Old school music my top10 in Rock, Hip Hop, Soul and Electronic music

old school music

Old school music from my past, this is my own personal favorite songs in 4 different genres.

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Old school music - ROCK

old school music - rock

Old school rock music

Old school rock music is a broad genre that originated as “rock and roll” in the United States in the early 1950s, and developed into a range of different styles in the 1960s and later, particularly in the United States and the United Kingdom. 

It has its roots in the 1940s and 1950s rock and roll, a style which drew heavily from the genres of blues, rhythm and blues, and from country music. Rock music also drew strength from a number of other genres such as electric blues, and incorporated influences from jazz, classical and other musical styles.

Musically, rock has centered on the electric guitar, usually as part of a rock group with electric bass, drums, and one or more singers. Usually, rock is song-based music with a 4/4 time signature using a verse-chorus form, but the genre has become extremely diverse. Like pop music, lyrics often stress romantic love but also address a wide variety of other themes that are frequently social or political.

#1 Guns N' Roses - Knockin' on Heaven's Door

Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door (1987) – Guns N’ Roses started performing the song. A live version of the song was released on the maxi-single of “Welcome to the Jungle” the same year. They recorded and released a studio version in 1990 for the soundtrack of the film Days of Thunder.

It became Guns N’ Roses’ third (and to date last) number-one single.

#2 The Animals - House of the Rising Sun

House of the Rising Sun (1964) – The Animals are an English rhythm and blues and rock band, and a key part of the British Invasion of the US. The band moved to London upon finding fame in 1964.

The Animals were known for their gritty sound and deep-voiced frontman Eric Burdon, as exemplified by their signature song and transatlantic No. 1 hit single, “House of the Rising Sun“.

#3 AC/DC - Thunderstruck

Thunderstruck (1990)AC/DC are an Australian rock band formed in Sydney in 1973 by Scottish-born brothers Malcolm and Angus Young. They describe their music as simply “rock and roll”.

The album, Back in Black, launched them to heights of success and became one of the best selling albums of all time.

#4 Dire Straits - Sultans Of Swing

Sultans Of Swing (1978)Dire Straits were a British rock band formed in London in 1977 by Mark Knopfler (lead vocals and lead guitar), David Knopfler, John Illsley, and Pick Withers.

They were active from 1977 to 1988 and again from 1991 to 1995. Dire Straits are one of the world’s best-selling music artists, with album sales of over 100 million.

#5 The Rolling Stones - Paint It, Black

Paint It, Black (1966) The Rolling Stones are an English rock band formed in London in 1962.

Mick Jagger (lead vocals) and Keith Richards (lead guitar) are some of Rock’s most famous musicians.

The Rolling Stones were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1989.

#6 Led Zeppelin - Whole Lotta Love

Whole Lotta Love (1969) Led Zeppelin were an English rock band formed in London in 1968. 

Their song “Stairway to Heaven“, is among the most popular and influential works in rock music, and it helped to secure the group’s popularity and a ticket into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1995.

#7 Black Sabbath - Paranoid

Paranoid (1970) Black Sabbath were an English rock band formed in Birmingham in 1968 by Tony Iommi, Bill Ward, Geezer Butler, and Ozzy Osbourne. Black Sabbath are often cited as pioneers of heavy metal music.

They distinguished themselves through occult themes with horror-inspired lyrics and tuned-down guitars.

#8 Iron Maiden - Fear of The Dark

Fear of The Dark (1992) Iron Maiden are an English heavy metal band formed in Leyton, East London, in 1975 by bassist and primary songwriter Steve Harris.

Iron Maiden is considered one of the most successful heavy metal bands in history, with over 100 million copies of their albums sold worldwide.

#9 Scorpions - Still Loving You

Still Loving You (1984) Scorpions are a German rock band formed in 1965 in Hanover by Rudolf Schenker.

Rolling Stone magazine described the Scorpions as “the heroes of heavy metal”. The band has influenced a number of acts such as Guns N’ Roses, Mötley Crüe, Def Leppard, Metallica, Megadeth and many many more.

