10 Best Non-Rock Songs By Rock Artists

Rock's greatest sonic shifts.

Linkin park meteora
Warner Records

The concept of rock music has many different layers to its construction. Over the years, the idea of rock and roll has departed from the traditional blues tradition to include everything from prog to grunge to metal to electronic into the mix. Even though there are many faces to rock music, some of its greatest acts see even the term "rock" as limiting.

After slogging away at the same heavy groove over and over again, bands have gone down different sonic highways to make something that they've never heard before.

Whether going into the jazz world or making a synthetic hodgepodge of sound, every one of these acts threw caution to the wind and reached far beyond what many of their fans thought they were capable of. It's hard enough to even try something like that, but it's even crazier when it actually works.

In spite of every single thing that could have possibly gone wrong, every one of these songs turned out to be a worthy inclusion in the group's discography, with some even becoming modern classics. Sometimes this experiment turns out so well that the act in question explores the genre for the rest of their career.

10. Nights in White Satin - The Moody Blues

By the end of the '60s, rock had come a long way from being the teenage catering genre back in the '50s.

As opposed to your average bluesy rock and roll of Chuck Berry or Little Richard, every other act was pushing the boundaries of what could be done in this little genre we know as 'rock.' Even though the emphasis was still squarely on guitars, drums, and bass, The Moody Blues took a swing for the fences on Nights in White Satin.

Though there had been acts that had experimented with classical instrumentation, this was the first time a band had successfully married the rock ensemble with a full on orchestra in a pop rock context. Coming from Days of Future Passed, you can still hear all the subtle mannerisms that come with being in a rock group, but there is an underlying sense of drama whenever you hear the strings come in.

This kind of approach to songwriting ended up defining the next generation of prog rock, with acts like ELO's Jeff Lynne taking the idea and running with it on songs like Mr. Blue Sky. As opposed to the more electrified versions of psychedelia coming out of San Francisco, Britain was giving us our first taste of baroque rock.

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