Almanac Music: ‘Let There Be Rock’ – Songs That Reference Rock and Roll

 

Guitars outside the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Cleveland, Ohio. [Wikimedia Commons.]

 

Almanac Music: ‘Let There Be Rock’ – Songs That Reference Rock and Roll

 

Hi, Almanackers! My theme for this piece might be the ‘mother lode’ for many in terms of music listening and appreciation. This week’s article in my long-running series about key popular song themes concerns songs that in some way involve the words ‘rock and roll’, ‘rock‘n’roll’, ‘rock’ or variations on these, such as ‘rocking’ and ‘rocker’.

 

So, dear readers, please put your relevant songs in the ‘Comments’ section. Below, as usual, are some examples from me to get things (rock’n’)rolling.

 

 

‘Rock Around the Clock’, written by Max C. Freedman and James E. Myers (as Jimmy DeKnight), performed by Bill Haley & His Comets (1954)

 

From rock‘n’roll’s Book of Genesis.

 

 

 

 

 

‘Rock and Roll Music’, written by Chuck Berry, performed by The Beatles (1964)

 

A fifties classic from Chuck Berry, much covered over the years; for example, the version by the Fab Four containing John Lennon’s blistering vocals.

 

 

 

 

 

‘Rock and Roll’, written and performed by Led Zeppelin (1972)

 

One of my favourite Led Zep songs. Particularly memorable is Jimmy Page’s exciting, riffy guitar work.

 

 

 

 

‘It’s Only Rock ‘n Roll (But I Like It)’, written Mick Jagger and Keith Richards (with help from Ronnie Wood), performed by the Rolling Stones (1974)

 

Iconic Stones rocker, with a fine tinge of blues thrown into the rock mix.

 

 

 

 

 

‘Rock and Roll All Nite’, written by Paul Stanley and Gene Simmons, performed by Kiss (1975)

 

A rock anthem for many.

 

 

 

 

 

‘Rockin’ All Over the World’, written by John Fogerty, performed by Status Quo (1977)

 

I particularly liked Quo’s brand of boogie rock as a teen, and some of their songs were part of the repertoire of the high school bands in which I played, mainly, I think because they were fun and easy to play.

 

 

 

 

 

‘Let There Be Rock’, written by Angus Young, Malcolm Young and Bon Scott, performed by AC/DC (1977)

 

Had to include this Accadacca epic in my list!

 

 

 

 

 

‘Rock ‘n’ Roll High School’, written Joey and Dee Dee Ramone, performed by Ramones (1979)

 

This fabulous, hi-octane Ramones number didn’t chart in the USA. What the-?

 

 

 

 

 

 

‘Rock ’n’ Roll Is King’, written by Jeff Lynne, performed by Electric Light Orchestra (1983)

 

Catchy Chuck Berry-esque song, with a fine chorus including the wonderful, memorable line ‘Wa-ma-la-ma, ba-ma-la-ma rock ‘n’ roll is king.’

 

 

 

………………………………..

 

 

Now, wonderful readers / listeners – it’s over to you. Your responses to this topic are warmly welcomed. In the ‘Comments’ section, please add your own choice of a song (or songs) referencing rock and roll, along with any other relevant material you wish to include.

 

Keep on rockin!

 

 

[Note: as usual, Wikipedia has been a good general reference for this piece, particularly in relation to checking dates and other details.]

 

 

 

Read more from Kevin Densley HERE

 

Kevin Densley’s latest poetry collection, Please Feed the Macaws…I’m Feeling Too Indolent, is available HERE

 

Read more Almanac Poetry HERE

 

If you would like to receive the Almanac Music and Poetry newsletter we will add you to the list. Please email us: [email protected]

 

To return to our Footy Almanac home page click HERE.

 

Our writers are independent contributors. The opinions expressed in their articles are their own. They are not the views, nor do they reflect the views, of Malarkey Publications.

 

Do you enjoy the Almanac concept?

And want to ensure it continues in its current form, and better? To help things keep ticking over please consider making your own contribution.

Become an Almanac (annual) member – click HERE.

 

 

About

Kevin Densley is a graduate of both Deakin University and The University of Melbourne. He has taught writing and literature in numerous Victorian universities and TAFES. He is a poet and writer-in-general. His fifth book-length poetry collection, Please Feed the Macaws ... I'm Feeling Too Indolent, was published in late 2023 by Ginninderra Press. He is also the co-author of ten play collections for young people, as well as a multi Green Room Award nominated play, Last Chance Gas, which was published by Currency Press. Other writing includes screenplays for educational films.

Comments

  1. Gareth Meyer says

    Nice work. It’d be a long list! But I’m sort of interested in the origins of ‘rock n roll’. I came across some discussion of this recently, including in this BBC story,

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/music/articles/dc64e24d-c4e7-4e34-b2f7-e34a00ea16ad

    And take a closer look at Bill Haley’s lyric ‘one-eyed cat peeping in a seafood store’ in Shake, Rattle and Roll.

    No wonder there was another episode of moral outrage at the emergence of the rock and roll stars.

