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Power Songs As Heard Through the Decades

By Natalie Rao

The sheer power behind music is incomparable to anything else. A good song can impact our mood in both drastically positive and negative ways – a rumbling beat gets us pumped up to work out, an in-your-face guitar solo gives us chills, poetic lyrics hit us right in the chest… the list goes on and on.

From rock to rap and everything in between, artists of every genre have crafted tracks to get us through any difficulty we face in our lives. Here are some of our favorite power tracks throughout the years.

The 1960s

The Rolling Stones – Gimme Shelter

Between the unmistakable guitar chords in the intro, piercing vocal harmonies and ominous lyrics, The Rolling Stones’ 1969 release of “Gimme Shelter” is still impactful nearly half a century later. With the Summer of Love in the past and a tumultuous decade looming on the horizon, “Gimme Shelter” signified a major shift in culture and is still wildly popular today.    

The 1970s

Pink Floyd – Time

“The Dark Side of the Moon,” with its psychedelic tracks and iconic cover art, remains one of the most impressive albums of all time. It’s fitting that the song “Time” has also persisted over the years, which discusses the power of time with an intense delivery of the vocals by Gilmour and Wright.

The 1980s

Michael Jackson – Man in the Mirror

Despite being active in the ‘70s, the ‘80s were no doubt the decade of Michael Jackson. Out of all his releases, “Man in the Mirror” never fails to give us chills. With fairly simple production, Jackson’s voice shines through from any speaker as he discusses the power of change.  

The 1990s

Third Eye Blind – Semi-Charmed Life

No song on the list so far comes close to the energy of Third Eye Blind’s “Semi-Charmed Life” off their debut, self-titled album in 1997. True ‘90s kids never fail to belt this one out, and it never fails to put us in a good mood each time it comes on.

The 2000s

Eminem – Lose Yourself

The 2000s was an incredible time for music, and Eminem’s “Lose Yourself” is one of the most powerful pump-up songs of the decade. Whether it’s exercising or rapping, Eminem’s breakneck-speed vocal chops are perfect to get you in the moment.

The 2010s

Kanye West – POWER

Released at the start of the decade in 2010, Kanye West’s “POWER” speaks for itself. West’s controversial, and often egotistical, lyrics combined with moody production makes for one of the most powerful songs of all time.

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