Psychedelic Rock Album Covers of the 60’s

This article is a collaborative effort, crafted and edited by a team of dedicated professionals.

Contributors: Andranick Tanguiane, Fred Lerdahl,


In this blog post, we’ll take a look at some of the most iconic psychedelic rock album covers of the 1960s. From The Beatles’ Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band to The Doors’ Strange Days, these album covers are as groovy as the music they represent.

The Beatles – Abbey Road

Abbey Road is the eleventh studio album by English rock band the Beatles, released on 26 September 1969 by Apple Records. The recording sessions for the album were the last in which all four Beatles participated. Although Let It Be was the final album that the Beatles completed before the band’s dissolution in April 1970, Abbey Road was released before Let It Be in May of that year. Abbey Road is widely regarded as one of the greatest albums of all time and is one of the best-selling albums ever, with over 32 million copies sold worldwide.

The Rolling Stones – Beggars Banquet

Beggars Banquet is the seventh British and ninth American studio album by English rock band The Rolling Stones, released in December 1968 by Decca Records in the United Kingdom and London Records/ABKCO Records in the United States.

The album was a return to roots rock for the band following the experimental music and psychedelic sounds of their previous two albums, Their Satanic Majesties Request (1967) and Between the Buttons (1967). It was also the last Stones album to be released during Brian Jones’s lifetime.

The cover art caused controversy upon its release due to its depiction of a toilet with graffiti that included a racial slur. The album was subsequently banned in several countries, including Spain and New Zealand.

Led Zeppelin – Led Zeppelin IV

Led Zeppelin’s untitled fourth album, commonly known as Led Zeppelin IV and featuring the band’s iconic symbol on the cover, is one of the best-selling albums of all time. The album features some of the band’s most popular songs, including “Stairway to Heaven,” “Black Dog,” “Rock and Roll,” and “When the Levee Breaks.”

Pink Floyd – The Piper at the Gates of Dawn

The Piper at the Gates of Dawn is the debut album by the English rock band Pink Floyd, released on 5 August 1967, on Columbia Records. The album was issued in the United States as Souvenir of Their Visit with a different track listing. It contains two of Pink Floyd’s best-known songs, “Lucifer Sam” and “Interstellar Overdrive”.

The album was recorded over a three-month period from March to May 1967. It was produced by Joe Boyd and Celia Fedrick, and engineered by John Wood at Sound Techniques studio in Chelsea, London. Several of the tracks reflect Syd Barrett’s compositional style at its most whimsical, including “The Gnome”, “Pow R. Toc H.” and “Take Up Thy Stethoscope and Walk”. The album also features Barrett’s first experimental use of sound effects on an electric guitar, notably on the track “Interstellar Overdrive”.

The Jimi Hendrix Experience – Electric Ladyland

The Jimi Hendrix Experience’s 1968 album Electric Ladyland is one of the most iconic psychedelic rock album covers of all time. The artwork, designed by Dutch artistKarl Ferris, features a naked woman sitting on a lotus flower with Hendrix’s face in the center. The album was controversial at the time for its artwork, but has since become a classic.

Cream – Disraeli Gears

The album cover for Cream’s Disraeli Gears features a intricate design by Canadian artist Jim Gibson. The center of the album features a hand holding agear shift, with the words “Disraeli Gears” encircling it. The background is filled with swirls of color and pattern, creating a very psychedelic effect.

The Doors – Strange Days

The Doors’ second album, Strange Days, was released in September 1967. The album cover features a surreal image of a young girl holding a string of pearls up to her lips, with wisps of hair blowing in the wind. The background is a blur of colors, adding to the dream-like quality of the image.

The Grateful Dead – Anthem of the Sun

The Grateful Dead’s second album, Anthem of the Sun, was released in 1968. The artwork was created by Stanley Mouse and Alton Kelly. It is a highly stylized and psychedelic image of a sun with human features. The album’s title is printed in a spiral around the sun’s face.

Jefferson Airplane – Surrealistic Pillow

Jefferson Airplane’s Surrealistic Pillow is one of the most iconic psychedelic rock album covers of the 60s. The artwork, designed by Stanley Mouse and Alton Kelley, features a close up of a pink pill with a butterfly resting on it. The Jefferson Airplane logo is also prominently featured on the cover.

The Kinks – Are the Good Times Really Over?

Psychedelic rock album covers of the 60’s were some of the most vibrant and creative pieces of art in music history. The Kinks’ “Are the Good Times Really Over?” is a perfect example of this. The cover features a close up of a girl’s face, with brightly colored flowers and swirls around her. It’s a beautiful and trippy image that perfectly represents the psychedelic rock sound of the 60’s.

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