So Keep On Rockin’ That Pi-an-o

What rock songs have particularly smokin’ piano parts, and who played them?

Jerry Lee Lewis and Little Richard certainly had their share, but after the Beatles and Rolling Stones, and Clapton and Hendrix, the guitar became the main instrument in rock. In most cases, the pianist was not even a “Real” member of the band.

A few that I like are:

The Who “Let’s See Action”

Elton John “Saturday Night’s Alright For Fightin” (did he do anything else that was ‘hard rock’?)

Lynyrd Skynyrd “The Breeze” (among several others)

The Beatles “Revolution” (Nicky Hopkins is listed in the liner notes)

Bob Seger “Old Time Rock And Roll”
Are there any others? Anything from this century??

The Beatles’ “Back in the USSR”, also Nicky Hopkins.

The most rockin’ piano bit that I’ve ever heard is in the intro to “Save Your Soul” from Rain Fell Within’s Refuge.

Commander Cody: Beat me daddy eight to the bar.

Pffff. Try just about any track from Ben Fold’s last CD “Rockin’ The Suburbs”.

Queen’s ‘Don’t Stop Me Now’ has a great piano part right before each chorus.

“Layla” – no, well, I guess they’re more like power chords. Damn they work, though. Bobby Whitlock was the pianist on that.

Well, with electric piano, what about that song Rod Stewart sings (can’t remember if it is solo or with the Faces) - Stay With Me?

Of course, once you move into organ, all bets are off - there are so many rockin’ organ parts its not even funny. Booker T & the MG’s Green Onions, several Beach Boys’ songs - e.g., Fun, Fun, Fun, and even Deep Purple’s Highway Star, featuring Jon Lord on an amazing organ solo…

Get ahold of his album 11/17/70 (17/11/70 in the UK :slight_smile: ). He rocks out on “Take Me to the Pilot,” “Honkey Tonk Woman,” “Bad Side of the Moon,” and “Burn Down the Mission.” He can go that way in concert, too – “Love Lies Bleeding” rocks pretty hard.

“Edward, the Mad Shirt Grinder,” by Quicksilver Messenger Service, though it’s pretty much an excuse for a brilliant Nicky Hopkins solo.

Pretty much anything played by Chuck Leavell (Allman Bros, Eric Clapton). Ditto Bill Payne (Little Feat)–I saw him sit in with Bonnie Raitt once…Awesome! I’ve also seen Billy Joel play some piano that I considered “rockin” on occasion.

Depending on your definition of “particularly smokin’ piano parts,” you might want to check out the intro to Locomotive Breath (Jethro Tull), played by John Evan.

I’ll nominate the bridge to “Stiletto” by Billy Joel, on the 52nd Street album.

That would be Ian McLagen, an original member of the Small Faces, then the Faces. And yes, he is one of the rockin’est piano players around.

If you like rockin’ piano, you should check out Marcia Ball, especially 1989’s Gatorhthyms. From the first cut, “How You Carry On,” when you hear Marcia pound that keyboard, you’ll know what swamp rock is all about!