10 Classic Rock Songs That Turn Bad Days Around is a collection of songs that a lot of us will go to when we need a total mood change. We all have bad days, some of us have them every day. Nonetheless, at times we just need a cranking tune that will make things better for at least a moment. It doesn’t have to be a song with an uplifting message, it can be just a straight-ahead rocker with a groove and melody that easily can put a smile on your face and some groove in your rock and roll shoes. There are hundreds, even thousands of songs that can do the trick. Here are ten of our favorites that we guarantee will help you out too.
# 10 – Kashmir
We had to start this list out with a Led Zeppelin song. “Kashmir,” is one of the most powerful songs in the band’s catalog. This one always gets me pumped. “Kashmir” was released on Led Zeppelin’s sixth studio album, “Physical Graffiti,” released in 1975. The song was primarily written by Jimmy Page and Robert Plant, with John Bonham also receiving writing credit. The song was recorded at Headley Grange, a country house in Hampshire, England, where the band had previously recorded parts of their other albums.
“Kashmir,” was recorded between January and February in 1974, over a series of sessions. The band was joined by engineer Ron Nevison, and the album was produced by Jimmy Page himself. Alongside Page on electric guitars and Plant on vocals, John Bonham played drums, and John Paul Jones contributed with bass and Mellotron. For the studio version, orchestral arrangements were provided by Jones, adding to the song’s lush sonic tapestry.
# 9 – One Way Or Another
I don’t know what it is about this song, but that opening guitar riff always lights my fire. This is Debbie Harry’s best vocal performance. She is both angry and sexy at the same time making you want her to really find you like she says she is going to.
“One Way or Another” was released by Blondie appearing on their third studio album, “Parallel Lines,” which was released in 1978. It was written by Debbie Harry and Nigel Harrison. The track was recorded in 1978 at The Record Plant in New York City as part of the sessions for the “Parallel Lines” album. It was produced by Mike Chapman. The lineup for the album included Debbie Harry on vocals, Chris Stein on guitar, Clem Burke on drums, Jimmy Destri on keyboards, and Nigel Harrison on bass.
# 8 – Rosalita
This song makes me want to on my jacket and head out into the street looking for my best girl. While that may sound like a line from a movie, it’s the exact feeling I get when I hear that opening guitar riff and Clarence Clemon’s saxophone line. It brings me back to growing up in the Bronx. No one can escape the infectious rock and roll groove of this song.
“Rosalita (Come Out Tonight)” was released on Springsteen’s 1973 album “The Wild, the Innocent & the E Street Shuffle.” The song was recorded at 914 Sound Studios in Blauvelt, New York, during May and September 1973. Produced by Mike Appel and Jim Cretecos, the album was a critical building block in the establishment of Springsteen’s career. The E Street Band, Springsteen’s longstanding backing band, contributed significantly to the track’s energetic feel. The lineup for this album included Bruce Springsteen on vocals and guitar, Garry Tallent on bass, Danny Federici on keyboards, Clarence Clemons on saxophone, and Vini “Mad Dog” Lopez on drums.
# 7 – Juniors Farm
Paul McCartney and Wings’ stand-alone single from 1974 comes in at number seven on our list of 10 Classic Rock Songs That Turn Bad Days Around. We could probably write a top 100 Paul McCartney songs list that fits the genre of songs that can change your mood.
Written by McCartney during a stay in Nashville, the song reflects his affinity for blending rock sensibilities with memorable pop hooks. With its catchy guitar riffs and engaging lyrics, “Junior’s Farm” has been lauded for its upbeat tempo and infectious energy.
The song was recorded during a self-imposed “retreat” to Nashville, Tennessee, where the band stayed on a farm owned by Curly Putman Jr., inspiring the song’s title. The sessions took place in the summer of 1974. Produced by Paul McCartney himself, the recording features McCartney on vocals and bass, his wife Linda McCartney on keyboards, Denny Laine on guitar, and Geoff Britton on drums. It reached number 3 on the Billboard Hot 100 in the United States and number 16 on the UK Singles Chart.
