The Perfect Songs That Started Hard Rock

Sooner or later the "monster" had to get out - rock 'n' roll was inexorably growing up and getting rougher.

Tracks that started hard rock - top of the best

After the legendarily famous "Summers of Love." rock 'n' roll was becoming more and more sure of its spikes. It seemed that the "soft" era of The Beatles and The Beach Boys could last forever, but the artists as well as the public sought something sharper and more provocative... Sooner or later the "monster" had to come out - rock and roll was inexorably growing up and getting rougher.

When metal didn't exist yet, there were bands and performers who made confident steps towards a new sound - rumbling and daring. They were the ones who laid the foundation hard rock, taking the tropes of what rock 'n' roll embodied and blowing them up to gigantic proportions. Their desire to create something deliberately atypical and dark was a breath of fresh air for the fans who were looking for something more edgy than what was usual rock music. So: here are the tracks that started hard rock.

The Rolling Stones - "Gimme Shelter"

The Rolling Stones
The Rolling Stones

At The Rolling Stones there were quite a few songs that claimed to be early hard rock, but there is a certain aura surrounding "Gimme Shelter"which is very different from everything else. Guitar Keith Richards plunges the listener into a nightmarishly beautiful atmosphere... This is far from an easy and positive song. Mick Jagger sings of a storm coming to blow away everything in its path, and a guest vocalist Merry Clayton sounds like she's on the verge of tears...

Given all this ominous poignancy, the sound "Gimme Shelter" signaled what the next phase of rock 'n' roll would look like. The Rollings made it clear: The Summer of Love was over. It was time to return to reality...

Cream - "Sunshine of Your Love"

Cream Group
Cream Group

On the one hand, "Sunshine of Your Love" not so different from any other traditional blues song of the time. But on the other hand... On this track Eric Clapton He's a kind of guitar God no one could ever fully understand. He twists traditional B.B. King blues standards into a psychedelia-soaked cosmos...

Certainly: by then the world already had guitar gods like Keith Richards and Brian Jones and Jeff Beck on the horizon, but if that song hadn't been a game changer among the British blues boom, we wouldn't have had people like slash today.

The Velvet Underground & Nico - "I'm Waiting For The Man"

Velvet Underground
Velvet Underground

Despite all the filth that mothers claim was in the rock 'n' roll songs of the time, the early '60s were actually pretty boring. They were either simple fan love songs or tracks that made you get up and dance. That was the first half of the '60s, and you could argue that the second half started the minute The Velvet Underground came out on the New York scene.

"I'm Waiting For The Man" sounds like this track was written by a hard-boiled New York romance vagabond. But there's plenty of romanticism in the lyrics, too. By the way, it was after bands like The Velvet Underground that the era of the outlaws in rock 'n' roll began.

The Doors - "Break On Through (To the Other Side)"

The Doors
The Doors

In the vision Jim Morrison there were many dark passages, and "Break On Through (To the Other Side)" represents the mission statement that steered the band in the right direction. Taking a riff from a Paul Butterfield song, The Doors present to the world all the weirdness that was going to happen in the next few years, combining "promiscuous love," substance and rock 'n' roll together and creating something new, a little more chaotic and innovative...

Jim Morrison deserves special attention on this track. The power of his voice is present from the beginning, sounding like he's trying to physically break through to your mind in the last few verses of the song.

Led Zeppelin - "Dazed and Confused"

Led Zeppelin
Led Zeppelin

Although you can argue all you want that this song was originally recorded Jack Holmes, exactly Led Zeppelin have taken it to a very different level than what you might have heard in the original folk version. Putting a strong emphasis on the drums and bass, there's almost a foreboding feeling that comes with Robert Plante's vocals, almost as if he's being tormented by some demon as he sings, begging to be free of the woman who did him wrong...

It's not typical of traditional blues, but the guitar sounds Jimmy Page were something pulled straight out of hell at a time when the demons of rock 'n' roll were beginning to show their faces.

The Who - "My Generation"

The Who
The Who

Song "My Generation"It seemed to shatter all ideas of what rock 'n' roll could be.

While the original version of this song was meant to be slower and almost folkloric in execution, its classic form as a hard rock track emerged almost by accident when Roger Daltrey on a whim offered to say the opening verses with a stammer, almost as if the singer was overwhelmed with emotion to even articulate what he was trying to say. Discarding the traditional love song format that existed around that time, this song called almost for a revolution of the younger generation, wanting a more self-destructive lifestyle and hoping to die before they grow old.

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