10 Rock Songs to Play While Saving the Day
When you’re busy saving the day, any superhero worth his tights and cape will tell you that a proper soundtrack is all but required — preferably something that gets you into that heroic, saving-the-day sorta mindset. Any of the cuts on our list of the Top 10 Best Rock Songs to Play While Saving the Day will help you get the job done. Plus, it’s a whole lot cheaper than sending a Bat Signal.
Kinks frontman Ray Davies has changed into countless guises over the year to write hundreds of compelling story songs, effortlessly slipping in and out of character as his creative muse demands. While his subjects often lean toward the luckless and downtrodden, here’s an occasion where he feels like one of the world's most popular superheroes, even if he does need a trendy disco pulse to get into character.
This well-liked Wings B-Side actually references a trio of bad guys, not heroes, drawn from the Marvel Comics Universe, but we still couldn’t resist including it in our list of the Top 10 Best Rock Songs To Play While Saving the Day. For starters, who would have guessed Paul McCartney was such an avid comic-book fan, and, secondly, how often does one catch the super-likable Sir Paul rooting for the dark side?
Even though they appear to stand 50 feet tall on those colossal concert video screens, you may be surprised to learn that Mick Jagger, Keith Richards and the other Stones aren’t the most imposing physical specimens in the world. But that’s why when one of them does come to save the day, like “a knight in shining armor,” it’ll be your ‘Emotional Rescue’ they have in mind. You're on your own when it comes to saving your butt and other parts of the body.
Contrary to the well-established rules of international heroism, sometimes good guys do wear black as they go about their day-saving responsibilities. Even though the protagonist of Black Sabbath’s 1970 doom masterpiece appears -- in Ozzy Osbourne’s telling -- to be more interested in wreaking “vengeance from the grave, killing the people he once saved,” 'Iron Man' did save their asses the first time around.
If you’ve never heard of science-fiction hero Dan Dare -- Pilot of the Future, we really can’t blame you, since his stories aired only on British radio during the 1950s. Heck, this guy is so old, his futuristic adventures were set in the incomprehensibly distant future of the 1990s. But Captain Dare was obviously not so distant a memory when Elton John and Bernie Taupin composed this ode to his adventures in 1975.
To thousands of underground heavy-metal fans, Metallica were the '80s’ greatest superheroes, leading thrash metal’s moshing assault against pop-metal. But in the '90s, the band was pegged as villains by some of those same fickle fans. But that was totally unfair. Which is why we’re coming to their rescue by defending their musically heroic ‘Load’ standout ‘Hero of the Day.’
Neil Young’s sobering and downright harrowing 'Let's Roll' was inspired by 9/11. From the strident cellphone ring that introduces the song through the spine-chilling account based on voice mails left by the heroic passengers of doomed Flight 93, here’s a song that stands for heroism at its most selfless and pure.
As one of the world’s greatest guitar heroes (get it?), Joe Satriani probably had one of those big red phones -- you know, the kind typically used for conducting superhero business -- conveniently set up right there in the studio. Either way, seems the Silver Surfer answered his call, because ‘Surfing With the Alien’ became a benchmark of instrumental guitar music.
Even though 'Heroes' lacks some of the physical punch found in other entries on our list of the 10 Rock Songs to Play While Saving the Day, there are few musical messages as inspiring as David Bowie's timeless anthem. Along with the album that shares its name, ‘Heroes’ was written under the shadow of the Berlin Wall; so its exhortation that “we can be heroes just for one day” rang out like a plea to the oppressed citizens of that divided city. Like Neil Young’s 'Let's Roll,' this is a song about ordinary people accomplishing heroic things.
'Flash' pretty much covers all of the bases required of larger-than-life heroism in classic-rock songwriting. Queen’s bombastic theme for 1981‘s ‘Flash Gordon’ soundtrack delivers the action, the adventure, the power and even evocative movie-dialogue soundbites. In short, everything that everyday heroes might require to save the day, every day -- whether in the service of mankind or their own childish fantasies as they shout defiantly in the bedroom mirror.