25+ Best Psychedelic Rock Songs (You Must Listen!)

The inevitable outcome of 1960s hallucinogenic drug usage and psychedelic culture was psychedelic rock.

To produce an experience best enjoyed with your head in the clouds, it built on new techniques and sound, which were quite innovative and experimental for the time. In the end, it was a hugely significant movement in the music industry, and its effects can still be felt today.

What does psychedelic rock mean in music?

Psychedelic rock’s beginnings may be found in the middle of the 1960s, particularly in the United States and the United Kingdom. Musicians started experimenting with new sonic landscapes to produce music that captured the psychedelic experiences brought on by drugs like LSD (lysergic acid diethylamide).

The 1966 release of “Revolver” by The Beatles is frequently cited as a key influence on the growth of psychedelic rock. The group used avant-garde recording methods, Eastern musical styles, and lyrical topics about altered states of consciousness.

With its intricately layered production and creative use of studio effects, their third album, “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band” (1967), further pushed the bounds of psychedelic music.

In the 1960s, psychedelic rock had a significant influence on popular culture as a whole. It developed strong ties to the countercultural movements of the day, which promoted tolerance, love, and a rejection of conventional social mores.

A brilliant and colorful tapestry that captured the essence of the moment was created by the music, visual art, and clothing of the day. Even though psychedelic rock reached its zenith in the late 1960s, its influence may still be heard in a variety of modern musical genres.

Modern bands frequently look to the genre for inspiration, infusing psychedelic aspects into their music and embracing its spirit of inquiry and experimentation.

In conclusion, the 1960s saw the emergence of the rock music genre known as “psychedelic rock.” It is distinguished by its hypnotic sound, innovative song structures, and lyrical topics focused on nonconformity and awareness growth.

The counterculture movements of the time benefited greatly from it, and musicians are still inspired by and influenced by it today.

20+ Best 90s Girl Bands That Dominated the Music Scene

Purple Haze – The Jimi Hendrix Experience

I doubt that anyone other than Jimi Hendrix could claim to be the greatest exponent of psychedelic rock. And he’ll visit this site a few times.

The Jimi Hendrix Experience’s finest song was Purple Haze, and I doubt many people will try to contest that assertion.

Although it wasn’t a psychedelic experience for Hendrix, many listeners do, and the song fits the genre so well that I can’t claim it isn’t psychedelic rock.

This song has been honored by the Grammy Hall of Fame and is included on numerous lists of the top guitar tunes.

Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds – The Beatles

Additionally, The Beatles created some psychedelic rock that was rather amazing. Their most well-known song, Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds, from the 1967 album Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, was motivated by a sketch by John Lennon’s little kid.

In retrospect, it has been acknowledged as one of the most significant songs in the whole psychedelic rock genre despite being a number-one smash single at the time.

Interstellar Overdrive – Pink Floyd

We can’t talk about Jimi Hendrix and The Doors on this list without also mentioning Pink Floyd, and vice versa.

They experimented with a variety of musical styles, but their period in the psychedelic rock genre was unique.

The band’s first effort into space rock, Interstellar Overdrive, a 10-minute encounter, is the greatest illustration of this.

Light My Fire – The Doors

The Doors’ time together was fantastic yet fleeting. Numerous songs from their band’s debut album were hits, but none of them compared to Light My Fire in terms of perfection.

The band received a huge hit single right away that spent three weeks at the top of the Billboard Hot 100 and one week at the top of the Cash Box Top 100.

Since its publication, it has come to symbolize both the 1960s sexual revolution and psychedelic music. It ultimately became a symbol of the times and one of the most significant and original songs of the decade.

30+ Best Female Guitarists of All Time

Are You Experienced? – The Jimi Hendrix Experience

To return to Jimi Hendrix. Do You Have Experience? The Jimi Hendrix Experience became popular right away with both reviewers and fans.

It would eventually grow to be one of the group’s most well-known songs, conserved in the Library of Congress, and included on several lists of the greatest songs ever written.

It would be on the UK charts for a total of 33 weeks and the US charts for an astounding 106 weeks.

Break On Through (To The Other Side) – The Doors

Even though this song wasn’t particularly popular back then, the band continued to play it frequently because of that.

I’m not sure if they were creating songs about breaking through to enormous success or if they were just breaking past a psychedelic barrier while high on drugs.

Whatever the case, this was a fantastic song that ought to have received more attention when it was released.

Eight Miles High – The Byrds

Even though I am aware that getting high was very typical in the 1960s, “eight miles high” is just too extreme.

One of the songs that helped establish the psychedelic rock subgenre was Eight Miles High by The Byrds, which was an instant smash with counterculture enthusiasts.

Sadly, it was the group’s only top-20 success together, rising to number 14 on the Billboard Hot 100 and being inspired by the members’ drug addiction.

Have You Ever Been (To Electric Ladyland) – The Jimi Hendrix Experience

If this song leans more toward psychedelic soul than rock, is that cheating? I’m still counting it. The Jimi Hendrix Experience’s third album, Electric Ladyland, included the song Have You Ever Been.