  2. Crikey … waaaay too much choice here!

    Here’s my contribution:

    Lou Reed – Rock n’ Roll Heart
    (“I guess that I’m dumb ‘cos I know’s I’m not smart/Deep down inside I’ve got a rock n’ roll heart”)

    Richard Hell & the Voidoids – Down at the Rock & Roll Club
    King Tubby Meets the Rockers Uptown – Augustus Pablo
    Rock n’ Roll Motherfucker – D4
    Toy Love – Death Rehearsal
    (“Sex and drugs and rock and roll/Were huddled together in a bottomless hole.”)

    Go-Betweens – Rock n’ Roll Friend
    The Clash – White Man in Hammersmith Palais
    (“Punk rocker in the UK/They won’t notice anyway/They’re all too busy fightin’/
    For a good place under the lightin’)

    The Clash – Complete Control
    (“We’ve got the rock ‘n roll (C-O-N, control)/That means you”)

    Mikey Dread – Rockers Delight
    Skatalites – Coconut Rock
    Generation X – King Rocker
    Patti Smith – Rock n’ Roll N*gger
    Bob Dylan – Solid Rock
    Hello Sailor – Vermilion
    (“You rock, and then you roll/You cast a shadow across my soul”)

    Dave Edmunds – I Knew the Bride (When She Used to Rock & Roll)
    David Bowie – Rock n’ Roll Suicide
    Sex Pistols – Great Rock n’ Roll Swindle
    Velvet Underground – Rock & Roll
    Motorhead – Rock n’ Roll Music

    The Yeah-Yeah’s – Rock Roll Heart Attack
    Ian Dury + the Blockheads – Sex & Drugs & Rock n’ Roll
    Soft Boys – Rock n’ Roll Toilet
    Lionel Hampton – Rock n’ Roll Rockin’ Chair

    Ramones – Sheena is a Punk Rocker
    Ramones – Do You Remember Rock n’ Roll Radio?
    Rocky Horror Show – Hot Patootie
    (“a saxophone was blowing out a rock n’ roll song”)

    Muddy Waters – Blues Had a Baby and They Named it Rock and Roll
    Wild Bill Moore – We’re Gonna Rock, We’re Gonna Roll
    Whatever Happened to My Rock n’ Roll – Black Rebel Motorcycle Club
    Who Will Save Rock & Roll – The Dictators

  3. Kevin Densley says

    Thanks so much, Gareth. for opening the batting here.

    And I’ll certainly check out the link you’ve put forward.

  4. Kevin Densley says

    Many thanks, Peter C – all I have to say is WOW – what a brilliant list! Much for Alamanckers to listen to here.

  5. “It’s a Long Way to the Top (If You Wanna Rock ‘N’ Roll)”, by ACDC
    “Rock Me”, by ABBA
    “I Love Rock ‘N’ Roll”. by Joan Jett & the Blackhearts

  6. Kevin Densley says

    Thanks, Anon – three good uns there! Two of them are iconic, to my way of thinking (ACDC and Jett).

  7. Gareth Meyer says

    I’ll still come back with some songs as well !

  8. Gareth Meyer says

    Try various formulations of question in chatGPT

    Certainly! Here are some more songs with “rock and roll” in the title:

    “Rock and Roll Dreams Come Through” by Meat Loaf
    “Rock and Roll High School” by Ramones
    “Rock and Roll, Hoochie Koo” by Rick Derringer
    “Rock ‘n’ Roll Children” by Dio
    “Rock and Roll Never Forgets” by Bob Seger
    “Rock and Roll Love Affair” by Prince
    “Rock and Roll Queen” by The Subways
    “Rock and Roll Party” by Gary Glitter
    “Rock and Roll Heaven” by The Righteous Brothers
    “Rock and Roll Is King” by Electric Light Orchestra

  9. “It’s Still Rock and Roll to Me”, by Billy Joel

  10. Kevin Densley says

    Thanks, Gareth – good stuff! (And I note that ‘Rock and Roll High School’ and ‘Rock and Roll is King’ were in my introductory material.)

    By all means, keep more songs coming!

  11. Kevin Densley says

    Thanks, Anon, for ‘It’s Still Rock and Roll to Me’.

  12. Rock and Roll Waltz – Kay Starr
    Jailhouse Rock – Elvis Presley
    Rock a Billy – Guy Mitchell
    Rock ‘N’ Roll Music – Chuck Berry

  13. “Rock With You”, by Michael Jackson

  14. “We Built This City”, by Starship (‘We built this city, we built this city on rock and roll.”)

  15. Dave Nadel says

    American Pie – Don McLean which is a history of the first decade and a half of Rock
    Anchorage – Michelle Shocked (“Leroy says keep on Rocking”)
    Don’t try to lay no boogie woogie on the King of Rock and Roll – Long John Baldry
    Schooldays – Chuck Berry
    You Never Can Tell – Chuck Berry (“Seven hundred little records, all rock, rhythm and jazz”)

  16. Liam Hauser says

    Hi Kevin,
    Glad to see you mention an Electric Light Orchestra song!