#10 Deep Purple - Smoke On The Water

Smoke On The Water (1972) Deep Purple are an English rock band formed in Hertford in 1968.

They were listed in the 1975 Guinness Book of World Records as “the globe’s loudest band” for a 1972 concert at London’s Rainbow Theatre, and have sold over 100 million copies of their albums worldwide.

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Old school music - Hip Hop

old school music - hip hop

Old school hip hop music

Old school Hip Hip music (also spelled old skool) is the earliest commercially recorded hip hop music. It typically refers to music created in the early 80′. Old school hip hop is said to have ended around 1988, due to changes in both rapping technique and the accompanying music and rhythms.

The image, styles, and sounds of old school hip hop were exemplified by figures like Grandmaster Flash, Afrika Bambaataa, DJ Kool Herc, Treacherous Three, Funky Four Plus One, and Fab Five Freddy just to name some of them. 

It is characterized by the simpler rapping techniques of the time and the general focus on party-related subject matter. The lyrics were usually not a very important part of old school rap songs. There were, however, exceptions such as Brother D’s, “How We Gonna Make the Black Nation Rise,” and Kurtis Blow’s, “Hard Times” (both released in 1980), that explored socially relevant ideas. 

The release of The Message by Grandmaster Flash and The Furious Five, marked the arrival of hip hop as social commentary, making it possible for future artists like Public Enemy and N.W.A to create an identity based on socially conscious themes in later years.

Old school rappers are widely respected by current hip hop artists and fans, with many claiming they have contributed to the evolution of hip hop.


I GOT 5 ON IT (1995) Luniz(formerly the LuniTunes) is a duo from Oakland, California, formed by Yukmouth and Numskull. The group is best known for the internationally successful hit in 1995 titled “I Got 5 on It”.

#2 N.W.A. - Straight Outta Compton

Straight Outta Compton (1988) N.W.A(Niggaz Wit Attitudes) was an American hip hop group from Compton, California.

They were among the earliest and most significant popularizers and controversial figures of the gangsta rap subgenre, and are widely considered one of the greatest and most influential groups in the history of hip hop music.

#3 Vanilla Ice - Ice Ice Baby

Ice Ice Baby (1989) Robert Matthew Van Winkle, known professionally as Vanilla Ice, is an American rapper. Although he was successful, Ice later regretted his business arrangements, which had paid him to adopt a more commercial appearance to appeal to a mass audience.

After surviving a suicide attempt, Ice changed his musical style and lifestyle.

#4 Coolio - Gangsta's Paradise (feat. L.V.)

Gangsta’s Paradise (1995) Artis Leon Ivey Jr, known by his stage name Coolio, is an American rapper, and record producer.

Coolio achieved mainstream success in the mid-to-late 1990s with his albums It Takes a Thief (1994) and Gangsta’s Paradise (1995)

#5 Tupac - Changes

Changes (1992) Tupac Shakur, also known by his stage names 2Pac and Makaveli, was an American rapper and actor. 2Pac is one of the best-selling music artists of all time having sold over 75 million records worldwide.

In 2002, he was inducted into the Hip-Hop Hall of Fame. In 2003, Harvard University co-sponsored an academic symposium entitled “All Eyez on Me”.

#6 Eric B. & Rakim - Juice

Juice (1991) Eric B. & Rakimare a hip hop duo formed in Long Island, New York, in 1986.

In the late ’80s, Eric B. & Rakim were almost universally recognized as the premier DJ/MC team in all of hip-hop and ranked as one of the greatest hip hip duos of all time. 

#7 Cypress Hill - Insane In The Brain

Insane In The Brain (1993) Cypress Hillis an American hip hop group from South Gate, California. Cypress Hill was the first Latino American hip hop recording group to have a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame and platinum and multi-platinum albums, selling over 20 million albums worldwide.

They are considered being among the main progenitors of West Coast rap and hip hop in the early 1990s.

#8 RUN DMC - It's Like That

It’s Like That (1984) Run-DMC was an American hip hop group from Hollis, Queens, New York, founded in 1983 by Joseph Simmons, Darryl McDaniels, and Jason Mizell.

