With the music trend increasingly shifting back to psychedelic rock lately, we decided to put our heads together to come up with our favorite psychedelic rock albums of ever. Surprisingly enough, every album on our list was released pre-1979 except Wes’ miss. I guess 60’s and 70’s were just a bit more focused on keeping their listeners really high … high on serotonin levels that is … because everyone of these albums will keep you happy as a clam. Many modern psychedelic albums were considered; Black Mountain, Foxygen, Unknown Mortal Orchestra, Tame Impala. In fact, Flaming Lips and Kurt Vile’s new albums were actually the inspiration. Nonetheless, the below are the albums we think best satisfies those moments you really just need a nice hit of psychedelics:
10. Moby Grape – Moby Grape
Moby Grape’s debut album was an early forerunner to the groovy San Francisco vibes that we all came to know and love. Moby Grape is an often overlooked album, especially when considered how many folk psychedelic acts came to follow suite.
9. Love – Forever Changes
Arthur Lee and his crew of psychedelic lovers’ third and final album (the original crew anyways) was their magnum opus. Combining baroque pop with psychedelic folk in an album that culminated into the epitome of sixties psychedelia … Love is Loved.
8. Cream – Disraeli Gears
Cream was one of the more stacked bands in terms of the basic three rock instruments. Jack Bruce, Ginger Baker, and Eric Clapton made some incredible music. It was a staple of their generation and “Sunshine of Your Love” is still used as a staple for almost any drug induced scene in a television show or movie.
7. The Beatles – Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band
Sgt. Peppers changed music forever. Not only the way it was written and performed, but the way it was recorded and presented. It brought about some of the most advanced recording techniques to date, and pioneered the concept of the concept … woah, trippy.
6. Pink Floyd – The Wall
Pink Floyd didn’t need no thought control, that is why they brained up this incredible adventure of an album on their own. This double LP is one of the most epic and elaborate concept albums ever created. It is a cinematic masterpiece in itself, and to top it off it has an animated movie and a live show that is as amazing as it is frightening.
5. The Zombies – Odessey and Oracle
One of the more textually rich albums ever. The Zombies knew how to layer vocals in a way matched only by The Beach Boys. This album gets a lot of praise here at LxL, but always rightfully so.
4. The Velvet Underground – Loaded
In terms of modern psychedelic albums, Loaded is probably the one of the larger sources of inspiration. The Velvet Underground switched gears and came up with a bit of a more accessible sound. It paid off incredibly well.
3. Pink Floyd – The Dark Side of the Moon
There really isn’t a more stereotypical stoner album than The Dark Side of the Moon. Most college students either discover this album in one of two ways: 1. While getting stoned. Or 2. While attempting to see if it really lines up with The Wizard of Oz … sometimes I suppose both could be the case as well. Neither really do the album justice for what it’s worth. The intricate psychedelic wackness, the weird timings, the jazz fusion, it will all get you by the brain banana.
2. Jimi Hendrix – Electric Ladyland
Hendrix all but created the guitar tonal effect that is the staple for the psychedelic music. Each and every string plucked of Hendrix’s exudes a swirling sonic sound that changed the sound of rock and roll forever. Electric Ladyland is one of his rawest, most mind-melting albums, and it plays into his psychedelic elements perfectly.
1. The Beatles – Revolver
Sgt. Peppers may have been revolutionary for rock/pop music, but Revolver was the album that jump started the revolution. Again, this was an album that experiments with the engineering such as crumpling up the audio tape, playing tape backwards, and changing the speed of the tape while recording all were pioneered and discovered to work as recording techniques. Rumor has it that before recording “Tomorrow Never Knows” John Lennon had told producer George Martin that he wanted his voice to sound like the Dali Lama screaming from the tops of the Himalayas. To be honest, I don’t know what the hell that means, but I think they nailed it.
The “Just Missed Our List” List
Todd: Jimi Hendrix – Axis: Bold As Love
Hendrix most polished album shows that he was just as good as coming up with new recording techniques as he was inventing new guitar tones. This is my favorite Hendrix albums and one of my favorite albums of all time.
Austin: The Velvet Underground – The Velvet Underground & Nico
Velvet Underground’s debut album contains some real heavy type of psychedelic tunes. These aren’t always the light, airy, happy-go-lucky hippy tunes you usually think of when you hear the words psychedelic music. This is a darker shade of tie-dye, and it kicks some serious ass.