The Best of Hard and Psychedelic Rock

This article is a collaborative effort, crafted and edited by a team of dedicated professionals.

Contributors: Andranick Tanguiane, Fred Lerdahl,


The Best of Hard and Psychedelic Rock is a blog dedicated to exploring the best of what hard and psychedelic rock has to offer.

The Beatles – “A Day in the Life”

“A Day in the Life” is a song by the English rock band the Beatles, released on their 1967 album Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band. Credited to Lennon–McCartney, it was primarily written by John Lennon, with assistance from Paul McCartney. It is widely regarded as one of the greatest songs ever written and is one of the most influential works of popular music.

The Jimi Hendrix Experience – “Purple Haze”

When it comes to hard rock, there are few who can match the virtuosity of Jimi Hendrix. The guitarist completely revolutionized the genre with his revolutionary techniques and unprecedented showmanship. “Purple Haze” is one of Hendrix’s most iconic songs, and it perfectly encapsulates everything that made him such a unique and groundbreaking artist. The song features some of Hendrix’s most impressive guitar work, and its catchy hook is instantly memorable. If you’re looking for a song that truly epitomizes the sound and spirit of hard rock, “Purple Haze” is an excellent choice.

Led Zeppelin – “Whole Lotta Love”

“Whole Lotta Love” is a song by English rock band Led Zeppelin. It is the opening track on the band’s second album, Led Zeppelin II, and was released in the United States, several countries in Europe, and Japan as a single; as with other Led Zeppelin songs, no single was released in the United Kingdom. The US release peaked at number four on the Billboard Hot 100 chart and number eighteen on the US Cashbox chart. In 2010, Rolling Stone ranked it at number 75 on their list of the “500 Greatest Songs of All Time”.

Deep Purple – “Smoke on the Water”

Deep Purple – “Smoke on the Water”

If there is one song that epitomizes the hard rock genre, it is “Smoke on the Water” by Deep Purple. The song was released in 1972 and quickly became a classic. It is still played regularly on rock radio stations across the country.

The song is about a fire that destroyed the Montreux Casino in Switzerland. The casino was being used by Frank Zappa and the Mothers of Invention for a concert. Deep Purple was also supposed to play at the casino, but they were not able to because of the fire.

The opening riff of “Smoke on the Water” is one of the most recognizable riffs in all of rock music. It is simple, but effective, and it sets the stage for the rest of the song. The rest of the song is just as good, with a pounding bassline and heavy drums. The guitar solo is also excellent, and it is one of the most memorable solos in rock history.

“Smoke on the Water” is a perfect example of why Deep Purple is considered to be one of the greatest hard rock bands of all time. If you are a fan of hard rock, then this is a must-hear song.

Pink Floyd – “Another Brick in the Wall, Pt. 2”

Released as a single in late 1979, “Another Brick in the Wall, Pt. 2” was Pink Floyd’s second No. 1 hit in America, following “Money.” Roger Waters wrote the song as an attack on what he saw as the unnecessary Authority figure of teachers, and it resonated with millions of kids who were fed up with being told what to do. The track also featured one of the most famous basslines ever played, by the late, great Roger Waters himself.

The Doors – “Break on Through (To the Other Side)”

The best of hard and psychedelic rock has to include The Doors. The band, which was fronted by the late great Jim Morrison, is one of the most influential and controversial groups of all time. “Break on Through (To the Other Side)” is one of their most well-known songs, and it is a perfect example of the hard-hitting, psychedelic sound that made them so popular.

The Rolling Stones – “Paint It, Black”

“Paint It, Black” is a song by the English rock band the Rolling Stones, written by the songwriting partnership of Mick Jagger and Keith Richards, released as a single in May 1966. It was included as the opening track to the US version of their album Aftermath (1966), while in other markets, including the UK, “Paint It, Black” was the B-side to “Mother’s Little Helper”.

The song reached number one in both the Cash Box and Record World singles charts in the US and peaked at number three on Billboard‘s Hot 100 chart. In some countries, including Australia, New Zealand and Norway, “Paint It, Black” topped their national singles charts. Initially released as a mono single with “Long Long While” as its B-side, “Paint It, Black” was later issued in stereo with “STAYING POWER” as its B-side.

Black Sabbath – “Paranoid”

Sabbath’s signature tune, “Paranoid” is a textbook example of how to construct a perfect heavy metal song. Built around a simple, catchy riff and propelled by Bill Ward’s thunderous drums, the song is both dark and hook-laden, with Ozzy Osbourne’s angst-ridden lyrics the icing on the cake. It remains one of Sabbath’s most popular songs, and has been covered numerous times by other artists.

Queen – “Bohemian Rhapsody”

Queen – “Bohemian Rhapsody”

Arguably the greatest rock song ever written, “Bohemian Rhapsody” is a masterwork of operatic proportions. Combining elements of hard rock, classical music, and psychedelia, the track is a tour de force of Freddie Mercury’s songwriting and vocal abilities. The song was famously used in the film Wayne’s World, helping to cement its place in pop culture history.

AC/DC – “Back in Black”

Released in July of 1980, Back in Black was AC/DC’s seventh studio album. It was their first album without original lead singer Bon Scott, who had died six months earlier. The album was a massive success, eventually selling over 50 million copies worldwide, and is the second-highest selling album by any band behind only their own album, Highway to Hell. The title track of the album has become one of the most iconic and well-known songs in rock history.

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