Run-DMC is widely acknowledged as one of the most influential acts in the history of hip hop culture and one of the most famous hip hop acts in the World.

#9 Kris Kross - Jump

Jump (1992) Kris Kross was an American hip hop duo formed in the early 1990s that consisted of Chris “Mac Daddy” Kelly and Chris “Daddy Mac” Smith.

The duo was discovered by Jermaine Dupri in 1991 and hit worldwide status the following year with their smash hit debut single, “Jump“. Chris Kelly died of a drug overdose in 2013.

#10 Dre Day by Dr. Dre ft. Snoop Dogg - Interscope

Interscope (1992) Andre Romelle Young,  known professionally as Dr. Dre, is an American rapper and record producer. found fame with the influential gangsta rap group N.W.A, which popularized explicit lyrics in rap to detail the violence of street life. 

He is the third richest figure in hip hop, with a net worth of US$770 million.

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Old school music - R n B

old school music - R n B

Old school R n B music

Old school R n B music, commonly called R&B, is a genre of popular music that originated in African American communities in the 1940s. The term was originally used by record companies to describe recordings marketed predominantly to urban African Americans, at a time when “urbane, rocking, jazz-based music with a heavy, insistent beat” was becoming more popular.

In the commercial rhythm and blues music typical of the 1950s through the 1970s, the bands usually consisted of piano, one or two guitars, bass, drums, one or more saxophones, and sometimes background vocalists. R n B lyrical themes often encapsulate the African-American experience of pain and the quest for freedom and joy, as well as triumphs and failures in terms of relationships, economics, and aspirations.

The term “R n B” has undergone a number of shifts in meaning. In the early 1950s, it was frequently applied to blues records. Starting in the mid-1950s, after this style of music contributed to the development of rock and roll, the term “R n B” became used to refer to music styles that developed from and incorporated electric blues, as well as gospel and soul music.

In the 1960s, several British rock bands such as The Rolling Stones, the Who, and the Animals were referred to and promoted as being R n B bands; posters for the Who’s residency at the Marquee Club in 1964 contained the slogan, “Maximum R n B”. Their mix of rock and roll and R n B is now known as “British rhythm and blues”.

By the 1970s, the term “rhythm and blues” changed again and was used as a blanket term for soul and funk. In the 1980s, a newer style of R n B developed, becoming known as “contemporary R n B”. It combines rhythm and blues with elements of pop, soul, funk, hip hop, and electronic music. Popular R n B vocalists at the end of the 20th century included Prince, R. Kelly, Stevie Wonder, Chaka Khan, Michael Jackson, Whitney Houston, and Mariah Carey.

In the 21st century, R n B has remained a popular genre becoming more pop-oriented and alternatively influenced by successful artists including Bruno Mars, Daft Punk, Robin Thicke, The Weeknd, and Mark Ronson.

#1 James Brown - It's A Man's Man's Man's World

It’s A Man’s Man’s Man’s World (1966) James Joseph Brown was an American singer, songwriter, dancer, musician, record producer, and bandleader. He is often referred to as the “Godfather of Soul“.

Brown recorded 17 singles that reached No. 1 on the Billboard R&B charts. He also holds the record for the most singles listed on the Billboard Hot 100 chart.

#2 Grover Washington Jr - Just the two of us

Just the two of us (1980) Grover Washington Jr.was an American R nB / soul-jazz saxophonist.

Throughout the 1970s and 1980s, Washington made some of the genre’s most memorable hits, including “Mister Magic”, “Reed Seed”, “Black Frost”, “Winelight”, “Inner City Blues” and “The Best is Yet to Come”.

#3 Marvin Gaye - Sexual Healing

Sexual Healing (1973) Marvin Gaye was an American singer, songwriter, and record producer. He helped to shape the sound of Motown in the 1960s. On April 1, 1984, the day before his 45th birthday, Gaye’s father, Marvin Gay Sr., fatally shot him at their house in Los Angeles.

