31 Best Piano Rock Songs Of All Time - Music Grotto (2023)


Many people think of the piano as a classical instrument, meant for nursery rhymes and old compositions. This couldn’t be further from the truth, as it is an integral part of rock, jazz, and music history as a whole.

Piano rock is a genre unto itself, boasting some of the funkiest, hardest-hitting, and best tracks of all time. In this article, we’ll go over the 31 best piano rock songs of all time.

1. Free Bird – Lynyrd Skynyrd

Lynyrd Skynyrd - Free Bird (Official Audio)

Free Bird might seem like an interesting choice for this list since it has some of the greatest guitar solos of all time, but the intro for the song is pure piano rock. One of the most iconic tracks of all time, it was first released on Lynyrd Skynyrd’s debut album and would go on to become a signature song for the band despite lasting for over 14 minutes when played in full.

2. Bohemian Rhapsody – Queen

Queen – Bohemian Rhapsody (Official Video Remastered)

Bohemian Rhapsody ranks pretty high up there in any list of the greatest songs of all time and is an absolute masterpiece. Rather than a standard rock track, it goes through progressions and sections the way a classically-composed song would, from soft piano rock to opera and hard rock to ballad. It’s Queen’s signature track and one that has been immortalized in several halls of fame.

3. Hey Jude – The Beatles

The Beatles - Hey Jude

Hey Jude is another one of those tracks that will forever remain one of the best of all time and showcased the simple yet effective songwriting of The Beatles. Just about everyone has heard this comforting piano rocker and it has just enough of an ethereal quality to it, coming from its beautiful piano instrumental, to make it dreamy and spacey.

4. Great Balls of Fire – Jerry Lee Lewis

Great Balls Of Fire

Rock music didn’t start with the guitar at the forefront, it was the piano and jazz instruments that helped the genre get started. Jerry Lee Lewis was one of the progenitors of rock music and Great Balls Of Fire is a fun little bop to this day. It even had a resurgence in popularity after being featured in the film Top Gun: Maverick.

5. Piano Man – Billy Joel

Billy Joel - Piano Man (Official HD Video)

Billy Joel spent the early part of his career playing piano in bars, clubs, and hotels, and Piano Man was based on his experiences during that time. He was heavy on piano rock throughout his career, and this was the song that gave him his nickname. It’s an all-time classic rock track that leans into his piano skills in the best way possible and is still one of his most-played songs in concert.

Next: Top piano songs to play in a bar

6. Changes – David Bowie

David Bowie - Changes [Official Lyric Video]


Changes is one of the easiest piano rock songs to learn to play and one of your best options to accelerate your learning. It goes through several changes—pun, I know—throughout the track, alternating from a piano ballad to a dance number. David Bowie went through a lot of changes himself as he tried to find a sound that would earn him fame, with this serving as a bit of a retrospective of those transitions.

7. Riders on the Storm – The Doors

The Doors - Riders on the Storm (Official Audio)

The Doors’ short career together would fundamentally alter the landscape of rock music. Their keyboardist, Ray Manzarek, should be on any list of the best rock pianists, and his presence ensured every one of their songs had an amazing piano part included. In Riders On The Storm, he makes his keyboard mimic the sound of falling rain in one of the band’s best-ever tracks in a twinkling and falling tune.

8. Tiny Dancer – Elton John

Elton John - Tiny Dancer

Elton John was another brilliant pianist that leaned into the instrument for his signature rock sound. It’s one of those classic tracks that always seems to find its way on major publications’ lists of the greatest songs of all time. One cool fact about it, despite never being released as an official single in the UK, Tiny Dancer was certified platinum over there.

9. House Of The Rising Sun – The Animals

The Animals - House Of The Rising Sun (Music Video) [4K HD]

House Of The Rising Sun likely originated as an Appalachian folk song long before The Animals recorded their version of it. It’s the perfect example of blending lyrics and music together, creating something hauntingly beautiful yet anxiety-inducing at the same time. It would go down in rock history as one of the best tracks ever and The Animals’ signature single.

10. Come Sail Away – Styx

Styx - Come Sail Away

Come Sail Away leans into, perhaps more than any other song on this list, classical piano compositions for its piano sections rather than just normal keyboard rock. An uplifting track about sailing away and going in search of your dreams, it remains one of the best Styx songs ever and is a reasonable choice for beginners that are learning to play the piano.

11. The Great Gig In The Sky – Pink Floyd

Pink Floyd - The Great Gig In The Sky (PULSE Restored & Re-Edited)

Pink Floyd’s The Great Gig In The Sky almost feels like a funeral song, led by the piano and backed up by their signature vocals and a strumming guitar. If I’m honest about it, the track reminds me of the music they played at my grandmother’s church when I was growing up, at least in terms of vibe if not structure or substance.

