This is the favourite-60s-tracks playlist from the Fuzz & Feedback book. I had each of the writers (self included) choose a couple of tracks to illustrate guitar in the period. This is what we came up with – and you’ll notice they’re more or less in chronological order.

To hear these as a playlist at Spotify, click here.


The Flee-Rekkers  ‘Sunday Date’

single A-side 1960
Dave ‘Tex’ Cameron (guitar unknown)
* Otherwise British, the group were led by Dutch-born musician Peter Fleerackers. ‘Sunday Date’ was typical of many UK early-1960s guitar instrumentals to achieve fleeting fame – this one with the benefit of a Joe Meek production. For me the record’s important not so much for its unsurprising guitar playing, but because it recalls the frustration of listening to interference-ridden Radio Luxembourg, the main provider of pop music in Britain at the time. Paul Day

Howlin’ Wolf  ‘Spoonful’
single A-side 1960
Freddy King and Hubert Sumlin (twin lead, probably both on Gibson Les Paul gold-tops)
* This Willie Dixon-penned mystery story is supercharged by the twin guitar talents of Freddy King and Hubert Sumlin, and can be classified both as primitive artefact and state-of-the-art pop song. One hundred and sixty thrilling seconds document the collision of ancient black culture and the electrified modern world. But what the hell do the lyrics mean? Paul Trynka

Wes Montgomery  ‘Gone With The Wind’
from The Incredible Jazz Guitar Of Wes Montgomery LP 1960
Wes Montgomery (probably on Gibson L-5CES)
* Building his ideas over several choruses, Wes unfolds a solo of sustained inventiveness and technical accomplishment.  Flowing effortlessly from single-line improvisation into an extended octave passage, he draws things to a perfect conclusion with a spectacular chordal solo. Fresh melodic motifs constantly appear, to be re-shaped and sent on their way, while rhythmic counterpoints pile on the pressure, before relaxing back into straight swing. A true jazz masterpiece. Charles Alexander

The Shadows  ‘Apache’
single A-side 1960
Hank B Marvin (lead, on Fender Stratocaster), plus Bruce Welch
* The record that launched 10,000 bands in Britain. Hank made it all look so easy, with those stark, clever melodies wrapped in that super-clean sound. And when the man in the music store looked down his nose at you and said, “What sort of electric guitar do you want, then, sonny?” the reply was obvious: “A red one, like Hank’s, please sir.” Well, something like Hank’s, anyway. But definitely red. Tony Bacon

Jørgen Ingmann ‘Apache’
single A-side 1961
Jørgen Ingmann (probably on Gibson Les Paul gold-top)
* Reworking the ‘New Sound’ that Les Paul invented in the late 1940s, a new breed of guitarists set the tempo of the 1960s with US hits like The Ventures’ ‘Walk – Don’t Run’ in 1960 and Swedish guitarist Jørgen Ingmann’s self-produced ‘Apache’ the following year. Ingmann’s record uses multitracking combined with echo effects, bluesy bends, muted double-picking and harmonics over a rock beat – and it all sounded great in the garage. Michael Wright

The Ventures  ‘Lullaby Of The Leaves’
single A-side 1961
Bob Bogle (lead, on Fender Stratocaster) with Don Wilson
* ‘Lullaby Of The Leaves’ blasts out of the chute with a ‘Walk – Don’t Run’ style intro and then kicks into an ascending melody that’s topped off with a radical (for the time) whammy dip. It was one of the first hit instrumentals in which the whammy  was integral to the melody, and it also features a driving bass/guitar/drums unison 16th-note chorus. Tom Wheeler

Booker T & The MGs  ‘Green Onions’
single A-side 1962
Steve Cropper (on Fender Telecaster)
* Steve Cropper’s stinging, string-torturing licks hit so hard that he only needed to launch them in the sparsest of clusters. In F, of all keys, and at the tender age of 20, Cropper wielded his stock Telecaster to devastating effect in this classic R&B instrumental. Tommy Goldsmith
If one extreme of 1960s guitar was prolix, effects-laden and overdriven, the other was bright, tight-lipped and burnished. Memphis mofo Steve Cropper here delivered the ultimate in lean, mean and clean: elegant, understated Telecaster classicism that didn’t waste a single pickstroke. By comparison, Clint Eastwood was a hysterical blabbermouth. Charles Shaar Murray

