Best Bands of the 60s


Bands which were active from 1960 to 1969. Don't agree with the list? Vote for an existing item you think should be ranked higher or if you are a logged in, add a new item for others to vote on or create your own version of this list.

The Top Ten

The Beatles
This guys totally deserve it. And yes they are what we call THE LEGENDS even till now in the 21st century. Their music is apart of my life. They're new awesome bands out there that is really good, but nothing can beat The Beatles. My dad always plays While my guitar gently weeps and hey jude on the radio in the car and it has been apart of my life ever since I was a little girl. All I want to say is this are real musician and that is it. Thanks guys
The Beatles are the best! I love everything from Please Please Me to Rubber Soul to Sgt. Pepper to Abbey Road. John Paul George Ringo were the best thing ever! They are the only band from the 60s that continues to sell and inspire people. You can't say that about too many bands these days.
Yay Beatles is number one This band totally deserves the top spot. They completely rule the sixties! I wanna see this band stay up here
[Newest]Awesome group, they worked very hard to make their spot in history!

2The Doors
Dark beautiful melodies, and a soft brooding voice unlike any other. The Doors music and Morrison's voice --- some of us are so grateful for having found this treasure. An unworldly trip.
The doors are the most unique band and no one an ever be like them
The doors defined real music
[Newest]The were the greatest!

3The Rolling Stones
How can the stones be behind Led Zeppelin here? Granted Led Zeppelin are amazing but they only really started at the end of the 60's where as the Stones were well established. The Stones should be second here with great albums such as beggars banquet and let it bleed and especially their legendary tours of 1969!
These guys sometimes get overshadowed by both the Beatles and Led Zeppelin. Two bands who dominated their respective decades and are great no doubt. Yet the Stones were great for both decades and even if their latter material is weak what they did during the 60s and 70s cannot be denied.
50 Years later and still the GREATEST Rock 'n' Roll Band in the world
[Newest]Best 60s band ever. The fact that my 15 year old nephew loves them now shows the quality of the of the music and lyrics was something really special. Sorry Led Zeppelin you just didn't do enough during the 60s.

4The Beach Boys
People who don't think they deserve to be in the top 5 obviously have not heard their material from the late '60s and early '70s. While I do enjoy their early 60s surf music and it was extremely popular and era defining as well, their later material saw them really expand their musical palette. They also wrote some really great thoughtful lyrics. Carl Wilson is an underrated songwriter and a hell of a singer and Brian is a genius.
Listen to incredible albums such as Pet Sounds, The Smile Sessions, Wild Honey, 20/20, Sunflower, Surf's Up (not a surf album, but is HIGHLY recommended), Carl And The Passions: "So Tough", and Holland!

The Beach Boys deserve to top the list for those albums alone!
Listen to "Pet Sounds" album from these guys and then you tell me what do you think of Beatles' Sgt. Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band influences.

5The Jimi Hendrix Experience
Best guitarist ever to be, Will always rock the world!
The Jimi Hendrix Experience is one of the greatest band of the 60's indeed. Hendrix is, and always will be, one of the greatest guitarists ever to live on the face of this Earth.
Probably I Agree It is also a best band Ever problem is they're all up in heaven right up there ^ up in heaven :(
[Newest]Uh... Not really a band.

6The Who
One of the best bands ever. I think they at least deserve top 5. They were so innovative. Created the first rock opera
Popularlized the power chord. Had one of the best drummers, guitarists, bassists, and singers AND also popularized bass guitar solo.
Love the who think they should be top 5, have to listen to them in music and I love it!
They should be number 1 or 2. Beatles are too overrated even though I still love them. Led Zeppelin pretty much started in 1969. Lynyrd skynyrd was still a bunch of Jacksonville high school boys in the 60s... Don't know why they're up there

7Creedence Clearwater Revival
Quite simply the best American rock band of all time.
Could easy be number 2 on your list, seen him four times, and would pay to see him again! Brought me back to the great time of my life.
The greatest AMERICAN rock band ever! They wrote the most recognizable Veitnam war song (Fortunate Son) and other classics that people sometimes over look like; Down on the Corner, Up Around the Bend, and Proud Mary.

8Led Zeppelin
Why is Led Zeppelin on this list? Led Zeppelin is obviously the best, but, most of their career was set during the 70s.
I'm in the mood for a melody, I'm in the mood for a melody I'm in the Mo o od.
if you don't like them, you don't have good taste in music


[Newest]Correction on the Grand Funk, was more like 70 and 71..

