The Most Beautiful Rock Song Ever Written

beatlesI am a rock ‘n roll junkie. Have been ever since I sat glued to the television set on Feb 9, 1964, mesmerized by The Beatles’ first appearance on the Ed Sullivan Show.

I love the genre, particularly the time between 1969 and 1976. Some truly amazing songs were written during this period.

I love all types of rock songs from hard driving, guitar laden rockers like American Woman and Up Around the Bend, to the acoustic ballads, like A Horse With No Name and High Flying Bird.

I also really enjoy songs, that I think, are best described as beautiful. They capture your heart and give you pause. They spark your imagination and rekindle fond (sometimes, painful) memories. Many are love songs and others are simply beautiful ballads.

The beauty, I think, is mostly in the melody and the lyrics, but fitting instrumentation also helps set them apart. Perhaps it’s a tender piano piece, a gentle drum line or a soothing guitar riff.

The first beautiful song that really caught my attention was The Beatles’ Let It Be. Written by Paul McCartney, it combines poignant lyrics, McCartney’s wonderful performance on the piano, a striking guitar solo and a beautiful melody. It’s got it all.

Other songs that for me fall under the classification of beautiful, include Imagine, by John Lennon, Lost Together, by Blue Rodeo, Pretty Lady, by Lighthouse, Sounds of Silence, by Simon & Garfunkel, My Eyes Adored You, by Frankie Valli, God Only Knows, by The Beach Boys, Can’t Get It Out Of My Head, by the Electric Light Orchestra, If You Could Read My Mind, by Gordon Lightfoot, As Tears Go By, by The Rolling Stones, I Need You, by America, Daniel, by Elton John, Have I Told You Lately That I Love You, by Van Morrison, In My Place, by Coldplay and Someone Like You, by Adele. (I know Adele isn’t considered a rocker, but the song could certainly be considered a rock ballad.)

In fact, many songs that I consider beautiful fall outside the rock genre. Two of my favourites are Wichita Lineman, performed by Glen Campbell and You Were Always on My Mind by Willie Nelson.

I really like all of these songs.

But for the most beautiful rock song ever written we need to go all the way back to 1967. It was the year of the summer of love when Gary Brooker, Keith Reid and Matthew Fisher teamed up to write Procul Harem’s debut song, A Whiter Shade of Pale. Wikipedia described it as having a ‘haunting, Bach-derived instrumental melody, soulful vocals, and unusual lyrics.’ For me, it is simply a masterpiece!

What for you is the most beautiful rock song?

Have an awesomely beautiful day!


14 comments on “The Most Beautiful Rock Song Ever Written

      • Oh yes, isn’t everyone? 🙂
        Also, reading over your list; I think that ‘Sound of Silence’ is also very high up there as well.
        And Simon and Garfunkel are the heroes of my youth.

        Also, I read some time ago that Paul Simon wrote that song after some girl had been killed in a busy neighbourhood and no-one had heard her screams or could give the police any information (the sound of silence). However, now I cannot find any reference to that at all and only deep political or religious interpretations of the song. Had you heard of this story?

      • What I read is that Simon was inspired to write the song in early ’64 in the wake of JFK’s assassination and the dark mood sadness of America at the time because of the end of a dream and the loss of hope..

    • Hi. I have now done a bit more research and found again the reference to the Kitty Genovese murder. However, I read in wikipaedia that the song was completed in February 1964 yet her murder took place in March 1964 so that interpretation of the song cannot be correct.

  1. Just now found this list as I searched for a definitive list of the most beautiful songs of the R-n-R era. I am a very diverse music listener. I truly enjoy music from most every genre. Today’s most popular styles would be my least listened to and most challenging to find much I really like. Everything from Classical through Classic Rock. The thing about lists is, even though I seek them out and enjoy them out (often making up my own), is they will all be deficient. Something (not George’s song!) is always missed! The list here, and your ultimate #1 are very good! But an equally compelling list by me or many others can also be justified. Nonetheless it remains an enjoyable venture to find lists like these and ponder them! Here are some other very worthy songs of the R-n-R genre that fit the list of most beautiful:

    Bridge Over Troubled Water is a truly overwhelming artistic revelation!

    How Can You Mend A Broken Heart

    True Love Ways

    …as for the Beatles, the greatest band of the R-n-R genre, there is one song that I have always felt was overlooked as being a truly beautiful composition and recording: This Boy

    • Thank you for checking out my list Dean. You are right in that lists like these are quite often very personal. There are so many worthy, beautiful rock songs that it would be hard to include them all.

      The songs you listed are terrific songs, so thank you for that.

      Have an awesome day,

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