10 most underrated 60’s Rock Bands !!!

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Its a new age and with modern music and trend changes at the helm of it , we tend to remember only the biggest and most popular of the bands and artists of the bygone era often forgetting many a brilliant musician and bands that were so good that they influenced music like no other. The only difference – they failed to catch the attention of the mass audience and remained obscure.

Led Zeppelin, The Who, Deep Purple, The Beatles all reached the peak of fame mountain but there were many  other bands over the period of time that left a distinct mark without getting what they deserved. We look at the 10 Most Underrated Rock bands of the 60’s !!!

1. Can

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Talk about Criminally Underrated and you have Can. This German Krautrock pioneers started off with a bang but could never reach the deserved fame . Hailing from Cologne , West Germany  in 1968 this band as an amalgamation of some seriously good avant garde and jazzy experimental rock music. ” Spoon ” became a cult classic and the album ” Monster Movie ” gave us gems that somewhat got lost in time .Irmin Schmidt’s classical influence can be heard in most of the early works of Can. David Bowie and Red Hot Chilli Peppers have stated Can to be one of their biggest influences .

Key Tracks : Spoon , Mary Mary So Contrary , Paperhouse ,Mushroom

2. Procol Harum

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Well Procol Harum did have their moments but this British band deserved much much more than they got. ” A Whiter shade of pale ” became a rock classic but the band never got the attention from the masses. Music lover might still disagree with me on this but PH was never about one song. They infact were one of the pioneers of Symphonic rock which later gave birth to Prog rock . Their self titled album is still considered the most influential rock n roll albums .

Key Tracks : Whiter shade of pale , Wizard man , A salty dog , Whiskey Train

3. ? and the Mysterians

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I came across this band about 10 years back and was blown away the first time i heard them. They are weird yes but in that lies the beauty of the music they do. Question mark and the Mysterians as they are often called are very poorly depicted as a ” One hit wonder ” but to those who are familiar would not agree at all. One of the first rock bands to incorporate out and out sci fi in their music , the band in their short 7 years stint shook the very foundation of rock n roll with music which were way ahead of their time,

Key tracks – 96 tears , Do something to me , I need somebody

 

4. The Moody Blues

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The Moody Blues were the  Dire Straits of the 60s. They are more famous than the other bands on this list but the fact that a band who had plenty of hits to boast of never getting the mainstream fame they should have accompanied them still baffles many. The band brought the world the very first successful concept album with ” Days of Future passed ” which became an inspiration for more successful counterparts like Yes , Genesis and Deep Purple.

Key Tracks – Go Now , Nights in White satin , Tuesday afternoon

5. The Grass Roots

UNSPECIFIED - CIRCA 1970: Photo of Grass Roots Photo by Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

The Grassroots have enjoyed their limelight yes and have even had 2 gold albums to their name but yet their name never pops up amongst the elite list . Moreover they are not as well known as some might think they are. ” Lets live for today ” is still a classic and people can’t stop humming to the enrapturing “sha la la ” in the chorus but they can’t name the band when asked . Yes that might not be a sign that they are underrated but a band that has had more or less the same amount of hits than any other of their more famous contemporaries during the 60s , it surely raises the question – How could we miss them?

Key tracks – Lets live for today , Heaven knows , The Runway

6. The Blue Things 

tomorrow-band-2How underrated can a band be ? And the answer is Tomorrow . A pioneering psychedelic rock band from England , Tomorrow somewhat got lost in the midst of the pop revolution. But when one takes into account the the quality of the produce , Tomorrow’s sheer musical genius cannot be overlooked. Guitar Legend Steve Howe ( Yes ) was once the driving force of the band. The band was considered the next big thing that never happened but it doesn’t take away the absolute brilliance it had and their debut album proves it .

Key tracks –My WhIte Bicycle , Claremont Lake , The Visit 

 

7. Quicksilver Messenger Service 

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QMS was never the typical rock band you would find. They were quite ahead of their time in many aspects. When ” Fresh Air ‘ came out , QSM were destined to be huge but they lost it to some of their contemporaries. The band was influential in fusing folk and jazz into their music and letting out a different brand of rock  . They spawned a lot of hits but never became commercially successful but  did gain a cult following in time.

Key tracks Fresh Air , Gypsy Lights , The fool

8. Badfinger 

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Badfinger were destined for big things, very big things but when Lady Luck doesn’t shine on you , you are left stranded with no hope at all. One of the best bands of the 60’s were robbed of their limelight and success owing to poor management , several lawsuits and couple of suicides later. Badfinger were called the American Beatles at one point but they never could recover from all the mishaps. Pete Ham was considered the next John Lennon , the band produced some of the most iconic songs in No Matter What and Day after day yet never reached the peak. Badfinger still remain as one of rock n roll’s biggest tragedy.

Key Tracks – No matter what , Day after day , Baby blu

9. Love

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Love was never a commercially successful band but they are considered one of the most influential American band of the 60’s . One of the first racially diverse band , the band produced masterpieces one after the other with ” Forever Changes ” being their magnum opus . The album was considered being a huge influence on greats like Robert Plant and Jim Morrison. Love not only influenced many artists of their era but also transcended into other genres like punk and post punk .

10. The Hollies

CIRCA 1974: (Clockwise from left) Terry Sylvester, Tony Hicks, Mikael Rikfors, Bernie Calvert, and Bobby Elliott of the rock group "The Hollies" pose for a portrait in circa 1974. (Photo by Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images)

The first ever band to introduce the three part vocal harmony style. The Hollies are well known for ” Bus Stop ‘ but the deal stops there. People are mostly unaware of the influence the band had on the growing scene of the 60’s. There are Rock and Roll hall of fame inductees yet i feel they were overlooked for a long period of time which is a crying shame for a band which revolutionized vocal harmonies in mainstream rock.

Key TracksBus Stop , The Air i breathe , Long cool woman 

 

By : Ashiqur Rohman 

 

 

 

 

 

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