Hardest Song of the Year

I heard this song, The Bat, released in 1964 and wondered what would be the hardest, most intimidating song of each year from say 1960 up to (I presume) the creation of Death Metal or something of that ilk. Any nominations?

1964 - The Ventures / The Bat

Excellent song. Listening to that, you can sense why some parents might have feared rock and roll. A bleary riff reminiscent of striptease music, shambling, druggy rhythms, and some briefly acidic guitar. I’m ready to get high!

Actually, let’s move the start goal back to 1958.

1958 - Link Wray / Rumble

First of all - hell yeah. That’s some heavy shit. Watching Jimmy Page’s face when he listens to it on It Might Get Loud is priceless.

Second of all - let’s go back to 1956. I can’t get a link working on my iPad, but Honey Hush by Johnny Burnette and the Rock and Roll Trio fron 1956 is damn hard.

Gotta have some danger in it.

Well if you’re going to go blues, I’d have to put Howlin’ Wolf in. Unfortunately, this sounds like the tempo has been sped up so that everything’s more high pitched than it should be.

1951 - Howlin’ Wolf / How Many More Years

Let’s try to move forward, though. Anyone have any thoughts on what the hardest Death Metal song is and what year would have the first?

Jumping ahead, 1968 could belong to The Beatles’ Helter Skelter. I really wish they had put out more songs like this.


Hendrix takes 67 with Fire.

I don’t think of Johnny B as Blues - they are the Rock and Roll Trio after all. ;). And the Honey Hush riff is what the Yardbirds and Aerosmith used for their covers of Train Kept a Rollin’ (which is also a JB&RRT song but with a diff riff - not sure how that worked, combining the two). Either way, certainly no protest over Mr Wolf - definitely hard.

Moving forward, 1986 belongs Master of Puppets by Metallica and 1993 to Just One fix by Ministry - relentlessly hard stuff. And whenever Iron Man came out by Sabbath - that’s theirs…

'67 will be tough. Gotta go with Sunshine of Your Love by Cream, with the most durable, heavy riff of the time…

The Bat is cool, but 1964 clearly belongs to the Kinks’ You Really Got Me.

And while I’m at it, I’ll go ahead and nominate My Generation for 1965.

Of course, as soon as I posted My Generation, it occurred to me that 1965 is when The Sonics put out their first record! :smack: Take your pick: Strychnine, Psycho, Boss Hoss, The Witch

Excellent competition. Cream takes the riff, but Fire has the harder percussion that puts it over the top for me.

“Kick Out the Jams” by the MC5 has to take 1969.

And you don’t even include Have Love Will Travel. God I love the Sonics.

But yeah, Kinks for '64 and My Generation for '65 are great.

Depends, we need an non partisan arbiter, may I suggest the Map of Metal?

They list all the genres and sub genres along with streaming suggestions for bands and songs. I’m going go with Incantation for the hardest in pure Death Metal, and the first example given there is from 1984 by Hellhammer. However, I find Doom and Brutal Death metal to be far heavier.

Possessed’s Seven Churches is generally considered to be the first death metal album, and is definitely responsible for coining the term “death metal”.

Edit: Hellhammer was earlier, but it’s not entirely clear that what they were playing was what we would call death metal, and not just an early example of extreme metal before it differentiated into subgenres.

Man, I’m afraid to even make a WAG about 1966. That’s getting into Religion territory.

The riff might be heavy, but they sing the lyrics with friendly, high-pitched voices and well…let’s face it, the song is named “Sunshine of your Love”. I get the sense that they didn’t quite know what to do with a heavy riff.

I don’t think anyone really did until Black Sabbath came along. Take a listen to Blue Cheer’s cover of “Summertime Blues” and try to imagine that being recorded today.

What a fun game.

1963 - Surfin’ Bird
1964 - You Really Got Me
1965 - (My Generation)
1966 - ?
1967 - (Sunshine of My Love)
1968 - Helter Skelter
1969 - Dazed and Confused
1970 - Iron Man (Or possibly Black Sabbath)
1971 - Lord of This World

I don’t think My Generation is that hard. I find The Ox from the same album harder, for instance. I guess that’s my suggestion for 1966, but there could be songs beating those two. Sunshine of My Love is competing in 1967, so there might also be something harder than that.