Gaye is in the Rhythm and Blues Music Hall of Fame and the Songwriters Hall of Fame.

#4 Nina Simone - Feeling Good

Feeling Good (1965) Eunice Kathleen Waymon known professionally as Nina Simone, was an American singer, songwriter, musician, and civil rights, activist.

She changed her name to “Nina Simone” to disguise herself from family members, having chosen to play “the devil’s music” or so-called “cocktail piano”. She recorded more than 40 albums between 1958 and 1974.

#5 Aretha Franklin - I say a little prayer

I say a little prayer (1968) Aretha Louise Franklin was an American singer, songwriter, pianist, and civil rights, activist. Hit songs such as “Respect“, “Chain of Fools”, “Think”, and “I Say a Little Prayer”, propelled her past her musical peers.

Aretha Franklin is known as “The Queen of Soul“.  Rolling Stone magazine ranked her number one on its list of the “100 Greatest Singers of All Time”.

#6 Barry White - Can't Get Enough Of Your Love Baby

Can’t Get Enough Of Your Love Baby (1974) Barry Eugene Carter better known by his stage name Barry White, was an American singer-songwriter, musician, record producer, and composer. 

White had 20 gold and 10 platinum singles, with worldwide record sales in excess of 100 million records, and is one of the best-selling music artists of all time.

#7 Kool & The Gang - Celebration

Celebration (1980) Kool & the Gang is an American band formed in Jersey City, New Jersey in 1964 by brothers Robert “Kool” Bell and Ronald Bell. 

In 2018, the Bells, Brown, and Taylor were inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame. They made 23 studio albums and almost 70 singles.

#8 Ben E King - Stand By Me

Stand By Me (1975) Benjamin Earl King (born Benjamin Earl Nelson) was an American soul and R n B singer and record producer.

He is best known as the singer and co-composer of “Stand by Me“,  and as one of the lead singers of the R&B vocal group The Drifters, notably singing the lead vocals of one of their biggest hit singles “Save the Last Dance for Me“.

#9 Ray Charles - Hit the road Jack

Hit the road Jack (1961) Ray Charles Robinson was an American singer, songwriter, musician, and composer. Often referred to as “The Genius.” Charles started losing his vision at the age of 5, and by 7 he was blind. 

Frank Sinatra called Ray Charles “the only true genius in show business,” although Charles downplayed this notion. Rolling Stone ranked Charles #2 on their list of the “100 Greatest Singers of All Time” in 2008.

#10 Stevie Wonder - Superstition

Superstition (1972) Stevland Hardaway Morris better known by his stage name Stevie Wonder, is an American singer, songwriter and record producer. He is one of the most successful musicians of the 20th century.

Wonder has sold over 100 million records worldwide and he was the first Motown artist and second African-American musician to win an Academy Award for Best Original Song in 1984.

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Old school music - Electronic

old school music - electronic

Old school electronic music

Old school electronic music began in the 1960s, live electronics were pioneered in America and Europe, Japanese electronic musical instruments began influencing the music industry, and Jamaican dub music emerged as a form of popular electronic music. In the early 1970s, the monophonic Minimoog synthesizer and Japanese drum machines helped popularize synthesized electronic music.

In the 1970s, electronic music began having a significant influence on popular music, with the adoption of polyphonic synthesizers, electronic drums, drum machines, and turntables, through the emergence of genres such as disco, krautrock, new wave, synth-pop, hip hop, and EDM. In the 1980s, electronic music became more dominant in popular music, with a greater reliance on synthesizers, and the adoption of programmable drum machines such as the Roland TR-808 and bass synthesizers such as the TB-303. In the early 1980s, digital technologies for synthesizers including digital synthesizers such as the Yamaha DX7 were popularized, and a group of musicians and music merchants developed the Musical Instrument Digital Interface (MIDI).

Electronically produced music became prevalent in the popular domain by the 1990s, because of the advent of affordable music technology. Contemporary electronic music includes many varieties and ranges from experimental art music to popular forms such as electronic dance music. Today, pop electronic music is most recognizable in its 4/4 form and more connected with the mainstream culture as opposed to its preceding forms which were specialized to niche markets.

