Explore the history of rock & roll with a playlist of 1 great rock song from every year

Jake Brown at Glorious Noise took an interesting challenge upon himself: make a playlist that tells the story of rock & roll history, featuring only one song from each year of rock & roll history.

 I started wondering how far back we could go and find stuff that could reasonably be considered rock and roll.

Pretty far, it turns out.

Of course, I have long subscribed to the Billy Joel method of genre classification: Hot funk, cool punk, even if it's old junk, it's still rock and roll to me.

So I made a playlist. One song per year without repeating artists. My criteria were straightforward: The song had to be good, preferably featuring guitar, ideally with sinful lyrics in some manner or other. Bonus points if they mentioned "rocking" and/or "rolling."

I sought out stuff that combined elements of country/hillbilly with blues/race music and vice versa: the musical miscegeny achieved by marrying those two deeply American forms together.

These were the guiding principles for the pre-Elvis years anyway. After that, it got wigglier.

As Brown explains, the Elvis years through the 60s were all pretty clear — but once rock music began to diverge into different sub-genres in the 70s, "you've got to pick a lane." And perhaps I'm biased, because Brown picks a lane that is right up my musical alley. Either way, the final product is a pretty cool 5-hour journey through 94 years of rock and roll, beginning in 1927.

If the aliens ever come down and demand an explanation, this is what I would give them.

The GloNo History of Rock and Roll [Jake Brown / Glorious Noise]

Image: Public Domain via PxHere