    Other songs with this theme:
    Rockaria: Electric Light Orchestra
    Old rock & roller: Kelly Groucutt
    Rock and roll fever: Orkestra
    You can dance your rock ‘n’ roll: Wizzard
    Are you ready to rock: Wizzard
    (I don’t want to) hang up my rock and roll shoes: The Band
    I’m Just a Singer (in a Rock and Roll Band): Moody Blues
    Hoochie Gucci Fiorucci mama: Australian Crawl
    Seen the light: Supergrass
    All us boys: Toto

  17. Kevin Densley says

    Thanks, Dave – some wonderful songs in your selection. I would’ve soon put forward ‘Anchorage’ if it hadn’t appeared via someone else – I particularly singled this one out, as it is, perhaps, an unlikely but highly fitting inclusion, unlikely because the song is an indie/folk number containing a memorable rock’n’roll reference.

  18. Kevin Densley says

    Hi Liam – many thanks for your bunch of song choices. The ELO song ‘Rock ‘n’ Roll is King’ was to the forefront of my mind when I made my initial selections for this rock and roll theme.

  19. Peter Crossing says

    My Daddy Rocks Me (With a Steady Roll): Trixie Smith 1938
    Which eventually led to the glorious era of Rock ‘n’ Roll.

  20. Kevin Densley says

    Hi Almanackers.

    Just a note that yesterday, while the Almanac site was down for some time, a number of your comments in relation to this ‘Rock and Roll’ post have disappeared.

    If you’re keen to do so, by all means re-post the comments that are now not there.

    Cheers,
    KD

  21. Kevin Densley says

    Thanks, Peter C, for your latest post. Wikimedia states, in connection with “My Man Rocks Me (With One Steady Roll)” (1922), written by J. Berni Barbour, that it is ‘of historical interest as the first record to refer to “rocking” and “rolling” in a secular context.’ Interesting, indeed!

  22. Rock and Rollin’ Clementine – Col Joye
    Rocking around the Christmas Tree – Brenda Lee
    Rocking Robin -Bobby Day
    Sweet Old fashioned Girl – Teresa Brewer
    Rock around Stephen Foster – Stan Freberg

  23. John Harms says

    Hi Everyone,

    Just following on from KD’s note above, about losing comments.

    My apologies for any inconvenience this caused.

    The site was to be down for a short time on Friday night, for maintenance across the whole Diskman system. James Demetrie forewarned this necessary routine maintenance earlier in the week and thought it would take 3 hours or so. The system took longer than expected to update with the techs working until late Saturday morning to get the system sorted out. It then operated in an interim mode, which for a while was slower than usual. It’s back to normal for me now.

    These updates are important. As are the times when security issues are addressed. James Demetrie of Diskman (his own company) does a fantastic job – for no charge. Which is why he’s our Number 1 sponsor, along with O’Brien Accountants.

    If you ever need any website or other services, please send me an email and I’ll link you up. James has designed websites for a number of our sponsors – Think Agri, QTRBCK – and also Almanac writers and readers.

    Cheers
    JTH

  24. Kevin Densley says

    Thank you, Fisho, for your latest selections. Fine input, as usual.

  25. That’s Rock n Roll – Shaun Cassidy

  26. Kevin Densley says

    Thanks, Willo – I remember ‘That’s Rock ‘n’ Roll’ from my teenage years – Cassidy’s version of the song reached number 2 on the Australian charts and number 3 in the USA; in other words, it was pretty big hit.

  27. Angie Baby – Helen Reddy (a real favourite of mine)

  28. Kevin Densley says

    Oh – somewhat out of sequence, I thank you, Anon, for your latest two selections: ‘Rock With You’ and ‘We Built This City’.

  29. Kevin Densley says

    Thanks, Fisho, for ‘Angie Baby’ – a good song with interesting subject matter, and a rock’n’roll reference in its opening lines.

  30. The Stroll – The Diamonds (fancy me forgetting that one)

  31. Kevin Densley says

    Thank you, Fisho, for ‘The Stroll’.

  32. “Old Time Rock and Roll”, by Bob Seger

  33. “We Will Rock You”, by Queen

  34. “Johnny B. Goode”, by Chuck Berry is about rock and roll stardom.

  35. Shane Reid says

    Not in the title Kevin, but these lines from U2’s God Part II (a nod to Lennon’s God Part I) have stayed with me… Hopefully the irony is intended!

    Don’t believe that rock ‘n’ roll
    Can really change the world
    As it spins in revolution
    It spirals and turns

    I’ve not commented before, but I love your pieces

  36. “The Twist”, by Chubby Checker
    “Twist and Shout”, by The Beatles

    The Twist was a dance craze inspired by Rock and Roll Music.

  37. “Dancing Queen”, by ABBA (“With a bit of rock music, everything is fine.”)

  38. Kevin Densley says

    Thanks, Anon, for your latest contributions – certainly a bunch of classic songs there.

  39. Kevin Densley says

    Welcome aboard, Shane!

    Really liked your comment, which focuses upon two highly interesting, relevant (theme-wise) songs. Thank you.

  40. This Little Girl’s Gone a Rocking – Ruth Brown
    The Purple People Eater – Sheb Woolly

  41. Kevin Densley says

    Thanks, Fisho, for your latest two. I have fond memories of the novelty song ‘The Purple People Eater’, as it was in my parents’ collection of ‘old’ singles.

