6 Loud Rockers from the 1960s

The 1960s rocked. Really, the decade of Flower Power, free love and rock ‘n’ roll culminated in the final year. It was 1969 and the famous Woodstock festival in Upstate New York was going down. The time signified all that had been achieved in culture and music. But if there was one word to describe it, it would be “LOUD.”

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Below, we wanted to honor that sentiment and that reality with a list of the loudest rock bands of the 1960s. Those groups that took the best of rock ‘n’ roll in the previous decade and turned it into Earth-shaking stuff. Bolt down your tables and chairs, these are the six loudest rockers of the 1960s.

1. The Rolling Stones

How many parents shouted to how many kids in the 1960s for them to turn down that blasted Rolling Stones music? While the equipment may have been rudimentary compared to what we have today, the Rolling Stones were still able to crank the juice and deliver spine-shaking stuff.

2. Jimi Hendrix

Jimi Hendrix embodied everything great about rock music and he did it to the nth degree. Oh, Bob Dylan wrote a great song, “Watchtower”? How about I cover it and make it one of the most iconic rock ‘n’ roll songs of all time? A song where every measure is distinct and recognizable. That was Hendrix. And he did it with volume as much as with subtly and intricacy.

3. The Kinks

The Kinks invented distortion. They took a razor blade to an early speaker they were using for their electric guitar and cut the thing so that it buzzed. If that doesn’t tell you all you need to know, then here’s this: the Kinks were freaking loud. As artful as they were a torrent to your eardrums.

4. Creedence Clearwater Revival

Swamp rock has its king with Creedence Clearwater Revival’s John Fogerty. His vocals embody gavel, projection, sticky pop and heavy rock in every syllable.

5. The Sonics

The Sonics predated bands like Heart and Nirvana and were some of the original loud rockers. Their rendition of “Louie, Louie” is one of the song’s most memorable and their version of “The Witch” is well known and just may blow out your speakers. The Sonics were one of several proto-garage rock groups around Seattle (technically, Tacoma). Without their loud music, who knows what the region may have become?

6. The Doors

The kind of music you crank up as loud as your speakers will go so that you become woven into Jim Morrison’s words. The Doors are meant to be heard. From Ray Manzarek’s bumble-bee-like keys to Morrison’s dripping vocals. And they knew it, taking advantage of every bit of volume they could.

Photo credit Joel Selvin / Shorefire Media

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