The Most Popular Hard Rock Song: Ranking the Ultimate Headbanging Anthem

Choose the hard rock song you think is the most popular!

Author: Gregor Krambs
Updated on Mar 1, 2024 06:11
Welcome to StrawPoll, where your opinion rocks as hard as your favorite tunes! We've compiled a head-banging list of the most popular hard rock songs, and now it's your turn to crank up the volume and cast your vote. Dive into this electrifying ranking and decide which anthem truly deserves to be crowned the ultimate hard rock masterpiece. But wait, is your go-to jam missing from our list? Fear not, rock warriors! You can suggest your own heart-pounding addition, making our ranking a true reflection of fans across the globe. So, grab your air guitars, hit the stage, and join us in determining the undisputed champion of hard rock songs!

What Is the Most Popular Hard Rock Song?

  1. 1
    This song is considered by many to be the quintessential hard rock track, with its iconic guitar riff and soaring vocals. It has been covered by countless artists and remains a staple of classic rock radio.
    "Stairway to Heaven" by Led Zeppelin in other rankings
  2. 2
    "Back in Black" by AC/DC
    Angus Young (concept) · Public domain
    This high-energy anthem is one of AC/DC's most popular songs, with its driving rhythm and catchy chorus. It has been featured in numerous movies, TV shows, and commercials, cementing its status as a hard rock classic.
    The guitar riff for 'Back in Black' is one of the most recognizable and influential in rock music. It serves as the main theme of the song, creating a powerful and memorable introduction.
    • Song: Back in Black
    • Artist: AC/DC
    • Album: Back in Black
    • Released: 1980
    • Genre: Hard rock
    "Back in Black" by AC/DC in other rankings
  3. 3
    This heavy metal masterpiece features chugging guitars, pounding drums, and James Hetfield's distinctive vocals. It has become one of Metallica's signature songs and is often played at sporting events and concerts.
    Enter Sandman is a heavy metal guitar riff that serves as the opening track and lead single of Metallica's self-titled fifth studio album, released in 1991. The riff is instantly recognizable and has become one of Metallica's signature songs.
    • Key: E minor
    • Tempo: 120 beats per minute
    • Rhythm: Power chords with palm-muted downstrokes
    • Tuning: Standard tuning (EADGBE)
    • Time Signature: 4/4
    "Enter Sandman" by Metallica in other rankings
  4. 4
    This classic rock ballad features Slash's iconic guitar intro and Axl Rose's soaring vocals. It remains one of Guns N' Roses' most popular songs and has been covered by numerous artists.
    "Sweet Child o' Mine" by Guns N' Roses in other rankings
  5. 5
    This pioneering track helped define the heavy metal genre, with its dark lyrics and thunderous guitar riffs. It remains one of Black Sabbath's most enduring songs and has been covered by many artists.
    Paranoid by Black Sabbath is a legendary hard rock song that was released in 1970 as the title track of their second studio album, 'Paranoid'. It is considered one of the most popular and influential songs in the history of hard rock and a definitive Black Sabbath classic. The song combines heavy, distorted guitar riffs, powerful vocals, and impactful lyrics, showcasing the band's signature sound and setting a benchmark for the genre.
    • Album: Paranoid
    • Year: 1970
    • Genre: Hard Rock
    • Length: 2:50
    • Songwriter(s): Tony Iommi, Geezer Butler, Ozzy Osbourne, Bill Ward
    "Paranoid" by Black Sabbath in other rankings
  6. 6
    This hard-driving anthem features Bon Scott's distinctive vocals and a catchy chorus that has become a crowd favorite at concerts. It is one of AC/DC's most popular songs and has been covered by many artists.
    "Highway to Hell" by AC/DC in other rankings
  7. 7
    This classic rock track has one of the most recognizable guitar riffs in history, with its catchy melody and driving rhythm. It has been covered by countless artists and remains a staple of classic rock radio.
    "Smoke on the Water" by Deep Purple in other rankings
  8. 8
    This hard-hitting anthem features Axl Rose's powerful vocals and Slash's blistering guitar work. It has become one of Guns N' Roses' most popular songs and is often played at sporting events and concerts.
  9. 9
    This anthemic rock track features soaring vocals, catchy hooks, and a sing-along chorus that has made it a fan favorite for decades. It remains one of Bon Jovi's most popular songs and has been covered by many artists.
    "Livin' on a Prayer" by Bon Jovi in other rankings
  10. 10
    This heavy metal classic features Randy Rhoads' iconic guitar riff and Ozzy's trademark vocals. It remains one of Ozzy's most enduring songs and has been covered by many artists.
    Crazy Train by Ozzy Osbourne is a hard rock song that was released as a single in 1980. It has become one of Osbourne's most popular and recognizable songs, known for its catchy guitar riff and anthemic chorus.
    • Album: Blizzard of Ozz
    • Release Year: 1980
    • Genre: Hard rock
    • Duration: 4:56
    • Songwriter(s): Ozzy Osbourne, Randy Rhoads, Bob Daisley
    "Crazy Train" by Ozzy Osbourne in other rankings

Missing your favorite hard rock song?


Ranking factors for popular hard rock song

  1. Sales and chart performance
    Consider the number of copies sold, as well as the highest position the song reached on music charts, such as Billboard or other national charts.
  2. Airplay and streaming numbers
    The amount of airplay the song received on radio stations and the number of streams on platforms like Spotify and YouTube can reflect the song's popularity.
  3. Critical acclaim
    Refer to professional music critics' reviews and ratings of the song, as well as any awards or nominations the song has received.
  4. Cultural impact and influence
    Evaluate the extent to which the song has been covered, sampled, or referenced by other artists, and its overall impact on the hard rock genre and popular culture.
  5. Longevity
    Consider the public's continued interest in the song over time, including its presence in pop culture, media, and live performances.
  6. Fan reception
    Factor in hard rock fans' opinions and reactions to the song, including social media discussions, fan polls, or votes on favorite song lists.
  7. Musical composition and technical skills
    Take into account the quality of the songwriting, instrumentation, and vocal performances that make the song stand out in the hard rock genre.
  8. Emotional resonance
    A song's ability to connect with listeners on an emotional level can play a significant role in determining its popularity.

About this ranking

This is a community-based ranking of the most popular hard rock song. We do our best to provide fair voting, but it is not intended to be exhaustive. So if you notice something or hard rock song is missing, feel free to help improve the ranking!


  • 203 votes
  • 10 ranked items

Voting Rules

A participant may cast an up or down vote for each hard rock song once every 24 hours. The rank of each hard rock song is then calculated from the weighted sum of all up and down votes.


More information on most popular hard rock song

Hard rock music has been a staple in the music industry since the 1960s. Characterized by its heavy use of electric guitars, drums, and bass, hard rock has evolved over the years to encompass various sub-genres such as heavy metal, punk rock, and grunge. Hard rock songs are known for their powerful lyrics, driving rhythms, and intense energy that can inspire listeners to headbang, mosh, or simply sing along. From classics like Led Zeppelin's "Stairway to Heaven" and Black Sabbath's "Paranoid" to newer hits like Guns N' Roses' "Sweet Child O' Mine" and AC/DC's "Back in Black", hard rock has produced some of the most iconic and memorable songs in music history. So, what is the most popular hard rock song? Let's find out!

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