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From Can to Hookworms: our guide to the best Psychedelic Rock

Load up the bong. Sit back. Relax.


Where to start? Psychedelic rock emerged in the mid-1960s and was loosely named for any band or artist inspired by the psychedelic properties of drugs like LSD. Experimentation with rhythms, scales, song structures, effects pedals and studio techniques resulted in mind-bending music that the psychedelic rock pioneers hoped would emulate or even enhance the effect on the listener’s brain that taking LSD (or mushrooms, or DMT, or simply smoking a whole lot of pot, or whatever) achieved.

Cue widespread moral panic on both sides of the Atlantic. As the 60s wore into the 70s the music became heavier, often more intricate, and sometimes even more self-absorbed. Genres like progressive rock, kraut rock and heavy metal all owed a debt of gratitude. Psychedelic rock had even found its way into soul and funk acts, such as Parliament and Funkadelic. But by the late 70s, psychedelic rock looked dead and buried. The early sense of experimentation and play had given over to bearded men widdling endlessly away on electric guitars, and the sheer freshness of genres like disco and punk rock were threatening to banish psychedelic rock to history.

It took the emergence of new wave bands such as XTC and Public Image Limited to drag the best of those early influences out of the stultifying mess. In turn, new musical scenes sprung up: no surprise to see psych’s imprint all over early 80s Liverpool, but over in America the so-called ‘Paisley Underground’ bands were wearing their psychedelic rock badges with overt pride. By the late 80s, bands like Spacemen 3 were ever-present again in the independent music press. By the start of the 90s, the likes of The Stone Roses were ever-present everywhere.

Cut to today and psychedelic rock is still everywhere - from the heavy sounds of labels like Rocket and Fuzz Club to the pop psych of bands like Animal Collective and Tame Impala. You can’t move for the stuff. So much so that it sometimes, whisper it, feels a bit like we’ve reach the same kind of saturation that the late 70s suffered from. But for as long as there are minds to be altered, psychedelic rock will find a home.

Best psychedelic rock bands

13th Floor Elevators

Roky Erikson’s 13th Floor Elevators didn’t just make psychedelic rock, they lived it. A raggle taggle collective of psychedelics enthusiasts, they really only made two albums in their lifetime but both were highly influential. Their first - The Psychedelic Sounds of the 13th Floor Elevators - was a mixture of garage and psychedelic rock notable for Tommy Hall’s ever present amplified jug. Yes you read that correctly...an amplified jug.

Their second album, Easter Everywhere, is perhaps even more influential. A prototype of many kinds of the psychedelia that were to come, the album rattled through a bunch of styles, some heavy and some in a more folk rock direction.

You can now hear their sound everywhere from The Brian Jonestown Massacre to Guided By Voices, but little else was heard from the band. Their third album, Bull of the Woods, only featured Erikson on four tracks and was released only after they disbanded. Erikson himself went on to a fitful solo career tempered by mental illness. Improbably, the Elevators re-united in 2015 with many original members still intact.


The Velvet Underground

Often cited as the first ‘underground’ or even ‘indie’ band, The Velvet Underground were formed by songwriter Lou Reed in New York in 1967. Despite being under the wing of pop artist Andy Warhol, early success eluded the band. Their debut The Velvet Underground and Nico was ignored by public and critics alike, even though it contained a host of songs which would go on to be future classics. Its combination of gentle folk-rock and harsher, more experimental sounds was almost unheard of at the time but perfectly blurred the lines between Dylan-style folk and the discordant sounds coming out of the New York underground.

Chastened by the experience, the band recorded the hard-edged ’anti music’ of White Light/White Heat before changing tack again (without founding member John Cale) for the gentle pop of their third self titled album. From there they started to gradually implode though Loaded, the last album with Lou Reed, contained another future classic in ‘Sweet Jane’. The Velvet Underground influenced pretty much everyone, they wrote good songs, were incredibly cool and were unafraid to experiment. What more do you want?


The Heads

The Heads were a Bristol band who were most active in the 1990s and were heavily influenced by the likes of Spacemen 3 and The Stooges. They are an example of a more modern day band whose influence, as with their 60s forebears, has taken a little while to come through.

However, their 1995 album Relaxing With... and its 2000 era counterpart Everybody Knows We Got Nowhere have since been regularly re-issued, and The Heads are now recognised as a huge influence on the new breed of psychedelic rock and garage rock that appears on labels like Rocket and Fuzz Club. The band are notable for their limited edition vinyl releases, and they have become one of the most collectible psychedelic rock bands for vinyl enthusiasts.  


