Our Top 10 Canned Heat Songs list takes a look at a great blues band formed in the mid 1960s. The group first came together in 1965 in the city of Los Angeles. The band soon became very successful attracting a large cult following while also attaining commercial success. One of the secrets of the band was their ability to compose their own material while putting their own spin on blues classics. Their legacy was cemented with their incredibly exciting live shows and their appearances at what would become legendary concert festivals such as Woodstock.
The core members of the band’s early lineups were Bob Hite on vocals, Alan Wilson on guitar, harmonica and vocals, Henry Vestine on guitar, Harvey Mandel on guitar, Larry Taylor on bass, and Adolfo de la Parra on drums. Over the years there were multiple lineup changes for various reasons including the passing of some key members. Alan Wilson passed away early on in 1970. Bob Hite passed away in 1981. Henry Vestine died in 1998 and most recently Larry Taylor passed away in 2019.
Canned Heat released their first album in 1967 entitled Canned Heat. Between 1967 and 2007, Canned Heat released twenty studio albums including three collaborative albums with other artists. The band has also released eleven live albums over the course of their career. There have also been twenty compilation albums released by their record companies.
Our Top 10 Canned Heat songs list focuses more on their late 1960s and early 1970s work. This is a fabulous blues boogie rock band that stands along such legendary groups as The Paul Butterfield Blues Band, John Mayall and The Bluesbreakers, Savoy Brown, and Foghat as being one of the best of all time.
# 10 – Refried Boogie
What better way to open up a top 10 Canned Heat Songs list than with their classic forty one minute jam “Refried Boogie.” Jamming was what this band was all about and this one defines it beautifully. There are multiple breaks in the song and a long drum solo towards the end, but nonetheless, it’s a brilliant expose into the world of Canned Heat and why they were such an exciting band to see live.
# 9 – Rockin’ With The King
One of the great attributes of the band Canned Heat was their willingness to record with other legendary names in the rock and roll world. This top 10 Canned Heat songs list will feature a couple of those recordings. This great tune “Rockin’ With The King,” featured Little Richard on piano and vocals. The song was released on the album Historical Figures and Ancient Heads. The album hit record stores in 1971. The song was written by Skip Taylor and Richard Wayne Penniman which was Little Richard’s legal name.
# 8 – Time Was
Continuing with our top 10 Canned Heat songs list we turn to one of our all-time favorite Canned Heat songs. The great grooving track “Time Was,” was released on the album Hallelujah. The classic Hallelujah album was released in 1969. The song was written by Alan Wilson. This is one we can all relate to, especially those of us who have been married for way too long………………
# 7 – Amphetamine Annie
“Amphetamine Annie,” is one of the most popular Canned Heat songs ever released. The song was released on the Boogie With Canned Heat album in 1968. The Boogie With Canned Heat album was the band’s second album release. Writing credit for the song was given to the entire band. The Boogie With Canned Heat is also one of the band’s most popular records, We could have filled this entire top 10 Canned Heat sings list with tunes from this classic album.
# 6 – Whiskey And Wimmen’
Continuing with our top 10 Canned Heat songs list we turn to one of the band’s most legendary collaborations. If I’m a blues musician there is probably no other blues musician I would rather jam with than John Lee Hooker. Of course, there is a long list of other greats that we would all like to jam with such as Muddy Waters, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Johnny Winter etc… The great album Hooker ‘n Heat was listed as a John Lee Hooker album with Canned Heat. It doesn’t matter how it’s listed to us. This is a killer two-record set that stands as one of the best blues albums of all time. We picked this one to represent it, although any track on the record is great.
# 5 – Rollin’ And Tumblin’
Continuing with our Top 10 Canned Heat songs list we turn to a set of classic Canned Heat songs. It’s tough to only pick ten songs from such a legendary band, but there are some that you just can’t ignore. “Rollin’ And Tumblin’ is one of those great Canned Heat Songs. It was also the first Canned Heat song to appear on the first Canned Heat album released in 1967. The song was written by Muddy Waters and Hambone Willie Newbern.
# 4 – Let’s Work Together
Continuing with these classic Canned Heat songs we turn to the great track “Let’s Work Together.” The song was released on the album Future Blues. It was the band’s fifth album. The record was released in 1970. The song “Let’s Work Together,” was written by Wilbert Harrison. The song has been widely covered over the years by various artists. However, our favorite version of the song will always be this great Canned Heat version.
# 3 – Evil Woman
The song “Evil Woman,” was the opening track on the band’s second album Boogie with Canned Heat. The song was never released as a single but it’s a barn-scorcher that stands as one of the band’s best tracks.
# 2 – On The Road Again
These next two Canned Heat songs are pretty much interchangeable as far as popularity. The song “On the Road Again” was released on the band’s second album entitled Boogie With Canned Heat. The song was a huge hit for the band. It became a top 20 hit on the Billboard Hot 100 which was pretty impressive for a blues band. The song reached the top 10 in multiple countries around the world including Switzerland, The Netherlands, France, Canada, Belgium, and Australia.
# 1 – Going Up the Country
We close out our top 10 Canned Heat songs list with their huge historic hit “Going Up The County.” While some Canned Heat purists may argue that some of their heavier jams and barn burners were stronger songs than “Going Up The County,” there is no denying this song’s legacy.
Updated May 23, 2023
Top 10 Canned Heat Songs article published on Classic RockHistory.com© 2023
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