Top Ten Psychedelic Albums Plus a Few Hundered Songs


Inspired by Retrospace, I am only just now getting around to my list of top psychedelic albums, because I’m slow (ask my wife) and because I’m a librarian and I had to research this topic more. I’m doing albums, not individual songs; I’ve always been more of an album guy.

Now, my definition of psychedelic is more narrow than a lot of people. I frequently see psychedelic and garage rock thrown together, but other than some drug-reference lyrics, I don’t see them as the same at all. That’s not to say that some garage can’t be psychedelic, but to me, psychedelic is more about space in the music. Usually this is created with fuzzy guitars, wah-wah- pedals, instruments playing in different keys, and stuff like that. Music that makes you lean back while it takes you to another place.

I don’t really see The Beatles as a psychedelic group, even though I know the history quite well. They’re more of a great rock band with some psychedelia.

If you disagree, make your own list in the comments or post it on your own blog and let us know in the comments. I don’t pretend to have listened to everything in this style and so there are probably some super great groups I don’t know about, and some groups I know about, but don’t know complete albums well enough to place on this list. Please, feel free to enlighten me. This list is not really in any particular order. You can find lots of these artists on YouTube.

Here’s some lists from a couple books I looked at. The best band to come from this research is Oxford Circle. Very, very cool sounding. I will be buying their one CD soon.

One book I don’t have any lists for was Sixties Rock: Garage, Psychedelic, and Other Satisfactions (Music in American Life). It has too many technical musical terms for me to understand, but there was an interesting history of the song “Hey Joe.”

American list Chronological
    1. Eight Mile High – The Byrds 1965.
    2. Alabama Bound – The Charlatans.
    3. Visions of Johanna – Bob Dylan.
    4. Blues from an Airplane – Jefferson Airplane.
    5. Section 43 – Country Joe and the Fish.
    6. Someone to Love – The Great Society.
    7. Electricity – Captain Beefheart and the Magic Band.
    8. Foolish Woman – Oxford Circle. Very Psychedelic
    9. Roller Coaster – 13th Flood Elevators.
    10. Feel the Music – Vejtables.
    11. Psychotic Reaction – The Count Five.
    12. Children of the Sun – The Misunderstood.
    13. Feathered Fish – Sons of Adam.
    14. 7 and 7 Is – Love.
    15. Good Vibrations – Beach Boys
    16. Frantic Desolation – Sopwith Camel 1967.
    17. The Crystal Ship – The Doors.
    18. Mr. Farmer – The Seeds.
    19. Keep Your Mind Open – Kaleidoscope.
    20. Get Me to the World On Time – The Electric Prunes.
    21. Johnny Was A Good Boy – Mystery Trend.
    22. Omaha – Moby Grape.
    23. I’m Five Years Ahead of My Time – Third Bardo.
    24. White Rabbit – Jefferson Airplane.
    25. Hallucinations – Tim Buckley.
    26. Are You Gonna Be There? (At the Love-In) – Chocolate Watchband.
    27. Ball and Chain – Big Brother and the Holding Company.
    28. Anxious Color – Painted Faces.
    29. Magic Hollow – The Beau Brummels.
    30. Broken Arrow – Buffalo Springfield.
    31. Incense and Peppermints – Strawberry Alarm Clock.
    32. The Red Telephone – Love.
    33. Change is Now – The Byrds 1968.
    34. (Sittin’ On) The Dock of the Bay – Otis Redding.
    35. A Question of Temperature – The Balloon Farm.
    36. Dance to the Music – Sly and the Family Stone.
    37. Pride of Man – Quicksilver Messenger Service.
    38. That’s it for the Other One – The Grateful Dead.
    39. In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida – Iron Butterfly.
    40. Magic Carpet Ride – Steppenwolf.
    41. Song for Our Ancestors – The Steve Miller Band. Takes over 2 min to get started.
    42. Machines – Lothar and the Hand People.
    43. Crimson and Clover – Tommy James and the Shondells.
    44. William – White Lightning 1969.
    45. Dream within a Dream – Spirit.
    46. War in Peace – Alexander “Skip” Spence. Echoy psychedelic.
    47. Darkness, Darkness – The Youngbloods. Very cool, starts out kinda like an Appalachian ballad.
    48. Electric Sailor – Kak
    49. Mountains of the Moon – The Grateful Dead.
    50. The Star-Spangled Banner – Jimi Hendrix.