Spacemen 3

Who would've thought that Rugby would become the epicentre of druggy psychedelic rock in 1980s Britain? Old college pals Pete Kember (Sonic Boom) and Jason Pierce formed Spacemen 3 in 1983, primarily and unapologetically to make noise, take drugs and play audience-baiting shows at local pubs. Their debut LP Sound of Confusion appeared in 1986 and was a pummelling, relentless slab of hypnotic garage rock. The album prototyped the Spacemen 3 sound of repetition, repetition and more repetition - taking one chord drone music to its furthest limits.

More albums followed with the heavily drug-influenced concept album The Perfect Prescription, the hinting-at-what-would-happen-next Playing With Fire and their swansong Recurring. That the latter album consisted of two very different sides - the first written and performed by Kember, and the second by Pierce - showed that there were unsolvable tensions in the band. Kember went on to become a producer and musician of note, carrying various projects such as Spectrum and Experimental Audio Research, while Pierce achieved huge success with Spiritualized.


Loop

Formed by Robert Hampson in 1986, Loop made a form of droning, dissonant rock that was frequently compared to the similarly tranced out psychedelic drone performed by Spacemen 3 around the same time. Loop, however, were less blissed out and more muscular than their druggy friends down the road, and wove elements of Can, Suicide and The Stooges into their blistering repeato-rock. Their three studio albums are now all regarded as classics of the genre and have been influential to many younger bands including the likes of Hookworms and The Horrors.

Inevitably, perhaps, the band reformed in 2013, initially with the original line up but eventually with only Hampson remaining and members of fellow psychedelic rock travellers The Heads providing replacements. The only new material was the EP Array 1 in 2015 though Hampson promises that more is to come. Fingers crossed.


Love

If I was writing these things based on my actual personal tastes then Love would be right at the top of the tree and I’d gush even more than I’m about to. Because, for a while, they were by far and away the best psychedelic rock band in the 1960s counterculture.

Their first three albums are all brilliant in their own way. Their 1966 self titled debut is superb electric folk and garage rock, and later that same year Da Capo brought in a stunning shift, with a jazz feel and even a raucous proto punk sound in the now-legendary single, ‘7 and 7 is’. Indeed, Da Capo remains a great album despite an entire side taken up by an unlistenably noodly blues jam.

Then there’s Forever Changes, not just one of the best psychedelic rock albums of all time but one of the best albums of all time in any genre. Stunning baroque compositions marry the acoustic to the orchestral, with a fascinatingly cynical world view all topped off by Arthur Lee’s honeyed vocals. That the band took a heavier direction after that and never recaptured their past glories almost doesn’t matter. The die was cast, the high water mark had already been reached.


The United States of America

Anyone listening to a record by the likes of 1990s/2000s era psychedelic rock pop heroes Broadcast is urged to go back to 1967 and check out the sole album from experimental rock band The United States of America. Led by experimental composer Joseph Byrd and singer and lyricist Dorothy Moskowitz, they added electronics and avant garde recording techniques to their palette of really out-there psychedelic rock.

Album opener ‘The American Metaphysical Circus’ set the template for Broadcast’s entire career, but the album veers all over the place. One minute it sounds like a demented Jefferson Airplane especially on ‘Cloud Song’. The next, beautifully-crafted, otherworldly ballads such as ‘The Garden of Earthly Delights’ and the stunning ‘Love Song for the Dead Che’. Sometimes sounding of its time, at other times way ahead of it, it’s an extraordinary work that is a standalone piece of future psychedelic rock whose influence knows no bounds.


Captain Beefheart

One of the most singular and driven artists in the history of recorded music, Captain Beefheart (real name Don Van Vliet) headed up an ever changing cast of musicians to play his often demented but always innovative blues-influenced rock.

Beginning with an album of relatively straightforward psychedelic rock mixed with blues, Safe As Milk, Beefheart became unhappy with the results and set off on a path that would lead to one of rock music’s most notorious records - the wildly inventive and often unpalatable Trout Mask Replica.