12. Nothing Else Matters – Metallica

Metallica: Nothing Else Matters (Official Music Video)

A heavy metal band like Metallica probably seems like a strange entry for a list of the best piano rock songs, but absolutely no one can debate how incredibly easy it is to swap out the guitar chords for the keyboard. In fact, listening closely, you can hear the keyboard backing up those chords.

13. New York State of Mind – Billy Joel

Billy Joel - New York State Of Mind (from Old Grey Whistle Test)

(Video) John Legend - All of Me (Official Video)

The Piano Man returns to this list with New York State Of Mind. Another classic song from Billy Joel, this one was inspired by his move back to New York from Los Angeles, eventually becoming a fan favorite and one of the tracks he played most often in concert. In the years since it was released, it’s been covered by numerous other artists and won quite a lot of different awards.

14. Let It Be – The Beatles

Let It Be (Remastered 2009)

The Beatles were obviously going to feature on this list with more than one track, they were masters of piano rock. One of their biggest hits of all time, Let It Be was simple, catchy, and a pretty easy piano rock song to pick up to play yourself. It really allows the piano to shine, featuring very few vocals in comparison to the instrumentals, making it the ideal track to listen to if you really want to get a feel for pure piano rock.

15. Bridge Over Troubled Water – Simon & Garfunkel

Simon & Garfunkel - Bridge Over Troubled Water (Audio)

The title track of Simon & Garfunkel’s 1970 album helped mark a turning point for the duo stylistically. They shifted away from their early music style into something with more elements of rock, gospel, and jazz, but never lost their beautiful piano-rock sensibilities. Bridge Over Troubled Water won five Grammy Awards in 1971 and was covered by more than 50 artists, with the likes of Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, and Aretha Franklin being on that list.

16. Hit The Road Jack – Ray Charles

Ray Charles - Hit The Road Jack (Official Lyrics Video)

Here’s another one of those classic tracks that just about everyone has heard once or twice. Hit The Road Jack is an iconic blues piano rock song that’s become so iconic it’s used in sports arenas, commercials, and movies all the time. It’s also a great track for beginner piano players to learn.

17. Thunder Road – Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band

Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band - Thunder Road (Live In Barcelona)

Thunder Road was a high feature on our list of the best Bruce Springsteen tracks as well. It wasn’t released as a single but still found its way onto Rolling Stone’s list of the 500 Greatest Songs of All Time and became one of his best. Energetic, upbeat, and a classic power ballad, this is led by quite an excellent piano part.

18. Don’t Stop – Fleetwood Mac

Fleetwood Mac - Don't Stop (Official Music Video)

Fleetwood Mac’s best-selling album was Rumours, combining the massive talents of songwriters Christine McVie and Stevie Nicks and a huge turning point for the band as they went through relationship-based upheavals.

Don’t Stop was the piano-driven single of the album that held tight to the sound they were developing and reshaping at the time, a snapshot of the band at the peak of their powers.

19. Walking In Memphis – Marc Cohn

Marc Cohn - Walking in Memphis (Official Music Video)

Walking In Memphis holds a special place in my heart because it was one of the songs I grew up listening to on the tapes my mom played throughout the day in our house. That version was probably the cover by Lonestar, but still. It’s Marc Cohn’s signature track, earning him a Song of the Year nomination at the Grammy Awards and cementing his place as an up-and-coming artist.

20. November Rain – Guns N’ Roses

Guns N' Roses - November Rain

(Video) Air Supply - Making Love Out Of Nothing At All

November Rain was as close to a ballad as Guns N’ Roses ever got. A piano-driven power ballad, it featured both an incredible guitar solo from Slash and some of the best keyboarding in the band’s history.

A very long song, running almost nine minutes for the album version, it was the longest track to break into the Top 10 of the Hot 100 at the time when it peaked at number three on the chart.

21. Butterflies and Hurricanes – Muse

Butterflies and Hurricanes

Butterflies And Hurricanes stood out quite a lot on Muse’s Absolution album, especially since it was one of two songs on the record that made use of a full studio orchestra for the instrumentation. Drawing on famous composer Sergei Rachmaninoff, the piano interlude of the track is sublime. It was a big hit in the UK as well, rising to number two on the UK Rock and Metal chart and number 14 on the UK Singles.

22. Clocks – Coldplay

Coldplay - Clocks (Official Video)

Clocks is one of the standout piano-rock songs of the modern era, mainly owing to its signature riff that makes use of unusual progressions. It was an insanely popular radio track when it was released and it remains one of the better piano-rock songs for beginners to learn to play.

