The 10 Best Dad Rock Songs

Finally, some music for the dad in your life.
Finally, some music for the dad in your life.
Flickr/Bruce Frick

Dad rock is a recent subgenre music journos have coined, although its exact definition seems to be vague and its origins unknown. But it is one of those genres where you'll know it when you hear it, and most music journalists today more or less can describe it as older, male-centric classic rock made by male-centric groups that have since grown older and still retain the adoration of males who have since grown older and become dads themselves.

In any case, if you have a dad, chances are you're aware of or have heard these songs on repeat thoughout your youth and can cite an experience or personal connection with them. Because like it or not, your parents' musical preferences are part of your own origin story, and it's nothing less than endearing the amount of love and dedication dads hold for their music. But that doesn't mean we can't poke fun at them for it.

With that said, here are the 10 best dad rock songs to listen to.

10. The Eagles- "Hotel California"

As soon as those opening chords strike, you know what's coming. A longwinded tale about a weary traveler finding refuge in a strange hotel filled with strange characters, which serves as an allegory for drugs, hedonism and excess in Los Angeles. And then there's a Joe Walsh guitar solo. Can't fathom why this song is so popular, I just know a dad will turn it up every time it comes on the radio.

9. Wilco- "War on War"

Wilco is the most recent dad rock example, and quite possibly the group that is most quickly identified with the dad rock label. Lead singer Jeff Tweedy seems to have very conflicting feelings about the label, but really its not applied to the band for nothing. There's a cozy, all-American vibe to their music, which runs alongside the other music on this list. Plus, Tweedy is in a friggin band with his son, what's more dad rock than that?

8. ZZ Top- "Sharp-Dressed Man"

ZZ Top is the band every dad in a cover band wants to learn to play just to pull off the choreographed guitar-playing moves because it's "unexpected" or "different." And ZZ Top were apparently all about heavy guitar solos, seeing women as "babes" and fast, cool-looking old cars; you know what other demographic is really into old cars? Dads.

7. Jimmy Buffet- "Margaritaville"

The soft, pseudo-Caribbean music stylings within Margaritaville are suitable for kicking back in the sun, complete with tropical drink and hawaiian shirt, the dadliest of all shirts you can possibly wear while you look for your lost shaker of salt.

6. The Offspring- "The Kids Aren't Alright"

Once a young and irreverent punk band, The Offspring have pretty much transmogrified into a bunch of dads. Don't worry, we still think they're cool.

Sponsor Content


All-access pass to the top stories, events and offers around town.

  • Top Stories


All-access pass to top stories, events and offers around town.

Sign Up >

No Thanks!

Remind Me Later >