The Most Popular Rock-and-roll Song of All Time: Revealing the Ultimate Fan Favorite

Choose the rock-and-roll you think is the most popular!

Author: Gregor Krambs
Jun 16, 2023 10:18 (Updated on Dec 1, 2023 09:02)
Welcome to StrawPoll's ultimate showdown of the most iconic rock-and-roll songs of all time! We've compiled a list of legendary tunes that have stood the test of time, and we need YOU to help us determine the undisputed champion. From the electrifying guitar riffs of "Stairway to Heaven" to the anthemic chorus of "Bohemian Rhapsody," this ranking is a sonic roller-coaster ride through the greatest hits that defined a genre. So, are you ready to rock? Cast your vote for your all-time favorite, or suggest a hidden gem that we might have missed. This is your chance to make some noise and contribute to the ultimate rock-and-roll playlist. Let's get this party started!

What Is the Most Popular Rock-and-roll Song of All Time?

  1. 1
    This epic song is often regarded as the greatest rock song of all time due to its iconic guitar solo and mystical lyrics.
    "Stairway to Heaven" by Led Zeppelin in other rankings
  2. 2
    "Bohemian Rhapsody" by Queen
    Queen · Public domain
    This theatrical masterpiece is one of the most recognizable and beloved rock songs ever recorded, featuring intricate harmonies and a diverse range of musical styles.
    "Bohemian Rhapsody" by Queen in other rankings
  3. 3
    This classic rock anthem is known for its memorable guitar riff and emotional lyrics, becoming one of the most popular songs of the 1980s.
    Sweet Child O' Mine is a timeless rock ballad by the iconic American rock band Guns N' Roses. It was released in 1987 as the third single from their debut album, Appetite for Destruction. The song showcases the band's signature blend of hard rock and melodic elements, making it one of their most popular and enduring tracks.
    • Release Date: 1987
    • Album: Appetite for Destruction
    • Genre: Hard Rock
    • Running Time: 5:55
    • Songwriters: Axl Rose, Slash, Izzy Stradlin
    "Sweet Child O' Mine" by Guns N' Roses in other rankings
  4. 4
    "Johnny B. Goode" by Chuck Berry
    Chess Records · Public domain
    This influential rock and roll song is a quintessential example of the genre, featuring a catchy melody and energetic guitar playing.
    Johnny B. Goode is a rock and roll song performed by Chuck Berry. It features a catchy and dynamic guitar riff that has become one of the most popular in rock music. The riff serves as both the introduction and the backbone of the song, driving the energetic and upbeat tempo. Johnny B. Goode showcases Berry's distinctive guitar playing style, combining elements of blues, country, and R&B. The song's lyrics tell the story of a fictional guitarist named Johnny B. Goode, who rises to fame with his exceptional guitar skills. Released in 1958, Johnny B. Goode has since become a timeless classic and a foundational piece of rock and roll history.
    • Genre: Rock and roll
    • Year: 1958
    • Guitarist: Chuck Berry
    • Key: Bb major
    • Time Signature: 4/4
    "Johnny B. Goode" by Chuck Berry in other rankings
  5. 5
    This upbeat and danceable song is often credited with launching the rock and roll movement in the 1950s.
    "Rock Around the Clock" by Bill Haley & His Comets in other rankings
  6. 6
    This catchy and infectious song helped to introduce The Beatles to the world and became one of their most popular hits.
    "I Want to Hold Your Hand" by The Beatles in other rankings
  7. 7
    This epic and cinematic song captures the spirit of classic rock and roll, with its soaring vocals and grandiose instrumentation.
    Born to Run is a classic rock song written and performed by Bruce Springsteen. It was released in 1975 as the title track of his third studio album, 'Born to Run'. Known for its energetic and anthemic sound, the song has become one of Springsteen's most iconic and influential works.
    • Year of Release: 1975
    • Album: Born to Run
    • Genre: Rock
    • Length: 4:30
    • Writer: Bruce Springsteen
    "Born to Run" by Bruce Springsteen in other rankings
  8. 8
    This timeless ballad is one of Aerosmith's signature songs, showcasing Steven Tyler's powerful vocals and poignant lyrics.
    "Dream On" by Aerosmith in other rankings
  9. 9
    This iconic grunge anthem helped to define the sound of the 1990s, with its raw energy and rebellious lyrics.
    "Smells Like Teen Spirit" by Nirvana in other rankings
  10. 10