It was more of a soul song with a psychedelic edge, inspired by Hendrix’s promiscuity, yet it was nevertheless immensely successful.

20+ Best Rock Bands of the 70s

White Rabbit – Jefferson Airplane

A mind on psychedelics is the only place where the narrative and movie Alice in Wonderland could have originated.

The imagery from that tale and the Through The Looking-Glass sequel was used by Jefferson Airplane to create the psychedelic atmosphere of their song White Rabbit. Though it was historic, it became the group’s second huge hit.

It is listed among the 500 songs that helped define rock and roll by the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame and among the 500 greatest songs ever by Rolling Stone.

Strawberry Fields Forever The Beatles

Psychedelic rock had just begun to take off when Strawberry Fields Forever was released. Although it was a departure from what pop listeners had grown to anticipate from the Beatles at the time, it helped the genre get started.

This song is more than deserving of a position on the list because it has had a significant impact on the psychedelic genre, was one of the songs that made the Beatles into the legends they are today, and even helped launch the music video business.

Sunshine Of Your Love – Cream

The largest and most well-known hit song by Cream is Sunshine Of Your Love. It was inspired in part by a performance Jack Bruce saw with Jimi Hendrix, combining psychedelic and hard rock components to create something wholly original.

Many magazines, including Rolling Stone, The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, and VH1, have included this on their lists of the greatest songs ever written.

Broken Arrow – Buffalo Springfield

Buffalo Springfield’s Broken Arrow, if psychedelic music is designed to be an experience, is more suited than most.

Buffalo Springfield covered Neil Young’s song, which is trippy and introspective folk rock.

It is divided into three separate sections, each of which draws influence from a different source, making it both one of the greatest songs ever written and one of the most strange to listen to.

30+ Best 80s Rock Songs (Music from the 90s)

Roller Coaster – The 13th Floor Elevators

Roller Coaster, a song by The 13th Floor Elevators, is the ideal illustration of a psychedelic trip. It discusses how hallucinogens like LSD and others cause trips that include highs and lows, as you might anticipate.

The band used it as a means of spreading awareness of the event among people who had not yet had the chance to do so, and it was a very successful strategy.

I Can See For Miles The Who

You gain some form of insight from using psychedelics, increasing your mind through an experience that is beyond your everyday comprehension.

You might claim that it allows you to see farther, which is essentially what The Who’s song I Can See For Miles was trying to imply.

It is also among the most well-known songs in history, appearing on lists such as NME’s 100 Greatest Singles of All Time, Pitchfork’s 200 Greatest Songs of the 1960s, and Rolling Stone’s List of the 500 Greatest Songs of All Time.

Venus In Furs – The Velvet Underground

The Velvet Underground’s song Venus In Furs was inspired by the same-titled book. The song’s narrator is an overtly sexual man who is so deeply in love with a lady that he is completely okay with how she treats him, no matter how harshly.

I’m not sure if this was an early BDSM or Domination song, but it is a strong illustration of the topics in the book.

What song is an example of psychedelic rock?

An example of a song that falls under the genre of psychedelic rock is “Purple Haze” by Jimi Hendrix. Released in 1967, this iconic track is considered one of the defining songs of the psychedelic rock era.

It features Jimi Hendrix’s distinctive guitar playing and experimental sound effects, characteristic of the genre.

“Purple Haze” is celebrated for its surreal and mind-bending lyrics, combined with Hendrix’s innovative guitar techniques, crafting an entrancing and otherworldly auditory journey for the audience.

The song skillfully incorporates distortion and wah-wah effects, blending them seamlessly with its hypnotic melody, thus perfectly capturing the essence of psychedelic rock music, which gained immense popularity during the late 1960s and early 1970s.

What’s the trippiest song?

Released in 1967 as part of their album “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band,” “Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds” is known for its dreamlike, surreal, and psychedelic imagery.

The song’s lyrics, written primarily by John Lennon, depict a vivid and fantastical landscape filled with kaleidoscopic colors and imaginative scenes.

What makes a song psychedelic rock?

Several key elements define what makes a song psychedelic rock:

  • Mind-Altering Lyrics
  • Extended Instrumental Jams
  • Themes of Peace and Love

Is Pink Floyd psychedelic?

Yes, Pink Floyd is considered a quintessential psychedelic rock band. The band’s music and artistic style are deeply rooted in the psychedelic rock genre, particularly during their formative years in the late 1960s and early 1970s.

Did the Beatles do psychedelic rock?

Yes, The Beatles are considered pioneers of psychedelic rock and played a significant role in popularizing the genre. In the mid-1960s, The Beatles underwent a creative transformation and began experimenting with new sounds, studio techniques, and lyrical themes, which culminated in their psychedelic phase.

  • Rubber Soul (1965)
  • Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band (1967)
  • Magical Mystery Tour (1967)

Leave a Comment