9Pink Floyd
Pink Floyd is legendary. They started with Syd Barrett, who is the greatest songwriter of all time. Then, tragically, Syd Barrett went crazy from abusing LSD in addition to other mental problems. They replaced him with David Gilmour, the greatest guitarist ever. They continued to make classic music that is still amazing today. R.I. P Syd Barrett and Rick Wright
Great Band. I listen to them since my childhood. And the film "The Wall" is a real masterpiece. I think everyone should like them. Long live Roger Waters and David Gilmour. And the other members of the band, who has died R.I.P.
I do think that Pink Floyd should definitely be before Creedence Clearwater. They are one of my favourite bands, my mum even walked down the isle to their song wish you were here
[Newest]There isn't a band that can compete in terms of being able to sit there and listen to the entire album from start to finish and enjoy every second, any album any song.

10The Velvet Underground
These guys laid the foundation for many new wave and underground bands!
The average person is too shallow to feel what this was about, touching the realities of our darker side
Never heard of them

The Contenders

11The Kinks
They should be top ten, they are one of the best brilliant bands ever can't believe there only 17 this is a bad website considering the kinks wrote one Lola and you really got me and how are the beach boys 10th haha
An all time band that has influenced many artists and with some great songs that can bring a smile.


I totally agree with you! The Kinks should be on Top Ten. A great band!
[Newest]Rival the Stones... Easily destroy

12The Mamas & the Papas
This band changed the sound of rock music. They were the first to be fully intergrated sexually with two men and two women. Their vocal harmonies were, and remain, unparalleled.
The best vocal group ever!

13The Byrds
The byrds were one of the most influential bands of the 60s, introducing folk rock, acid rock, and country rock. They should of made the top ten.
The byrds should of made the top 5. In 65, they were already singing about more than girls and falling in love. THEIR WORDS MADE US THINK ABOUT LIFE AND BEYOND.
The Byrds were the first U.S. super group to rival the British. For that alone, they should be in the top ten.

14The Monkees
Sure they started off as manufactured boy band but they took control and ended up performing all their material and writing much of it as well. They also have great character sketch songs such as PO BOX 9847 and Mr Webster, that you would never hear from any boy bands from the last 4 decades. Also whether they wrote or played on certain songs, those first 6 albums are rock solid and sound like a perfect amalgamation of all the best acts of the 60s, specifically the Beatles, the Byrds, the Beach Boys and the Lovin's Spoonful.
You gotta be kidding me! The Monkees over the Kinks! The Monkees over CREAM! Who did the Monkees influence? The Kinks put a bit of a hard edge to catchy pop songs and Cream more or less laid the groundwork for hard rock and metal, for good or bad.
Great personalities, great voices, and a great band...
They caught a lot of undeserved flack, esp since a lot of bands in the sixties used session players on their albums... And the mtv shun was undeserved as well...
I'd put them in the top 10. They certainly sold many more albums than many of the other bands on this list.
[Newest]The Monkees should be in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Corporate greed ruined their image.

Personally I think Cream should be at least in the top 15... I mean Sunshine Of Your Love was an amazing song, and even though the group only lasted like, 3 years, they sure as hell made the most of it!
For White Room alone they deserve the top 20. One of the most stunningly amazing rock songs ever written. Of course they had a lot of other great material too.
Clapton and Ginger Baker... REALLY? Way down here? WRONG! Hollie's with their crappy bubble gum junk shouldn't even be mentioned here.

16The Four Seasons
These guys were great, they came from destitute families and were involved with the mob, Tommy and Nick had like 20 years in prison between them. Then they still managed to get 3 number one hits and they were the only group to have a number one hit in the 50's,60's,70's,80's and 90's!
They have the quintessential rags to riches story.

They are 4 very underrated guys!

17Black Sabbath
One of the best concerts I ever went to.
Black Sabbath not a 60s band

18The Hollies
Top power-pop songsters - great drummer, lead guitarist and then there was those quite incredible harmonies.
Graham Nash formed the band and eventually went on CSNY.. They had some great songs, Carrie Anne/ Bus Stop/He Ain't Heavy He's My Brother...

19Jefferson Airplane
Great list. Blows away any music in last 20 years and really last 45 years
Pure psychedelic majesty. Grace slick is one of the greatest vocalists to ever live

20The Yardbirds
Heavies before their time. Beck and then Page. I doesn't get better than that.

21Herman's Hermits
I actually don't like much of their material from 65-66 but their material from 67-69 starting with A Kind of Hush is very underrated and deserves a second look from anyone who loves 60s rock/pop. No Milk Today, Museum, Nice to Be Out in the Morning and more are great.

