The Best Acid and Psychedelic Rock Artists

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

Contributors: Andranick Tanguiane, Fred Lerdahl,


The best acid and psychedelic rock artists of all time, according to Rolling Stone magazine.

The Beatles

The Beatles are often cited as the seminal psychedelic band, and while their influence on the genre is undeniable, their actual output in the style is somewhat limited. Still, tracks like “Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds,” “Day Tripper,” “Paperback Writer,” and “Rain” are all excellent examples of psychedelic rock at its finest, and their influence on later artists in the genre is incalculable.

The Rolling Stones

The Rolling Stones are an English rock band formed in London in 1962. The first stable line-up consisted of Brian Jones (guitar, harmonica), Mick Jagger (lead vocals, harmonica), Keith Richards (guitar, vocals), Bill Wyman (bass), Charlie Watts (drums), and Ian Stewart (piano). Stewart was removed from the official line-up in 1963 but continued to work with the band as a contracted musician until his death in 1985. The band’s primary songwriters, Jagger and Richards, assumed leadership after Andrew Loog Oldham became the group’s manager. Jones left the band less than a month before his death in 1969, having already been replaced by Mick Taylor, who remained until 1974. After Taylor left the band, Ronnie Wood took his place in 1975 and has been on guitar in tandem with Richards ever since.Since the 1980s, new members have been Bill Wyman (bass), Darryl Jones (bass), Charlie Watts (drums).

The Rolling Stones were at the forefront of the British Invasion of bands that became popular in the United States in 1964. Identified with the youthful and rebellious counterculture of the 1960s, they were instrumental in making blues a major part of rock and roll.[4][5] Rooted in blues and early rock and roll,[6] the band started out playing covers but found more success with their own material. They were signed to EMIs US-based Chess Records label from 1963 to 1967,[7] and their debut album on that label, The Rolling Stones,[8] was released in 1964. After recording eight more albums with Chess, including Beggars Banquet[9] (1968) which is generally considered seminal to their development into one of rock’s greatest bands,[10][11][12] they leased an American record label subsidiary imprint named London Records from 1968 onwards instead.

The first appearance of poison ivy on a Rolling Stones album cover was on 1971’s Sticky Fingers.[13] Poison ivy also appears wrapping around a nude girl depicted on 1973’s Goats Head Soup album cover.[14]

Led Zeppelin

Formed in London in 1968, Led Zeppelin consisted of guitarist Jimmy Page, singer Robert Plant, bassist/keyboardist John Paul Jones, and drummer John Bonham. The band’s heavy, guitar-driven sound has led them to be cited as one of the progenitors of heavy metal. Their style drew from a wide variety of influences, including blues, psychedelia, and folk music. Although their initial album was met with lukewarm reviews, Led Zeppelin’s popularity increased exponentially with each subsequent release; by the mid-1970s they were one of the most successful bands in the world.

Jimi Hendrix

No artist is more synonymous with acid rock than Jimi Hendrix. Hendrix’s groundbreaking blend of blues, jazz, rock, and R&B inspired a generation of musicians and helped to popularize the use of feedback, distortion, wah-wah pedals, and other special effects. His 1967 debut album, Are You Experienced?, included such classics as “Purple Haze,” “Hey Joe,” and “The Wind Cries Mary.” Hendrix’s follow-up album, Axis: Bold as Love, was released later that year and featured the hits “Little Wing” and “If 6 Was 9.”

Pink Floyd

Pink Floyd was an English rock band formed in London in 1965. They achieved international acclaim with their progressive and psychedelic music. Pink Floyd’s most commercially successful line-up consisted of Roger Waters, David Gilmour, Rick Wright, and Nick Mason. Although they initially earned recognition for their psychedelic material and experimentation, Pink Floyd also became known as one of the pioneers of progressive rock in the 1970s for albums such as The Dark Side of the Moon and Wish You Were Here.

The band’s primary songwriters were Gilmour and Waters. Mason was their drummer, while Wright served as their keyboardist and occasional vocalist. Although Wright left the band in 1979, he continued to contribute to their material until his death in 2008. Gilmour assumed leadership following Waters’ departure.*

The Doors

The Doors were an American rock band formed in Los Angeles in 1965, with vocalist Jim Morrison, keyboardist Ray Manzarek, guitarist Robby Krieger, and drummer John Densmore. The band got its name at Morrison’s suggestion from the title of Aldous Huxley’s book The Doors of Perception, which itself was a reference to a quote by William Blake. They were among the most controversial rock acts of the 1960s due to Morrison’s erratic behavior and self-destructive lifestyle.

