Top 10 Best Bands of the 60s
The Beatles never stopped innovating and writing great music. They were so focused on making good music that they actually stopped touring in 1966 because they thought concert life detracted from making good music. Paul and John were legends, and so was George. It just took him and the band a little longer to realize it, as he was the quietest in the band. While Ringo is Ringo, his banter and great drumming skills culminated in a truly amazing band.
Rubber Soul, Revolver, Sgt. Pepper, The White Album, Abbey Road, and, to a lesser extent, Let It Be are six of the best albums ever recorded. And that's not even counting their poppy first five albums, releases such as Yellow Submarine and Magical Mystery Tour, and the countless non-album singles like Hey Jude, Paperback Writer, I Want to Hold Your Hand. Their creativity is still unmatched in music, and their influence spans far further than just rock.
Their best works include songs like Paint it Black, Sympathy for the Devil, Satisfication (Which ranked no. 2 in The Rolling... read more
The Rolling Stones are my favorite band of the British Invasion and probably of all time. All the music now is nothing compared to bands like the Stones. I like their early music better than their older music, though. My favorite songs by the Stones are Satisfaction, Wild Horses, Sympathy for the Devil, Paint It Black, and especially Gimme Shelter. The Rolling Stones made a lot of good songs with other music artists and singers like Merry Clayton. The Rolling Stones will always be my favorites, even though the Beatles are probably the greatest.
For me, "The Rolling Stones" was a band that influenced more people in the US during the sixties than "The Beatles". Just listen to the millions of US garage-punk bands of the mid-sixties. They were obviously more interested in the rawer, rebellious sounds and attitudes of "The Rolling Stones", "The Kinks", "The Yardbirds", "The Who"... than "The Beatles". I'm not saying that "The Beatles" were not talented, but what if "The Rolling Stones" had been the first instead of "The Beatles" to invade the US? Wouldn't that have changed history?
They should be number 2! They should also be at number 2 on the greatest bands of all time list! I mean, the Beach Boys were my life for three years. Every time I felt happy, I craved some good-old fun Beach Boys songs about girls and hot rods. When I wanted something artistic, I would listen to Pet Sounds five times in a row, followed by Today! and the rest of the genuine music they created! They are so unique in every way. They always make me happy, they make me cry, and they make me think of life differently. They mean a lot to me, and I am just 13 years old. I wish people would love them as much as I do.
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.
I can't say enough about The Doors. Unfortunately, Jim Morrison was more interested in poetry than music. If Jim could have defeated his drug and alcohol addiction, stayed alive, and focused on music, they had the potential to be the greatest band of all time. I compare what happened to Jim Morrison and The Doors with what happened to my favorite band, The Beach Boys. If Brian and Jim had held it together, music history would be much different. These guys were brilliant! I wish I could have attended one of their concerts in the late 1960s.
Maybe they didn't change music, maybe they didn't reinvent genres, and maybe they weren't politically motivated lyricists. But they were poets and scholars, their dominion was the mind and the existential. And they are the only one on this list that movies have been made for by Oliver Stone and Francis Ford Coppola. They are influential to people's minds. Morrison had an IQ of 149. His flower power era persona hides the true depth of his message and immense intellect.
People may have known how to play the electric guitar before Jimi, but he really showed the world how to "play with" an electric guitar and use different sounds.
I saw them in the 60s, top of the bill at the Empire Liverpool. He is my no. 1 all-time favourite, absolutely fantastic, never been beaten in my opinion. Absolutely incredible. Died too soon.
The Jimi Hendrix Experience is one of the greatest bands of the 60s indeed. Hendrix is, and always will be, one of the greatest guitarists ever to live on the face of this Earth.
CCR took the world by storm and created some of the best music and songs ever heard to this day. I can't believe lead singer and songwriter John Fogerty is still writing hit songs and actively putting on star performances. Keep up the good show, can't wait for the next CD. Some talk of a reunion. I think it would be amazing. New songs from such a talented group once again could take the world by the hand and lead them through a new storm of greater magnitude.
The greatest AMERICAN rock band ever! They wrote the most recognizable Vietnam War song (Fortunate Son) and other classics that people sometimes overlook like Down on the Corner, Up Around the Bend, and Proud Mary.
Could easily be number 2 on your list. I've seen them four times and would pay to see them again! Brought me back to the great time of my life.
The Kinks wrote songs of every style and mostly did it better than every other band of the era. It's a shame they were banned from the US in their prime, which limited their international exposure. The one thing the Beatles really had on them was George Martin. It seems to me that if The Kinks had the same access to production techniques and guidance as the Beatles, this wouldn't even be a discussion.