  42. A couple from Bobby Darin
    Splish Splash
    Queen of the Hop

  43. Rick Kane says

    Hey, hey, my, my what an excellent theme.

    Here’s a few from me for starters, bearing in mind that the idea of rocknroll, as we grew up with was barely forming in the 50s and Sun Studios was critical to rocknroll’s evolution.

    So from Johnny Cash we get, I Will Rock and Roll with You, a 1978 song that remembers those origins with a bit of wit and tongue in cheek. In a less witty way on an 80s album, we get Heavy Metal (Don’t Mean Rock & Roll to Me). And from an unreleased 80s album that we only got to hear in 2014, Johnny has this song, Rock and Roll Shoes. Ray Charles did a version of this song in the 80s on his Friendship album. The song should not be confused with the Chuck Willis 50s song, Hang UP My Rock and Roll Shoes, which has been covered many times over the years, most recently by Van the Man. Finally on Johnny, the 80s was a serious period of reflection for him including the song and album, Rockabilly Blues (Texas 1955).

    two more from different artists:

    My fave VU song, Sweet Jane
    Rock and Roll (I Gave You the Best Years of My Life) by Kevin Johnson, which may be this theme’s theme song!

  44. Don’t Knock the Rock – Peter Sellers
    Twenty Flight Rock – Eddie Cochran

  45. Rick Kane says

    Some songs that kickstarted the RnR revolution:

    Saturday Night Fish Fry, Louis Jordan and His Tympany Five
    Good Rockin’ Tonight, Wynonie Harris (and then The King had a crack and whaddya know!)
    Tutti Frutti, Little Richard (with RnRs best ever lyric)

  46. Kevin Densley says

    Thank you, Fisho, for your latest ones.

    ‘Twenty Flight Rock has a special place in my heart, as it was the song Paul McCartney played to John Lennon as a fifteen year old, and led to Lennon asking Macca to become a member of the Quarrymen, which of course eventually evolved into the Beatles.

  47. Kevin Densley says

    Thanks, Rick, for some great material. I loved the Johnny Cash connection to rock’n’roll, which is perhaps stronger than would be expected. Also, I really liked the fact that some interesting and seminal 50s material was to the fore in your second comments.

    And I’ve always been a little amused that the much-covered Kevin Johnson song, ‘Rock and Roll (I Gave You the Best Years of My Life),’ is not particularly rocky.

  48. Dave Nadel says

    Kevin Johnson’s song, which really impressed me when I first heard it in the early 70s, is nothing like a rock song. Neither for that matter is Mike McClellan’s Rock and Roll Lady which came out about the same time and is also very good. It just shows you don’t have to be a hard rocker to write about rock and roll.

    In the 2000s Johnson and McClellan toured as Jam. The third member of the group was Doug Ashdown, writer and performer of Leave Love Enough Alone (Winter in America)

  49. Kevin Densley says

    Yep, Dave, the Kevin Johnson song is very much a middle-of-the-road number, a kind of ‘adult contemporary’ song; interestingly, Wikipedia (not always the Holy Bible, I know) classifies it as ‘Pop Rock, Soft Rock, Easy Listening’, which is fair enough, I suppose, though I’d probably omit ‘Pop Rock’ from their attempt at classification.

    Thanks for your interesting comments.

  50. Hey Hey My My – Neil Young.
    Apologies if already mentioned.

  51. Kevin Densley says

    Hi Dips. Good to hear from you.

    Not so many comments back (June 3, 12.21 pm), Rick Kane wittily referenced ‘Hey Hey My My’ in his opening sentence, but didn’t formally list it as a Neil Young song.

  52. Rick Kane says

    True re KJ, but I’ve always loved the sentiment of the song.

    Here’s some Oz rock:

    The Australian Rock Industry
    Suburban Rock
    Wimbledon, all by Dave Warner
    Rock N Roll City and Rock Me Baby, Billy Thorpe (& the Aztecs)
    Rock N Roll is Where I Hide, Dave Graney & the Coral Snakes

  53. Kevin Densley says

    Thanks for your latest, Rick – if I’m being honest, I’ve always found it hard to get beyond the smooth, deepish-voiced, mellow delivery by KJ to get to the guts of what he’s saying in ‘Rock and Roll (I Gave You the Best Years of My Life)’. It’s just personal opinion, I know, but I associate the song with my best mate’s dad, who often had Kevin Johnson playing when I was around at the mate’s place in my late teens; in that context, I’ve always felt it was a bit of a ‘dad song’, a song for older blokes to ruminate on. But that just me and my memories/associations…

    Thank you, also, for the Oz representation in your most recent comments. I’ll add Sherbet’s ‘Rock Me Gently’ to the Oz list – it’s a song I’ve always liked, and written by the band, as well,

  54. Rick Kane says

    Three from Steve Earle:

    Guitar Town
    Little Rock ‘n’ Roller
    Telephone Road

    Cheers

  55. “I Write the Songs”, by Barry Manilow (“And I wrote some rock ‘n’ roll, so you can move”)

  56. Kevin Densley says

    Thanks again, Rick and Anon – our list is certainly growing impressively.

