Let’s face it: every year we are looking for the best music festivals to go to – whether small, big, with varied bands or with newly launched bands, we want to get the top spots in the row and we have fun!
Yet, throughout history, certain songs have stood the test of time and have remained in the collective memory of the frenetic crowd as eternal symbols of their time.
Here are the hits that changed music festivals forever!
- Bohemian Rhapsody – Queen
An immortal symbol of 70s rock music, Queen broke records with the release of their famous ‘Bohemian Rhapsody‘. And some may even consider it one of the best songs ever written, for its complex blend of several styles: opera, ballad and hard rock.
‘Bohemian Rhapsody‘ was also included in the 1985 Live Aid concert, which featured famous names like David Bowie, Madonna and Elton John, accounting for over 75 performances. Later, Queen’s act was voted the greatest rock performance in music history in a 2005 poll.
- Enter Sandman – Metallica
Released in 1991, ‘Enter Sandman‘ is Metallica’s first single. It was hugely successful, with over 20 million copies purchased worldwide.
The song has both heavy metal and hard rock influences and earned a spot on the US Billboard Hot 100. One of their most acclaimed performances was at the Monsters of Rock festival in Moscow, in their first year, with half a million attendees.
Other names that have also performed there include The Rolling Stones, Eurhythmics and U2. It was a festival that promoted independence and freedom just months before the fall of the Soviet Union.
- The final countdown – Europe
If you’ve ever attended a rock festival, you must have jumped to the beats of the famous song ‘The final Countdown‘ from the Swedish group Europe.
One such occasion was the 2017 Wacken Open Air event when the famous band made their grand appearance in front of an overwhelming crowd of over 3000 people. Even though it was packed, that didn’t stop rock fans from shouting the lyrics to one of the most iconic songs of the 80s.
Speaking of icons, ‘The final Countdown‘ was inspired by the 60s hit ‘Spatial oddity‘, by David Bowie. To this day, the two are still considered constant musical references by growing musicians and artists.
- Ace of Spades – Motörhead
As you may have already inferred from its name, ‘Ace of Spades‘ is an ode to the game.
It went down in history along with other iconic tracks thanks to its reference to the infamous Sheriff Wild Bill Hancock who was killed in a game of poker. The story brought Motörhead huge success, as the song reached the top positions of the UK charts in the 80s.
The band toured the world with this song and included it in several of their festivals. Their efforts paid off, gathering huge crowds at well-known events, like the 2015 EXIT festival.
- Dancing Queen – ABBA
We all know the famous pop group for winning the 1974 edition of Eurovision with the song ‘Waterloo‘. Little did they know at the time that from then on they would become one of the most renowned and beloved bands of all time.
Every song they released became an instant hit, with gigs scheduled around the world. And it happened with the song ‘dancing queen‘, which stayed at number one on the charts for 2 weeks, in Sweden. One of the most memorable renditions of this song took place at the 1979 Wembley Arena concert in London.
- Wake me up – Avicii
Avicii has remained a symbol of electronic music and will be remembered for their unique mixes and empowering music videos. His talent quickly brought him to the world charts, with the single ‘Wake me up!‘ hit #1 for 4 weeks on Billboard.
The song combines several styles of music, such as EDM and country, which have earned it worldwide acclaim from even the most feisty critics. And Avicii fans were quick to rave about him, with hundreds of thousands of people flocking to Mawazine and Untold music festivals just to enjoy his music.
- In and Out of Love – Armin van Burren & Sharon den Adel
This top with festival songs wouldn’t be complete without Armin van Burren’s famous ‘In and out of love‘ Single.
Released in 2008, it became an icon of EDM songs in the 2000s. Its echoes were heard at some of the most important music festivals in the world, from Miami to Amsterdam. Armin’s talent has not been left without public recognition, as he landed the top spot in the DJ Mag Top 100 DJs poll five times.
- Zombie – Cranberries
If you are a rock fan, you have surely listened to the single ‘Zombie‘ more than once in your life. Released in 1994, its lyrics involve more than meets the eye, as the song has a political underlay.
Yet that’s not the only aspect that makes the song truly unique. The aesthetic of the video, along with the distinctive voice of the late singer Dolores O’Riordan truly sets a special mood. Since her death, many rock artists have worked on covers and remixes of this song to pay tribute to this wonderful singer.
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