U.K. List Chronological
    1. Tomorrow Never Knows – The Beatles 1966.
    2. Paint it Black – The Rolling Stones.
    3. Making Time – Creation.
    4. Season of the Witch – Donovan
    5. Happening Ten Years Time Ago – The Yardbirds.
    6. I Feel Free – Cream.
    7. Strawberry Fields Forever – The Beatles 1967.
    8. Interstellar Overdrive – Pink Floyd. Now here’s a psychedelic song!
    9. My Friend Jack – Smoke. Great reverb! “My Friend Jack eats sugar lumps.”
    10. Green Circles – The Small Faces.
    11. Days of Pearly Spencer – David McWilliams.
    12. In Your Tower – The Poets.
    13. I can Hear the Grass Growing – The Move.
    14. Are You Experienced? – The Jimi Hendrix Experience.
    15. Night of the Long Grass – The Troggs.
    16. Paper Sun – Traffic.
    17. Midsummer Night’s Scene – John’s Children.
    18. It’s All Too Much – The Beatles.
    19. Colours of My Mind – The Attack.
    20. Itchycoo Park – The Small Faces.
    21. The Stars That Play With Lightning Sam’s Dice – The Jimi Hendrix Experience.
    22. Matilda Mother – Pink Floyd.
    23. We Love You – The Rolling Stones.
    24. Relax – The Who.
    25. Flight from Ashiya – Kaleidoscope.
    26. Defecting Grey – The Pretty Things.
    27. From the Underworld – The Herd.
    28. Michael Angelo – The 23rd Turnoff.
    29. King Midas in Reverse – The Hollies.
    30. Dream Magazine – Svensk.
    31. Imposters of Life’s Magazine – The Idle Race.
    32. San Franciscan Nights – Eric Burdon and the Animals.
    33. Love is All Around – The Troggs.
    34. Vacuum Cleaner – Tintern Abbey.
    35. Madman Running Through the Fields – Dantalian’s Chariot.
    36. Kites – Simon Dupree and the Big Sound.
    37. I Am The Walrus – The Beatles.
    38. Revolution – Tomorrow.
    39. It’s Alright Ma, It’s Only Witchcraft – Fairport Convention 1968.
    40. Pictures of Matchstick Men – Status Quo.
    41. The Otherside – The Apple.
    42. Faster Than Light – The Mirror.
    43. Rainbow Chaser – Nirvana.
    44. Cold Turkey – Big Boy Pete.
    45. Me My Friend – Family.
    46. Jugband Blues – Pink Floyd.
    47. Fire – The Crazy World of Arthur Brown.
    48. 1983…(A Mermaid I Should Turn to Be) Moon, Turn the Tides Gently, Gently, Away.
    49. Diamond Hard Blue Apples of the Moon – The Nice.
    50. Can’t Find My Way Home – Blind Faith 1969.

From Turn On Your Mind: Four Decades of Great Psychedelic Rockby Jim DeRogatis. Originally published as: Kaleidoscope Eyes : Psychedelic Rock from the ’60s to the ’90s. Also has 189 albums you can’t live without.