Morrison died at the age of 27 in Paris. The Doors continued as a trio until disbanding in 1973. Since then, the surviving members have reunited several times for live performances. In 2002, Densmore and Krieger started touring with a new lineup under the name Riders on the Storm.

The Best Acid and Psychedelic Rock Artists:
1)The Doors
2)Jimi Hendrix
3)The Grateful Dead
4)Big Brother and the Holding Company
5) Sly and the Family Stone

The Who

The Who is an English rock band that formed in London in 1964. The band’s classic lineup consisted of lead singer Roger Daltrey, guitarist and singer Pete Townshend, bass guitarist John Entwistle, and drummer Keith Moon. They are considered one of the most influential rock bands of the 20th century, selling over 100 million records worldwide.

The Who’s style of music was a major influence on the development of psychedelic rock and acid rock. Their 1967 album, The Who Sell Out, featured a number of songs with drug references, such as “I Can See for Miles” and “My Generation”. The album’s artwork also featured a number of ads for fictional products, such as “Babby O’Riley’s Miracle Cough Sweets”.

The band’s 1968 album, Tommy, is considered a landmark work in the development of both psychedelic rock and acid rock. The double album tells the story of a “deaf, dumb and blind” boy who becomes a pinball champion. The album features extended instrumental passages that display the band’s virtuosity, as well as experimental sound effects reminiscent of psychedelia.

The Who continued to experiment with psychedelia on their subsequent albums, such as 1969’s Live at Leeds and 1970’s Live at the Isle of Wight Festival. In 1971, they released their most successful album, Who’s Next, which featured the hit single “Won’t Get Fooled Again”. This song included one of Townshend’s most famous guitar riffs, which has been described as an “exercise in pure acid-rock dynamics”.


Cream was a British rock supergroup formed in London in 1966. The group consisted of lead singer and bassist Jack Bruce, drummer Ginger Baker, and guitarist and singer Eric Clapton. They were the first successful power trio[1] and supergroup[2][3] of the rock era.[4][5]

The band’s third album, Wheels of Fire (1968), was the world’s first platinum-selling double album.[6] Cream were also ranked number 16 on VH1’s 100 Greatest Artists of Hard Rock programme.[7] They were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1993, they received the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 2006, and they were included in both Rolling Stone’s and VH1’s lists of the “100 Greatest Artists of All Time”, at number 67 and 61 respectively. They were also ranked number 25 on the magazine’s 2012 list of the “100 Greatest Live Bands of All Time”.[8][9]

Blind Faith

Blind Faith was an English blues rock band, composed of Eric Clapton, Ginger Baker, Steve Winwood, and Ric Grech. The group was short-lived and recorded only one album, Blind Faith, released in 1969.

The album sold more than three million copies in the first six months of release and hit number one in several countries. Critics were divided; some praised the album for its jazz and rock fusion sound, while others found it overproduced and self-indulgent. The band played only a handful of live shows before disbanding.


Traffic was a British rock group that formed in Birmingham, England, in April 1967. The group’s primary songwriter and leader was Steve Winwood, who, prior to forming Traffic, had gained fame as a member of the Spencer Davis Group and Blind Faith. The other members of the group were Jim Capaldi (drums, vocals), Chris Wood (saxophone, flute) and Dave Mason (guitar, vocals).

The group’s first album was Mr. Fantasy (1967), which included the hit single “Paper Sun”. The album reached number 16 on the UK Albums Chart and number five in the United States. Traffic’s next album, Heaven Is in Your Mind (1968), peaked at number four in the UK and number 11 in the US. The second single from the album, “Feelin’ Alright?”, was a hit in several countries.

The group’s third album, Traffic (1968), peaked at number two in the UK and number 16 in the US. It included the singles “Dear Mr. Fantasy” and “The Low Spark of High Heeled Boys”. In 1969, Traffic released Last Exit (1969), which was a transitional album featuring more jazz-influenced improvisation than their previous work. The album peaked at number eight on the UK Albums Chart and number 29 on the US Billboard 200.

In 1970, Traffic parted ways with Mason and Capaldi left to form a new band with former Free bassist Andy Fraser. Winwood reformed Traffic with new members Rebop Kwaku Baah (percussion) and Rick Grech (bass). The group’s seventh studio album John Barleycorn Must Die (1970) marked a return to their more commercial sound and was their most successful album since Mr. Fantasy. It peaked at number one on both the UK Albums Chart

and Billboard 200 chart in America. Since then they have been cited as an influential band by many subsequent artists including Stevie Wonder, Eric Clapton, Peter Gabriel and Radiohead frontman Thom Yorke who said: “[Traffic] made some of my favorite records ever…it just sounds like life to me.”

Similar Posts