Checkout the below listed latest and best top 10 best Folk Rock songs of all time 2017, Folk Rock is not always something that people tend to think of. While more and more bands these days are dipping deeply into the folk sound and mixing it with a little bit of distortion, the styles of what were once considered Folk Rock (and what now is) are completely different. So when it became a task to comprise the greatest Folk Rock songs ever created, you will see that the general styles are all folk rock at heart, though they might quite literally sound very different from one another.
- 10. “First Day of My Life” – Bright Eyes – I’m Wide Awake, It’s Morning (2005)
- 9. “Ho Hey” – The Lumineers – The Lumineers (2012)
- 8. “Maggie May” – Rod Stewart – Every Picture Tells a Story (1971)
- 7. “Turn! Turn! Turn!” – The Byrds – Turn! Turn! Turn! (1965)
- 6. “Brown Eyed Girl” – Van Morrison – Blowin’ Your Mind (1967)
- 5. “Tangled Up In Blue” – Bob Dylan – Blood On The Tracks (1975)
- 4. “Summer In The City” – Lovin’ Spoonful – Hums of the Lovin’ Spoonful (1966)
- 3. “California Dreamin’” – The Mamas and the Papas – If You Can Believe Your Eyes and Ears (1966)
- 2. “Little Lion Man” – Mumford and Sons – Sigh No More (2009)
- 1. “Mrs. Robinson” – Simon and Garfunkel – The Graduate (1964)
Here we present the list of top 10 best Folk Rock songs of all time 2017.
10. “First Day of My Life” – Bright Eyes – I’m Wide Awake, It’s Morning (2005)
Bright Eyes has always had a loyal following with the folk and emo crowds respectively. Perhaps one of the greatest albums that the solo artist ever created was I’m Wide Awake, It’s Morning in 2005. While the album would feature multiple great examples of Folk Rock influence, perhaps the greatest example of this is “First Day of My Life”. The singer talks about the love that he has for his significant other, the kind of love that can make someone feel like they are completely new. He accounts that it could be a hard road that they have to travel together, and it won’t always be perfect. This is best showcased by the lyrical analogy : “I’d rather be working for a paycheck, then waiting to win the lottery.”
9. “Ho Hey” – The Lumineers – The Lumineers (2012)
The Lumineers are relatively new on the Folk Rock scene but have already made a serious statement with their self titled debut they dropped in 2012. The biggest single from this album (and consequently the biggest single from the group to date) was “Ho Hey”. This song is a Folk Rock masterpiece. It is simplistic, well worded and carefully composed. It has turned the song into an instant sing along hit, while simultaneously paying homage to legitimate folk groups that have paved the way for this group to have a devoted audience of ears to play to. The song received even more recognition from being featured on a few television programs, most noteworthy of these being Fox’s hit drama “Bones”.
8. “Maggie May” – Rod Stewart – Every Picture Tells a Story (1971)
Rod Stewart is a legendary musical performer. With countless hits to his credit, the artist has built an entire empire off of his Folk Rock roots. The evolution of his music, dipping hard into the pop genre at times, never strayed too far from the folk rock elements that would define him as a performer. One of the greatest tracks that the artist ever performed, as well as the single that best defines Stewart as a folk rock artist, is “Maggie May”. This particular masquerades as a loving track, but the lyrics would suggest that the singer knows that he is in an unhealthy relationship with a woman who is much older than he is. He realizes that he needs to move on with his life, even if he has legitimate feelings for Maggie, and end the relationship.
7. “Turn! Turn! Turn!” – The Byrds – Turn! Turn! Turn! (1965)
The Byrds were a pop up band in the 1960s. While there were all kinds of bands that would have noteworthy one-hit wonders (especially during this period in music), The Byrds wrote a wonderful representation of Folk Rock in the process. “Turn! Turn! Turn!” follows the adage that everything happens when it is supposed to, and everything that is meant to happen will have its season to do so. The lyrics of the song mimic the passage from the Bible in Ecclesiastes, which account for the lyrics of this song nearly word for word throughout its verses.