    "Hotel California" by The Eagles

    Don Felder and Joe Walsh
    This haunting and atmospheric song is one of The Eagles' most enduring hits, with its intricate guitar work and enigmatic lyrics.
    The guitar solo in 'Hotel California' by The Eagles is a legendary piece of music that captivates listeners with its melodic complexity and emotional depth. It is widely considered one of the most beautiful guitar solos ever recorded. The solo is characterized by its haunting and intricate melodies, showcasing the exceptional guitar skills of Don Felder and Joe Walsh. It perfectly complements the song's lyrics and adds to the overall atmospheric and timeless appeal of the track.
    • Song Title: Hotel California
    • Artist: The Eagles
    • Album: Hotel California
    • Release Date: 1976
    • Guitarists: Don Felder and Joe Walsh
    "Hotel California" by The Eagles in other rankings

Missing your favorite rock-and-roll?


Ranking factors for popular rock-and-roll song

  1. Sales and chart performance
    Analyzing the number of copies sold, both physically and digitally, as well as chart rankings can help in identifying the song's popularity during its initial release.
  2. Longevity and enduring popularity
    A truly popular rock-and-roll song maintains its appeal across multiple generations. Its continued presence in various music charts, streaming platforms, and radio airplays demonstrate its lasting impact.
  3. Cultural influence
    A popular rock-and-roll song often transcends music and seeps into popular culture, leaving its mark on movies, television shows, commercials, or memorable moments in history.
  4. Awards and recognitions
    Achievements and accolades, such as Grammy Awards, American Music Awards, or being inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, can reflect the song's impact and relevance.
  5. Critical acclaim and reviews
    Music critics and journalists can provide insight into a song's artistic merit and contribution to the rock-and-roll genre.
  6. Legacy and influence on other artists
    A song's broad appeal and popularity can be measured by its influence on later generations of musicians, who may cover, sample, or reinterpret the original work.
  7. Number of covers and performances
    The popularity of a song can be determined by the number of covers or renditions by different artists throughout the years, as well as its presence in live performances and music festivals.
  8. Lyrics and message
    A song's lyrics often have an impact on listeners' emotional connection to the music, making it widely popular or relatable.
  9. Social media and streaming data
    Analyzing social media conversations about the song and its streaming numbers will provide insight into the current popularity among younger audiences who may not have been around during its initial release.

About this ranking

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


  • 190 votes
  • 10 ranked items

Voting Rules

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

More information on most popular rock-and-roll song of all time

Rock-and-roll has been a beloved genre of music for decades, with countless hits that continue to be popular to this day. But what is the most popular rock-and-roll song of all time? It's a question that has sparked debate and controversy among music lovers for years. Some argue that it's "Stairway to Heaven" by Led Zeppelin, while others believe it's "Bohemian Rhapsody" by Queen or "Sweet Child O' Mine" by Guns N' Roses. Regardless of personal opinions, there is no denying the impact that rock-and-roll has had on music and popular culture. From its origins in the 1950s with artists like Chuck Berry and Elvis Presley, to the rise of classic rock bands like The Beatles and The Rolling Stones in the 1960s and 70s, to the emergence of grunge and alternative rock in the 90s, there is a wealth of iconic rock-and-roll songs that continue to resonate with audiences today. So, what is the most popular rock-and-roll song of all time? It's a question that may never have a definitive answer, but one thing is for sure - rock-and-roll has left an undeniable mark on music history, and its influence will continue to be felt for generations to come.

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