Most of the folk who heard this record at the time found it a work of utter confusion, but slowly, after repeated plays, it started to make a sort of sense. John Peel described it as “a work of art in a way that people who are involved in other areas of art would understand” and the album has always remained a landmark release, baffling and delighting each new audience. In the early-to-mid 70s Beefheart again made more straightforward music, alienating some of his audience; but by the time punk came along he had started working with younger musicians, rediscovering the love of the avant garde that had propelled Trout Mask Replica and enjoying a late career resurgence that culminated in his final album Ice Cream for Crow.


Goat

Goat are the perfect example of the modern day band with an extraordinary backstory...that just might not be rooted entirely in reality. But even if the be-masked collective aren’t really part of a local Swedish tradition that has been recording for over 30 years, their music is still a mysterious entity. An intoxicating mix of everything from psychedelic rock to Afrobeat, appropriately enough their genre collage of a debut in 2012 was called World Music, and became an immediate favourite with fans of out there, mind-bending music.

Later albums Commune and Requiem honed the sound with better production, which arguably dulled some of the excitement and weirdness of their initial recordings. But Requiem, especially, showed a lighter touch in blending world music and jazz with pastoral psychedelia, creating a sound that was almost pop in places. Truly now a Norman Records staple, ignore the fables about Goat’s communal background and dress-up box image - because they have managed to make psychedelic rock both fun again and danceable.


Hawkwind

Many music fans remember Hawkwind for their one big hit, 1972’s ‘Silver Machine’ (sung by future Motörhead frontman Lemmy). But that was just a tiny part of the long and storied history of this British institution. They were the original ‘space rock’ band, producing long-form compositions influenced by science fiction and taking in progressive rock, hard rock and psychedelia along the way.

Probably their most famous album, Space Ritual, was recorded live in London and Liverpool, reached a heady number 9 in the charts, and is included in the book 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die. Their career is a complicated puzzle of ever shifting line-ups, at least 30 albums, and dalliances with all kinds of styles including 1995’s White Zone (released as Psychedelic Warriors) which dabbled in experimental electronica. They are still releasing albums to this day and are still led by Dave Brock who is the one member to remain in the band all the way through their incredible history.


Pink Floyd

Pink Floyd are probably the only band who influenced psychedelic rock twice. Their first incarnation, led by Syd Barrett, was arguably the most interesting. Here they made an inventive form of music that encompassed both concise three minute psychedelic rock pop songs (catchy enough to get them onto Top of the Pops) and longer drawn out jams, with their lengthy instrumental excursions perfect for the hip ‘happenings’ they played in places such as the UFO club in London.

But Barrett’s drug use intensified and he began to unravel. By 1968 he was gone, and the band initially struggled to find their feet without their leader. Concentrating on the more instrumental, experimental side of the band, they started to tour intensively. In 1973 they released their landmark album, Dark Side of the Moon which became one of the best selling albums of all time. Its themes of alienation and despair, along with its proggy textures and futuristic electronics, struck a chord with the times. Subsequent albums were also concept-based, particularly 1978’s rock opera The Wall. But the Pink Floyd's habit of self-imploding - and allowing their dirty laundry to be aired in public - began to be more obvious. They inevitably split, Roger Waters going solo, the others carrying on whilst Syd sat in Cambridge and painted.  


Can

Almost a totally separate thing to psychedelic rock is krautrock. As the name suggests, krautrock was associated with German bands who made experimental, rhythmic music inspired by psychedelic rock, electronic, minimalism and jazz. Though Kraftwerk, Neu!, Amon Düül II, Tangerine Dream, and Faust were all proponents, the most important band were arguably Can. They were a tight and true four piece of clever clogs instrumentalists who were joined by an array of vocalists, most notably Malcolm Mooney and Damo Suzuki.

Theirs was a form of experimental rock sound with brilliant rhythmic drumming from the masterful Jaki Liebezeit, whose influence can be seen in both rock bands and electronic artists. They released a series of classic albums in Monster Movie (1969), Tago Mago (1971), Ege Bamyasi (1972) and Future Days (1973) -- one of the finest runs of consistently high quality releases in the rock canon. Following the departure of Suzuki after Future Days their quality of output reduced slightly as the band pursued a more commercial sound. But their influence is absolutely everywhere with bands and artists such as The Fall, Public Image Limited, Stereolab, Radiohead as well as many jungle and electronic and ambient artists citing them as heroes.


Faust

Faust are a long running krautrock collective from Wumme, Germany most noted for their 1973 album The Faust Tapes - a record notable for the fact that it retailed in the UK for the price of a 7” single, meaning that a lot of listeners could get tuned in to the strange cut-and-paste techniques the band was employing.