  57. “The Night Owls”, by Little River Band (“They have a need to rock and roll.”)

  58. Kevin Densley says

    Thanks, Anon – the more Oz content, the better.

  59. “Freedom”, by George Michael “Brand new clothes and a big fat place on your rock and roll TV (Rock and roll TV)”

  60. “We Didn’t Start the Fire”, by Billy Joel (“Rock Around the Clock”), (“punk rock”) and (“Rock and Roller”)

  61. Blue Ribbon Baby – Tommy Sands (one of the first records I bought, the very first was Stagger Lee)
    Bloodnock’s Rock ‘N’ Roll Call – The Goons (one of the many Goons’ records I own)

  62. “Jingle Bell Rock”, by Bobby Helms (“What a bright time, it’s the right time to rock the night away.”)

  63. “Rock the Casbah”, by The Clash

  64. Rick Kane says

    Man, aint there some corkers coming through but hats off to Peter Cresswell in an early comment with his wild array of rock themed toons, including Lionel Hampton, which I have to listen to.

    Here’s a few by musicians called John:

    Rock Me Mama, John Lee Hooker
    Rock and Roll Girls, John Fogerty
    Serious Business, John Mellencamp
    Jack and Diane, John Mellencamp
    Pink Houses, John Mellencamp

    and …

    R.O.C.K. in the USA again by Mr J Mellencamp

  65. “Play That Funky Music”, by Wild Cherry (“Hey-ah, once I was a boogie singer playing in a rock and roll band.”) and (“Hey, wait a minute, now first it wasn’t easy changing rock and roll and minds.”)

  66. Kevin Densley says

    Thank you, Anon, for your most recent selections. To single out one for comment – I’ve always thought ‘We Didn’t Start The Fire’ was particularly clever in terms of its lyrics, and liked the song a great deal overall, even if Joel himself has expressed some disappointment about it, considering it to lack much of a melody. I don’t think that matters in this song, as a great melody would distract one from the wonderful cascades of language in the verses.

  67. Kevin Densley says

    Thanks, Fisho, for your latest two – on the money and interesting as usual.

  68. “Evie”, by Stevie Wright (“I got myself a couple of tickets, to see a rock ‘n’ rollin band.”)

  69. Kevin Densley says

    Many thanks, Rick, for your latest material – really liked your stuff by guys named John.

    And for some reason Kiss’s ‘Detroit Rock City’ just popped into my head! (Which then makes think of playing their version of ‘2,000 Man’ on my guitar as an eighteen year old in my bedroom – often, I used to pluck songs off records and play along while singing the lead vocals..)

  70. Karl Dubravs says

    Hey KD
    Just back from a few weeks holiday.
    Nice theme – as always.
    Not sure if these have been mentioned:
    Eagle Rock – Daddy Cool
    Rock Steady – Bad Company

  71. Kevin Densley says

    Thank you for ‘Evie’, Anon – what a beauty! A dead-set Oz classic!

  72. Kevin Densley says

    Hi Karl. Welcome aboard the good ship Rock and Roll!

    Great choices. I’m particularly surprised that no-one had mentioned ‘Eagle Rock’ until you came up with the goods.

  73. Karl Dubravs says

    Perhaps another surprising ‘animal’ based rock song omission:
    Crocodile Rock – Elton John

    Another Oz addition, although somewhat vague is:
    Amazing – Alex Lloyd
    ‘When all you want to do is rock
    But you don’t want to bear the shock no more…’

  74. Kevin Densley says

    Good material, Karl – yes, ‘Crocodile Rock’ was certainly a surprising omission. I think this shows that there are still many songs to include under the broad umbrella of this current theme.

  75. Karl Dubravs says

    Here’s an oldie:
    Loggins & Messina – Your Mama Don’t Dance (1972)
    ‘Your mama don’t dance and your daddy don’t rock and roll’

    We probably best remember the 1973 The Bootleg Family version, with Brian Cadd on vocals.

  76. Kevin Densley says

    Thanks, Karl – yes, it’s The Bootleg Family version that I best remember.

  77. Rock Wit’cha – Bobby V
    Rock a Hula Baby – Elvis Presley
    Jingle Bell Rock – Bobby Helms

  78. Rick Kane says

    Rock ‘N’ Roll Ghost, The Replacements (I look in the mirror and I see a …)
    Rock n Roll Heart, Lucinda Williams (from her latest album called Stories from a Rock n Roll Heart, and while this is the only song that has the words rock n roll, every song is a hymn to this glorious bastard of a music genre)
    Rosalita, Bruce (Now I know your mama she don’t like me ’cause I play in a rock and roll band
    And I know your daddy he don’t dig me but he never did understand)
    Build this Love, Cold Chisel (for a ripper of a rocknroll band they don’t really sing about the source that much, but this song from their last album as they were in the 80s includes this line, “We can start it rockin’ with a new sensation”)
    You’re No Rock n’ Roll Fun, Sleater Kinney (They’ve hardly made a bad record over 25 years and this album from 2000 is when they’re at their prime. This song, with the chorus: You’re no rock n’ roll fun/like a piece of art that no one can touch is superb. Oh and their record label is called Kill Rock Stars – how indie rock indeed)

  79. Kevin Densley says

    Thanks, Fisho, for your most recent (trio of) songs, with Bobby V’s number being – stylistically – the wildcard of the pack.

