Musicians can still be a little fuzzy when it comes to describing the sound of fuzz. Some guitarists will tell you it sounds like a 2,000-pound bee trapped in a sturdy metal box—perhaps with a potentiometer installed somewhere behind the wings.
And while many fuzz guitar tunes and tones did (and do) make the most of the original fuzz "buzz" sound, fuzz actually has many facets, many sides, many fuzz faces, if you will.
Here are 10 songs—compiled by several members of the Guitar World staff—that we feel represent a wide spectrum of fuzz sounds and cover a lot of stomping ground. These songs are presented in no particular order. I repeat: These songs are presented in no particular order!
If you want to track down any of these tracks, you'll find all 10 original album covers in the photo gallery below.
For more fuzz box info, check out Chris Gill's Guitar World feature on "How to Buy a Fuzz Box: A Guide for the First-Time Buyer." And if you've still got stompbox fever, check out our guide to "The Top 50 Stomp Boxes, Devices and Processors of All Time." Enjoy!
P.S.: Don't get all jerked up about these 10 choices. We're not saying they're the only essential fuzz-guitar tracks in the world. Calm down. This is escapism, people.
The Ventures, "The 2000 Pound Bee"
Let's start at the beginning, namely "The 2000 Pound Bee," a 1962 track by the Ventures, the best-selling instrumental band of all time. While no one (including us) wants to make the claim that this is the first song to feature intentional fuzz guitar (as in, fuzz as the result of an effect