#1 Bomfunk MC's - Freestyler

Freestyler (1999) Bomfunk MC’sis a Finnish hip hop group that was active between 1998 and 2005, before reuniting in 2018. The group’s frontman is the rapper B.O. Dubb (born Raymond Ebanks, and formerly known as “B.O.W.”), and the main producer is Jaakko “JS16” Salovaara.

Freestyler was a major hit and it’s still recognized by everybody from that time.

#2 Antiloop - In My Mind

In my mind (1997) Antiloop was a Swedish electronic music band, formed in Lidingö in 1994 by David Westerlund and Robin Söderman. They won two Swedish Grammis Awards and six Swedish Dance Music Awards.

Antiloop disestablished in 2002, and their website has expired. David Westerlund still produces music under the name “David West”.

#3 The Chemical Brothers - Hey Boy Hey Girl

Hey Boy Hey Girl (1999) The Chemical Brothers is a British electronic music duo composed of Tom Rowlands and Ed Simons. 

Along with the ProdigyFatboy Slim, and other fellow acts, they were pioneers at bringing the big beat genre to the forefront of pop culture. In the United Kingdom, they have had six number one albums and thirteen Top Twenty singles.

4# Gigi D'Agostino - Bla Bla Bla

Bla Bla Bla (1999) Luigino Celestino di Agostino, known by his stage name Gigi D’Agostino, is an Italian DJ, remixer, singer and record producer. 

His biggest chart successes include “Bla Bla Bla“, a cover of Nik Kershaw’s “The Riddle”, “La Passion” and “L’amour toujours”, all in the period 1999 to 2001. The hook line of “L’amour toujours” was also used for the 2018 hit remix/mashup “In My Mind“.

#5 The Prodigy - Firestarter

Firestarter (1996) The Prodigy are an English electronic dance music band, formed in 1990 by keyboardist and songwriter Liam Howlett, vocalist Maxim and dancer and vocalist Keith Flint.

They have sold an estimated 25 million records worldwide and won numerous music awards during their career, including two Brit Awards for Best British Dance Act.

#6 Dune - Starchild

Starchild (1997) Dune is a German electronic group known for songs such as “Hardcore Vibes”, “Are You Ready to Fly?” and “Starchild”.

The group was founded in 1995 by disc jockey Oliver Froning and producers Jens Oettrich and Bernd Burhoff (alias Plutone). The band’s name was inspired by the science fiction film Dune, based on Frank Herbert’s novel of the same name.

#7 Scooter - Hyper Hyper

Hyper Hyper (1994) Scooter is a German happy hardcore, rave and techno music band founded in Hamburg in 1993. To date, the band has sold over 30 million records and earned over 80 Gold and Platinum awards.

Scooter is considered the most commercially successful German single-record act with 23 top ten hits.

#8 666 - Paradox

Paradox (2003) 666 was a German DJ act, formed by Thomas Detert and Mike Griesheimer in 1997. They produced a mix of dance music and often included lyrics in Spanish and English. The act disbanded in 2005.

#9 Faithless - Insomnia

Insomnia (1995) Faithless are a British electronica band consisting of Maxi Jazz, Sister Bliss, and Rollo. The group is best known for the songs “Salva Mea”, “Insomnia“, “God Is a DJ” and “We Come 1”. Faithless recorded six studio albums, with total sales exceeding 15 million records worldwide.

In February 2015, they reunited to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the band.

#10 Darude - Sandstorm

Sandstorm (1999) Toni-Ville Henrik Virtanen, better known by his stage name Darude, is a Finnish DJ and record producer from Finland. 

He started making music in 1995 and released the platinum-selling hit single “Sandstorm” in late 1999.

He still plays at festivals like Tomorrowland and Future Music Festival.

I hope you found this list of my favorite old school music interesting, and if you’re interested in other old school and Retro stuff, we have a lot more in our Posts section.

Old school music is still great even 30 years later