  80. Kevin Densley says

    Your latest comments are great material, Rick – much for us to listen to and interesting to digest in general.

    Oh, and while I think of it, I’ll add Wings’ ‘Rock Show’, from the Venus and Mars album.

  81. DBalassone says

    Rock Me On the Water – Jackson Browne

    also an obscure Dylan lyric in an alternate version of ‘ When I Paint My Masterpiece’:

    “Sailin’ round the world in a dirty gondola,
    Sure wish I hadn’t sold my old Victrola.
    There ain’t nothing like that good old rock ‘n’ rolla.”

  82. Dave Nadel says

    I knew if I put my mind to it I could get a folk link. No folk songs but three songs by folk singers.
    I dig Rock and Roll Music – Peter, Paul and Mary
    Sweet Little Vera – Buffy Sainte Mary (‘Sweet Little Vera You’ll know her when you hear her Sweet little prancer Rocknroll dancer”)
    Born to the Breed – Judy Collins (“Now he’s playing guitar In a rock and roll band”)

  83. Karl Dubravs says

    Another from the early 70’s – I guess that’s the era that keeps popping back to me.

    David Essex – Rock On (1973)
    ‘Hey, did you rock ‘n’ roll?
    Rock on
    Ooh, my soul
    Hey, did you boogie too, did ya?’

  84. Kevin Densley says

    Thanks, Damian, for your two songs. ‘Rock Me On the Water’ is a much-covered, absolute beauty of a song (in fact, I was listening to it yesterday). I feel it references gospel / African American spiritual more than rock’n’roll, and the ‘rocking’ in it is more along the lines of ‘Rock my soul in the bosom of Abraham’; that said, these forms of music had their influence on ‘rock’n’roll, I believe, so the song qualifies for inclusion.

    I enjoyed your Dylan connection, too.

  85. Kevin Densley says

    Cheers, Dave. Great to see you’ve found folk links to put forward – this kind of thing adds breadth to our discussion. Thank you.

  86. Kevin Densley says

    Thanks, Karl, for ‘Rock On’, very much a song (and hit) of its era. Good one!

  87. Liam Hauser says

    When mentioning Wizzard songs earlier, I forgot to include Rock and roll winter.

  88. Kevin Densley says

    No worries, Liam – thanks for that one.

  89. Let’s have a Party – Wanda Jackson
    And a couple of instrumentals.
    Red River Rock – Johnny and the Hurricanes
    Mexican Hat Rock – The Applejacks

  90. “Sultans of Swing”, by Dire Straits (“It ain’t what they call Rock and Roll.”)

  91. “Be Bop A-Lula”, by Gene Vincent (“Let’s rock!”) and (“Let’s rock again now!”)

  92. “Twistin’ the Night Away”, by Sam Cooke (“Twistin’ to the rock and roll”)

  93. Kevin Densley says

    Thanks for your latest ones, Fisho – nice to see some instrumentals in your choices.

  94. Kevin Densley says

    Thank you, Anon, for your most recent choices. Good to see you’re keeping up your ‘batting average’!

  95. Karl Dubravs says

    The ‘rock’ in the following song has nothing to do with ‘R’n’R’, but it is a mighty fine r’n’r song:

    Cradle Rock – opening track to Rory Gallagher’s excellent ‘Irish Tour ’74’ live album.

  96. Kevin Densley says

    Thanks, Karl, for the Rory Gallagher number.

  97. “Good Golly Miss Molly”, by Little Richard (“When you’re rockin’ and a-rollin’) and (“When you caught Miss Molly rockin’ at the House of Blue Light”)

  98. “Jack and Diane”, by John Mellencamp (“So let it rock, let it roll.”)

  99. “Bony Moronie”, by Larry Williams (“Oughta see her rock ‘n’ roll with her blue jeans on”)

  100. “Rock DJ” by Robbie Williams

    Congratulations on another century by the Almanac Music Readers!

  101. Kevin Densley says

    Thank you, Anon, for your latest selections, and for bringing up our century.

    Cheers.

  102. Rick Kane says

    You might want to check KD and Anon, but I believe Jack and Diane has already been accounted for (in my Johns who rock post), taking one run off the score and in a recount, KD, you have brought up the century!

    And while I’m here:

    Rockin with the Rhythm of the Rain, The Judds, who for a moment back in the 80s surprised us with their harmonies.
    Mornington Ride, The Seekers (does it squeeze through the gate with “rocking, rolling, riding” which while it is a reference to a train moving along, is a s close as The Seekers get to rockin out!)
    A Rockin’ Good Way, Shakin Stevens with Bonnie Tyler (an old 50s song with the great line that may be an entendre: don’t come around knocking rock and roll – oh we hear you Shakin’, we hear you!)

    Cheers

  103. Luke Reynolds says
  104. Kevin Densley says

    Fair enough, Rick, regarding ‘Jack and Diane’.

    Thanks for the new additions to the list, too, and as I’ve let ‘Rock Me on the Water’ go on, I’ll let ‘Morningtown Ride ‘ on too, as the notion of ‘rockin’ is in some sense addressed.

