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Awesome Arena Rock Anthems

by Justin Farrar

Awesome Arena Rock Anthems

About this playlist

Technically speaking, any rock act that has logged countless months on the arena circuit can be considered arena rock. This is as true of Pearl Jam and Linkin Park in the 21st century as it was ZZ Top and Lynyrd Skynyrd in the '70s -- or hell, Mötley Crüe and Bon Jovi in the '80s. But that's a net cast far too wide for the purposes of this killer playlist. What we're chiefly concerned with are those classic anthems unleashed at the very pinnacle of the arena rock phenomenon.

This, believe it or not, is a fairly specific era spanning the handful of years bridging the late 1970s and early '80s. This is when the greatest of all arenas rockers, from Boston and REO Speedwagon to Foreigner and Journey, zigzagged across the lower 48 in sprawling convoys of semi-trailer trucks loaded with gear and lights, Teamsters and roadies, sound engineers and managers. These weren't tours; these were operations. Indeed, it's far more accurate to think of the musicians in these iconic groups as technicians. When creating their awesome arena rock anthems they utilized precision engineering that rivaled that of the rocket scientists at Los Alamos. This is why Boston's Tom Scholz is the ultimate embodiment of arena rock: a guitar ripper who also earned a master's degree in mechanical engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. But enough with the pontification, right? You're jonesing to crank some arena rock anthems, and arena rock anthems are what you're going to get. Press play and prepare to experience more than a feeling!

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