Rock songs

10 Classic Rock Songs Radio Stations Need To Stop Playing Now

Land on a mainstream classic rock radio station anywhere in the US, and chances are it will sound a lot like classic rock radio everywhere else. There’s a good reason for that: in many cases, playlists aren’t determined by individual DJs or regional flavors, but by programmers or consultants. Additionally, there is an aversion to picky listeners, as there is a popular theory on radio that people will turn off things that are unfamiliar to them. In other words, radio would rather reinforce tastes than cultivate new ones.

Fred Jacobs, the man behind the classic rock format, explored this phenomenon in a piece called “The state of classic rock is….” in which he also criticized the lack of overall discovery of new music on the radio. “Radio could play a major role – albeit a different one than it played before – in curating and exposing new music,” he wrote. “But he’s so busy playing it safe – playing defense – that he’s lost sight of his unique ability to provide perspective, context and enjoyment to new and emerging music.” Jacobs went on to liken radio to pre-emptive defense in football, noting “that’s basically how [it’s] played the game against internet pure-plays since streaming became a new way to enjoy audio. Rather than continuing to play a prominent role and enjoying its ubiquitous – and gratuitous – position in the music ecosphere, radio hunkered down, played it close to the music vest, and became less and less less relevant from a musical exposition point of view. every year.”

Yet how narrow is mainstream classic rock radio these days? To establish a baseline, Salon pulled up statistics for the 71 radio stations monitored by Nielsen BDSradio that identify themselves as classic rock. For the week of April 4-10, Cheap Trick and Steve Miller Band saw obvious airplay bumps for “I Want You To Want Me” and “The Joker” (respectively), no doubt due to the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame of each act. inductions. Still, there’s clearly no correlation between artist popularity and airplay: The Beatles’ most-played song, for example, is “Come Together,” which landed at No. 178 with 194 spins, while that Elton John’s most played song was “Rocket Man”. at 139 times, which was good enough to rank at No. 286. Bruce Springsteen’s most-toured song, meanwhile — with 100 plays, good enough for No. 399 — was “Glory Days.” There were also some weird anomalies: for example, Billy Squier’s “Lonely is The Night” landed at No. 73 in the airplay rounds for the week, and placed well above its AOR and pop crossover hits. the highest.

Unsurprisingly, the chart is also a sausage fest. There are only five female musicians in the top 100: Ann and Nancy Wilson of Heart, Stevie Nicks and Christine McVie of Fleetwood Mac and Joan Jett. (Pat Benatar sneaks in at No. 118 with “Heartbreaker.”) The chart also features plenty of repeat acts. Queen and Pink Floyd each have seven songs in the top 100 streams, while AC/DC has six and Van Halen has five. Led Zeppelin, Def Leppard, ZZ Top, The Rolling Stones, Tom Petty and Journey have four songs each. In other words, just ten artists account for nearly 50% of the most streamed songs last week, a consolidation of power and influence that doesn’t promote or accurately indicate playlist diversity.

An obvious first step to improving classic rock radio is to stop treating women as novelties, a multi-step process that means upping the laps for artists it already plays (e.g. Scandal, The Pretenders, Jefferson Airplane, Janis Joplin, Pat Benatar, Lita Ford, Stevie Nicks) while adding other women to the rotation; to name a few absent artists, The Runaways, Suzi Quatro, Bonnie Raitt, Joni Mitchell, Melissa Etheridge, Linda Ronstadt, Patti Smith and Blondie. With the 90s and even modern bands increasingly slipping into the classic rock rotation, now is the time to make sure classic rock doesn’t codify itself into an even more male-dominated genre.

Adding deeper album cuts (or less remembered singles) and expanding the definition of classic rock to include more bands would also help. But perhaps more importantly, mainstream classic rock radio needs to downplay some of the staple songs that have been shot to death over the years. After all, all of these songs can be streamed on demand or recorded in MP3 format these days, making their ubiquity on the radio infuriating, if not lazy.

Here are 10 classic rock songs, all of which appear in last week’s Nielsen BDSradio Top 100, that need to be pulled (or at least severely toned down) from heavy rotation.

1. Pink Floyd, “Another Brick in the Wall (Part II)”
No. 2 – 413 rounds

While the song’s dystopian disco and anti-authoritarian vibe dovetail well with America’s political climate at the time, its overly simple themes and lyrics — not to mention the squeaky children’s chorus — ensure it needs some a pause in an intense rotation.

Increase outreach to: Superior songs from “The Wall” such as “Run Like Hell” (#132) or more futuristic and avant-garde Pink Floyd songs such as “Welcome To The Machine” (#519).

