The Animals - House of the Rising
Hilton Valentine's A minor arpeggio
guitar opening leads into this classic Animals song. The modern
take on a traditional folk song made it effectively the first
folk rock chart hit. It was recorded in just one take on 18 May
1964 and reached number 1 in the UK
by July 1964.
Jimi Hendrix Experience - Voodoo Chile (Slight
The final track on Electric
Ladyland the third album by The Jimi Hendrix Experience.
Released on 16 September 1968 it was later a single (released
1970). It was initially a reprise of Voodoo Child an
earlier track on the album but certainly stands out in its own
The song was very powerful live and
would vary from 7 to 18 minutes. Hendrix
played Voodoo Chile (Slight Return) on the BBC Happening for
Lulu show prior to starting the single Hey Joe when they
then stopped playing part-through and started playing Cream's
Sunshine of Your Love.
Procul Harem - A Whiter Shade of
One of the most unusual tracks of
the 1960s and a massive hit. Released on 12 May 1967, this was
Procul Harem's debut single and it reached number 1 in the UK
The song was co-written by Gary
Brooker, Keith Reid and Matthew Fisher, Fisher gaining his share
of the writing credit in 2009 following a court battle.
The song was based around a Bach
melody with seemingly nonsense lyrics although it has been
suggested that they are about a drunken seduction and sexual
The song is one of the most played
of all time in the UK.
The Small Faces - Tin Soldier
For many Small Faces fans this is
the band's outstanding track. The single was the follow-up to
Itchycoo Park and was released in December 1967 the song was
written by Steve Marriott and featured former Ikette PP Arnold
on backing vocals.
Tin Soldier did not initially
appear on any album although it has since been available as an
additional track on the first Immediate album as well as in
Greatest Hits compilations. The track was included, however, on
the US There Are But Four Small Faces.
What makes this intro special is the
way the instruments come in with every band member playing at
their peak. The song also shows the range of Marriott's superb
Cream - Sunshine of Your Love
An iconic riff as practised by
guitarists all over the world. Sunshine of Your Love was
Cream's fifth single and was taken from the album Disraeli
Gears. The album was released in December 1967 with the
single issued in February 1968.
The song was written by Jack Bruce,
Pete Brown and Eric Clapton. The riff case from Bruce, most of
the lyrics from Brown while Clapton provided the bridge. Drummer
Ginger Baker also had a major impact with his highly distinctive
Although the single only reached 25
in the UK and 5 in the US, it remains a rock classic.
Led Zeppelin - Whole Lotta Love
Led Zeppelin's first two albums were
released in 1969. After the power of the first album there must
have been incredible anticipation for Led Zeppelin 2. With
Whole Lotta Love as the opening track it certainly does not
disappoint. Jimmy Page's riff runs through the song and it has
become one of best-known riffs in rock music. The song was also
used for many years as the theme tune for BBC's Top of the
Pops although it was a version by CCS.
The lyrics were similar you Muddy
Waters' You Need Love which was written by Willie Dixon.
A version of the song called You Need Loving was
recorded by the Small Faces on their eponymous debut album and
credit to Steve Marriott and Ronnie Lane as writers. While Plant
was an admirer of Muddy Waters his style of singing clearly owed
much to Marriott's style.
Although the song was pressed as a
single with a December 1969 release date, it was never issued as
the band had already decided on a no-singles policy for the UK.
However, the song was a major hit in many other countries and it
one of the most-recognised Led Zeppelin songs.
The Kinks - You Really Got Me
The chords that defined rock music
in the 1960s. Dave Davies' distinctive introduction to The
Kinks' first major hit has led to many imitations, even the
Who's debut single I Can't Explain showed a clear
This was The Kinks' third single but
their first major hit. The song was written by Ray Davies and
was released as a single on 4th October 1964. It also appeared
on their debut album Kinks. Alongside the power chords,
the track used distortion on Dave Davies' guitar which he
achieved by slicing the paper cone of his guitar amplifier.
These were new sounds back in 1964.
A long-standing myth about this
track is that Jimmy Page, then a top session musician, played
the lead guitar solo, Producer Shel Talmy has denied that Page
did play on the track.
The Beatles - I Feel Fine
There are so many great intros to
choose from for The Beatles, such as the single chord of A
Hard Day's Night, the fuzz guitar of Revolution or
McCartney's bass line on Taxman. I Feel Fine has
been chosen not just for John Lennon's opening riff but also the
feedback that precedes it. Listen to the second volume of BBC
tracks to hear Lennon trying to achieve this in the BBC studios.
Although feedback had been used intentionally by The Who and The
Kinks when playing love this was effectively the first time that
it had been used on vinyl. Engineers were normally trying to
eliminate the feedback. The Beatles used it creatively.
Released in November 1964, this was
The Beatles' eighth single. It reached the UK number 1 spot in
The Who - Pinball Wizard
By the late 1960s, Pete Townshend
was already becoming more experimental with his writing. A
Quick One While He's Away had shown him looking towards a
rock opera but more was to follow with Tommy.
Pinball Wizard was released
as a single in March 1969 reaching number 4 in the UK and 19 in
The Rolling Stones - (I Can't Get No)
Satisfaction was released in
August 1965 although it was available on the US album Out of
Our Heads in June of that year and as a single. It spent two
weeks at number 1 in the UK although it has subsequently been
cited as one of the greatest singles ever released.
Keith Richards' fuzz box is what
made the track sound particularly innovative even though he had
originally intended that the 3-note riff be played on horns,
much like the later Otis Redding cover version.