Top 100 Songs
Rock and roll wasn’t even a decade old when garage rock started in the mid-1960s as a sort of back-to-basics movement. The name evoked the primitive sound, equipment, and recording techniques of high school buddies jamming in the garage.
Genres are often tied to a specific era, often only about five years, but garage rock has the unique trait of being associated with two distinct time periods. The original wave in the 1960s was helmed by well-known acts such as the Who and the Kinks and set up proto-punk with acts like Velvet Underground and the Stooges.
In the early 2000s, the garage sound experienced a revival via bands like the White Stripes, the Strokes, the Hives, and the Vines committed to the low-fi recording techniques.
This list reflects both eras and a smattering of songs that fall between them. It was created by aggregating 11 lists focused on the best of garage rock. Those songs appearing on 2 or more lists were then ranked based on their overall status in Dave’s Music Database.
Click here to see other genre-specific song lists.
DMDB Top 1%:
1. The Kinks “You Really Got Me” (1964)
DMDB Top 2%:
7. Them “Gloria” (1964)
11. Iggy Pop “Lust for Life” (1977)
21. The Count Five “Psychotic Reaction” (1966)
DMDB Top 5%:
24. The Hives “Hate to Say I Told You So” (2000)
31. The White Stripes “Icky Thump” (2007)
41. Mudhoney “Touch Me I’m Sick” (1988)
DMDB Top 10%:
51. The Trashmen “Surfin’ Bird” (1963)
61. The Who “Anyway, Anyhow, Anywhere” (1965)
71. The Strokes “The Modern Age” (2001)
81. Wolfmother “The Joker and the Thief” (2005)
DMDB Top 20%:
92. Nazz “Open My Eyes’ (1968)
First posted 9/28/2023.