Las 30 mejores canciones de la historia del rock

11. «Powderfinger» (Neil Young & Crazy Horse). La esencia del rock americano

Si hay una canción que defina precisamente las reglas de una gran canción de rock americano, esa es «Powderfinger». Todo está aquí: la historia, el ritmo, la melodía, las guitarras y una banda que avanza como un tren de mercancías.

Pertenece al sensacional disco «Rust never sleeps», de 1979, uno de los que mejor define el sonido «Crazy Horse» junto a «Ragged Glory», incluido en la lista de mejores discos de la historia para este blog. Un Neil Young arrebatador

12. «Into the mystic» (Van Morrison). Garganta profunda

«Moondance» (1970) llegó tras la maravilla de «Astral Weeks» y supuso un cambio casi radical en el estilo de Van Morrison. Si el primero era un álbum introspectivo, con el siguiente se propuso hacer un disco luminoso de banda que mezclara folk, country, blues, soul y jazz. Le salió de miedo.

Elegir la mejor canción de este soberbio trabajo es difícil. Aquí estaban «And it stoned me», «Moondance», «Caravan», «Crazy love» y más. Pero quizá «Into de Mystic» es la más definitoria de que aquel original sonido. Qué maravilla de guitarras acústicas, qué bajo tan delicioso, qué piano tan lírico… ¡Y qué voz del genio! Hasta sus respiraciones emocionan.

13. «Willin'» (Little Feet). La canción perfecta de «country-rock»

Lowell George fue otro de esos talentos que se marchó demasiado pronto. Para la historia dejó un disco tan asombroso como «Sailin’ Shoes«, de 1972, obra cumbre del country-rock-blues americano. «Willin'» ya había entrado en el disco de debut de Little Feat, pero en una versión diferente. La siguiente grabación la mejoró.

No se puede hacer una canción y una interpretación más perfecta. Ese comienzo, esa entrada de la banda, esos coros, ese puente instrumental. El piano de Bill Payne es tan maravilloso como el steel-guitar de Sneaky Pete Kleinow. Un tema mil veces recreado (Linda Rondstat, Black Crowes, Phish, Steve Earle, Bob Dylan), pero ninguna como el original.

14. «Space Oddity» (David Bowie). La gran odisea espacial convertida en una obra maestra de la música

«Ground control to Major Tom». Aquí comienza la odisea espacial que concibió David Bowie en 1969 para crear una de las mejores canciones de la historia, una original belleza.

No sería hasta 1973, cuando RCA reeditó el single, cuando el tema alcanzó la notoriedad debida, coincidiendo con la explosión comercial del Duque Blanco. Todo lo mejor de Bowie está aquí: personalidad, originalidad, vanguardia, voz, melodías, orquestaciones… Una cumbre de la música popular.

15. «Suspicious Minds» (Elvis Presley). Una recopilación de lo mejor del rey en cuatro minutos

Mark James la grabó por primera vez y no tuvo repercusión alguna. Pero con su innato olfato para elegir canciones. Elvis se dio cuenta de que ahí había un éxito. Y vaya si acertó.

Todo es mágico en esta canción. Los arpegios de guitarra iniciales que dan entrada a la tremenda voz del rey. Y esa orquestación y vientos. De temblar cuando Elvis canta aquello de  «Let our love survive / Or dry the tears from your eyes / Let’s don’t let a good thing die», justo antes de elevar la canción al cielo.

16. «Baba O’Riley» (The Who). Otra de las mejores canciones de la historia, otro himno inolvidable

The Who no solo es uno de los mejores grupos de rock de todos los tiempos, sino que en su mochila transportan algunas de las mejores canciones de la historia. Y una de ellas es este «Baby O’Riley», de 1971, incluida en su portentoso álbum de 1971 «Who’s next«.

Pete Townshend logró reimpulsar a la banda después de convertirse en bandera del nuevo movimiento mod y «Baba O’Riley» fue estandarte. El riff es imperial, la sección de ritmo es un cañón y Roger Daltrey se sale. Simplemente demoledor.

17. «Brown Sugar» (The Rolling Stones). La cima de una banda en su mejor momento

Por aquellos comienzos de los años 70, los Stones eran los reyes. No solo eran los mayores sinvergüenzas y amorales del rock, sino también los creadores de un estilo que sería masivo y mil veces (mal) imitado. También por ellos mismos.

Una de las joyas de la corona fue este «Brown Sugar», nacido de un riff de Mick Jagger. Todo es imperial aquí, desde la forma de cantar hasta cómo se acoplar la banda hasta llegar ese final tan poderoso. Y con Mick Taylor saliéndose a la guitarra.

18. «American Tune» (Paul Simon). Una de las canciones más geniales de un auténtico genio

Cómo elegir una sola canción de uno de los más importantes escritores de canciones e intérpretes de todos los tiempos. Pero hay que apostar y con «American Tune» vas sobre seguro.

La construcción de acordes es antológica, igual que la melodía y la interpretación. El salto definitivo lo da una letra que expresa lo mejor de la escritura de Simon: melancolía, romanticismo y delicadeza para completar una de las mejores canciones de la historia.

19. «Layla» (Derek & The Dominos). Disco cumbre, obra cumbre de Eric Clapton

Es uno de los riffs más admirables de la historia de la música. Pero hay mucho más en esta sensacional canción del mejor álbum que jamás firmaría Eric Clapton. Hay sentimiento de urgencia, una voz desesperada, una banda inalcanzable y unas guitarras que te dejan sin respiración.

La progresión de los acordes es originalísima y Duane Allman pone unos «licks» legendarios. Clapton no sabía cómo terminar la canción y su batería, Jim Gordon, le trajo la parte de piano final. Lo que faltaba para completar una de las mejores canciones de la historia, un obra maestra definitiva.

20. «The Chain» (Fleetwood Mac). Una sinfonía de varios siglos de música americana

Parece increíble que Fleetwood Mac pudiera concebir un disco como «Rumours» y una canción como «The Chain» dentro de unas sesiones  de grabación marcadas por los divorcios, la cocaína, la paranoia y los reproches. Pero salió una maravilla.

Fue la única canción de Fleetwood Mac compuesta por todos sus miembros. Y cada uno deja su parte. Desde el riff de blues inicial Buckingham hasta la melodía de Stevie Nicks. Y luego ese break instrumental de Fleetwood y Mac antes de la gran tormenta final. Insuperable

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