Top 10 Hard Rock Anthems

These songs don’t only make you wanna rock, they make you wanna rock hard. For this list, we’re basing our choices on a mix of a song’s popularity and its sing-along quality in the hard rock category. We’re excluding rock and heavy metal tracks because they’ll be in our Top 10 Rock Anthems and Top 10 Heavy Metal Anthems videos. Join WatchMojo.com as we count down our picks for the top 10 hard 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 don’t only make you wanna rock, they make you wanna rock hard. Welcome to WatchMojo.com and today we’re counting down our picks for the top 10 hard 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 hard rock category. We’re excluding rock and heavy metal tracks because they’ll be in our Top 10 Rock Anthems and Top 10 Heavy Metal Anthems videos.

#10: “The Final Countdown” (1986)
Europe

While it’s got a great guitar solo and a terrific blend of hard rock and glam metal, it’s gotta be the Joey Tempest-written keyboard riff and soaring chorus that make this Europe single so damn epic. With David Bowie-inspired lyrics, the Swedes nabbed a chart-topper in several countries and an American Top 10. Today, it remains a staple at concerts and other public events.

#9: “Here I Go Again” (1982)
Whitesnake

Though it was originally found on Saints & Sinners, it was the re-recorded version of “Here I Go Again” that became a chart-topper in 1987. Though we certainly can’t ignore its sexy music video starring David Coverdale’s future wife, it’s the hard rock feel and the Whitesnake frontman’s upbeat, win-at-all-costs attitude that make it such a classic. Then there’s the fun-to-impersonate vocals – but if you are singing along, be careful when you get to this part.

#8: “Pour Some Sugar on Me” (1988)
Def Leppard

Surely a case could be made for “Rock of Ages,” but it’s “Pour Some Sugar On Me” that’s arguably the hard rock tune of the 1980s. By mixing glam metal with their brand of rock ‘n’ roll, Def Leppard earned a number two hit on the Billboard Hot 100. Thanks to the song’s crossover appeal, the Hysteria single also had both rockers and pop fans worldwide reaching for some “sugar in the name of love.”

#7: “Paradise City” (1987)
Guns N’ Roses

Though “Welcome to the Jungle” also gets fans riled up, it’s the synthesizer sounds and Slash-conceived riff of this Appetite for Destruction single that really makes us want to go “where the grass is green and girls are pretty.” And let’s not forget its killer guitar solo. Is it any wonder “Paradise City” became a top five track and a Guns N’ Roses live staple?

#6: “School’s Out” (1972)
Alice Cooper

While we do love shouting “No More Mr. Nice Guy,” we love yelling “school’s out forever” even more. In just 3-and-a-half minutes, Alice Cooper perfectly captures the elation that students everywhere feel when we “got no class.” Blending hardrock, heavy metal and proto-punk, “School’s Out” soon became a top 10 hit and is now a pop culture mainstay.

#5: “Livin’ on a Prayer” (1986)
Bon Jovi

It’s hard not to think of the ‘80s when you hear the talk box intro, distinctive bass line and hard rock and glam metal blend of this Bon Jovi single. “Livin’ on a Prayer” didn’t only become the band’s second straight Billboard chart-topper but also one of the band’s signature tunes. But it’s thanks to this fan favorite’s soaring guitar and rousing lyrics that it’s had such enduring success.

#4: “Highway to Hell” (1979)
AC/DC

While the Aussies acknowledged their fellow rockers in “For Those About to Rock We Salute You” and proved they could still rock as hard as when they first formed with “Thunderstruck,” it’s the AC/DC classic “Highway to Hell” that’s got our vote. Featuring a Malcolm Young-conceived riff, a steady beat and some blues mixed in with their signature hard rock sound, the title cut from the band’s sixth album always takes us on a helluva ride – and we love every minute of it!

#3: “Rock You Like a Hurricane” (1984)
Scorpions

The sound of ‘80s hard rock wouldn’t be the same without this top 40 hit. Thanks to a catchy riff and a confident chorus, the tune turned these Germans into the “Ambassadors of Rock.” Whether it’s at sporting events, in movies, TV shows or video games, the song’s pervasiveness in pop culture demonstrates the Scorpions really do know how to “rock us like a hurricane.”

#2: “Rock and Roll All Nite” (1975)
KISS

Wanna “rock and roll all night and party every day?” Then make sure KISS is providing the soundtrack. Not only does the band know exactly how to glam things up, they also know how to turn things up when it comes to crafting loud, catchy and anthemic rock numbers. But it’s live and in concert that you’ll truly experience this hard rock single in all its glory.

Honorable Mentions

- “Cum On Feel the Noize” (1973) Slade
- “Party Hard” (2001) Andrew W.K.
- “Youth Gone Wild” (1989) Skid Row

#1: “We’re Not Gonna Take It” (1984)
Twisted Sister

With its resounding beat, inspiring lyrics and a popular music video, this Twisted Sister single became the band’s first and only Billboard Hot 100 Top 40 hit. But that’s not all: while it’s considered an anthem of teen rebellion, the tune can also work for anything and anyone up for “fight[ing] the powers that be” and wants to pick his or her destiny. And who can resist chanting “we’re not gonna take it” whenever you hear this song?

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