The Kinks were the forerunners of power pop and punk. They used the power chord to its full advantage before anyone else realized it. They wrote some of the cleverest pop songs ever with the greatest hooks that made their music happy and full of fun. They are uniquely English and proud of it. Ray Davies has penned songs that will never be forgotten or sound dated, even today. They deserve a top-three slot in any chart.
I believe that The Kinks was the second-best band of the first British invasion. Their songs and albums of the 60s were far superior to those of The Stones and The Who. Even in the 70s and 80s, they did some great albums. Ray Davies is still one of the best British songwriters.
The Who is one of my favourite bands ever, and there are lots of reasons why! They are, as everyone already knows, talented musicians and incredible performers, but there's more to them than that!
Their music has saved my life and made it better. Their music has taught me life lessons, such as being more happy and less worried. It also taught me that I shouldn't get too angry at someone who insults me and that I should never let things such as hate comments ruin my day. Listening to The Who's music makes me feel like they're next to me, teaching me life lessons!
Thank you, Roger Daltrey, John Entwistle, Keith Moon, and of course, kudos to their songwriter, Pete Townshend!
The Grateful Dead are way too overrated in my opinion. I just find their songs to be a bit boring, honestly. Just because they played 30-minute songs doesn't mean they were good. The Who, however, are one of the best bands of all time! They weren't all about playing long songs live. The Who actually knew how to perform live. They put a lot of feeling and power into their performances! They truly epitomize what a live Rock N' Roll concert should be! Just listen to their Live At Leeds album. The Grateful Dead could never come close to making anything as good as that, not even in their dreams!
They had the looks, the skill, and the creativity, although they weren't too scrupulous about scavenging for other people's ideas. Robert Plant is the best rock singer ever.
Number 10, extraordinary for a band formed in '68, these guys RULE!
I'm in the mood for a melody, I'm in the mood for a melody, I'm in the Mood.
How great was Pink Floyd? Well, there are two bands that I can think of that pay tribute to The Floyd to this day: Brit Floyd and Aussie Floyd. I have watched Brit and Aussie Floyd on YouTube, and both bands blew me away with their tributes to Pink Floyd.
I will always agree with the person who wrote, "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, every album, every song." Cover bands are a dime a dozen. Tribute bands are solid gold. Thank you, Brit and Aussie Floyd, for keeping the music of Pink Floyd alive and well.
Syd Barrett famously dropped out of the band after providing such original and quirky songs, leaving the band with no direction. But they reinvented themselves and are now still one of the biggest bands on the planet. What's remarkable is their appeal to the masses and aficionados alike, although their repertoire has ossified since the 80s.
I'm waiting for my man, $26 in my hand. He's never early, he's always late. The first thing you learn is you always gotta wait.
These guys laid the foundation for many new wave and underground bands!
Loved the uniqueness of this band. Deserves to be in the top 5.
I can't believe Cream, the pioneers of blues rock, is not in the top 10! I've always compared Cream with Led Zeppelin (two favorite bands of all time), and I can never decide... they are too good! Jack Bruce defines bass, Clapton kicks ass on the guitar, and Ginger Baker... he's such a phenomenal drummer. These guys deserve at least top 5.
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, three 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.
This band changed the sound of rock music. They were the first to be fully integrated sexually, with two men and two women. Their vocal harmonies were, and remain, unparalleled.
This is a solid band throughout.
Their music changed my life.
They made so many new styles of music and created really the first psychedelic song, "Eight Miles High." Roger McGuinn's bright-sounding Rickenbacker guitar was iconic.
One of the best American bands ever. Their strong folk music influence changed the rock sound for a long time, and their songs still resonate today. Definitely belong in the top 10!
The Byrds were one of the most influential bands of the 60s, introducing folk rock, acid rock, and country rock. They should have made the top ten.
A great band with an amazing organ player, Alan Price. Eric Burdon's vocals were so heavy and full of soul, truly one of the greatest of the 60s.
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.
One of the greatest bands, underrated because of what happened later with them (multiple splits that caused multiple members to use the band's name). House of the Rising Sun, Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood, We've Gotta Get Out of This Place. The lead singer is amazing. He would later go on to make Sky Pilot, which is really good as well.
Number 22. Come on... Simon and Garfunkel are the most innovative duo of all time. Their songwriting is ridiculously good, and I don't think there are more beautiful voices in pop music.
They should be in the top 3, right after The Beatles and The Beach Boys. No one beats Simon on melodic catchiness. The man is pure gold in everything he touches.
They are absolutely amazing. How could they not be top 5!