2. Lynyrd Skynyrd, “Sweet Home Alabama”
No. 4 – 407 rounds

Southern rockers seem like a two-hit wonder, the way “Sweet Home Alabama” and “Freebird” are cycled in and out of radio playlists. However, the band has plenty of other tracks in the top 1000 of the airplay charts – 12 in all – which makes even a little more parity very easy to achieve.

Increase outreach to: “Gimme Three Steps” (#242) and “What’s Your Name” (#260), or incorporate album tracks such as “All I Can Do Is Write About It”.

3 & 4. Queen, “We Will Rock You””We Are The Champions”
No. 10 — 377 turns / No. 11 — 376 turns

“We Will Rock You” and “We Are The Champions” are perfect staples for sporting events, but in the context of classic rock radio, it sounds like the equivalent of shtick. A revolutionary band like Queen deserves better than that.

Increase outreach to: The glam adorned with “Killer Queen” (#97) or “You’re My Best Friend” (#279), or singles such as “Now I’m Here”, “Play The Game” and “Radio Ga Ga”, three songs that don’t even make the top 1000.

5. Travel, “Don’t Stop Believing”

No. 17 – 356 rounds

The pop culture revival (and saturation) of this song means it’s now popping up everywhere, from baseball games to TV shows, and no longer needs to have such a dominant spot on classic rock radio.

Increase outreach to: “Stone In Love” (#370) or the cut “Vision Quest” soundtrack “Only The Young”, which was a big hit in 1985.

6. Ozzy Osbourne, “Crazy Train”
No. 26 – 341 rounds

Osbourne has had a long and storied career, both with Black Sabbath and as a solo artist, but his first solo single, which addresses the paranoia caused by the Cold War, remains his most popular. While unquestionably influential, the outsized attention given to this song made it ring like nails on a blackboard when released – sadly, as the guitar work of the late Randy Rhoads should not be taken for granted. .

Increase outreach to: “Shot In The Dark” (#414) or his duet with Lita Ford, “Close My Eyes Forever” (#761) — not to mention maybe any Sabbath song that isn’t “War Pigs “, “Iron Man” or “Paranoid.”

7. Van Halen, “You Really Got Me”
No. 35 – 325 rounds

It’s frustrating that after “Panama”, Van Halen’s most-streamed song last week is the Kinks cover. Sure, it’s the quartet’s widely known first single, but the band’s early albums boast a myriad of songs that are simply better representations of what made Van Halen great. (And the mighty “Eruption,” which often precedes “You Really Got Me” on the radio, only gets 185 rpm, so it’s not like the Kinks cover aired as an excuse to showcase talent. Eddie Van Halen’s solo.)

Increase outreach to: The Roth-era jams “Ain’t Talkin’ ‘Bout Love” (#231), “Unchained” (#348) and “Everybody Wants Some” (#451), or debut album chestnuts like “Little Dreamer” or “I’m the only one”.

8. AC/DC, “TNT”

No. 38 – 315 rounds

Aussie hard rockers are (rightly) all over the airplay charts, but the popularity of this 1976 track is a headache, as it’s not as clever or anthemic as other AC/ DC.

Broadcast for: Beloved (but still underrated) tunes such as “Whole Lotta Rosie” (#962) or “For those about to rock (we salute you)” (#224) or a (relatively) modern tune from ‘AC/DC as 1986’s “Who Made Who” (#507).

9. Eagles, “Hotel California”
No. 39 – 315 rounds

One of the other weird quirks of the playlist is how few Eagles songs made the Nielsen BDSradio top 100. There’s “Hotel California” and “Life In The Fast Lane,” then nothing until “Already Gone” lands at No. 191. Of course, the Eagles’ music is decidedly softer than most shows. radio these days, but the tight harmonies and Laurel Canyon breezes of the band’s hits are a nice antidote to aggression.

Increase outreach to: Rather than tossing “Hotel California” into the ground, swap with “Take It Easy” (#236) or “Heartache Tonight” (#367), or live favorites such as “Seven Bridges Road” (# 733) or the cover of Tom Waits “Ol ’55”.

10. Rolling Stones, “Sympathy for the Devil”
No. 89 — 260 rounds

“Sympathy For The Devil” is a dynamic album track and a seismic leap forward in songwriting for the Stones, but the impact of the song’s chronicle of evil has waned over the years in due to overplay.

Increase outreach to: “Jumpin’ Jack Flash” (#213), “Tumbling Dice” (#767) and “Street Fighting Man” (#926). Or how about adding some well-known songs that aren’t tracked on BDS, including “Moonlight Mile” or “Dead Flowers.”