Top 10 Best Bands of the 60s

The Top Ten
1 The Beatles The Beatles were an English pop rock band formed in Liverpool in 1960. The members consisted of John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr. They were soon known as the foremost and most influential act of rock era. Rooted in skiffle, beat, and 1950s rock and roll, the Beatles later... read more

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, and I Want to Hold Your Hand.

Their creativity is still unmatched in music, and their influence spans far further than just rock.

2 The Rolling Stones The Rolling Stones are an English rock band formed in London in 1962. The first settled line-up consisted of Brian Jones (guitar, harmonica), Ian Stewart (piano), Mick Jagger (lead vocals, harmonica), Keith Richards (guitar), Bill Wyman (bass) and Charlie Watts (drums)... 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.

3 The Beach Boys The Beach Boys are an American pop rock band formed in Hawthorne, California in 1961. The group's original lineup consisted of brothers Brian, Dennis, and Carl Wilson, their cousin Mike Love, and their friend Al Jardine.

They should be number 2! They should also be 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.

4 The Doors The Doors were an American rock band formed in 1965 in Los Angeles, with vocalist Jim Morrison, keyboardist Ray Manzarek, guitarist Robby Krieger and drummer John Densmore.

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.

5 The Jimi Hendrix Experience The Jimi Hendrix Experience was an English-American rock band that formed in Westminster, London, in September 1966. Composed of singer, songwriter, and guitarist Jimi Hendrix, bassist and backing vocalist Noel Redding, and drummer Mitch Mitchell, the band was active until June 1969. During this time... read more

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 number one all-time favorite, 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.

6 Creedence Clearwater Revival Creedence Clearwater Revival, often shortened to Creedence and abbreviated as CCR, was an American rock band active in the late 1960s and early 1970s.

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.

7 The Kinks The Kinks were an English rock band formed in Muswell Hill, North London, in 1964 by brothers Ray and Dave Davies. They are regarded as one of the most important and influential rock bands of the 1960s.

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.

8 The Who The Who is an English rock band formed in London, England in 1964. The most recognizable lineup was Roger Daltrey (lead vocals), Pete Townshend (guitar), John Entwistle (bass guitar), and Keith Moon (drums). They are best known for their live performances and hit songs Baba O'Riley, My Generation, and... read more

The Who is one of my favorite 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 happier 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 like 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!

9 Led Zeppelin Led Zeppelin was an English hard rock band formed in London in 1968 as the New Yardbirds. The group consisted of Robert Plant (Vocal), Jimmy Page (Guitar), John Paul Jones (Bass, Keyboard) and John Bonham (Drums) and was very much the child of Jimmy Page who even financed their first tour. He had tasted... read more

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.

I'm in the mood for a melody, I'm in the mood for a melody, I'm in the mood.

Number 10, extraordinary for a band formed in '68. These guys RULE!

10 Pink Floyd Pink Floyd are an English progressive rock band formed in 1965 in London, England. They achieved international acclaim with their progressive and psychedelic music. The band consisted of 5 members - David Gilmour (Vocals and Guitar), Syd Barrett (Vocals and Guitar), Nick Mason (Drums), Roger Waters... read more

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.

The Contenders
11 The Velvet Underground The Velvet Underground was an American rock band, active between 1964 and 1973, formed in New York City.

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.

12 Cream Cream were a 1960s British rock supergroup power trio consisting of bassist/vocalist Jack Bruce, drummer Ginger Baker, and guitarist/vocalist Eric Clapton.

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!

13 The Mamas & the Papas The Mamas & the Papas were an American folk rock vocal group formed in Los Angeles, California which recorded and performed from 1965 to 1968. The group was a defining force in the music scene of the counterculture of the 1960s. The group was composed of Americans John Phillips, Cass Elliot, and Michelle... read more

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.

14 The Byrds The Byrds were an American rock band, formed in Los Angeles, California in 1964. The band underwent multiple line-up changes throughout its existence, with frontman Roger McGuinn remaining the sole consistent member, until the group disbanded in 1973. Although they only managed to attain the huge commercial... read more

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.

15 The Animals The Animals are an English band of the 1960s, formed in Newcastle upon Tyne, during the early part of the decade.

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.

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.

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.

16 Simon & Garfunkel Simon & Garfunkel were an American folk rock duo consisting of singer-songwriter Paul Simon and singer Art Garfunkel.

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!

17 The Four Seasons The Four Seasons is an American rock and pop band formed in 1960, best known for their frontman Frankie Valli. They were one of the preeminent vocal groups of the '60s, famous for their harmonies and catchy melodies. The band has released a string of hits including "Sherry," "Big Girls Don't Cry," and... read more

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.

18 The Yardbirds The Yardbirds are an English rock band formed in London in 1963 that had a string of hits during the mid-1960s, including "For Your Love", "Heart Full of Soul" and "Over Under Sideways Down".

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.

19 The Grateful Dead The Grateful Dead was an American rock band formed in 1965 in Palo Alto, California. Ranging from quintet to septet, the band is known for its unique and eclectic style, which fused elements of country, folk, bluegrass, blues, reggae, rock, improvisational jazz, psychedelia, space rock, for live performances... read more

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 other 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?"

20 Crosby, Stills, & Nash

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.

21 The Monkees The Monkees were an American rock and pop band originally active between 1966 and 1971, with reunion albums and tours in the decades that followed.

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.

22 The Hollies The Hollies are a British pop/rock group best known for their pioneering and distinctive three-part vocal harmony style.

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.

23 The Mothers of Invention The Mothers of Invention were an American rock band from California. Formed in 1964, their work is marked by the use of sonic experimentation, innovative album art, and elaborate live shows.

Frank Zappa is so underappreciated for what he did for the world of music. It's a shame.

24 Jefferson Airplane Jefferson Airplane was a San Francisco, California-based band who pioneered the American counterculture movement as well as psychedelic rock.
Members: Grace Slick - vocals, piano, organ, recorder
Marty Balin - vocals, rhythm guitar, lead guitar, bass guitar
Paul Kantner - rhythm guitar, lead... 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.

25 Herman's Hermits

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.

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