The Best Rock Musicals : EVER!

I thought it would be a good idea to have a look at some of the best rock musicals ever. Now as you might have guessed by looking around All-Noise, I am not exactly an expert on the rich and wonderful world of musical theatre, but I’ve seen enough of them to know what they are, which ones are good and which ones are just plain awful (like Annie!)

So here’s my not-so-expert-but-interesting-all-the-same opinion on the best rock musicals to ever hit the stage (in no particular order):

We Will Rock You

Featuring the music of Queen and written by Ben Elton, ‘We Will Rock You’ is THE prog-rock musical – with a sci-fi storyline about an apocalyptic future ripped straight from a Muse album! Or to put it a more accurate way, Muse ‘borrowed’ from it. Heavily.

Pink Floyd – The Wall

Roger Waters was so happy with his and the rest of the Floyd’s The Wall that he adapted it all into a musical in 1982. Cue a lot of mental, scary imagery and mental, awesome tunes like this:

The Rocky Horror Picture Show

You can’t get much more ‘rock’ than a bunch of transvestite Transylvanians with names like Dr. Frank N Furter running amok in a big gothic castle having orgies and stuff. Although the involvement of the likes of Tim Curry, Susan Sarandon, Richard ‘Crystal Maze’ O’Brien and (cough) Meat Loaf bring the ‘rock’ levels down a bit, songs like this make up for it:

The Iron Man

Written by The Who’s Pete Townshend, based on a Ted Hughes story and starring legends like Roger Daltrey, Nina Simone and John Lee Hooker make ’The Iron Man’ an absolute shoe-in for a list of great rock musicals, although it’s probably more of a ‘rock opera’. But I don’t really know what the difference is so here it is!


Another of Townshend’s ‘rock operas’ and another obvious choice. The story of the redemptive powers of pinball is something I’m sure we can all relate to!

Rock Of Ages

Got to include it really haven’t I!? It’s got a lot of rock songs in it, although they are more on the ‘soft’ side of rock.

American Idiot

Green Day jumped onto the rock musical cashwagon with this adaptation of their 2004 album of the same name – which is all about the usual stuff like frustrated, disaffected youth and the corruption of the American Dream etc. etc…

Spiderman: Turn Off The Dark

This much derided U2-affiliated play bombed when it opened last year. But its sheer bloated extravagance and inflated opinion of itself is exactly what rock and roll is all about! Plus, I can’t help thinking of Marilyn Manson when I watch this clip!

Post Author: Luke Glassford

All-Noise was founded in 2010 with just one simple aim – to highlight and celebrate ‘proper music’, made by real people with real musical inspirations.

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