# 6 – Moonlight Feels Right
This song will not only put you in a good mood, it will make you feel cool. That laugh at the end of the verse gets me every time. “Moonlight Feels Right” is the breakout single from the American band Starbuck. It was released in 1976. The song was written by the band’s lead vocalist and keyboardist Bruce Blackman. The recording of “Moonlight Feels Right” took place at Studio One in Doraville, Georgia. The producer for the track was Bruce Blackman himself, along with co-producer Jim Price. Musicians featured on the recording included Bruce Blackman on lead vocals and keyboards, Bo Wagner on marimba, Tommy Strain on guitar, and David Shaver on additional keyboards. The rhythm section consisted of Sloan Hayes on bass and Jimmy Cobb on drums.
# 5 – Spread Your Wings
Queen’s mega-successful album News Of The World was lauded for its two bigger-than-life songs “We Will Rock You,” and “We Are The Champions.” However, the album was filled with so many underrated gems including this really uplifting song Spread Your Wings. Queen fans have my back on this one.
The song was written by the band’s bassist, John Deacon. It tells the story of “Sammy,” a low-paid barroom piano player who dreams of a better life, encapsulating themes of aspiration and the struggles that accompany it. The song was recorded at Sarm West and Wessex Sound Studios in London, between July and September 1977. Produced by Queen and Mike Stone, “Spread Your Wings” featured Freddie Mercury on lead vocals and piano, Brian May on guitar, Roger Taylor on drums, and John Deacon on bass.
# 4 – I Just Want To Have Something To Do
Just about any Ramones album will put me in a good mood. However, Road To Ruin is one of my favorites. This is the song that introduces the band in their movie Rock And Roll High School as they drive up to the theater in a convertible as Joey Ramone sings into a drumstick. It’s just perfect!
The song was recorded during the “Road to Ruin” sessions, which took place at Media Sound Studios in New York City. The album was produced by Tommy Ramone and Ed Stasium, who also engineered the recording. Musicians on the track included Joey Ramone on vocals, Johnny Ramone on guitar, Dee Dee Ramone on bass, and Marky Ramone, who had just replaced Tommy Ramone as the drummer. This was Marky’s first appearance on a Ramones album.
# 3 – We Gotta Get You A Woman
This song always gave me hope. It was like Todd understood my teenage depression which was always fueled by girls. Or, I should say the issue of not being able to get a girlfriend. I felt like I had a chance for at least three minutes.
“We Gotta Get You a Woman” was released on Todd Rundgren’s 1970 solo debut album, Runt. The song was recorded at I.D. Sound Studios and Runt Recorders in Los Angeles in 1970. Todd Rundgren was not only the songwriter and main performer, but he also produced the track. The lineup for the recording featured Rundgren on vocals and multiple instruments, with additional musicians including Hunt Sales on drums and Tony Fox Sales on bass. The song was released through Ampex Records. It received substantial radio airplay and gained commercial success, peaking at No. 20 on the Billboard Hot 100, making it one of Rundgren’s most commercially successful songs.
# 2 – Wild Heart
Stevie Nicks’ spellbinding title track from her Wild Heart album is one of those songs that speaks the truth about love and longing so clearly. There is something about Stevie Nicks’ voice that makes you fall in love with her. It’s soothing, it’s spiritual, and it’s a little dangerous. It wakes you up. It makes you curious, it makes you want to not give up and turn it around instantly. Stevie Nicks’ second solo studio album titled The Wild Heart,” was released in 1983.
# 1 – Tiny Dancer
I don’t know about you but this is my ultimate go-to song to change my mood and bring me back from utter despair. A song doesn’t have to be fast and heavy to lift one’s spirits. This is Elton John’s most magical song. It can save anyone. Look what it did for Stillwater.
“Tiny Dancer” is a quintessential Elton John song that was released on his 1971 album “Madman Across the Water.” Written by Elton John with lyrics by Bernie Taupin, The song was recorded at Trident Studios in London in 1971. The production was helmed by Gus Dudgeon. Paul Buckmaster contributed the lush orchestral arrangements that give the song its expansive, cinematic quality.
10 Classic Rock Songs That Turn Bad Days Around article published on Classic RockHistory.com© 2023
Classicrockhistory.com claims ownership of all its original content and Intellectual property under United States Copyright laws and those of all other foreign countries. No one person, business, or organization is allowed to re-publish any of our original content anywhere on the web or in print without our permission. All photos used are either public domain Creative Commons photos or licensed officially from Shutterstock under license with ClassicRockHistory.com. All photo credits have been placed at the end of the article. Album Cover Photos are affiliate links and the property of Amazon and are stored on the Amazon server. Any theft of our content will be met with swift legal action against the infringing websites.