Towards the turn of the '60s, rock music didn't have to be confined to the traditional three minute single anymore. Since the jam bands were dominating the country and progressive rock was on the horizon, not every band had to focus on having a radio hit to actually be successful. It was time to stretch out, and these guys definitely had some wiggle room on these songs.
For as classic as these tracks may be, they are not for the impatient. Whereas most songs would be in and out in a few minutes, these songs take their time, often sprawling out to anywhere between 6 and over 9 minutes. These weren't always just the album cuts either. As far as most fans are concerned, these are the classic songs that the band is most known for, being the go to concert staple or the one that everyone flocks to on streaming services.
Even though they may have been hits in their own right, these tracks aren't really supposed to be a mass sing along every single time. On each of these tracks, the entire song feels like one long journey with music, as you make your way through different sections until everything reaches a gigantic peak. These may fall under the rock category, but the ambition behind these tunes is a lot closer to what you'd find in classical music most of the time.
10. Freebird - Lynyrd Skynyrd
Let's kick things off with what has become one of the most annoying things ever to be shouted at a rock concert. Even if your band has absolutely nothing to do with Southern rock, you're undoubtedly going to see somewhere cry out for Freebird whenever you take to the stage. And while it might disturb musicians to no end, it's not like Lynyrd Skynyrd's classic doesn't deserve that extra bit of praise.
Aside from the crowd that sings along to Sweet Home Alabama, this feels like getting two songs for the price of one. While songs like Tuesday's Gone takes its time to sprawl out and tell this heartbreaking story, you get a standard breakup song in the first half only to have amazing guitar solos melt your face off for the rest of the runtime. When compared to the lyrics of the song, the solos are almost like this bird finally being freed and taking the last few minutes of the song to fly anywhere it wants to go.
Even with the fantastic soloing, there's still a lot of dynamics behind the back half of this track, down to Ronnie Van Zant insisting that the guitar solos be constructed and always being played the exact same way. Whenever you heard this song on the radio or live, you weren't just getting a standard jam session. The licks were just as important as the vocals, and each of them had the potential to destroy a crowd.