30 Great Psychedelic Rock Albums from the ‘80s and ‘90s.

    1. Blur – Modern Life is Rubbish.
    2. Blur – Blur.
    3. The Boo Radleys – Everything’s Alright Forever.
    4. The Boo Radleys – C’mon Kids.
    5. The Butthole Surfers – Pioughd.
    6. The Butthole Surfers – Independent Worm Saloon.
    7. The Cocteau Twins – Treasure.
    8. The Cocteau Twins – Heaven or Las Vegas.
    9. Darkside – All That Noise.
    10. Eugenius – Oomalama.
    11. Galaxie 500 – Today.
    12. Galaxie 500 – This is Our Music.
    13. Happy Mondays – Double Essay: The U. S. Singles.
    14. Lush – The Best of Lush.
    15. Oasis – (What’s the Story) Morning Glory?
    16. Primal Scream – XTRMNTR.
    17. Red Red Meat – Jimmywine Majestic.
    18. Ride – Nowhere.
    19. Ride – Carnival of Light.
    20. The Screaming Trees – Dust.
    21. Slowdive – Just for a Day.
    22. Spacemen 3 – The Perfect Prescription.
    23. Spiritualized – Laser Guided Melodies.
    24. Spiritualized – Ladies and Gentlemen We Are Floating in Space.
    25. The Stone Roses – The Complete Stone Roses.
    26. Stereolab – Switched On.
    27. Stereolab – Transient Random-Noise Bursts with Announcements.
    28. Ween – God Ween Satan.
    29. Yo La Tengo – Electr-O-Pura.
    30. Yo La Tengo – Painful.

Other random songs from the book The Syn – Grounded.

12 Great Psychedelic Rock Records from the First Revival.
    1. The Lime Spiders – Nine Miles High 1983-1990.
    2. Paul Roland – Danse Macabre. 1987.
    3. The Velvet Monkeys – Rotting Corpse au Go-Go. 1989.
    4. The Yellow Sunshine Explosion – The Yellow Sunshine Explosion. 1987.
    5. The Miracle Workers – Inside Out. 1985.
    6. The Mod Fun – Past…Forward. 2000.
    7. Tiny Lights – The Young Person’s Guide to Tiny Lights. 1995.
    8. Absolute Grey – Green House. 1986.
    9. The 27 Various – Yes, Indeed. 1989.
    10. The Vipers – Outta the Nest. 1985.
    11. The Fleshtones – Hexbreaker. 1983.
    12. The Lyres – On Fyre. 1984.
    13. The Fuzztones – Lysergic Emanations. 1986.
    14. The Barracudas – Drop Out with the Barracudas. 1981.
    15. The Bevis Frond – The Auntie Winnie Album. 1989.
    16. The Hoodoo Gurus – Stoneage Romeos. 1983.
    17. The Nomads – Outburst. 1984.
    18. The Hypstrz – Hypstrization! 1980.
    19. The Marshmellow Overcoat – The Marshmallow Overcoat: 1986-1990.
    20. Plan 9 – Dealing with the Dead. 1984.
    21. Yard Trauma – Must’ve Been Something I Took Last Night. 1985.
    22. The Mad Violets – World of… 1986.
    23. The Chesterfield Kings – Stop! 1985.
    24. The Chud – Silhouettes of Sound. 1986.


8 thoughts on “Top Ten Psychedelic Albums Plus a Few Hundered Songs

  1. hey there, I LOVE 1960’s psychedelic music – there are some great bands and songs in your list, btw mind if I add you to my links?


  2. Pingback: Top Ten Psychedelic Albums Plus a Few Hundered Songs | Retro Hound - Legends of Guitar
  3. Yes!!! Let me just say this one of the best music posts I’ve read in a long time. Not just for the Retrospace shout out, but the conmprehensive lists! I am continually prowling around the net and old records trying discover a wonderful new psychedelic song I’ve never heard. I love your lists – they will give me hours of enjoyment as I hunt these down. Page bookmarked.

    I love your inclusion of the Charlatans UK on here. And I’ll also add that I think the definition of “psychedelic” may be different for every single human on planet earth.



  4. Pingback: Tiny Lights

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