Historically, The Four Seasons have been a very underrated group, considering their massive appeal, huge record sales, and airplay, especially during their heyday in the 1960s and '70s. Thanks to the mega-hit Broadway musical "Jersey Boys," their music and influence on other popular bands have been reassessed, and their music has been rediscovered by a new generation of fans. This group is certainly worthy of consideration in any top 10 list of the best bands of the 1960s and should at least be acknowledged for their popularity and success on the music charts during that decade.
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 50s, 60s, 70s, 80s, and 90s! They have the quintessential rags to riches story.
They are four very underrated guys!
Really good memories about this band - exceptional musicians!
The first lead guitarist of The Yardbirds was Anthony "Top" Topham. He left the band before they achieved mainstream popularity and was replaced by Eric Clapton, the first of three lead guitarists from the Yardbirds to gain an international reputation (the other two being Jeff Beck and Jimmy Page).
They had this one other guitarist before Beck and Page. What was his name again?
They always used his nickname "God," so I forgot his real name.
Heavyweights before their time. Beck and then Page. It doesn't get better than that.
Best band ever. I'm not a fan of their psychedelic drug music (and anyway, Jefferson Airplane did that better), but the sheer musicianship of the group has never been equaled. Granted, no one can butcher their own songs like the Dead, but from folk rock to psychedelic, traditional mountain ballads to highly experimental improvisational jam pieces, no one American band better defines the sixties.
The first time I saw Jerry Garcia was at Carlmont High School, near S.F. He was leaning on a concrete wall and laughing. I asked, "Who is that guy?" The answer was, "He's a great guitar player!" The next time, I was in a bar men's room just south of The City. He was standing next to me, doing what I was doing. He said, "Where are the chicks, man?"
Best band ever. I can't understand why not more people see beyond the hippy image and recognize that their journeys into space (from '68 to '72, in particular) are unrivalled by anyone.
Beautiful harmonies between the three of them, and they had one of the best debut albums of all time. They should be higher than Simon and Garfunkel on this list. They knew how to mix rock with folk music.
The fact that no other band, with the exception of the Beatles, made more music on an individual basis during the '70s is a testament to the talent these guys had. CSN had great solo albums to begin the '70s and continued through the decade. Neil Young is in a class all by himself. No way a group of guys with this much creativity can stay together and make albums when they all had this much material on hand.
Crosby, Stills, and Nash must be in the top ten, in my opinion. They dominated the "folk-rock" scene. If you compare the quality of their music with other 1960s bands, CSN has to be in the top ten.
Sure, they started off as a 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 four decades. Also, whether they wrote or played on certain songs, those first six 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' Spoonful.
Great personalities, great voices, and a great band. They caught a lot of undeserved flak, especially 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.
Ok, I've always loved the Beatles... but no band tops the vocals and harmonizing of The Hollies. Well, The Association is pretty good too. Still, The Hollies outrank both. I know I'm rambling on, but I'm serious! Love this band! And it's super cool that they are still together!
They deserved more recognition than what they got. They were one of the first bands that had to compete with The Beatles.
Top power-pop songsters - great drummer, lead guitarist, and then there were those quite incredible harmonies.
Frank Zappa is so underappreciated for what he did for the world of music. It's a shame.
Members: Grace Slick - vocals, piano, organ, recorder
Marty Balin - vocals, rhythm guitar, lead guitar, bass guitar
Paul Kantner - rhythm guitar, lead guitar, vocals
Jorma Kaukonen - lead guitar, rhythm guitar, vocals
Jack Casady - bass guitar,... read more
It's truly a shame that when most people think of the best bands of all time, they forget these guys. They started the California scene and defined the hippie movement along with Janis Joplin and others. Plus, whenever I look up the best singers from the '60s, Marty Balin never shows up. He was absolutely fantastic, as well as Grace, of course. Very underrated. They have more songs than Somebody to Love and White Rabbit, guys.
Grace Barnett Slick's career spanned all or parts of four decades, most notably with the bands Jefferson Airplane, Jefferson Starship, and Starship. She started with The Great Society and also had stints as a solo performer.
Best acid rock band of all time. Also disappointed Country Joe and the Fish aren't on here. Jefferson Airplane is by far my favorite band of all time.
I've been a Peter Noone fan since 1965. In 2013, I saw a poster that had his concert listed. I had no idea they tour the U.S. all the time! Peter's voice is wonderful. He's energetic, fun, and great with the audience. I'm hooked, and I go to every concert I can. I have most of his music. Everyone who attends his concerts leaves happy! Herman's Hermits starring Peter Noone will always be my favorite band.
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.
This band is very good, with Peter Noone as the singer. I know someone joined the band in 1998 and left in 2000. They are a very great band. My favorite of their songs is "Silhouettes."