Top 10 Favorite Herbie Hancock Songs

A pioneer in electronics. A pioneer in black jazz and funk. A pioneer in melody and harmony. A pioneer in complex time. A pioneer in life. There are few pianists that I can consider “favorites”.

There’s little that should be said about Herbie Hancock. His music pretty much speaks for itself. For me, it wasn’t about the notes he played or what scales were being implemented. It was about the feel and construction and form of a creation that was moving. That and it got funky a lot of the times in the early 70s.

There are few artists where I can pretty much guarantee going to the record store, picking up a record by an artist I like, and liking it 10 out of 10 times all the way through. This appears to be the case with Herbie. Well. Ok. Except for the remix of Rockit on the remaster of Future Shock. Blah.

  1. Rain Dance (Sextant)

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  2. The Eye Of The Hurricane (Maiden Voyage)
  3. Quasar (Crossings)
  4. Ostinato (Mwandishi)

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  5. Spank-A-Lee (Thrust)

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  6. Domo (V.S.O.P – Live Under The Sky)
  7. Sleeping Giant, Pts. 1-5 (Crossings)
  8. Sly (Head Hunters)
  9. Rockit (Future Shock)
  10. Wandering Spirit Song (Mwandishi)

2 Responses to “Top 10 Favorite Herbie Hancock Songs”


  • Great list! Agreed on “Rain Dance” – it still gives me goosebumps hundreds of listens later. I’d replace half of your list with the following:

    “Actual Proof” (Thrust)
    “You’ll Know When You Get There” (Mwandishi)
    “I Have a Dream” (The Prisoner)
    “Tell Me a Bedtime Story” (Fat Albert Rotunda)
    “Speak Like a Child” (Speak Like a Child)

    And the middle jazzier section of “Chameleon,” where it’s just his Rhodes and the rhythm section for like five solid minutes.

    Lists rule.

  • Looking for a kind of funk

    I cant understand.

    I like Cantaloupe Island, and watermelon man…some of Chamaleon.

    I guess this is called funk. But when I google “funky” word, its impossible to find some seems like this songs I mentioned above. Its like I wrote “disco” or “psicodelic” word.

    Im looking for riffs in piano and bass, melodic and easy brass lines, and afro solos. Could anyone help me?

    Some like chicken of Jaco pastorious, can You understand me?

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