Rock has always had a taste for the more insane side of the musical spectrum. I mean, since it was looked at as the outcast of modern music in its day, it's not like anything that the rock sphere was doing was meant to be "normal" from the beginning. Even by rock's standards though, these songs were really turning some heads.
Compared to the usual bluesy riff you'd expect from this kind of music, these songs are almost atonal in how strange they are. Going for the more shocking form of expression, these are the kind of songs that Frank Zappa would have recognized an instant, being just as informed by the outright insanity of the music as they are about making something that seems altogether coherent. These aren't just weird for the sake of being weird though.
All of these artists have at least had some history making some standard rock and roll in their day, only to have these songs push them that much further off the edge of sanity. After you wager through the shock factor though, these are still fun as hell songs when you finally break them down. Not bad by any means, just incredibly strange for what we're used to.
10. Xanadu - Rush
Throughout the '70s, rock always had a fascination with the fantastical side of literature. Look no further than any casual Led Zeppelin song, with the worship of JRR Tolkien's work being front and center of songs like Ramble On. That's just for the entry level though...the real storytellers are the ones who write their own fantasy worlds.
During the dawn of the prog rock revolution, Rush were the first of their kind to venture out into massive song lengths on tracks like 2112 and the Fountain of Lamneth. Those were just the ice breakers for Xanadu though, which runs about 11 minutes telling the story of a man's journey through the valleys searching for the lost Xanadu. This kind of the thing would normally be standard for prog rock, but the language is a little too flowery to take seriously, culminating in Geddy Lee talking about dining on honeydew and drinking the milk of paradise.
It's not like this kind of thing wasn't treated as a bit of a joke in its day either, with fans coming to Rush shows in droves with the same prose on their banners. While a lot of artists manage to take a few weird detours with the rock opera, this is what you get when you tell Neil Peart that he doesn't have any parameters to work around anymore.