Rock and Roll has shaped history, pop culture and countless lives. Many might even say that rock and roll saved their life. So, if someone were to approach you and ask which songs are most important to the genre, where would you start?

That question is answered and explored in WMMR’s Essential 200, our list of 200 rock songs from the entire history of the genre that helped influence, elevate or flat out change what we call “Rock and Roll.” These are songs every rock fan should know ranging from massive hits to unique live recordings to some deeper cuts in the genre.

When crafting this list, we created a few guidelines and exceptions:

1. An artist will be represented by one track from their catalog. However, certain musicians might appear multiple times. For example, you will find a song from The Beatles on this list, but you will also see tracks from John Lennon and Paul McCartney’s solo career.

2. The Duets/”Under Pressure” rule: A collaboration will not count toward an artist’s representation on the list, meaning you will see a separate song from Queen, a separate song from David Bowie AND their classic collaboration of “Under Pressure.”

3. For a live recording to be included on this list, it must have received an official release of some kind, either on a physical album/compilation or digitally. Random live duets found on YouTube do not count.

Now that you know the rules, scroll through the gallery below to see all the songs from A-H, including tracks with symbols and numbers in their title which kick off this list.

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