In fact, what The Faust Tapes did was splice together lots of their hitherto unused home recordings. It wasn’t made in the conventional manner of making a record. This technique had a huge influence on bands from the punk era onwards, with Guided By Voices' Bee Thousand an example of an album made in a similar way.

Following a collaboration with Tony Conrad on Outside the Dream Syndicate the band ‘disappeared’ for as long as 15 years with nary a word heard from them throughout the 80s. They returned in 1990 and have since appeared both in concert and on record in a variety of guises, as always doing things in a very unconventional manner with a fluid line up and a wildly experimental attitude to performance.


The Brian Jonestown Massacre

Led by the ever-charismatic Anton Newcombe, The Brian Jonestown Massacre are a long-running psychedelic rock band initially from San Francisco but since relocated to wherever Newcombe has fancied living at the time.

Beginning with a kind of shoegaze meets psyche sound, the BJM were so clearly influenced by The Rolling Stones that they nabbed not just a name and a logo but entire album titles from them (Their Satanic Majesties Second Request). But Newcombe's no ordinary musical thief, and his restless creativity has seen him and his band dabble in everything from Indian ragas to experimental electronica to soundtrack work.

Even so, they might have been an honourable footnote in psychedelic rock history were it not for the release of the movie Dig! in 2004 which documented the fierce, tragic, playful, often-touching rivalry between them and The Dandy Warhols. Though almost everyone (bar tambourine-botherer Joel Gion) came out of the film unfavourably at times, and whilst Newcombe himself disowns the film almost completely, no one could argue with the quality of the music Newcombe and his co-conspirators were creating and Dig! provoked renewed interest in the band. Whilst the BJM had never stopped releasing excellent records, a superb series of releases followed - including the fuck-you psyche of My Bloody Underground and 2014's tour de force Revelation.


Hookworms

Hookworms initially made heads down, no nonsense space rock with heavy nods to Loop, Hawkwind and Spacemen 3. They were known for their captivating, pummelling live shows and their well received debut Pearl Mystic. They could, easily, have joined the legions of impressive but derivative bands we see releasing long, stoned sounding records each week.

But by the time of their 2018 album Microshift Hookworms were showing an ambition and scope way beyond the reach of their peers, with an impressive album that blended their sound with kraut rock, electronica and pure unabashed pop joy. Heavy UK radio play duly catapulted them towards the ears of listeners who don’t know their Amon Düül II from their Ash Ra Temple. As wonderful as it is to have a resurgence in psychedelic rock and space rock, bands like Hookworms are vital to help push the genre forward into new areas.


Best psychedelic rock albums

The Beatles - Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band

Not the first psychedelic rock album The Beatles created - an honour that might just go to 1966's Revolver - but arguably their first fully-realised psychedelic rock album, and their most popular. It didn’t take long for the Beatles to get from the hair shaking teen pop songs like ‘She Loves You’ to this extraordinary song cycle which includes, psychedelia, music hall, hard rock and raga. Truly the first time anyone had imagined, never mind realised, such an ambitious work. It’s hard to fathom how unique and thrilling it must have sounded in 1967.


The Beach Boys - Smile

It would be difficult to describe Brian Wilson’s music as truly psychedelic before Smile. Though Pet Sounds was a harmonic, orchestrated masterpiece, it was still relatively straightforward: influenced by psychedelia, certainly, but still distinct from it. Smile wasn’t. This was crazy music, made by a man who was increasingly thought of as not-quite-sound-of-mind himself, and whose drug intake had reportedly spiraled out of control. It took the Beach Boys sound into brilliant, mind bending new directions and was so out there that it wouldn’t be properly released for another 37 years.   


Love - Forever Changes

An absolutely beautiful album, Forever Changes was a baroque pop masterpiece which blended folk-rock with orchestration and Mariachi brass as if it were the most natural thing in the world. Unlike previous albums made in the 60s that place orchestration on top of already-made pop music (see Moody Blues for example), Love blended the sounds perfectly and the album is an almost embarrassing array of brilliance throughout. Truly an album that you have to hear before you die. Which you will, as the album's coda - 'You Set The Scene' - makes very clear.


