Best Traditional Rock Songs of 2017

Hey Hey, My My - Rock and Roll can never die!
Zumic Staff

by Zumic Staff

Published October 26, 2018

This is part of our series, The Best of the Best Music of 2017.

Traditional Rock

trə-diSH-ən-əl räk


A style of music popularized in the 1950s that combines traditional aesthetics of blues, jazz, and folk. One of the defining characteristics of Traditional Rock is a fusion between multiple genres and cultures, making the genre a melting pot of nearly every other style of music that existed pre-1950. Instrumentation typically includes electric guitars and live drums. In earlier years, piano and saxophone were prevalent, and there has been a constant trend toward electronic instruments, which created a more modern genre known as Indie & Alternative Rock.

Traditional Rock was established by Chuck Berry, Elvis Presley, and the "Rock & Roll" movement which was firmly rooted in the Blues and R&B, but the roots go back farther to the likes of Robert Johnson and Hank Williams. Later, artists like Bob Dylan, The Beatles, Jimi Hendrix, and Led Zeppelin expanded the genre with innovative songwriting and sonic experimentation. "Progressive" bands are known for their concept-oriented themes and more intricate arrangements.

This list features veterans of the 1960s like Gregg Allman, Neil Young, Roger Waters, and Robert Plant who were responsible for new strains of traditional rock. The list also includes up-and-coming artists like The Barr Brothers, Courtney Barnett and Kurt Vile, Hurray For The Riff Raff, Kevin Morby, and Benjamin Booker who are continuing that evolution.

This entire list is 133 songs covering 9½ hours.

The full list of the best and most important rock songs of 2017:

  • Gregg Allman - My Only True Friend
  • Hurray For The Riff Raff - Living In The City
  • Hurray For The Riff Raff - Rican Beach
  • Strand of Oaks - Rest of It
  • Justin Townes Earle - Champagne Corolla
  • Benjamin Booker - Witness
  • Benjamin Booker - Motivation
  • Benjamin Booker - Right On You
  • Kevin Morby - Tin Can
  • Kevin Morby - City Music
  • John Mayer - Roll it on Home
  • John Mayer - Helpless
  • Cat Clyde - Heavy Weight
  • Cat Clyde - Sheets of Green
  • Gov't Mule, Jimmie Vaughan - Burning Point
  • Gov't Mule - Traveling Tune
  • King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard - Beginner's Luck
  • King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard - I'm Sleepin' In
  • King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard, Mild High Club - You Can Be Your Silhouette
  • Courtney Barnett, Kurt Vile - Fear Is Like a Forest
  • The Barr Brothers - It Came to Me
  • The Barr Brothers - Queens of the Breakers
  • The Barr Brothers - You Would Have to Lose Your Mind
  • Neil Young, Promise of the Real - Already Great
  • Roadcase Royale - Even It Up
  • Conor Oberst - A Little Uncanny
  • Conor Oberst - You All Loved Him Once
  • Conor Oberst - Till St. Dymphna Kicks Us Out
  • Son Volt - Back Against the Wall
  • Son Volt - Sinking Down
  • U2 - Lights Of Home
  • Foo Fighters - The Sky Is A Neighborhood
  • Foo Fighters - Sunday Rain
  • Roger Waters - Smell the Roses
  • Robert Plant - New World...
  • Robert Plant - Carving Up the World Again...a wall and not a fence
  • Robert Plant - Carry Fire
  • The War On Drugs - Pain
  • The War On Drugs - Holding On
  • Sheryl Crow - Roller Skate
  • Drew Holcomb & The Neighbors - Fight for Love
  • Drew Holcomb & The Neighbors - Sometimes
  • Robert Randolph & The Family Band, Darius Rucker - Love Do What It Do
  • Robert Randolph & The Family Band - Find a Way
  • Robert Randolph & The Family Band - Got Soul
  • Craig Finn - Tracking Shots
  • Craig Finn - Be Honest
  • Blitzen Trapper - When I'm Dying
  • Blitzen Trapper - Wild and Reckless
  • Greta Van Fleet - Safari Song
  • Greta Van Fleet - Highway Tune
  • Dan Auerbach - Shine on Me
  • Deer Tick - Don't Hurt
  • Ty Segall - Take Care (To Comb Your Hair)
  • Black Joe Lewis & The Honeybears - Flash Eyed
  • Black Joe Lewis & The Honeybears - Maroon
  • Aaron Keylock - Against The Grain
  • Aaron Keylock - No Matter What The Cost
  • Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit - Cumberland Gap
  • Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit - Hope the High Road
  • Liam Gallagher - Wall Of Glass
  • Liam Gallagher - I Get By
  • Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds - Be Careful What You Wish For
  • Ray Davies - The Mystery Room
  • Little Barrie - You Won't Stop Us
  • Little Barrie - Produkt
  • Chuck Prophet - Bad Year for Rock and Roll
  • Chuck Prophet - Alex Nieto
  • Ron Gallo - Young Lady, You're Scaring Me
  • Ron Gallo - Kill the Medicine Man
  • together PANGEA - Gold Moon
  • Mondo Cozmo - Shine
  • Lee Bains III & The Glory Fires - Black & White Boys
  • Lee Bains III & The Glory Fires - Nail My Feet Down to the Southside of Town
  • Langhorne Slim - House Of My Soul (You Light The Rooms)
  • Anders Osborne - Liquor Drought
  • Los Colognes - Can You Remember?
  • Los Colognes - The White Whale
  • Dead Man Winter - Careful I Think It's Loaded
  • Korey Dane - Charlie Handsome
  • Tony Molina - See Me Fall
  • Tony Molina - No One Told He
  • King Khan - Discreate Disguise
  • King Khan - It's a Lie
  • Bob Seger - Busload of Faith
  • The String Cheese Incident - Get Tight
  • Chris Robinson Brotherhood - Behold the Seer
  • Delicate Steve - Tattered
  • BNQT - Real Love
  • BNQT - L.A. On My Mind
  • Hiss Golden Messenger - Jenny of the Roses
  • Wild Adriatic - Hurricane Woman
  • Creature and the Woods - New America
  • Ian Moore - How Can I
  • Ryan Adams - Do You Still Love Me?
  • Ryan Adams - Outbound Train
  • The Darkness - Solid Gold

