The tracks that started hard rock - top of the best
After the legendarily famous "The Summer of Love." rock 'n' roll was becoming more and more confidently spiky. It seemed that the "soft" era of The Beatles and The Beach Boys could have lasted forever, but the performers, as well as the public itself, wanted something sharper and more provocative... Sooner or later the "monster" had to come out - rock'n'roll was inexorably growing up and becoming rougher.
When metal didn't exist yet, there were bands and artists who made confident steps towards a new sound - rumbling and brash. They were the ones who laid the foundation hard rockTaking the tropes of what rock 'n' roll epitomised and blowing them up to gigantic proportions. Their desire to create something deliberately atypical and dark was a breath of fresh air for fans who were looking for something edgier than what rock music was used to. So: here are the tracks that gave birth to hard rock.
The Rolling Stones - "Gimme Shelter"
У The Rolling Stones There were quite a few songs that claimed to be early hard rock, but there is a definite aura surrounding the "Gimme Shelter"which is very different from everything else. Guitar Keith Richards immerses the listener in a nightmarishly beautiful atmosphere... This is far from a light and positive song. Mick Jagger sings about a storm coming to blow everything in its path, and guest vocalist Merry Clayton sounds like she's on the verge of tears.....
Given all this ominous poignancy, the sound of the "Gimme Shelter" signalled what the next phase of rock'n'roll would look like. The Rolling Stones made it clear: "The Summer of Love" was over. It was time to get back to reality...
Cream - "Sunshine of Your Love"
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 is a kind of guitar God that no one could quite understand. By twisting the traditional blues standards of B.B. King, he transforms them into a psychedelia-soaked cosmos...
Absolutely: 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 amongst the British blues boom, we wouldn't have people like Slash today.
The Velvet Underground & Nico - "I'm Waiting For The Man"
Despite all the filth that mothers claim there was in rock and roll songs of the time, the early 60s were actually pretty boring. They were either simple love songs to female fans 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 The Velvet Underground came to the New York stage.
"I'm Waiting For The Man." sounds like this track was written by a hardcore romantic tramp from New York. But there is also enough romanticism in the lyrics. By the way: it was after bands like The Velvet Underground that the era of outlaws in rock'n'roll came.
The Doors - "Break On Through (To the Other Side)"
In the vision. Jim Morrison there were a lot of 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 presenting to the world all the weirdness that was to come in the next few years, bringing "messy love", substance and rock 'n' roll together and creating something new, a little more chaotic and innovative...
Jim Morrison deserves a special mention on this track. The power of his voice is present from the very beginning, sounding like he is trying to physically break through to your mind in the last few verses of the song.
Led Zeppelin - "Dazed and Confused"
Although you can argue all you want about how this song was originally recorded Jack Holmesprecisely Led Zeppelin have taken it to a completely different level than what you might have heard in the original folk version. Putting a strong emphasis on drums and bass, there's almost a foreboding feeling that comes with Robert Plant's vocals, almost as if he's being tormented by some demon as he sings, begging to be freed from 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 starting to show their faces.
The Who - "My Generation"
Song "My Generation."seemed to shatter all notions 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 the Roger Daltrey on a whim suggested that the opening verses should be spoken with a stutter, 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 by a younger generation wanting a more self-destructive lifestyle and hoping to die before they were old enough.