  105. Kevin Densley says

    Particularly good pick up there, Luke! Thank you. (Your chosen song is a bit of a prog rock epic!)

  106. Karl Dubravs says

    Hey KD
    I’m starting the scrape the bottom of the barrel.
    Foghat is an English rock band that started off in 1971 & is still going.
    In 1974 they released an album & song called ‘Rock And Roll Outlaws’

  107. Karl Dubravs says

    Hey again…..in looking more deeply at Foghat’s discography, I came up on this relevantly interesting piece of info.
    Foghat’s first 2 albums were officially called ‘Foghat’ but the second self-titled album released in March 1973 is generally known by fans as Rock ‘n’ Roll, because of its cover picture depicting a rock and bread roll.
    Imagine that!

  108. Kevin Densley says

    Hi Karl – thanks for the Foghat song, and the related info.

    I have a feeling that this rock’n’roll theme will continue to grow in terms of the songlist because, when one reflects upon it, so so many songs refer to the genre through words like rock, rockin, rock’n’roll, rocker, rocking etc.

    Here’s another: ‘Don’t Knock the Rock’, by Bill Haley and His Comets.

  109. Rick Kane says

    Where would this theme be without Spinal Tap, who of course tap into the spine of rock like no other:

    Tonight I’m Gonna Rock You Tonight
    Rock and Roll Creation
    The Majesty of Rock
    Back from the Dead
    Rock ‘n’ Roll Nightmare

  110. Kevin Densley says

    Excellent, Rick – thanks for these Spinal Tap additions.

  111. Rick Kane says

    No worries, KD there’s more comin, I can’t stop thinking about songs about rocknroll, and damn you (in jest) for getting this theme stuck in my head!

    Here’s another entry: ACDC, as they have so many songs about rock which is one of the appealing things about them.

    And how does this theme reconcile with songs about rock that don’t mention any words with rocknroll in them. I’m thinking about the great Grand Funk Railroad song, We’re an American Band as an example.

    Anyways, I’m ramblin now.

    Cheers and well done to another theme that has got this fish on the hook!

  112. Karl Dubravs says

    Hey KD
    Not sure if this has been mentioned as the list to far too long to revisit – but even if it has been mentioned, it deserves to be included again….

    Stairway To Heaven
    ‘And if you listen very hard
    The tune will come to you at last
    When all are one, and one is all
    To be a rock and not to roll
    And she’s buying a stairway to Heaven’

  113. Kevin Densley says

    Glad you’re particularly enjoying this theme, Rick.

    I do feel that songs which reference rock’n’roll indirectly but nevertheless clearly, like the Grand Funk Railroad song you put forward, also fit the theme – because the actual title of this latest piece includes the key words ‘…Songs That Reference Rock and Roll’. In my thematic music pieces, i take a broad approach to what constitutes a song fit for inclusion.

    As I indicated to Karl in one of earlier comments, this rock’n’roll theme is far from exhausted.

    Your mention of ACDC reminded me that no-one has yet mentioned, specifically, ‘Rock and Roll Ain’t Noise Pollution’ and, believe it or not, ‘It’s a Long Way to the Top (If You Wanna Rock ‘n’ Roll)’.

  114. Kevin Densley says

    Thanks for ‘Stairway to Heaven’, Karl. Pretty certain it has not been mentioned yet.

  115. Karl Dubravs says

    It’s a sunny Saturday.
    A couple more that may be new to the list (surprisingly):

    Rock Lobster – B52s
    Rockin’ In The Free World – Neil Young
    Rock’n’Roll With Me – David Bowie

    Apologies if they have already been mentioned.

  116. Kevin Densley says

    Thank you for these three, Karl – I just had another look back through the list and they weren’t there.

    Our list keeps a-growin’!

  117. Rick Kane says

    Ladies and gentlemen, some more toons from The Clash:, and if any band other than Spinal Tap and ACDC were going to sing the praises of rocknroll it’s The Clash. Interestingly they’re all from the same era. And while Landau may have proclaimed Springsteen as the future of rocknroll in his memorable 1974 review, I reckon the bands I’ve mentioned here (and I’ll add The Ramones) are equal to at least, what became the future of rocknroll.

    Cheapskates,
    All the Young Punks
    Last Gang in Town
    Lovers Rock
    Clash City Rockers
    Dirty Punk

  118. Karl Dubravs says

    Yes, the list keeps growing BUT the quality is not diminishing. In fact, it’s probably getting better (IMHO).

  119. Kevin Densley says

    The Clash are always welcome, Rick, as are your comments in addition to the songs you choose – wonderful! Many thanks!.

  120. Kevin Densley says

    Karl, I agree totally with your latest comment.

    Onwards and upwards!

  121. Karl Dubravs says

    Rock And Soul Music – Country Joe & The Fish
    Performed live at Woodstock, August 1969

  122. Kevin Densley says

    Thank, Karl – yes, I know that song. Good pickup!