22Barclay James Harvest
Their greatest hits stacks up against anybody.
Currently in great form (i.E. the John Lees version, which I can vouch for having seen them twice in the past year) and likely to smash their 50th anniversary!
Formed in 1967 and still touring and making new music (in two separate formats - 'John Lees' BJH' and 'BJH featuring Les Holroyd'. Massively successful in Europe, especially Germany, but sadly neglected in their home country.


24The Rascals
These guys are being sorely forgotten and underrated these days where classic rock radio plays more Poison and Bon Jovi then 60s greats. Their chemistry was great and they performed with a real sense of passion. Their run of hits from 66-68 is as good as anything else from the entire decade. At their best The Rascals just make you feel good.
Just look at all the hits they had.
One of the most diverse bands of the 60s... Dino Danelli was a machine on the drums.. Felix Cavaliere on the Hammond and his incredible vocals... As Steven Van Zandt said at the R&R Hall of Fame Speech inducting The Rascals.."To sound that black you have to be Italian"

25The Dave Clark Five
! This group should be rated in the top ten!

26The Lovin' Spoonful
I cannot believe these guys are not even on here. John Sebastion is one the great songwriters of his time. He writes about love in a way that's actually feels real and relatable unlike a lot of love songs. Darlin Be Home Soon was my wedding song and Summer in the City gets my vote for best song of the decade. Outside the hits they had great deep cuts too like Coconut Groove, Sittin Here Lovin You and Younger Girl

27The Grateful Dead
The Dead are classic, classic 60's. should be higher on the list. They are perfect, American Beauty was my first vinyl and by far remains my favorite.

28Status Quo
This must be a British poll.

29The Temptations
What an amazing group. Of all of mentioned, I don't think that anyone ever had so many original and timeless gems. One of the all time best bands making very REAL music. NO DUDS!

30Deep Purple
These guys were one of the big three of heavy metal, so I don't understand why they aren't in the top 5 on best heavy metal bands...
Deep Purple was the pioneer in early heavy guitar metal.. They were like no one else.. I remember them as a 70' band though..

31Small Faces
A massive band, top tunes - definitely should be in top 10 :-)
The Small Faces Should be number 1 Steve Marriot & Ronnie Lane wrote music just as good as the beatles and better then the stones or the kinks they had a sound like no other band and marriot had the most amazeing voice so small faces best band of the 60s
Steve marriot--Amazing should be in the top ten.

32The Jackson 5
Michael Jackson Best King Of Pop

33The Animals
Before the Doors there was the Animals. House of the Rising Sun is simply the best song of 1964 and a stunning record. Rock had an edge before for being raw and sexual but the Animals were the first group to introduce a real sense of darkness into the genre. Rock has never been the same since.
Under-rated one of the best lead singers
One of the most underrated bands of all time

34Crosby, Stills, & Nash
So much talent in this band.. Woodstock wouldn't be the same without them.. They were solid in the 60's and 70's..
It's hard to rank CSN in a decade b/c their two best records, while only a year apart, are also separated by a decade as well. Therefore they will always never be as high on a 60s or 70s list as a result. Great group though.


36Buffalo Springfield

37The Four Tops
Besides possibly Stevie Wonder the Four Tops sang with more passion and zeal then any of the other Motown Acts. Their singing can give me chills.

38The Mothers of Invention

39Vanilla Fudge

40Gary Puckett and The Union Gap
Come on guys Gary puckett, s got to be the best male vocal of the 60s awesome.

41The Zombies
Time of the Season is one of the best records of all time. She's Not There is not far behind.
Love love love them. Hands down the best
They had at least 5 hit songs so they should be higher on the list!

This list is a joke if Steppenwolf isn't on it. They have one thing that almost no other bands from the 60s has 2 immortal songs: Born to Be Wild and Magic Carpet ride. I mean everyone has at least heard one of those two song once in their life and if you think you haven't look them up and you'll find that you have.
Steppenwolf is kinda underrated in this list.
When rock was great

43Gary Lewis and the Playboys
They are not an all time band for sure but for 2 years they had some great singles like Green Grass, She's Just My Style, Count Me In and especially This Diamond Ring, which can go toe to toe with any other great songs from the 60s.

