debut failed to chart on Top 40, its story about the girl alone on the balcony overlooking US Route 441 resonates with his fans

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‘Devil With a Blue Dress On’: The Ultimate Party Song

Mitch Ryder and the Detroit Wheels teamed with Four Seasons producer Bob Crewe for the 1966 hit recording, coupled with a Little Richard classic

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Thin Lizzy’s ‘The Boys Are Back in Town’: Still Think Them Cats Are Crazy

The anthemic call-and-response chorus, sung repeatedly over a twin-Les Paul guitar riff, has to rank as one of rock’s all-time greatest earworms

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Stevie Nicks’ ‘Edge of Seventeen’ and That Chugging Guitar

The third single of her 1981 solo debut, Bella Donna, features many top-notch musicians though none stands out more than Waddy Wachtel and his chugging guitar

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Blues Image’s ‘Ride Captain Ride’: A Tale of 73 Men

The singer and the keyboardist were having trouble coming up with a lead lyric for the new song they were writing. The answer was sitting right in front of them.

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The Doobie Brothers’ ‘China Grove’: Admit It, You Don’t Know the Lyrics

The band’s Tom Johnston credits the lyrics’ imagery to a fellow musician for helping start “the thinking process with this wacky sheriff, samurai swords, and all that”

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