While rock and roll may no longer be dominant in popular music in America, it remains the preferred genre of millions. As legendary rocker Neil Young so succinctly put it, “rock and roll can never die.”
This point is supported by the numerous exceptional rock songs released in 2019. The spotlight was shared by artists working in many of rock’s subgenres, including indie, pop, metal, electo, hard rock, and more. The best of this year’s releases will undoubtedly stand the test of time and join the ranks of rock music history.
24/7 Tempo has identified the best rock songs of the year based on Billboard Hot Rock Songs chart performance. These are the year’s best based on radio airplay, sales data, and streaming.
Plenty of young and relatively new artists made big waves in rock music over the past year. These include musicians Oliver Tree, Matt Maeson, and Hozier, whose 2014 self-titled LP was not only a great rock record, but also one of the best pop albums of all time.
More well-established artists made their mark as well. Among these were progressive metal band Tool, who released their long-awaited album “Fear Inoculum” in 2019. Other genre favorites to release some of the year’s best songs include The Black Keys, Slipknot, and Muse, further cementing their status as rock and roll greats. Here are the 100 most popular rock bands of all time.
24/7 Tempo identified the best rock songs of the year based on the top-ranking tracks on Billboard’s Hot Rock Songs Year-End Chart. This chart ranks the year’s most popular rock songs based on radio airplay and sales data as measured by Nielsen Music, as well as online streaming activity. Total Spotify plays refers to the total number of times each song has been streamed on music service Spotify as of Dec. 6, 2019.
We removed songs that had entered the charts more than five years after their release so as to better portray the face of modern rock music. For example, numerous songs by the band Queen that appeared on the Hot Rock Songs chart following the release of the movie “Bohemian Rhapsody” were taken out of consideration.