44The Band
This one deserves number 1 it is really an amazing band respected by all musicians, bob dylan, eric clapton,.. When you listen to them and you hear the lyrics, they are really meaningfull and when you add epic guitar solos, fantastic piano, organ,.. And AMAZING vocals I'm not only speaking about levon helm and rick danko butt also about richard manuel, who has really the best voice that I EVER heard! They have to be number 1 please vote for them they are really amazing! If you are scrolling down and reading this and don't know who they are search on YouTube! Respect for te band! And rip Levon, Rick and Richard! Sorry if my English was bad I'm a Belgian, 14 year old boy!
Best roots rock band ever. just listen to the brown album
They were one of the best bands ever and respected by their peers. That rockabilly sound was theirs.

45Fleetwood Mac
One top hit album and they are considered? Well, yes

46Big Brother and the Holding Company
Janis's screeching voice with the collective noise the boys made was the epitome of that eras rock.

47Blood, Sweat & Tears
I think of this band's sound when I think of the late 60's.

48Lynyrd Skynyrd
We'll, in my opinion, the best band ever but not really a 60s band even though they were playing clubs
Woah hell ya gotta love skynyrd hell ya

49Gerry and The Pacemakers
Only other Liverpool group to rival The Fab Four.
They were also managed by Brian Epstien..

50The Association
"Along comes Mary" is my favorite and that was also the name of my first crush..
Most under-rated band of the '60s.

51Paul Revere and The Raiders

52The Bee Gees
They are really good they made I started a joke, staying alive
Should be in the top 20. Disco music killed this legendary band.
They should have never done Stayin Alive

53The Fugs
Do you like boobsalot?

5413th Floor Elevators
Should be on list. Rocky is still rocking Austin.
Greatest band of the sixties era and regarded as the first psyhcadelic band in the U. S

55Iron Butterfly
The creators of hard and heavy rock.

56The Troggs

57Jethro Tull
Very unique sound. A blend of blues, folk, jazz, and experimental infused into their own enchanting rock music formula. You can't hear them play their materpieces and simply turn around!
I added Jethro Tull to this list last week, 13 Sep 2013, and it landed at the list's tail ranking 51 initially. I am so delighted to see that it climbed up so quickly and ranked 33 so far. I am so proud of you voters, hurray!
Jabr Hawr

58The Stooges
Come on guys listen to this rockers. Almost nobody else had such a sound in the 60's (except for the MC5).


59The Ronettes
Fantastic songs and singers, probably the top 10 in the '60s... I WAS THERE. A time when people danced and were in love, THESE were the songs that melted hearts.
The greatest girl group of all time.


61The Turtles
Everyone thinks they are a one hit wonder with Happy Together when really they had just as many hits as anyone outside the Beach Boys, The Beatles and The Rolling Stones. Be sure to check out She's My Girl, You Showed Me, Eleanore, She's Rather Be With Me and It Ain't Me Babe.

62The Shadows
Great instrumental music. They had the most hits behind elvis and the Beatles in the UK.

63Nashville Teens


65Blue Cheer

66The Trashmen

67The Pretty Things

68Three Dog Night
They had so many hits on the radio, True American early 60, s band should be high on the list.. One of my favorite bands as a kid...
Too many hits to list but my favorites were Eli's Coming/Mama told me not to Come/One/Joy to the World...

69The Blues Project

70Smokey Robinson and The Miracles



73Classics IV

74The Easybeats
I don't much about them other then Friday On My Mind but man that's a great song.

75The Up

76The Kingsmen

77The Seeds


79Sly and the Family Stone
Some of their stones are simply anthems and will keep being just that. So much talent and relevant original music... #67? Whoever trumped up this goofy list doesn't know much about music.


81Earth, Wind & Fire


83Fairport Convention
Sandy Denny, Richard Thompson et al

84Rare Bird

85Blind Faith

86The Rip Chords
Great 60's beach music. Listen to them still today. They tour an out on great live shows. Go Cobra!

87The Searchers
Before the Byrds there were the Searchers. Needles and Pins, When You Walk into the Room, Don't Throw You're Love Away and What Have They Done to the Rain are some of the most beautifully underrated songs of the decade.
Early 60s English soft beat group from England but Doub't they had any influence on the Byrds phychedelic sound of the mid 60's..

88Steve Miller Band
Steve was always a 70's band in my humble opinion..


90Tommy James and the Shondells
Crimson and Clover, Mony Mony, They were always being played in the juke box as an early 60's favorite..

91Strawberry Alarm Clock

92The Archies

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This list was created 4 years, 59 days ago and has been voted on over 1,000 times. This top ten list has been remixed 9 times and has been blogged about 1 times.

Updated Saturday, March 28, 2015

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