VH1’s Greatest Hard Rock Songs to Add to a Party Playlist

Last Updated: August 2, 2023 | Written by Matthew Campbell (Editor of My Wedding Songs and wedding DJ)

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VH1 is an authority in the music industry. They compiled a list of the greatest hard rock songs. We thought we would share the top 10.

What is the difference between rock and hard rock? Hard rock is a bit more angry singing, has a significant guitar interlude, and has a faster tempo.

The hard rock songs span from the late 1960s through today. We wouldn’t argue with any song on the list.

Top 10 Hard Rock Songs

Music groups that were popular in the 1970s when the songs were released include Van Halen (with David Lee Roth as the lead singer), and Aerosmith (with Steven Tyler as the lead singer.

He was also a featured judge on American Idol), The Who (Roger Daltrey as lead singer), and Black Sabbath (lead singer Ozzie Osbourne). Led Zeppelin closed out the 1960s with Whole Lotta Love (Robert Plant as lead singer).

The 1980s included Motorhead (Ian Fraser Kilmister as lead singer), AC/DC (lead singer Bon Scott), and Guns N’ Roses (lead singer Axel Rose).

The list closes out with the 1990s bands Metallica (James Hetfield lead singer) and Nirvana (Curt Cobain as lead singer). I mention the lead singers in each band as they are very charismatic and are the featured artist in each band. Is there a hard rock song you would add to the list?

Spotify Hard Rock Playlist

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Best Hard Rock Songs List

Welcome To The Jungle – Guns N Roses

Released in 1987 on the album Appetite for Destruction
Genre: Rock

Most Meaningful Lyrics:

Welcome to the jungle, we take it day by day
If you want it you’re going to bleed, but it’s the price you pay
And you’re a very sexy girl, who’s very hard to please
You can taste the bright lights, but you won’t get them for free

song on Amazon

Back In Black – AC/DC

Released in 1980 on the album Back in Black
Genre: Rock

Most Meaningful Lyrics:

I got nine lives
Cat’s eyes
Abusin’ every one of them and running wild
‘Cause I’m back
Yes, I’m back

song on Amazon

Whole Lotta Love – Led Zeppelin

Released in 1969 on the album Led Zeppelin II
Genre: Rock

Most Meaningful Lyrics:

A-way, way down inside
A-honey you need-ah
I’m gonna give you my love

song on Amazon

Paranoid – Black Sabbath

Released in 1970 on the album Paranoid
Genre: Rock

Most Meaningful Lyrics:

I need someone to show me the things in life that I can’t find
I can’t see the things that make true happiness, I must be blind

song on Amazon

Enter Sandman – Metallica

Released in 1991 on the album Metallica
Genre: Rock

Most Meaningful Lyrics:

Exit light
Enter night
Take my hand
We’re off to Never Neverland

song on Amazon

Won’t Get Fooled Again – The Who

Released in 1971 on the album Who’s Next
Genre: Rock

Most Meaningful Lyrics:

Then I’ll get on my knees and pray
We don’t get fooled again, no, no

song on Amazon

Smells Like Teen Spirit – Nirvana

Released in 1991 on the album Nevermind
Genre: Grunge

Most Meaningful Lyrics:

And for this gift I feel blessed
Our little group has always been
And always will until the end

song on Amazon

Walk This Way – Aerosmith

Released in 1975 on the album Toys in the Attic
Genre: Rock

Most Meaningful Lyrics:

It wasn’t me she was foolin
‘Cause she knew what was she was doin’
When she told me how to walk this way

song on Amazon

Runnin’ With The Devil – Van Halen

Released in 1978 on the album Van Halen
Genre: Rock

Most Meaningful Lyrics:

God damn it lady, you know I ain’t lying to ya
I’m only gonna tell you one time
Yes I am

song on Amazon

Ace of Spades – Motorhead

Released in 1980 on the album Ace of Spades
Genre: Rock

Most Meaningful Lyrics:

I see it in your eyes, take one look and die
The only thing you see, you know it’s gonna be the Ace of Spades

song on Amazon

Have a song you think should be on our list of greatest hard rock songs list? Please share your thoughts below in the comments.

About Matthew Campbell

DJ, Editor, Music Lover


Matthew (Matt) Campbell is the founder/editor of My Wedding Songs from his experience as a wedding DJ. He is the author of two wedding planners: ‘Wedding Songs Planner’ and ‘The Wedding Music Toolkit’. Matt is the host of the ‘Wedding Songs Podcast’. He shares music inspiration in his weekly newsletter the ‘Wedding MusicLetter’. His articles have been published on Rolling Stone, DJ Life Magazine, and DJ Times. Matt resides in the wedding capital of the world – Las Vegas.

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