4 Eternal Classic Rock Songs from the 1970s

Some songs are forever. They will never grow old, enver die and, it would seem, they can even grow in popularity and impact over the decades. Here below, we wanted to present four such songs that were born in the 1970s but that have yet to lose any steam whatsoever. Indeed, these songs are eternal.

Videos by American Songwriter

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“Stairway to Heaven”

Led Zeppelin has many hits in its illustrious catalog, but this song is at the top. Released in 1971 and from the band’s fourth album Led Zeppelin IV, this song has inspired countless covers—so much so that this scene in the movie Wayne’s World says performing it in a music shop is not allowed. Nevertheless, the song lives on for its robust feeling, storytelling and downright stellar musicianship. And this rendition by Heart in honor of Led Zeppelin will bring a tear to your eyes.

“Wish You Were Here”

With just the first few notes plucked on guitar and you know what you’re about to hear. Released on the 1975 album of the same name by Pink Floyd, “Wish You Were Here” is a classic ode to friendship and love, mixed with distance and a forlorn feeling. In other words, it’s a pang we all know well. And it’s performed by the band with utter brilliance thanks to the group’s guitarist/vocalist David Gilmour and bassist Roger Waters. And because it presents a guttural sense that we all know well—absence—so artfully, it’s a track that stays with us … year after year.

“Free Bird”

For as long as there are live shows, this song will live. Because without fail at nearly ever single concert when there is a break in the action on stage, someone will yet out, either in earnest or as a farce, a request for “Free Bird!” But it makes sense, the track is incredible. Lush and rollicking this song from Lynyrd Skynyrd was released on the band’s 1973 album (Pronounced ‘Lĕh-‘nérd ‘Skin-‘nérd). And it’s lived a robust life ever since thanks to its southern twang, many mood changes and ability to get your blood boiling in the best of ways. As a result, the song has also been featured in a number of movies and television shows, including the classic Forest Gump.

“Bohemian Rhapsody”

Did somebody say Wayne’s World? Yes, this song was included in the super-popular 1990s movie, too. But that’s not the lone reason why this track lives on. No, Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody,” from the 1975 album A Night at the Opera, will even live on past Mike Myers’ classic film. If you were to look up the world “epic” in a music dictionary, this song would be right there as the No. 1 example. With gilded harmonies, sweeping and swelling musicianship and the dazzling skill of frontman Freddie Mercury, this song will live on into the next millennia.

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