Some of the biggest rock bands seem to be in a league of their own. Whether it’s the way they write the riffs or the way they approach the stage, most of the iconic acts of the past have so many signatures that they seem to be ingrained into the very fiber of their being. On the other hand, everyone gets it from somewhere.
As much as we love to praise our favorite bands, so many great bands have been lost in history and deserve to be mentioned right next to these great bands. Throughout their tenure, these groups have taken the genre forward in their own way, with tracks that encompassed both great riffs and exciting new avenues of sound. Some of the ideas from these bands were so good that even iconic bands in the genre ended up taking inspiration from their sound.
From glam to punk to garage rock, each of these bands has done their part to make the eponymous genre a little meaner. While their songs may not have been as important as the hits of other artists, they are more than worthy of being some of the greatest of all time.
Here is just a small portion of the Riff Masters that time has forgotten.
In the late 60s rock was growing into something much more sinister. Bands like Iggy and the Stooges and the MC5 were making great strides in creating what would later become the sound of punk rock. While Alice Cooper was making waves in hard rock as one of the earliest heavy metal artists, most of the metallic sounds could only be found in British bands like Deep Purple and Black Sabbath.
Amid the chaos, Blue Cheer emerged from the middle of San Francisco’s Haight Asbury scene and left the saggy hippies with their jaws wide open. While the band’s music wasn’t necessarily metal in its melodic structure, they made up for it with some of the loudest records the genre has ever heard. Drawn to the most quirky experiences of the hippie generation, the band’s records have always been designed to hit you with the same sonic power as a nuclear explosion.
While they may not have seen adulation like other metal innovators, the band found fans among some of the greatest artists of the time, with Eric Clapton calling them “progenitors of heavy”. with the open admiration of Rush’s Geddy Lee. With just a few blues riffs and a lot of fury, Blue Cheer has helped define a new soundscape in which bands can wreak havoc.