Southern rock was a music genre that existed before Lynyrd Skynyrd released its debut album in 1973, but once rock fans first heard of their unique and original style, it became a staple of the American rock lover. The band released five albums before a plane crash in 1977 cost the lives of most of the band members and crew.
The band disbanded for many years until they regrouped, with the lead singer’s brother taking up the lead role.
Recommended Listening: Despite sometimes being used for the wrong purposes, “Sweet Home Alabama” is our pick if you want to refresh on some Lynyrd Skynyrd. This American patriotic song is the band’s most recognized song to date and is widely considered to be the quintessential classic rock song of all time. With a dash of southern pride and a bit of satire, this is one song you don’t want to drive without.
Jimi Hendrix is perhaps one of the most iconic and legendary guitarists, singers, and songwriters of all time. Though the musician's mainstream career only lasted for roughly four years, he quickly became regarded as one of history's most important artists and most influential guitarists of the 20th century. He was described by The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as "the greatest instrumentalist in the history of rock music."
Hendrix was inspired by rock and roll and electric blues, often favoring overdriven amplifiers with high volume and gain. He was one of the first guitarists to popularize effects such as fuzz tone, wah-wah, and phasing.
Recommended Listening: It's hard to narrow Jimmy Hendrix’s musical library to just one recommendation, but we believe the safe bet for any newcomer to his music would be the classic "Voodoo Child (Slight Return)." The song was released shortly after Hendrix's death and quickly shot to #1 in the UK. The song has since been played around 10 billion times on classic rock radio.
They are spies in the house of love. The Doors are one of those bands that somehow managed to create a completely new sound. With smooth, jazz-like tones and a true passion for timeless songs, the band is one that many fans still swear by and listen to on a daily basis, and for good reason.
Jim Morrison’s chilling poetry, combined with Ray Manzarek’s brilliant performance on the keyboard and bass, helped create some of the most unique and memorable songs in the 20th century. Unfortunately, the band broke up not long after Jim Morrison's passing in 1971.
Recommended Listening: Our two favorite Doors songs are “People Are Strange” and “The Spy.” The chilling but relatable lyrics and tones of the former are contrasted brilliantly with the more suave and mysterious feel of the latter. Give them both a listen, and you'll see how the band built such a raving fanbase.
The Stooges, also known as Iggy and the Stooges, were one of the more raw and primitive types of rock and roll bands of the '60s and '70s. Known for their confrontational shows and acts of on-stage self-mutilation by lead singer Iggy Pop, the band gained a reputation for their punk rock style and intense proto-punk acts.
The band was highly influential and inspired many other rock and metal bands (such as Rage Against the Machine and Slayer) with their music.
Recommended Listening: The band's top song is, in our opinion, "Search and Destroy," a vicious song that perfectly showcases the band's aggressive style and performance. Next time you listen to it, remember it was released in the early '70s. Yikes!
American-British rock band, Fleetwood Mac, is one of the world's best-selling bands of all time. The band created a massive international following and a unique musical style that combines rock, pop, and blues. Originally founded by guitarist Peter Green, drummer Mick Fleetwood, and guitarist Jeremy Spencer, the band went on to capture the hearts of both UK and US music fans.
The band continues to be active today and has won several Grammys and British awards for its sensational music. Their relaxed musical style helped bridge the gap between American and British music. After a recent concert, musical host Heather Keats said: "(listening to the show) was like one big party." Heather further described the experience saying: "The audience was singing along to most of the songs; everyone was enjoying themselves, including the band."
Recommended Listening: Our favorite Fleetwood Mac song is the angry yet uplifting "Go Your Own Way," which was released in 1977. The song is an amazing showcase of Lindsey's guitar skills and is probably the best song to hear after a tough breakup.