10 Awesome Bass Heavy Songs of the 60s

Jefferson Airplane

Rock and roll music in the 1960s marked a new era in the industry that pushed so many boundaries that it’s little wonder the explosion of pop culture resulted in so many contrasts of style. There were the hippies who rebelliously embraced freedom while there were racial issues that were shed to light through music. There were also garage bands that came out of the woodwork, along with a British invasion of musicians that made quite the impression. This was also the era when heavier bass sounds started to make their way into the music scene. Some of the best heavy bass songs of the 1960s served as a source of inspiration for rock bands to do the same in the 1970s, 1980s, and beyond.

10. White Rabbit (performed by Jefferson Airplane)

 

(White Rabbit) was a song released by Jefferson Airplane that made it an all-time cult classic. Jack Cassidy’s bass performance really made this song a standout hit that continues to remain a timeless classic. Want something hypnotic that’s loaded with enough oomph to force even the speakers to dance, White Rabbit is it. Released in 1967 from the album, Surrealistic Pillow, the song used the infamous Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and its 1871 sequel, Through the Looking Glass, as part of its storytelling layout in music form. On the US Billboard Hot 100, it became a number eight hit. It was even more popular in Canada, peaking as high as number one on its official music chart.

9. In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida (performed by Iron Butterfly)

 

For something sinister with heavy bass, (In-A-Gada-Da-Vida) was a song introduced by Iron Butterfly as one of the most controversial tunes at the time. This paved the way for heavy metal groups to flood the rock music scene. The bass guitar performed by Lee Dorman was epic and remains one of the inspirational blueprints that fuel bass-favoring heavy metal music as we know it. This song was released in 1968 and runs just over seventeen minutes as a dark love song referencing Adam and Eve from the Holy Bible. This was the one and only song to become a top forty hit as it peaked as high as number thirty on the US Billboard Hot 100. The appeal of In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida as a heavy-hitter played a key role in the spawn of rock bands that shaped the 1970s.

8. Dazed and Confused (performed by Led Zeppelin)

 

Whether it was intentional or not, Led Zeppelin earned a reputation for covering and stealing music. What this group did with (Dazed and Confused) is taking the dark and acoustic folk song belonging to Jake Holmes and make it their own with its heavy-duty load of bass. What Led Zeppelin did was a first. They took a mellow song and turned it into a thumping metal tune of doom. It was great at the time when it came out in 1968 and is still great today.

7. Judy in Disguise (With Glasses) (performed by John Fred and His Playboy Band)

 

(Judy in Disguise (With Glasses)) was a hit song that was performed by John Fred and His Playboy Band and released as a single in 1967. This song became a global hit, peaking as high as number one on the US Billboard Hot 100, as well as in Australia, Austria, Belgium, Germany, South Africa, and Switzerland. The bass featured in this song served as a heavier-hitting sequel to The Beatles’ Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds.

6. Psychotic Reaction (performed by Count Five)

 

If there was a song that boasted its bass performance loud and proud, (Psychotic Reaction) by Count Five would be it. You should have no trouble telling the difference between the bass and the guitars here. Garage bands like Count Five were among the pioneers of using heavy bass in their songs. This song was released as a single in 1966 but it was originally meant to be an instrumental number. The influence of the bass alone makes this song dramatic enough. Adding lyrics to it turned Psychotic Reaction into a psychedelic number that may not have been a big chart hit but served as a fan favorite who appreciates the pentatonic riff that starts it all off.

5. Little Green Bag (performed by George Baker Selection)

 

Fans of the movie, Reservoir Dogs, will recognize 1969’s (Little Green Bag) by George Baker Selection for its bass introduction that came through as a loud and proud eye-opener. Originally, this song was supposed to be Little Greenback as it made reference to the American dollar bill. However, it was mislabeled as Little Green Bag. This resulted in the fans thinking the song made reference to marijuana. Because of this, the song became something of a nationwide anthem. On the US Billboard Hot 100, it peaked as high as number twenty-one. It was a top twenty hit worldwide, peaking as high as number three in Belgium on its Ultratop Chart.

4. Blue’s Theme (performed by Davie Allan and the Arrows)

 

There’s an argument over (Blue’s Theme) as the first official heavy metal song due to the heavy bass sounds that make this song seem larger than life. Performed by Davie Allan and the Arrows, this was a good, solid groove that likely blew apart speakers when it was first heard. From the Wild Angels soundtrack, Blue’s Theme was a 1966 song that peaked as high as number thirty-seven on the US Billboard Hot 100 after it was released.

3. My Generation (performed by The Who)

 

Rock and roll music as we know it today was heavily influenced by world-class bands like The Who. 1965s (My Generation) did so much more than come across as a bass-heavy number. This song served as a musical statement that the current generation was about to take the world by storm and do it in a big way. The bass involved in this song was insane and it worked beautifully from start to finish. It became one of The Who’s most recognizable songs for good reason and has joined the ranks as one of the five hundred songs that shaped rock and roll. It’s also been inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame for its historical, artistic, and significant value.

2. Sunshine of Your Love (performed by Cream)

 

(Sunshine of Your Love) by Cream was a heavy-hitting classic that saw Jack Bruce double down on Eric Clapton’s riffs as the song seemed to be a battle between the bass and the guitar, non-stop. It was a great song when it first came out in 1967 and it still is today. These bass riffs performed by Jack Bruce came as a source of inspiration after attending a Jimi Hendrix concert. On the US Billboard Hot 100, it was a number five hit and it peaked as high as number three in Canada. Overseas, it was a top forty hit among the nations of Australia, the Netherlands, and the UK.

1. Come Together (performed by The Beatles)

 

The Beatles became iconic fan favorites for a reason. Their role as leaders of the British Invasion of the 1960s played an instrumental role in the surge of new rock sounds, including the heavier usage of the bass guitar. {Come Together) was one of the group’s heaviest hitters of all time. In 1969, while the vast majority of British bands had already faded into obscurity, the Beatles ended the decade with a bang. Come Together, along with its associative album, Abbey Road, was one of the band’s best-selling. On a global scale, it was a number one hit in Australia, Belgium, Germany, and on the US Billboard Hot 100.

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