Lonnie Mack  ‘Memphis’
single A-side 1963
Lonnie Mack (probably on Flying V)
* Lonnie Mack’s 1963 smash instrumental version of Chuck Berry’s ‘Memphis’ was a milestone. It took the intensity of 1950s guitarslingers like Berry, Link Wray, Duane Eddy and Bo Diddley, and upped the stakes with an astonishing fuel-injected mix of speed, articulation, fluidity, and a spine-tingling jolt of Bigsby-vibrato prowess. The virtuoso instrumental rock guitarist had arrived. Tom Wheeler

The Beach Boys  ‘Fun, Fun, Fun’
single A-side 1964
Carl Wilson (on Fender, probably a Jaguar)
* I’m not sure I’d even heard of Chuck Berry when I first heard this record, but the arresting 17-second intro, borrowed from Berry’s ‘Back In The USA’, has always epitomised rock’n’roll guitar to me. Carl Wilson was 17 at the time. He’s been plagued ever since by people wanting reassurance that yes, he really did play it. John Morrish

Wes Montgomery  ‘West Coast Blues’
from Movin’ Wes LP 1964
Wes Montgomery (probably on Gibson L5-CES)
* Purists tend to consider Montgomery’s Riverside recordings as his best, but I remember being more thrilled then by Verve LPs like Movin’ Wes or Smokin’ At The Half Note. The power and the swing that emanate from this shorter version of his most popular composition is incredible – and his rendition of ‘Caravan’ on the same LP is well worth a listen, too. André Duchossoir

Roy Orbison  ‘Oh Pretty Woman’
single A-side 1964
Jerry Kennedy (lead, on Gibson ES-335), plus Wayne Moss and Billy Sanford
* The signature lick is everything – melody, rhythm, chord structure and, most important, attitude. Orbison wrote the lick but on the session he played rhythm on a Gibson acoustic 12-string. The record was a line of demarcation, ending an era of thin, lyrical lead guitar styles and establishing the new, aggressive, in-your-face style that led to ‘Satisfaction’, ‘Day Tripper’ and all that followed. Walter Carter

The Remo Four  ‘Peter Gunn’
single B-side 1964
Colin Manley (possibly on Fender Jazzmaster)
* This was an impressive British all-guitar version of Duane Eddy’s hit, with the sax lead lines accurately re-created by Manley (“He makes most other British guitarists sound old-fashioned” said George Harrsion in 1964). Keith Moon-style manic drumming contributed to an over-the-top performance which made me realise that guitar playing shouldn’t be taken too seriously. Paul Day

The Ventures  ‘Slaughter On Tenth Avenue’
single A-side 1964
Nokie Edwards (lead, on Mosrite Ventures), plus Don Wilson
* For me this is the best example of the playing of Nokie Edwards on a Ventures track, and I much prefer this to The Shadows’ version. Originally bassist with the group, Edwards had swapped instrumental roles with guitarist Bob Bogle in 1963. There is a wonderful sound to Edwards’ guitar on this track, where almost every guitar technique is included. This is how I was taught that lead guitar should be played. Hiroyuki Noguchi

The Beatles  ‘Ticket To Ride’
single A-side 1965
Paul McCartney (lead, on Epiphone Casino), plus George Harrison, John Lennon
* The one record that occupies the cusp of beatboom and psychedelia. Behind it lies the optimistic pop of Berry and Holly. In front of it stretches a brave, frightening new world. Three guitars and a drum kit make up an almost symphonic soundstage, while the distorted guitars and drugs references are rendered even more potent by being held firmly in check. Paul Trynka

The Beatles  ‘And Your Bird Can Sing’
from Revolver LP 1966
George Harrison (lead, on Gibson SG Standard), plus John Lennon or Paul McCartney
* Someone once called this “the best guitar playing you ever heard” and I’d be hard put to disagree. George, along with harmonies by John or Paul (memories differ), provides an ultra-bright, 16th-note rampage as intro, backing and riveting solo for the proto-hippie tune. As well as Revolver, check out the Anthology 2 version for a more Byrds-influenced take, complete with Rick 12-string. Tommy Goldsmith
* In my view, the combination of George Harrison and John Lennon is one of the best in the whole of 1960s guitar playing, and on this track you can hear elaborate guitar licks and an emotional harmony at work. Listen too for the way in which the twin guitar phrasing is deployed with such a mastery of melody. Hiroyuki Noguchi

The Beatles  ‘Taxman’
from Revolver LP 1966
Paul McCartney (lead, on Epiphone Casino), plus George Harrison
* Even now, ‘Taxman’ comes as a shock, not so much for its non-1960s sentiments as for the coruscating strangeness of the guitar solo. With its vaguely sitar-ish descending runs, and self-contained air, this seemed a product of George Harrison’s Indian obsession. Now we know it was Paul McCartney all along. John Morrish