23. My Immortal – Evanescence

Evanescence - My Immortal (Official Music Video)

If you’re a fan of Evanescence, you know that you’re going to get some of the most chillingly beautiful vocal performances in rock, but you should also expect some exquisite piano parts. In what may be the band’s prettiest song, My Immortal is a modern take on the piano rock genre that compliments Amy Lee’s goosebump-raising voice in the best way imaginable.

24. Firth of Fifth – Genesis

Genesis - Firth Of Fifth (Official Audio)

One of Genesis’ longer songs, totaling around nine minutes, Firth Of Fifth starts off with a cheery piano section to get it started before exploding into the experimental sounds that made them one of the best progressive bands of all time.

Recommended Next: Our list of our favorite Genesis songs

25. Your Song – Elton John

Elton John - Your Song (Top Of The Pops 1971)

More than anywhere else in Elton John’s catalog, Your Song puts on a piano spectacle. It was his first-ever international Top 10 single and was one of the tracks responsible for launching his career as a whole.

26. Stairway To Heaven – Led Zeppelin

Led Zeppelin - Stairway To Heaven (Official Audio)

(Video) ALL Vivo Sing Along Songs & Music Videos 🎶🐵 Netflix Jr

Stairway To Heaven is often regarded as one of the best rock songs of all time, making its way onto numerous lists of the best rock tracks ever and an epic piano-rocker that was one of Led Zeppelin’s brightest moments.

27. Tutti Frutti – Little Richard

Tutti Frutti

Here’s another entry from the very early days of rock and roll. Little Richard’s Tutti Frutti remains a classic rock song from the infancy of the genre with an immortal introductory vocal and a peak rock piano to carry the track through. It’s one of those songs you’d let your kids listen to at an early age because it seems innocent, but it’s actually a fairly explicit track.

28. Right Here Waiting – Richard Marx

Richard Marx - Right Here Waiting (Official Music Video)

Richard Marx came up with Right Here Waiting while his wife was away shooting a film as sort of a love letter to her that said he would be right where he was waiting for her return. It was a Billboard Hot 100 number-one in 1989 and a huge international hit.

29. Sweet Home Alabama – Lynyrd Skynyrd

Lynyrd Skynyrd - Sweet Home Alabama (Audio)

Sweet Home Alabama is another entry from Lynyrd Skynyrd that retains that southern rock vibe the band was so well known for. Making use of the piano, guitar, and drums, they produced an all-time classic song that still sees plenty of play throughout the Southwestern US today.

30. Layla – Derek and the Dominos


Perhaps a strange choice, a song conceived by one of the greatest guitar players of all time makes its way onto our list. Eric Clapton was inspired to write Layla after reading an Arabian love story and his love for a fellow musician’s wife. Two different versions have been released, both finding fairly solid success, but the piano parts of the track are superb.

31. Numb – Linkin Park

Numb (Official Music Video) [4K UPGRADE] – Linkin Park

I realize it may be cheating a bit to include any kind of nu-metal on the list, but I can’t leave off Numb by Linkin Park. It has an absolutely epic intro and piano chord that serves as the perfect background for the emotional, pained lyrics to create one of those perfect high-energy complaint songs that’s also ridiculously relatable.

Dakotah Blanton

As a contributing writer for Music Grotto, Dakotah writes and produces professional music/media content. He works closely with editorial staff to meet editorial standards and create
quality content for the Music Grotto website. Dakotah is passionate about music in a wide variety of genres, from hip-hop to country and lo-fi to metal, and he enjoys creating music pieces for Music Grotto.


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What are the top 40 rock songs right now? ›

  • Dead Don't Die. ...
  • The Dirt I'm Buried In. ...
  • Blood In The Water. Ayron Jones•Blood In The Water. ...
  • Jesus He Knows Me. Ghost•Jesus He Knows Me. ...
  • Watch The World BurnE. Falling in Reverse•Watch The World Burn. ...
  • Watch Me Burn. Atreyu•Watch Me Burn. ...
  • All Things Must Change. Bush•All Things Must Change. ...
  • Cut The Line. Papa Roach•Cut The Line.

Are there any rock songs about love? ›

One of the most fun rock love songs is Halestorm's "Here's to Us," a tune that celebrates the romantic union and that feeling a couple gets when it's them against the world. Hey, if any rocker can make you feel good about your relationship, it's gotta be Halestorm singer-guitarist Lzzy Hale.

Can piano be used for rock? ›

Classical music isn't the only learning material for piano, and many rock songs feature piano solos, and many good piano rock songs have piano as a lead instrument.

What was the genre of rock in the early 2000s? ›

Garage rock, post-punk and new wave revival

In the early 2000s, a new group of bands emerged into the mainstream which drew primary inspiration from post–punk and new wave and were variously characterized as part of a garage rock, post–punk, or new wave revival.

