Top 10 Rock Anthems

These songs make us want to rock out. For this list, we’re basing our choices on a mix of a song’s popularity and its sing-along quality in the general rock category. We’re excluding hard rock and heavy metal tracks because they’ll be in our Top 10 Hard Rock Anthems and Top 10 Heavy Metal Anthems videos. Join WatchMojo.com as we count down our picks for the top 10 rock anthems. Special thanks to our user akt for submitting the idea on our Suggest Page at WatchMojo.comsuggest
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These songs make us want to rock out. Welcome to WatchMojo.com, and today we’re counting down our picks for the top 10 rock anthems.

For this list, we’re basing our choices on a mix of a song’s popularity and its sing-along quality in the general rock category. We’re excluding hard rock and heavy metal tracks because they’ll be in our Top 10 Hard Rock Anthems and Top 10 Heavy Metal Anthems videos.

#10: “Baba O’Riley” (1971)
The Who

While the fast-paced and rebellious “My Generation” could’ve also worked, we picked the more experimental hard rocker “Baba O’Riley” for number ten. With its unforgettable synthesizer opening, violin solo and soulful vocals, it’s often considered one of The Who’s best. And thanks to the repetition of the phrase “teenage wasteland,” the song has brought adolescents together in celebration for decades.

#9: “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction” (1965)
The Rolling Stones

After conceiving this song’s now-famous riff in a dream, Keith Richards teamed up with Mick Jagger to compose this sexually charged number. On the strength of its guitar sound, and lyrics that truly spoke to a generation, “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction” became the Rolling Stones’ first American chart-topper. Meanwhile, Jaggers’ versatile vocal delivery attracted fans around the world and has us coming back for more over and over again.

#8: “Eye of the Tiger” (1982)
Survivor

For its distinctive guitar riff and motivational lyrics, “Rocky III”’s theme song makes our list. Not only is the Survivor tune used in the film during a montage of Rocky Balboa’s multiple boxing victories, it’s also a chart-topping hard rocker that “rises up to the challenge of its rivals.” Whether you’re working out, at a show or hanging out in your bedroom, there’s just nothing that’ll pump you up like “Eye of Tiger.”

#7: “Don’t Stop Believin’” (1981)
Journey

You’d be hard pressed to find a rock fan who doesn’t recognize the keyboard riff that opens this Journey power ballad. The top 10 ‘80s hit is now the best-selling rock song in digital history. While multiple sports teams have adopted the song thanks to its anthemic nature and catchy lyrics, it’s the track’s use in pop culture and motivating lyrics that’ve really got us “holding on to that feelin’.”

#6: “Pride (In the Name of Love)” (1984)
U2

While the clanging guitars and military-inspired beat of “Sunday Bloody Sunday” make it hard to forget, it’s U2’s sonic tribute to Martin Luther King, Jr. that lands here. Thanks to a combination of rock and post-punk elements, bolstered by meaningful lyrics and a memorable melody, “Pride” showcased Bono’s incredible vocal range and the band’s musical chemistry. But it’s the number’s power and inspiring lyrics that nabbed the band their first American top forty track and has us singing along every time.

#5: “Rockin’ in the Free World” (1989)
Neil Young

Though an acoustic arrangement of this Freedom track has been released, it’s obviously the electric version of “Rockin’ in the Free World” that lands here. Written and produced by Neil Young, this politically charged track has the Canadian singer-songwriter displaying his electrifying guitar skills. Though its chorus has become associated with the fall of communism, we love it because it still rocks hard and loud today.

#4: “Born in the U.S.A.” (1984)
Bruce Springsteen

The title track to Bruce Springsteen’s Born in the U.S.A. was the singer-songwriter’s third top ten American single from his seventh studio album. With its heartland rock style and socio-political lyrics, the song has become a Springsteen classic. But it’s “Born in the U.S.A.”’s rousing chorus, memorable synthesizer riff and blasting drums, that have made it one of his most well-known tracks.

#3: “Born to be Wild” (1968)
Steppenwolf

This Mars Bonfire-penned track was originally conceived as a ballad. That obviously didn’t pan out and boy, are we glad it didn’t. By speeding things up and adding a blast of drums and guitar, Steppenwolf brought out our wild sides and earned a number two hit on the Billboard Hot 100 in the process. It also had us “looking for adventure” and wanting to “take the world in a love embrace.”

#2: “I Love Rock ‘n’ Roll” (1982)
Joan Jett & The Blackhearts


The Blackhearts’ frontwoman may not have written this love song to rock and roll, but she most definitely made it her own. With her no-BS attitude, growly vocals and killer guitar sound, Joan Jett hit the top of the Billboard Hot 100 charts with “I Love Rock ‘n’ Roll.” Come on, admit it; you can’t help but clap your hands and yell along with The Godmother of Punk when this hard rocker’s playing.

Honorable Mentions

- “Another Brick in the Wall, Part II” (1979) Pink Floyd
- “Wake Up” (2005) Arcade Fire
- “Seven Nation Army” (2003) The White Stripes
- “Free Fallin’” (1989) Tom Petty
- “All the Young Dudes” (1972) Mott the Hoople

#1: “We Will Rock You” (1977)
Queen

Though “Bohemian Rhapsody” is arguably the ultimate Queen tune and “We Are the Champions” is also a popular sports anthem, it’s “We Will Rock You” that tops our list. This mostly a capella number proved Queen didn’t even need instruments to show off their musical talents; since, aside from Brian May’s concluding guitar solo, the band only needed to sing, clap their hands and stomp their feet to nab a top ten single. They will rock us indeed.

Do you agree with our list? What is your favorite rock anthem? If you didn’t see an anthem you think should be on the list, be sure to check out our Top 10 Hard Rock Anthems and Top 10 Heavy Metal Anthems lists and subscribe to WatchMojo.com.
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