3 Eternal Classic Rock Songs by Lenny Kravitz

The most recent American Songwriter cover star, Lenny Kravitz has always been one of the coolest people in rock and roll. Often wearing dark sunglasses with some chic outfit, Kravitz boasted a vibe that was both singular and numinous—of him and of the majesty of rock all together.

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But along with his aura, Kravtiz has written, recorded, and released some of the best rock songs of the 20th century. Songs that call out to the cosmos and yet are rooted right here on Earth. Here below, we wanted to offer three of these songs. A trio that showcase Kravitz’ rock essence.

[RELATED: American Songwriter May/June Cover Story: Lenny Kravitz Returns to His Origins on ‘Blue Electric Light’ —“It’s a Celebration, It’s Sensual and Spiritual”]

“Fly Away” from 5 (1998)

A song that was written spontaneously one day, this track from Kravtiz’ fifth studio album 5, which he released in 1998, is all about lifting off. For someone so grounded in music and American cultural history, Kravitz is also ethereal. It’s the unique blend he brings to his art form. And this song is the soundtrack to the one-half of his craft that just seems to hover above the world. This track was written after 5 was done but on the advice of a friend, Kravitz sent it to the record company, which agreed in the end to include it on the LP. It’s a good thing they did! On it, he sings,

I wish that I could fly
Into the sky
So very high
Just like a dragonfly

I’d fly above the trees
Over the seas in all degrees
To anywhere I please, oh

I want to get away
I want to fly away
Yeah, yeah, yeah

“It Ain’t Over ’til It’s Over” from Mama Said (1991)

A love song written during the time of Kravtiz’ separation from actress Lisa Bonet, this track was an attempt at reconciliation. But while the two eventually split, Kravitz was left with an exquisite song that remains powerful and touching today. The tune also marks Kravitz’s first Top-10 song on the Billboard Hot 100 and it remains his most successful single to date. On the sad solemn song, he croons over soulful guitars and weeping strings,

Here we are still together
We are one
So much time wasted
Playing games with love

So many tears I’ve cried
So much pain inside
But baby, it ain’t over ’til it’s over
So many years we’ve tried
To keep our love alive
But baby, it ain’t over ’til it’s over

“Again,” from Greatest Hits (2000)

Released as the one new song from the rocker’s 2000 Greatest Hits LP, this song won him yet another Grammy for Best Male Rock Vocal Performance—his third in a row after “Fly Away” and his cover of “American Woman.” The song is about wanting to reconnect with a person. We all have those moments in our lives—perhaps it was someone we saw on a bus or train, or perhaps it was someone we shared an intimate part of our life with. Either way, all things must fade. But that doesn’t mean we can’t lament that reality. And this is what Kravtiz does on this track, as he sings,

I’ve been searching for you
I heard a cry within my soul
I’ve never had a yearning quite like this before
Know that you are walking right through my door

All of my life
Where have you been
I wonder if I’ll ever see you again?
And if that day comes
I know we could win
I wonder if I’ll ever see you again?

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