Dave’s Top 50 Greatest Rock Songs of the Last 20 Years

I was going through a list in my MP3 player of the songs that somehow crawled down my ear canal and wouldn’t let go. These stood out so much they made me rush out to buy the album as fast as I could. Sometimes there were other gems on it, but rarely did the rest of the album have nearly as much sheer awesomeness as that one song. But it didn’t matter because that one song… the whole goddamn album could have been that song played over and over. It was that good. There are two exceptions to this, when the entire album actually was that good, that you’ll see below.

This is my list of those songs. It represents the hard-edged side of rock and neo-metal that won’t be on your pantywaist VH1 or MTV lists. You may have never even heard of some of these songs, and if this is the case then you should acquire them from your favorite music service immediately. They are composed of so much awesome that your life will be incomplete without hearing and appreciating their greatness at least once. They are the reason you need an 11 on your volume knob, and need no further explanation or justification for their place on this list. Connoisseurs need only nod their heads in silent affirmation. They are not listed in any order, and there will inevitably be some omissions – some are deliberate, some not. I’ll be adding links to excerpts I find online as time permits.

Dream Theater “Pull Me Under” 1992
Trust Company “Downfall” 1999
Saliva “Click Click Boom” 2001
Staind “Price to Play” 2003
Fuel “Won’t Back Down”
Chevelle “Send the Pain Below” 2003
Earshot “Wait” 2004
“Sober” 1992
“Lateralus” (the whole goddamn album) 2001
“Jambi” 2006
“Vicarious” 2006
“The Pot” 2006
Van Halen:
“Poundcake” 1991
“Pleasure Dome” 1991
“Ultra Bass/Pleasure Dome/Drum Solo [Live]” 1992
“The Seventh Sign” 1994
“Baluchitherium” 1994
“Humans Being” 1997
“Ain’t My Bitch” 1996
“Fuel” 1997
Suicide and Redemption” 2009
Helmet “Milquetoast” 1994
Joe Satriani:
Flying in a Blue Dream” (Live version, 1993)
“Redshift Riders”
“Clouds Race Across the Sky”
“Mind Storm”
“Time Machine”
“Crystal Planet”
“Devil’s Slide”
“Made of Tears”
“Cool New Way”
“A Train of Angels”
Eric Johnson:
“Cliffs of Dover” 1990
“Trademark” 1990
The Crystal Method:
“Roboslut” 2006
“Wepons of Mass Distortion” 2004
“Name of the Game” 2002
“Vapor Trail” 1997
“Because of You” 2003
“Figured You Out” 2003
“Burn It To The Ground” 2009
Seether “Gasoline” 2004
Kasabian “Clubfoot” 2005
Creed “My Own Prison” 1997
“Nightrider” 2000
Minerva” 2003
Linkin Park “Hybrid Theory” (yeah, the whole fucking thing) 1999
“1stp Klosr”

And the song that spawned this whole thing, which could be nothing short of the best one of all.

Papa Roach “Lifeline” 2009

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