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10 Best Blues Rock Songs of All Time, Ranked

Blues rock is a fusion between blues and rock music. In my opinion, this is one of the best genres, and from it has come some of the best songs of all time.

Blues music came out of the African-American culture sometime in the 1860s. This gave rise to electric blues and, eventually, rock and roll around the 1950s. Since rock is a derivative of blues, the genres have always been closely related. 

The genre became more distinct in the 1960s when popular rock bands started performing blues songs in the rock and roll style.

Today we look at these bands and count down the 10 best blues rock songs!

1. Purple Haze – Jimi Hendrix

Album: Are You Experienced
Released: 1967

When we talk about blues rock, Jimi Hendrix must be one of the first names that come to mind.  Today, he is also at the top of my list with his hit – “Purple Haze.”

Jimi Hendrix is a legendary musician well known for his hard-rock music, but electric blues greatly inspired his musical style.

“Purple Haze” combines the electric sounds of rock and roll with the blues boogie feel. It has also been inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame and is considered one of the greatest guitar songs of all time.

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2. Break On Through – The Doors

Album: The Doors
Released: 1967

The Doors is another name that jumps out when we talk about the blues rock genre. Led by the highly influential and controversial lead singer, Jim Morrison, the band made it into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and is considered one of the greatest artists of all time. 

“Break On Through” is the opening track on their debut album, The Doors. It was also their first single to be released, and befitting to the name, this track helped break through into the mainstream music culture.

3. Sunshine Of Your Love – Cream

Album: Disraeli Gears
Released: 1967

The year 1967 was a big year for the blues rock genre, as we can already see with the top 3 blues rock songs all being released in this year. The late 1960s, in general, was a revolutionary time for rock music for various reasons. One big reason was the counterculture movement.

Cream bassist, Jack Bruce, developed this blues-inspired bass riff after attending a Jimi Hendrix concert. “Sunshine Of Your Love” is considered a track that helped shape rock and roll.

4. Whole Lotta Love – Led Zeppelin

Album: Led Zeppelin II
Released: 1969

Led Zeppelin is known to be a hard rock and blues rock band. Many of their songs are some of the greatest blues rock songs there are. The best among them, in my opinion, is “Whole Lotta Love.”

Rolling Stone magazine rated it as the 75th greatest song of all time, and Q magazine ranked it as the third greatest guitar track of all time.

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5. House of the Rising Sun – The Animals

Album: The Animals
Released: 1964

“House of the Rising Sun” is a traditional folk song that is also called “Rising Sun Blues.” The origins of this song are unknown. It appeared as early as 1930, but it is believed to be much older. The Animals recorded their own version of it, and it has become the song’s most popular version.

6. Riders on the Storm – The Doors

Album: L.A. Woman
Released: 1971

From the sixth studio album by The Doors, we get this absolute masterpiece – “Riders on the Storm.” This was also the last album with the lead singer, Jim Morrison, before his death.

The track is considered one of the band’s greatest songs, and it was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame in 2010. It also inspired many later works, including films like Point Break (1991) and The Hitcher (1986).

7. Layla – Eric Clapton

Album: Layla and Other Assorted Love Songs
Released: 1971

Eric Clapton was as influential as anyone in modern rock and blues music. He is a rock and blues guitarist, singer, and songwriter. He is widely considered one of the greatest guitarists of all time. Rolling Stone magazine ranked him as the second-best of all time.

Rolling Stone also ranked “Layla” at 27 on their 500 Greatest Songs of All Time list. Clapton also performed an acoustic version that won a Grammy Award in 1993.

8. Blind Willie McTell – Bob Dylan

Album: The Bootleg Series Volumes 1–3
Released: 1991

Bob Dylan is another musician who cannot be left off this list. The singer is considered one of the greatest songwriters of all time, and he is greatly influenced by blues music. Most of his music has strong ties to old-school blues.

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“Blind Willie McTell” is an emotional song that was written about the blues musician of the same name. The track was already recorded in 1983 but was excluded from Dylan’s albums until 1991.

9. Love In Vain – The Rolling Stones

Album: Let It Bleed
Released: 1969

“Love In Vain” was written and recorded by blues musician Robert Johnson in 1937. Initially, it was titled Love In Vain Blues. The Rolling Stones recorded their own version of this track and released it in 1969.

The British rock band did a fantastic job at bringing their rock sound to this blues classic.

10. Yer Blues – The Beatles

Album: The Beatles
Released: 1968

The Beatles is commonly referred to as the most influential band of all time. They played a big part in the 1960s counterculture and modern rock music development. Although they are a rock band, they also draw a lot of inspiration from blues.

“Yer Blues” was written and composed by John Lennon during their spiritual retreat in India. The song is a direct tribute to blues music from an English perspective.