  123. Karl Dubravs says

    Revisiting the Woodstock era, there is the classic Joni Mitchell song ‘Woodstock’ (1970) – which also featured on CSN&Y’s 1970 ‘Deja Vu’ album:

    ‘I’m going on down to Yasgur’s Farm
    I’m gonna join in a rock and roll band
    I’m gonna camp out on the land
    I’m gonna try and get my soul free’

  124. Rick Kane says

    She Rocks, Cardinals (1950s)
    I’m a Lover, Melissa Etheridge (cover of a 60s song)
    Rock & Roll Soul, Grand Funk Railroad (1970s)
    Rocknroll Loveaffair, Prince (late era Prince, but still that wild exhilarating 80s Prince sound)
    The Road to RocknRoll, Joe Strummer & the Mescaleros (1990s)
    Start the Show, Jet (2000s)
    Baptism by Fire, Sleigh Bells (2010s)

  125. Kevin Densley says

    Thanks for your latest input, Karl and Rick – excellent as always. I love your continued enthusiastic (and informed) support of these themed musical pieces I put forward..

  126. Karl Dubravs says

    Hey KD
    Thanks for putting the themed musical pieces together. They certainly get the memory cells working in overdrive – mostly when I am not actually thinking about the topic.
    Here’s another lyric reference to the theme – courtesy of Billy Bragg’s 1988 ‘Waiting For The Great Leap Forwards’
    Well, it’s a mighty long way down rock ‘n roll
    From Top of the Pops to drawing the dole
    You’re waiting for the Great Leap Forwards

  127. Kevin Densley says

    Hi Karl – the best, most inspired thoughts almost inevitably come when one is not forcing the issue.

    Thanks for some Billy Bragg.

  128. Rick Kane says

    Great call KDu on the Billy Bragg song!

    And here’s a few mare from a happy Hawker:

    RocknRoll Ruby, Warren Smith (written by none other than Johnny Cash)
    No Sleep till Brooklyn, Beastie Boys (what, RocknRoll cited in a rap song, that’s crazy cool)
    You Can’t Kill Rock and Roll, Ozzy (and he would know)
    Longer Than You’ve Been Alive, Old 97’s (great alt-country band and great record)
    RocknRoll Nerd, Tim Minchin (let’s finish with a laugh)

  129. Karl Dubravs says

    Looks like Rick & I will keep this r’n’r theme rock & rolling along……

    Rock’n’Roll Is Music Now – from James Taylor’s 1974 ‘Walking Man’ album.
    ‘Mama knows and papa knows that rock’n’roll is music
    Rock’n’roll is music now’

    Then ‘Suite For 20 G’ (the final song on James’ excellent 1970 ‘Sweet Baby James’ album), has these lines:
    ‘Walk me down old Funky Street
    Lord knows I feel good enough to eat, now
    Hold my soul
    Now, I’m sure enough fond of my rock ‘n’ roll’

    Here’s an interesting note re Suite For 20 G:
    The song “Suite for 20 G” was so named because Taylor was promised $20,000 (about US$170k in today’s money) once the album was delivered. With one more song needed, he strung together three unfinished songs into a “suite”, and completed the album.

  130. Kevin Densley says

    Yes, Rick – you should be a (fairly) happy team at Hawthorn. The team certainly appears to be making good progress. Whereas for Catters like me, it a bit all over the place, taken across the season so far.

    Thanks for your latest entries to our wonderful rock’n’roll themed songlist.

    And beware, something daggy this way comes: ‘A Little Bit Country-A Little Bit Rock ‘N Roll’, by Donny and Marie Osmond.

  131. Kevin Densley says

    Thanks, Karl, for your James Taylor material – good stuff!

  132. Karl Dubravs says

    I note that Bob has had little to say, lyric-wise, on the r’n’r theme.
    There was ‘Solid Rock’ very early on – although the ‘rock’ in the song had everything to do with a particular religious genre (rather than a musical one).

    I have found a further contribution to the theme – which also comes from Bob’s so-called ‘religious period’:
    Gotta Serve Somebody (1979)
    ‘Might be a rock ‘n’ roll addict prancing on the stage
    You might have drugs at your command, women in a cage’

    I’ll keep delving……

  133. Kevin Densley says

    Thank you, Karl. I suppose it stands to reason that Bob has little to say concerning rock’n’roll; equally, I know it’s you among regular contributors to these themed songlists who would be able to find any Bob references to the the rock theme that do exist.

  134. Sing ! (And Tell the Blues So Long) – Johnny O’Keefe

  135. Kevin Densley says

    Thanks for a bit of JOK, Fisho.

    Interestingly, he had a TV show called Six O’Clock Rock, but we’re not listing TV titles here.

  136. Karl Dubravs says

    Hey KD
    As well as the TV show, Johhny also had a song called Six O’Clock Rock that opened the show!

  137. Kevin Densley says

    Yes, Karl – thanks for mentioning that JOK song.

  138. Rick Kane says

    Roots Rock Reggae, Bob Marley
    Rockaway the Days, Bruce
    Rockaway Beach, The Ramones
    Rockin’ Around (With You), Tom Petty
    Anything that’s Rock n Roll, Tom Petty

  139. Kevin Densley says

    Excellent again, Rick – a bunch of fine artists there.

    (Note: new theme coming up this Friday.)

Leave a Comment

*