When looking for the greatest hard rock of all time, you don't usually think of the '60s as the prime candidate. Especially when you have the debuts of people like Aerosmith and Black Sabbath in the '70s, the late '60s feels more like flower children stuff by comparison. If you knew where to look though, hard rock may have gotten started a few years earlier than you originally thought.
In conjunction with the peace movements that were happening around the same time, there were the seeds of everything from blues rock to garage rearing its head, bringing with it a snotty attitude that you didn't find in the early British Invasion bands like the Kinks. Compared to the new soundscapes from people like the Beatles and the Rolling Stones, these were just caustic noise records that should have been lost in the shuffle. Little did we know that the ground was shaking beneath rock's feet.
Once the flower generation caved in on itself, this was the kind of music that people started to gravitate towards, being equal parts bluesy, soulful, and absolutely savage in its delivery. You can say that hard rock didn't start until the '70s, but it was only a few years earlier that the genre really started to show its fangs.
10. Here Are The Sonics - The Sonics
The late '60s were the years of prime garage rock. At a time when the Beatles and the Stones were still becoming the major power players of the music business, the era of bands throwing caution to the wind and blowing out your speakers was starting to come in as well. You can just as easily listen to something like the Kinks' You Really Got Me...or you could see what that type of garage rock really sounds like with the Sonics.
Compared to the other hard rock of the mid '60s, the Sonics tend to get a bit lost in the shuffle, being overshadowed by the psychedelic scene. For a few moments though, they actually had some solid chops for a hard rock act and managed to make some extremely caustic songs along the way like The Witch, which still feels angsty and angry to this day.
Since these guys originally hailed from Seattle, there's also an argument to be made that they were the ones who kickstarted the idea of grunge music 30 years before it even started. You can pretty much guarantee that any kid growing up in the Northwest looking to make some heavy music probably had a hand me down Sonics record in their collection. These guys have been written out of the history books too often. It's about time we let them back in.