Previously unreleased, cover songs, and live recordings:

  • Queen - We Will Rock You - Raw Sessions Extended Version
  • Queen - We Are The Champions - Raw Sessions Extended Version
  • The Beatles - Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band - Take 9
  • The Beatles - Strawberry Fields Forever - Take 7
  • Bob Dylan - Gotta Serve Somebody - Live at the Warfield Theatre, San Francisco, CA - November 15, 1979
  • David Bowie - Rebel Rebel - Live
  • David Bowie - Changes - Live
  • David Bowie - Space Oddity - Live
  • The Rolling Stones - Brown Sugar - Live
  • The Rolling Stones - It's All Over Now - The Joe Loss Pop Show / 1964
  • Grateful Dead - It's All over Now, Baby Blue - Live at P.N.E. Garden Auditorium, Vancouver, 7/29/66
  • Jerry Garcia Band - Deal
  • Paul Simon - 50 Ways to Leave Your Lover - Live at Hyde Park, London, UK July 2012
  • Paul Simon - Graceland - Live at Hyde Park, London, UK July 2012
  • The Magpie Salute - Comin’ Home - Live
  • The Magpie Salute - Fearless - Live
  • Pearl Jam - Alive - Live
  • Tedeschi Trucks Band - Just As Strange - Live
  • Joe Bonamassa - This Train - Live
  • Joe Bonamassa - Get Back My Tomorrow - Live
  • Joe Bonamassa - Love Ain't a Love Song - Live
  • Gary Clark Jr. - The Healing - Live
  • Cage The Elephant - Back Against the Wall - Unpeeled
  • Cage The Elephant - Golden Brown - Unpeeled
  • Cage The Elephant - Ain't No Rest for the Wicked - Unpeeled
  • The Wood Brothers - Tried and Tempted - Live
  • The Wood Brothers - Postcards from Hell - Live
  • Dawes - Things Happen - Live
  • Dawes - All Your Favorite Bands - Live
  • Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats - Howling At Nothing - Live
  • Kings of Leon - Waste A Moment - Live
  • Lost in Paris Blues Band (Robben Ford, Ron Bumblefoot Thal, Paul Personne, John Jorgenson, Beverly Jo Scott, Kevin Reveyrand, Francis Arnaud) - Fire Down Below - (Bob Seger Cover, Live)
  • The Bros. Landreth - Let 'Em In (Paul McCartney Cover)
  • Billy Bragg - Why We Build The Wall (Anaïs Mitchell Cover)
  • King Crimson - Heroes - Live in Chicago, June 28 2017 (David Bowie Cover)
  • Drive-By Truckers - What It Means - Live

Tell us what you think!

Here a big timeline of music genres we put together to help categorize all these tracks:

Aaron Keylock Anders Osborne Benjamin Booker Beverly Jo Scott Billy Bragg Black Joe Lewis & The Honeybears Blitzen Trapper BNQT Bob Clearmountain Bob Dylan Bob Seger Cage The Elephant Cat Clyde Chris Robinson Brotherhood Chuck Prophet Conor Oberst Courtney Barnett Craig Finn Creature and the Woods Dan Auerbach Darius Rucker David Bowie Dawes Dead Man Winter Deer Tick Delicate Steve Drew Holcomb Drive-By Truckers Foo Fighters Francis Arnaud Gary Clark Jr. Gov't Mule Grateful Dead Gregg Allman Greta Van Fleet Hiss Golden Messenger Hurray for the Riff Raff Ian Moore Jason Isbell Jerry Garcia Jerry Garcia Band Jimmie Vaughan Joe Bonamassa John Jorgenson John Mayer Justin Townes Earle Kevin Morby Kevin Reveyrand King Crimson King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard King Khan Kings of Leon Korey Dane Kurt Vile Langhorne Slim Lee Bains III & The Glory Fires Liam Gallagher Little Barrie Los Colognes Lukas Nelson & Promise Of The Real Mild High Club Mondo Cozmo Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats Neil Young Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds Paul Personne Paul Simon Pearl Jam Queen Ray Davies Roadcase Royale Robben Ford Robert Plant Robert Randolph & The Family Band Roger Waters Ron Bumblefoot Thal Ron Gallo Ryan Adams Sheryl Crow Son Volt Strand of Oaks Tedeschi Trucks Band The Barr Brothers The Beatles The Bros. Landreth The Darkness The Magpie Salute The Rolling Stones The String Cheese Incident The War on Drugs The Wood Brothers together PANGEA Tony Molina Ty Segall U2 Wild Adriatic
Blues Rock Country Rock Folk Rock Garage Rock Glam Rock Psychedelic Rock Rock
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