Jefferson Airplane - Surrealistic Pillow

A classic of the counterculture, Surrealistic Pillow was actually Jefferson Airplane’s second album, but the first with vocalist Grace Slick. It’s mixture of folk rock and psychedelia was a turning point in that it was the first time an underground West Coast band had truly reached the mainstream. Both ‘Somebody to Love’ and ‘White Rabbit’ were huge hits, reaching the Top 10. Unbelievably perhaps, the band changed direction first as Jefferson Starship, then Starship and ended up with 80s big-hair hits such as ‘We Built This City’.  


The Rolling Stones - Their Majesties Satanic Request

The only moment the Rolling Stones truly embraced psychedelia was on their 1967 album Their Majesties Satanic Request. Here, the band experimented with the in-vogue psychedelic sounds of the day using mellotron, flute, loops and anything else Brian Jones could lay his hands on. The album was badly received at the time but has since grown in stature massively. However, the band moved on quickly - and by 1969 Jones had passed away and the band were back plying their failsafe blues rock stylings.


The Zombies - Odessey & Oracle

The problem that The Zombies had when Odessey and Oracle was released was that they’d already split up, and singer Colin Blunstone was working as an insurance clerk. Like Forever Changes, the album perfectly blended gentle psychedelic music with baroque orchestration. Led by Blunstone’s beautifully whispered vocals, the album is a true English masterpiece with several stand out songs including the American hit ‘Time of The Season’ and the utterly gorgeous 'Hung Up On A Dream'. It’s the nearest we get to an English Pet Sounds.


The Dukes of Stratosphear - 25 O’ Clock

Fed up of the internal wrangling and outside pressures of their day job as XTC, The Dukes of Stratosphear decided to have fun paying homage to their 60s psychedelic rock heroes. They ended up with their most successful record in years.

The album came at an interesting time as, other than the Liverpool scene around The Teardrop Explodes and the LA-based Paisley Underground, there was not much to be celebrated in the mid 80s for fans of this form of retro, granny-glassed psychedelic pop. And if nothing else, this album earns a notable footnote in history as being the sole reason The Stone Roses asked its producer (John Leckie) to work on their debut album...and we know what happened next there.


The Olivia Tremor Control - Music From The Unrealized Film Script: Dusk At Cubist Castle

In the 90s, way before there was anything called Tame Impala, there were a bunch of people out of Athens, Georgia trading under the umbrella Elephant 6 who kept the freak flag flying for out-there psychedelic rock. The most wild of these bands were The Olivia Tremor Control whose debut album was the kind of sprawling, madcap album that harked back to the 60s age of experimentalism. Shards of genius pop songs sit next to electro-acoustic collages, tape loops and and everything in between.


Goat - World Music

Emerging seemingly out of nowhere in 2012, World Music put the danceability and fun back into psychedelic rock by way of a bunch of be-masked Swedes who apparently live in cult-like conditions in a commune. It was the sound of squalling riffs blended with heavy disco-tinged art-rock, chanting and afro-beat like rhythms. It wasn’t called World Music for nothing.


Animal Collective - Merriweather Post Pavilion

This Baltimore-based experimental pop collective had already released a host of critically acclaimed albums when they unleashed Merriweather Post Pavilion in early 2009. The album brought together all the ideas they’d been working on over the years and presented them in a joyous technicolour song cycle full of melody, invention and yes just a bit of weirdness. Theirs is a back catalogue full of sprawling sound and experimentation but Merriweather… is truly the sound of a unique band at the top of their game.


Silver Apples - Silver Apples

One of the most innovative of the original psych rock bands were the American duo Silver Apples. In fact it’s hard to believe their blend of pulsing, minimalist electronic ‘space’ rock was made in the 1960s. Leader Simeon Coxe invented his own synthesizer (known as the Simeon) which, when blended with Danny Taylor’s propulsive drumming, created a futuristic proto-krautrock sound based more on rhythm than melody.

Although they only released two albums in their original lifespan, these were hugely influential not only on the burgeoning kraut rock scene in Germany but on later proponents of minimalist electronic rock such as Suicide and Stereolab. In the mid 90s younger bands started citing Silver Apples as an influence and the band reformed for a lengthy victory lap which still sees Simeon (now in his 80s) performing concerts and releasing albums under the Silver Apples moniker.


Tame Impala - Lonerism

Lonerism was the second album by Australian psychedelic rock sensations Tame Impala. Along with its predecessor Innerspeaker, it seemed to find new, inventive ways of presenting the sort of psychedelic music previously made by The Beatles, Pink Floyd and The Rolling Stones. Band leader Kevin Parker’s melodies, ideas and production skills are all notable on an album which is clearly influenced by the past but brings something new and thrilling to the table.


