Happy Thanksgiving! Why not celebrate by spinning a playlist full of Thanksgiving-appropriate classic rock tunes? From songs about pies to honey rolls, here are 10 classic rock songs for Thanksgiving.
AC/DC, 'The Honey Roll'
Not everyone has honey rolls at their Thanksgiving dinner, but they’re certainly a good addition. Off 1995’s Ballbreaker, AC/DC serve up a rock ‘n’ roll dish with “The Honey Roll,” packed with red-hot riffing, plodding beats and wacky lyrics. It’s classic AC/DC fare.
Warrant, 'Cherry Pie'
Well, this was a no-brainer. What’s a Thanksgiving playlist without Warren’s “Cherry Pie?” The song was a huge hit in 1990 with its over-the-top hair metal quality and catchy chorus. The sultry video didn’t hurt, either. So, grab a slice of cherry pie this Thanksgiving. Or two.
Judas Priest, ‘Heading Out to the Highway’
Meeting up with family and friends often means traveling, and Judas Priest’s “Heading Out to the Highway” is one of the best driving songs out there. The tune, off 1981’s Point of Entry, features a killer dual guitar solo between K.K. Downing and Glenn Tipton. It should keep you pumped as you drive to and from your Thanksgiving destination.
Neil Diamond, 'Red Wine'
Thanksgiving is a great occasion to have a glass of red wine. That said, Neil Diamond’s “Red Wine” certainly belongs on this Turkey Day playlist. Of course, if you want to venture into newer territory, you can opt for UB40’s very successful cover of the tune. Either way, “Red Wine” is the perfect to accompany any Thanksgiving meal.
Pink Floyd, 'Apples and Oranges'
Have your Thanksgiving dinner with a basket of fruit. Pink Floyd’s “Apples and Oranges” is a lesser-known Floyd nugget with a psychedelic edge. It dates back to 1967, and it’s the final single written by founding member Syd Barrett. “Apples and Oranges” will add a fruity musical concoction to your Turkey Day tunes.
Van Halen, 'Poundcake'
Want a thick slick of pound cake? Van Halen sure does. The band’s track “Poundcake” off 1991’s For Unlawful Carnal Knowledge is a holiday-ready anthem with powerful guitars and pounding rhythms. This, of course, was Sammy Hagar-led Van Halen. Eat up.
Mötley Crüe, 'Slice of Your Pie'
The guys of Mötley Crüe don’t care if you have apple pie, cherry pie, pumpkin pie, blueberry pie or any other variety. They just want your pie. Off the band’s famed 1989 album Dr. Feelgood, “Slice of Your Pie” is a one-size-fits-all rock anthem. So, watch your back, because the Crüe are coming after your slice of pie.
Guns N’ Roses, ‘Bad Apples’
When getting together the goods for the perfect apple pie, you have to make sure you don’t have any “Bad Apples” in there. While you’re chopping, crank up the Guns N’ Roses tune “Bad Apples.” The song, which is off the band’s 1991 release Use Your Illusion I, is a high-powered rock anthem that will make the baking go by in a jiffy.
Led Zeppelin, ‘Thank You’
Remembering that this holiday centers on gratitude, Robert Plant’s ode to eternal love on Led Zeppelin II, with its acoustic bedrock and John Paul Jones’ buoyant organ is the perfect song of thanks. And while there’s no blazing guitar solo, the song does feature an exceptional acoustic guitar rhythm performance from Jimmy Page.
Bob Dylan, 'One More Cup of Coffee'
After you’ve stuffed yourself with turkey, dressing, pie and all the other fixings, it’s time to pour yourself a hot cup of coffee and let all the grub settle. Off 1976’s Desire, Bob Dylan’s “One More Cup of Coffee” is a choice song to wrap up your Thanksgiving celebration. After all, there’s always room for some coffee—and Dylan. -HC-
Live photos by Anne Erickson
Anne Erickson holds years of bylines in Gannett Media publications, as well as music magazines Premier Guitar, Guitar Edge and more. She also hosts radio shows with iHeartRadio and has been syndicated in Seattle, Dayton, Central Coast California and beyond. Anne is a loyal Spartan and holds a Master’s degree from MSU. She resides in Lansing, Michigan.A