35 Songs Old Millennials Grew Up With That Are Now "Classic Rock"

1.Foo Fighters, “Everlong”

Why it’s Actually Classic: That riff, that video, that acoustic version. Legendary!

2.Alanis Morissette, “Ironic”

Why it’s Actually Classic: Because this is a great song to scream along to while you’re getting ready in the morning. Also, to this day we’re still debating Alanis’ use of the word “ironic.”

3.Garbage, “Stupid Girl”

Why it’s Actually Classic: Ummm, SHIRLEY MANSON? Butch Vig’s thumping and layered production doesn’t hurt either.

4.R.E.M., “What’s The Frequency, Kenneth?”

Why it’s Actually Classic: It’s got that killer R.E.M. chunky guitar sound with Michael Stipe’s swooning vocals. Also, that shimmering, delayed guitar effect on the chorus!

5.The Smashing Pumpkins, “Tonight, Tonight”

Why it’s Actually Classic: Alternative rock never sounded so orchestral and lovely.

6.Superdrag, “Sucked Out”

Why it’s Actually Classic: It’s basically an early Beatles song with some extra glam sprinkled on top already. It’s the kind of song that’s so catchy it sounds like a classic the first time you hear it.

7.No Doubt, “Spiderwebs”

Why it’s Actually Classic: Manages to be poppy, anthemic, and rebellious all at once.

8.The Verve Pipe, “The Freshmen”

Why it’s Actually Classic: Every classic rock radio station needs the sweeping ballad to balance out the heavy hitters.

9.Ben Folds Five, “Brick”

Why it’s Actually Classic: Because the song deals with such heavy and personal subject matter — all accompanied by a beautiful yet haunting melody.

10.Counting Crows, “A Long December”

Why it’s Actually Classic: The song has such a ’70s Laurel Canyon vibe that you can almost imagine Adam Duritz listening to Joni Mitchell as he wrote it.

11.Blur, “Song 2”

Why it’s Actually Classic: The song was meant to be a parody of American grunge music.

12.Butthole Surfers, “Pepper”

Why it’s Actually Classic: One chord, a big funky drum sound, and absolutely iconic lyrics = classic.

13.Veruca Salt, “Seether”

Why it’s Actually Classic: It has those ’90s thick distorted guitars, but also really uses the same perfect simplicity of early Kinks–style chord changes.

14.Local H, “Bound for the Floor”

Why it’s Actually Classic: It’s got those angular, distorted guitars and the ’90s angsty vocals, but also manages to be kinda funky?? Also, this song taught an entire generation the word “copacetic.”

15.Green Day, “Basket Case”

Why it’s Actually Classic: Pop-punk that has all the instantly catchy melodic elements of any song that stands the test of time, fake British accent or not.

16.The Wallflowers, “One Headlight”

Why it’s Actually Classic: ‘Cause this is very likely the first Dylan you listened to.

17.Fiona Apple, “Criminal”

Why it’s Actually Classic: Because this song is a mood.

18.Hole, “Celebrity Skin”

Why it’s Actually Classic: That opening riff with Courtney Love singing “Oh make me over…” immediately got your attention then and it still does now.

19.Bush, “Glycerine”

Why it’s Actually Classic: Rightfully remembered as probably grunge’s sweetest swooning moment.

20.Stone Temple Pilots, “Interstate Love Song”

Why it’s Actually Classic: Those DeLeo brothers sure could play guitar, huh??

21.Nada Surf, “Popular”

Why it’s Actually Classic: Sure it’s a bit of a novelty concept, but it actually neatly captures a lot of the awkward angst of growing up.

22.Beck, “Where It’s At”

Why it’s Actually Classic: Beck is the ultimate genre bender, incorporating sly funk, folk wordsmithery, trip hop swing, and hip hop cadence to delirious effect.

23.Gin Blossoms, “Hey Jealousy”

Why it’s Actually Classic: Because it manages to bridge pop and alt-rock together perfectly.

24.U2, “Sweetest Thing”

Why it’s Actually Classic: The song reminded us just how great U2 is without all the gimmicks. (Looking at you, Pop-era U2.)

25.Lenny Kravitz, “Are You Gonna Go My Way”

Why it’s Actually Classic: It was basically already classic rock when it came out, honestly!

26.Eve 6, “Inside Out”

Why it’s Actually Classic: “Wanna put my tender / heart in a blender.”

27.Filter, “Hey Man, Nice Shot”

Why it’s Actually Classic: That Nine Inch Nails style of “foreboding build-up with a super catchy chorus.”

28.Primitive Radio Gods, “Standing Outside a Broken Phone Booth With Money in my Hand”

Why it’s Actually Classic: The song feels like a mix of genres (shoegaze, Britpop, pop) that all work together to produce a song that still sounds totally unique to this day.

29.Radiohead, “Creep”

Why it’s Actually Classic: The song was just a small glimpse into the genius that the band had in store for us.

30.Luscious Jackson, “Naked Eye”

Why it’s Actually Classic: Perfectly blends cooing harmonies, scattershot drums, and slinky, minimal production. Honestly just cool.

31.The Offspring, “Pretty Fly (For A White Guy)”

Why it’s Actually Classic: The fact that the song was really meant to be a novelty, but has somehow stood the test of time.

32.Blink-182, “All The Small Things”

Why it’s Actually Classic: You could literally start singing this at any bar and everyone over 30 will immediately sing along and know all the words to it.

33.Third Eye Blind, “Semi-Charmed Life”

Why it’s Actually Classic: Because Third Eye Blind managed to make a song about falling deeper into a drug addiction into an upbeat anthem.

34.The Cure, “Friday I’m In Love”

Why it’s Actually Classic: OK, so The Cure is a band that pre-dates almost every artist on this list, but they have always managed to put out music that sounds timeless and this song is a great example. You can’t listen to this song and not immediately have a smile on your face!

35.Oasis, “Wonderwall”

Why it’s Actually Classic: Like “All The Small Things,” you could start singing this in a packed bar and EVERYONE over 30 would join in and know all the words to it. Also, this song could be released today and it would be a hit.

Listen to this ~Classic Rock~ playlist on Apple Music here.

Or on Spotify:

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