Top 10 Best Classic Rock Bands of The 1960′s

Some of the best classic rock that this planet has ever seen was written and performed in the 1960′s. While some of these bands were more famous than others, they all undeniably innovated the style of classic rock in ways that were not done before.


Here’s my list of the Top 10:


1) The Beatles – Formed in 1960 in England, this band literally took the world by storm. Even though their guitarist’s weren’t the greatest in the world, they definitely mastered the art of writing classic rock songs that fit their ability. Their first number one single in the United States “Love Me Do” started the “Beatlemania” craze. Their most popular song was “Hey Jude”, which was written by Paul McCartney during his divorce.


2) The Rolling Stones – Another English Classic Rock band, The Rolling Stones are among the few bands from this era that are still around playing today. Their first hit album was Aftermath, which included some great hits like “Paint It, Black” and my personal favorite, “Under My Thumb”.


3) The Jimi Hendrix Experience – When Hendrix left for England in September of 1966, Nobody had any clue just how big of a star he would become upon his return to the United States. Easily the most popular act of his time (He was the only person paid to play at The Woodstock Festival) Hendrix achieved great fame within 3 short years before he tragically died. Hendrix is widely considered the single most influential guitarist in rock history. His song “Voodoo Child (Slight Return)” is widely acknowledged as one of the best electric guitar rock songs ever written.


4) The Who – Their debut album My Generation included probably their most famous song “My Generation”, which gave them the momentum to become one of the most popular acts of their time. My favorite song “Baba O’Riley” (Teenage Wasteland) is a great example of how great they were at integrating the keyboard into their music, as the intro is one of the most instantly recognizable out of any song I’ve ever heard.


5) Cream – Widely known as the first classic rock super-group, Cream’s songs like “Crossroads” and “Spoonful” were the epitome of the influences that made up the genre of classic rock. Unfortunately, ego problems got the best of them, and they parted ways after just two short years together. However, the mark they left on the music industry is still prevalent today.


6) The Doors – The Doors’ music was widely influenced by drugs, as evidenced by the song “Soul Kitchen”, but this is probably also why their music was so great. Jim Morrison’s voice coupled with Robby Krieger’s awesome guitar playing led to such a great unique sound. They were very experimental with their music too, as shown in the song “Spanish Caravan” which starts off with a classical guitar playing the intro.


7) The Grateful Dead – There are too many things to say about how influential the music of The Grateful Dead is. They were known for having extremely long jams and playing in many styles of music, ranging from folk to rock. They have over 130 albums, many of which were recorded live, which shows how much they were touring back in the day.


8 ) Jefferson Airplane – Before Jefferson Airplane turned into Jefferson Starship, the band was one of the most popular touring acts in the country. Unfortunately, Grace Slick is the only female singer to have a band make the list, but wow is she great. My favorite songs by them are “Somebody To Love” and “Volunteers of America”.


9) Steppenwolf – Formed by John Kay in the late 1960′s, Steppenwolf has some of the most famous songs ever written, such as “Magic Carpet Ride” and “Born to be Wild”. Many of their songs were politically motivated. Their song “Monster” was written about the United States Government during the Vietnam War. Along with Jimi Hendrix, they considered one of the first bands to start evolving into the genre of metal.


10) Ten  Years After – Probably the least famous of the top 10, Ten Years After was one of the most impressive acts to see, especially live. I consider guitarist Alvin Lee to be one of the best ever. His most popular song “I’m Going Home” was written about the Vietnam War, and it really shows off how amazing of a guitarist he was.

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