6. “Brown Eyed Girl” – Van Morrison – Blowin’ Your Mind (1967)
“Brown Eyed Girl” is an impressive display of Folk Rock gold. Van Morrison performed the song about a guy who is completely head over heels in love with his ‘brown eyed girl’. The song talks a lot about the times that the two used to have when they were younger, and much of the verses of the song itself focus on specific things the two used to do when they used to be in love with each other. The final verse of the song accounts the wish of Morrison to go back to the way things were before, when he was happy and very much in love with his girl.
5. “Tangled Up In Blue” – Bob Dylan – Blood On The Tracks (1975)
Bob Dylan could quite possibly be the single most successful folk artist of all time. His original lyrical content and commitment to his folk roots have shown the artist a lifetime of successes. One of the best tracks that represent both his commitment to his distinctly folk influence as well as working in some edgier rock elements would be his song “Tangled Up In Blue”. This song was so widely successful in the 70s, that it has inspired many artists since to cover the track in their own unique ways. This is no big shocker for the acoustic mastermind Dylan, as he is likely the most covered artist that has ever existed, as he has seen many of his songs recorded (many of these tracks being more successful than his own renditions) by a host of different bands in nearly every genre.
4. “Summer In The City” – Lovin’ Spoonful – Hums of the Lovin’ Spoonful (1966)
“Summer In The City” would become an anthem for the summertime all across the globe, thought the song might have more to do with dealing with the heat that the summer time provides. The Lovin’ Spoonful talks about how during the day time, people are walking around looking like zombies that cannot escape the sun because they can’t seem to find any cooling shade around. However, when the sun goes down, that’s when the “Summer In The City” really gets interesting. That’s when everyone comes out, guys are on the hunt for gals, and everyone is dressed up and looking their best in the cool night air.
3. “California Dreamin’” – The Mamas and the Papas – If You Can Believe Your Eyes and Ears (1966)
The Mamas and the Papas were one of the most impressive folk groups to have ever come out of the 1960s. The group would have numerous hit singles including “Monday, Monday”, “I Saw Her Again Last Night” and “Creeque Alley”. Their most successful hit, and the best representation that the band would show of their folk and rock influences would be “California Dreamin’”. In this particular song, the singer speaks of his wish that they could be back in California where he could be warm again, as the cold air of autumn is starting to blow the winter in where he is. Due to his commitment to his girl, he is forced to remain where he is, even though his heart wishes he could up and leave right now for sunny southern California.
2. “Little Lion Man” – Mumford and Sons – Sigh No More (2009)
When combining folk and rock together, Mumford and Sons are going to be in that discussion. While they have really only risen to prominence within the last decade, the band of folk rockers have already made a great impact on the world of music. Through their debut major release Sigh No More, the band was introducing their folk instrumentation to the entire globe. Heavy laden with banjos, mandolins and all other manner of folk specific instruments, Mumford and Sons best personifies what Folk Rock looks like in modern music.
1. “Mrs. Robinson” – Simon and Garfunkel – The Graduate (1964)
In the 1960s, Simon and Garfunkel were pumping out the hits. They have numerous hit singles to their names. Being writers for the soundtrack of The Graduate motion picture, the duo wrote what would be one of their most famous songs of all time. This would also be the greatest Folk Rock song of all time: “Mrs. Robinson”.
The better part of this iconic list seems to have been derived from the 1960s. The biggest reason for this is that rock music was still trying to slowly work its way into something that would eventually sound a lot different than it was considered at that time. While these are now considered to be light rock or folk rock classics, at the time they were written, these songs were quite edgy and pushing the envelope of their respective genres. Each of these songs would come to define Folk Rock though, and prove to be inspirational to folk artists and rock artists alike.