What is the most successful rock song of all time? ›

1. 'Purple Haze' by Jimi Hendrix.

What is the most played rock song in the world? ›

The Most Played Classic Rock Songs Of All Time
  • All Along The Watch Tower – Jimi Hendrix.
  • You Shook Me All Night Long – AC/DC.
  • More Than A Feeling – Boston.
  • Carry On My Wayward Son – Kansas.
  • Peace Of Mind – Boston.
  • Crazy On You – Heart.
  • Legs – ZZ Top.
  • Sharp Dressed Man – ZZ Top.
Mar 6, 2020

What songs do people make love to? ›

If you're feeling a little more romantic, they have also made a list of the 10 top songs people are adding to their love playlists.
  • “Love Yourself” – Justin Bieber.
  • “All of Me” – John Legend.
  • “Photograph” – Ed Sheeran.
  • “Sorry” – Justin Bieber.
  • “Could You Be Loved” – Bob Marley and the Wailers.
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What is the most common love song? ›

'Unchained Melody' by the Righteous Brothers

The world seems to agree: The Righteous Brothers' version of the song remains the most popular and well-loved out of hundreds of recordings from around the globe.

What rock song has a heartbeat in it? ›

The rhythm of Rod Stewart's heart was "beating like a drum" in his 1991 hit "Rhythm of My Heart," while that same year Amy Grant's "Every Heartbeat" belonged to God. Def Leppard's last Top 40 single was the power ballad "Miss You in a Heartbeat."

Why can't you put a piano on an outside wall? ›

The longstanding recommendation has been to avoid placing a piano against external walls since the temperature fluctuations will make it go out of tune.

Should a piano be against a wall? ›

Upright pianos should be placed against an inner wall, away from direct sunlight, air vents, doors, and windows. These measures help to preserve your piano's overall condition, tuning stability, and longevity. The majority of sound from an upright piano comes from the back of the instrument.

What was the first rock genre? ›

The immediate roots of rock and roll lay in the rhythm and blues, then called "race music", in combination with either boogie-woogie and shouting gospel or with country music of the 1940s and 1950s. Particularly significant influences were jazz, blues, gospel, country, and folk.

What was the most popular rock genre in the late 1980s? ›

In the late 1980s, glam metal became the largest, most commercially successful brand of music worldwide.

What was the first genre of rock music called? ›

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What's considered the greatest song ever written? ›

2021 list
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2Public Enemy"Fight the Power"
3Sam Cooke"A Change Is Gonna Come"
4Bob Dylan"Like a Rolling Stone"
6 more rows

What is the No 1 song of all time? ›

According to Guinness World Records, Irving Berlin's "White Christmas" (1942) as performed by Bing Crosby is the best-selling single worldwide, with estimated sales of over 50 million copies.

Who is the #1 selling rock band of all time? ›

Top-selling artists worldwide as of 2022

Perhaps unsurprisingly, British rock band The Beatles are top of the list for best-selling artists worldwide, with 183 million units certified sales.

What was the first number one rock song? ›

​​1955 brings Rock and Roll's first #1 hit - as Bill Haley and His Comets top the Pop Chart with the single "Rock Around The Clock".

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Artists with the most cumulative weeks at number one
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Three Days Grace92
6 more rows

What was the first rock song to become famous in the world? ›

Bill Haley: Rock Around the Clock – the world's first rock anthem | Music | The Guardian.

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  • (6) Calm Down. Rema. ...
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  • (2) All My Life. Lil Durk and J. ...
  • (new) new. Where She Goes Highest Debut.

What is the most listened to song today? ›

Today's Top Hits
  • Dance The Night (From Barbie The Album) Dua Lipa.
  • Flowers. Miley Cyrus.
  • WHERE SHE GOES. Bad Bunny.
  • Kill Bill. SZA.
  • Cupid - Twin Ver. FIFTY FIFTY.
  • Calm Down (with Selena Gomez) Rema, Selena Gomez.
  • As It Was. Harry Styles.
  • People. Libianca.

What is a top 40 song? ›

In the music industry, the Top 40 is the current, 40 most-popular songs in a particular genre. It is the best-selling or most frequently broadcast popular music. Record charts have traditionally consisted of a total of 40 songs. "Top 40" or "contemporary hit radio" is also a radio format.


1. these songs honestly just have a sad vibe. (sad slowed playlist + rain)
2. Tom Odell - Another Love (Lyrics)
3. What Makes This Song Great? Ep.104 Pink Floyd
(Rick Beato)
4. Whitney Houston - Greatest Love Of All (Official 4K Video)
(Whitney Houston)
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(Nathaniel Rateliff)
(Paul Davids)


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