The Butterfield Blues Band  ‘East-West’
from East-West LP 1966
Mike Bloomfield and Elvin Bishop (twin lead: Bloomfield on Gibson Les Paul gold-top or Sunburst; Bishop probably on Gibson ES-335)
* In this sprawling 13-minute instrumental rock raga Bloomfield and Bishop intertwined modal melodies in pulsed crescendos punctuated by Butterfield’s brilliant harp. It’s one of the earliest flings in 1960s pop culture’s emerging affair with eastern philosophy and psychedelia, creating the model for the twin-lead heavy guitar rock that was to follow. Michael Wright

The Yardbirds  ‘Shapes Of Things’
single A-side 1966
Jeff Beck (lead, probably on Fender Esquire), plus Chris Dreja
* I was 13 years old, my first guitar still a good nine months into the future. Across the fuzzy ether from Wonderful Radio London came what sounded like an alien marching tune, interrupted by the most demented, far-out musical noise my young ears had heard. Was that a guitar? It must have been – each time it came on I would leap to my feet, hands convulsing Cocker-like in ludicrous imitation of its crazy execution. It was going to be a fantastic year. Dave Gregory

Cream  ‘Sunshine Of Your Love’
from Disraeli Gears LP 1967
Eric Clapton (probably on Gibson SG Standard, or Les Paul Sunburst)
* The song and the riff are true classics from the late 1960s and form a timeless vehicle for improvisation. But ‘Sunshine Of Your Love’ also exemplifies Clapton’s typical ‘woman tone’ which many aspiring guitarists were then keen to imitate. And it looked even better when played live and loud on a painted SG Standard. André Duchossoir

Jimi Hendrix Experience  ‘Are You Experienced’
from Are You Experienced LP 1967
Jimi Hendrix (on Fender Stratocaster)
* As a mature 14-year-old I’d already learned to play all the songs off From Nowhere… The Troggs . So Jimi’s debut album came as a bit of a shock. After 35 minutes of the music of the gods, Hendrix closed the record with this stunning track, apparently created almost entirely in reverse. It was remarkable that anything musical could be achieved from such a random process, yet here was an emotional, coherent, perfectly-executed solo that, 30 years later, I am unable to turn away from whenever I hear it. Who but Hendrix would have dared attempt such a feat and pull it off so perfectly? Dave Gregory

Jimi Hendrix Experience  ‘Little Wing’
from Axis: Bold As Love LP 1968
Jimi Hendrix (on Fender Stratocaster)
* Jimi shows how to take a standard Stratocaster and bend it to one’s own purposes. He exploits the hard, brittle bite of the pickups for the affecting intro, sprinkles the rest of the song with his deceptively fluid meld of lead and rhythm styles, and plunges the trem system into the oh-too-brief closing solo. So that’s what a Strat can do. Tony Bacon

Steppenwolf  ‘Magic Carpet Ride’
single A-side 1968
Michael Monarch (lead, on Fender Esquire), plus John Kay
* It’s the rhythm. While most guitarists were concentrating on the blues, Steppenwolf followed the example of the early rockers and took the rhythm element from R&B. They kicked it into overdrive and came up with a crunching rhythm sound so strong that a conventional lead part was unnecessary. Walter Carter

Tony Williams Lifetime  ‘Spectrum’
from Emergency LP 1969
John McLaughlin (probably on Gibson Les Paul Custom)
* Tipped from the mid 1960s as a guitarist to watch, McLaughlin confirmed his arrival as a major innovative force with the playing on this track. Its angular theme, crunchy chords, soaring melody and urgent rock rhythms springboard McLaughlin into a blistering solo of Hendrix-like intensity, the fresh harmonic ideas and technical fluency of which announce the agenda for the jazz-rock and fusion music that was to come in the 1970s. Charles Alexander

Jimi Hendrix & Gypsy Sons And Rainbows  ‘The Star Spangled Banner’
from Woodstock LP 1970 (recorded August 1969)
Jimi Hendrix (on Fender Stratocaster)
At the dawn of the 1960s, who would have thought that a guitar could sound like this – or, indeed, that anything could sound like this? Or, for that matter, that a guitar could say this? Marshalling (no pun intended) every erg of his powers, Hendrix delivered a complex, wrenching state-of-the-nation address without opening his mouth, or needing to. The Stratocaster said it all. Charles Shaar Murray