'Let It Be'
The title track to the Beatles' final album before their break up, 'Let it Be' was written by Paul McCartney and based off a dream the singer-songwriter had where his mother -- who had died of cancer when McCartney was fourteen -- came to him and said, "It'll be all right, just let it be."
"[It's] a kind of end-of-the-world song, really. It's apocalypse; the whole record's like that," Mick Jagger said of 'Gimmer Shelter,' a song about the Vietnam War. Does it sound familiar? The top classic rock track was also featured in the films 'Casino,' 'The Departed,' and 'Goodfellas.'
'Another Brick in the Wall, Pt. 2'
AOL Radio's 8th best classic rock song ever is 'Part 2' of a three-part series, all written by Pink Floyd's Roger Waters. 'Part 2' is a classic protest against strict schooling and shot to number-one in the UK and US -- providing the band's first and only number-one hit.
Regardless of the artist performing, a common joke a concerts is for the crowd to yell 'Free Bird' before encores. When Skynyrd played 'Free Bird' live, they usually ended their live set with a version of the rock classic that's over 14 minutes long (the studio version clocks in at 9:07).
According to an interview he did with Rolling Stone, Roger Waters was inspired to write 'Comfortably Numb' after an experience he had after being injected by tranquilizers for stomach cramps, which he called "the longest two hours of my life ... trying to do a show when you can barely lift your arm."
Despite being one of the band's most recognizable classic rock tracks, 'Black Dog' was actually written as a song that was complex enough that people couldn't dance or groove to it. Zeppelin bass player John Paul Jones gets credit for crafting the main riff.
'Sweet Home Alabama'
When Ronnie Van Zant says "Turn it up" in the beginning of the song, it was not originally intended to be included. Instead, Van Zant was just asking the producer and engineer during the recording of the song to turn up his headphone volume so he could hear the track better.
This rock classic only peaked at no. 59 on the national radio charts, but has been featured on almost every Aerosmith greatest hits and live compilation to date. 'Dream On' was originally released on the band's debut 1973 self-titled album.
The Eagles are one of the most successful recording artists of the 20th century, and this classic rock song helped them get there. The winding lyrics have many interpretations, but writer Don Henley once commented, "My only regret would be having to explain it in detail to you, which would defeat the purpose of using literary devices in songwriting and lower the discussion to some silly and irrelevant argument about chemical processes."
'Stairway to Heaven'
Originally released on 'Led Zeppelin IV,' our no. 1 classic rock song was never released as a single in the states. Although, that obviously didn't prevent it from becoming one of the greatest songs in rock 'n' roll.