Pink Floyd - Piper At The Gates of Dawn

Pink Floyd’s first album (and the only one with original leader Syd Barrett) is a woozy unpredictable mix between short Barrett-penned pop songs and the longer improvised pieces that would eventually become the band’s forte. It has a magical, fairytale-like air to it and stands alone in the Pink Floyd catalogue for it’s inventive whimsical nature and of course for the presence of Barrett who would soon succumb to drug abuse and mental health issues.  


Can - Tago Mago

Choosing the best Can album is like choosing your favourite flavour of crisps. Their run of albums between 1967 to 1973 are all exceptional but the double album Tago Mago may well be their best. The length allowed the band to stretch out their music into a near perfect amalgam of experimental rhythms, jazz, exploratory minimalist funk and other non rock textures. It has influenced literally anyone and everything good to have emerged in the years since.


Spacemen 3 - Playing With Fire

Rugby’s finest psychedelic rock exponents were surely the most drugged of all the 80s English drone psychedelic rock groups which also included most notably Loop. Playing With Fire was kind of like the MC5 with their finger on the snooze button. A band so strung out that they could barely change chord, this repetitive sludge and nonetheless gone onto influence countless dreamers who followed in their wake.


The Heads - Everybody Knows We Got Nowhere

Emerging at a time (circa 2000) when heavy guitar music had pretty much disappeared from view, The Heads had the advantage of quietly going about their business whilst everyone else listened to post-rock or whatever else was big at the time. What emerged was the sort of album to rip your head clean off. Heavy, heavy biker psychedelic rock that slowly gained momentum and is a reference point for any self respecting long haired guitar slingers in the year 2018.


Status Quo - Picturesque Matchstickable Messages

Status Quo - Picturesque Matchstickable Messages

How can we ignore this? The Quo’s early forays into psychedelia were as brilliant as they were preposterous. There’s no arguing that debut single ‘Pictures of Matchstick Men’ is exceptional but it is perhaps less impressive when you realise that album opener ‘Black Veils of Melancholy’ is exactly the same song. Yet this is psychedelic rock at it’s most pop friendly and fun. A fleeting glimpse of oddness before the blues rock trudge set in.


The Brian Jonestown Massacre - My Bloody Underground

Sprawling, angry, provocative and confrontational. And that's just the song titles. The tenth album from the BJM threw everything Anton Newcombe had into the mix, mixed it up with some bad-ass drugs, and reminded everyone that psychedelic rock was always capable of shock. Paying homage to every great band ever whilst simultaneously trashing their memories, My Bloody Underground felt like Newcombe was again sticking two fingers up to everyone and everything - including all the new neo-psychedelic outfits his band had helped bring into the world.


The Rain Parade - Emergency Third Rail Power Trip

The Rain Parade - Emergency Third Rail Power Trip

The 80s offered slim pickings for the serious psychedelic rock fan. The best way to enjoy far out music was to look back at the 1960s with a golden glow. However, in LA things were stirring with the so-called Paisley Underground scene. By far the most interesting of these psychedelic-influenced groups was The Rain Parade, whose debut album was a wild ride through trippy soundscapes, sleepy, half-remembered psychedelic pop and Pink Floyd-like wig outs.


The Teardrop Explodes - Wilder

The Teardrop Explodes - Wilder

Though Julian Cope has long been an advocate of all things psychedelic rock (and especially kraut rock) both with his records and his books, it’s arguable which of Julian Cope’s projects was the most psych-influenced. Perhaps controversially, I’d go for Wilder by The Teardrop Explodes, in that this largely keyboard based album, though moving away from the beat group sound of the previous ‘Kilimanjaro’, still retained the essence of psychedelia - particularly the cracked, troubled sort previously mined by the likes of Syd Barrett and Skip Spence.


The Stone Roses - The Stone Roses

Non believers would perhaps question how a band with only one good album containing maybe just four really exceptional songs could be included in this list. But there’s no denying the role The Stone Roses played, in the UK at least, in reclaiming psychedelic music and bringing it back to mainstream audiences. After years of psychedelic rock being, as far as most folk were concerned, a dusty old thing from the 60s, The Stone Roses freshened it up and made it cool again. They took the jangly, drugged-up folk rock of The Byrds, added in the hedonistic attitude of UK rave culture, and thereby helped to create an entire new youth movement.