Spotify, for me, is the easiest way to make a playlist (and yes, I pay for premium) so I am limited to what is available on that service.
Now let me take you through the process.
- I wanted it to come in between and hour and an hour and half. 16 songs seems to be a pretty good number, but between 14 and 18 would have worked.
- I tried to make it semi-cohesive from one song to the next, like listening to an album.
- I wanted to hit as many decades as possible from the '70's until now (think I did that, although I'm not sure about 2000-2009).
- I wanted to run the gamut on the fringes of what I consider hard rock (subjective, I know).
- I wanted it to be something you could put on in your car and drive for an hour and not want to skip anything (again success will be subjective).
- I didn't want the songs to be obvious.
1) "Overture/The Temples of Syrinx" - Rush
I went with this because it is one of the best opening salvos of any record I know. "Overture" sets the mood and then "The Temples of Syrinx" just smashes the listener in the face.
2) "Queen of the Reich" - Queensryche
This continues the full frontal assault from Queensryche's debut EP. Most may know them from "Silent Lucidity" or the Operation:Mindcrime stuff, but before that Queensryche sounded much more like Iron Maiden.
3) "Legend of the Spaceborne Killer" - Crobot
This is the first song from a newer/current band in my attempt to dispel the myth that rock is dead. It's got a vibe that could have fit in '70's but doesn't sound dated. Just a good hard rock song.
4) "Rocket Queen" - Guns N' Roses
From Appetite For Destruction, one of the best hard rock albums ever, this is not an obvious choice. The hits have been overplayed, so I went with an album cut which is one of the best on the record.
5) "Gypsy Road" - Cinderella
Cinderella is one of the best bluesy hard rock bands to come out of the '80's and it's kind of a shame that they got lumped in with the "hair metal" moniker. While I think some of their slower blusier stuff better exemplifies them as a band, this song fits the vibe of this playlist.
6) "Wicked" - Million Dollar Reload
Hailing from Ireland, Million Dollar Reload is another current band with a new record due out in 2015. They would feel right at home among the '80's L.A. sleaze rock scene. Good song with a good hook.
7) "Apocalyptic" - Halestorm
More ammunition to dispel the rock is dead myth, this from the 2015 record Into the Wild Life. If you read this blog regularly, you know my affinity for Lzzy Hale and Halestorm.
8) "Two Minutes to Midnight" - Iron Maiden
Because it's Iron Maiden and you can never go wrong with Iron Maiden when talking about hard rock.
9) "Highway Star" - Deep Purple
The second of three songs from the '70's. Deep Purple was so influential on hard rock artists from the '80's up until today, I had to include them. "Highway Star" keeps the motor running on this playlist.
10) "Slide It In" - Whitesnake
While, again, this is not an obvious choice, this is from the album that preceded Whitesnake's 1987 record that catapulted them (and Tawny Kitaen) to the top of American consciousness.
11) "Rusty Cage" - Soundgarden
I never considered Soundgarden to be a grunge band. To me they were always more hard rock, as this song proves. There has never been any "yarling" in Chris Cornell's vocals and the instrumentation on this track is almost, almost thrash.
12) "Fire Woman" - The Cult
I don't know where The Cult falls in the grand scheme of genres, but "Fire Woman" is an excellent hard rock song.
13) "Heartless" - Heart
Again, if you read this blog at all, you know I love chicks that rock. And nobody did more to break ground for future generations of chick rockers than Ann and Nancy Wilson (apologies to Pat Benatar, but Ann & Nancy were first). While there are more obvious choices, this song fits the playlist.
14) "Rock Me Like The Devil" - Crucified Barbara
This, my first hard rock playlist, may be a little heavy on the female rockers, I think they get overlooked a lot of the time. Crucified Barbara is an all female current Swedish quartet who rock.
15) "I Hate Myself For Loving You" - Joan Jett
Because Joan Jett. That is all. Carry on.
16) "You Can't Stop Rock 'N" Roll" - Twisted Sister
What better song to end on. Rock is not dead.
Check out the Spotify playlist if you're at all intrigued.