The Best Modern Psychedelic Rock Bands

Here is a list of the best modern psychedelic rock bands that you need to know about. These bands are continuing to push the boundaries of what psychedelic rock can be.

The Beatles

The Beatles were an English rock band that became one of the most commercially successful and critically acclaimed bands in the history of popular music. They were a leading force in the music scene of the 1960s and helped to popularize the genre of psychedelic rock.

The band’s sound

The Beatles were an English rock band formed in Liverpool in 1960. With members John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr, they became widely regarded as the foremost and most influential music band of the 20th century. They were integral to the development of 1960s counterculture and popular music’s role in society.

The Beatles built their reputation playing clubs in Liverpool and Hamburg over a three-year period from 1960, with Stuart Sutcliffe initially serving as bass player. The core lineup of Lennon, McCartney, Harrison, and Starr progressed to become Britain’s most popular band of the early 1960s. By early 1962, the Beatles were international stars, leading the “British Invasion” of the United States pop market. From 1965 onwards, they produced what many critics consider to be some of their finest material, including the innovative and widely imitated album Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band (1967), considered a high point in popular music history. Reportedly infiltrated by Brian Epstein’s professional Decca A&R man Tony Barrett[1][2] during their failed audition for that label on 1 December 1961,[3] The Beatles were then signed by George Martin to EMI’s Parlophone label on 6 February 1962.[4][5]

With Martin as producer, aided by his staff engineers Norman Smith and Ken Scott,[6] The Beatles recorded eight UK number-one singles between 1963 and 1970[7] and 17 UK number-one albums (11 by double albums),[8][9][10][11] starting with Please Please Me (1963). In 1968, they founded Apple Corps Ltd., a multimedia company that continues to operate alongside EMI 100 years after its formation.[12] By early 1970, they had become International celebrities due to the commercial success of the seminal film Let It Be (1970) directed by Michael Lindsay-Hogg,[13][14][15] leading to rumors—later acknowledged by Ringo Starr—that each member was receiving more fan mail than all world leaders combined.[16][17 & 18 ]The band retired permanently in 1970; Paul McCartney publicly announced The Beatles’ breakup on 10 April 1970,[19] but Lennon continued his musical career through collaborations with Yoko Ono until his murder on 8 December 1980.[20][21 & 22 ]

George Harrison died of cancer in 2001; Ringo Starr is the only living member of The Beatles. All four were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1988, along with manager Brian Epstein and producer George Martin.[23 & 24 ] In 2008 – fifty years after their first commercial recordings – Billboard magazine launched The Billboard Hot 100 50th Anniversary Charts: The All-Time Top 100 Songs to commemorate both artists’ impact on popular culture.[25 & 26 ] In 2012 , Rolling Stone magazine ranked them fourth on “The Immortals – 100 Greatest Artists of All Time” list [27], having been ranked number one in 1964 [28].

The band’s influence

The Beatles became a commercial and critical success in the United Kingdom from 1962 onwards, although their record company, EMI, was initially uninterested in signing them. They built their reputation playing clubs in Liverpool and Hamburg over a three-year period from 1960, with Stuart Sutcliffe playing bass. Achieving mainstream success from 1963 onwards with their first hit single, “Love Me Do”, and accompanied by mass hysteria wherever they played. The Beatles toured extensively throughout the UK, often supported by the band’s headliner status giving them opening slots on larger tours. In August 1966 they played a series of shows at New York’s Shea Stadium that set new box office records for stadium concert attendance; demand for tickets was so overwhelming that publisher Ed Sullivan announced he would air live footage of the band’s performances the following Sunday on his eponymous TV program.

In Britain, The Beatles’ injections of American rock and roll helped to spur on a process that had begun some years earlier and had already seen British musicians becoming increasingly influenced by US acts such as Buddy Holly, Little Richard and Elvis Presley. This interaction between British rockers and American musicians would reach its peak with the British Invasion of 1964–66, when British groups such as The Rolling Stones and The Animals turned American R&B numbers such as “The Last Time” and “We Gotta Get Out of This Place”, into international hits.

Pink Floyd

The band’s sound

Pink Floyd was an English rock band that achieved international acclaim with their progressive and psychedelic music. Formed in 1965, the group initially earned popularity for their psychedelic singles such as “See Emily Play” and “Arnold Layne”, before achieving critical and commercial success with The Piper at the Gates of Dawn (1967), their first album. The Dark Side of the Moon (1973) cemented Pink Floyd’s status as one of the most commercially successful and influential groups in popular music history.

With their concept albums and experimental approach to sound, Pink Floyd helped to pioneer the progressive rock genre. The band also became known for their elaborate live shows, which featured innovative visual effects. Pink Floyd’s final studio album, The Endless River (2014), became their highest-charting album in several decades and was acclaimed by critics as a return to form.

The band’s founder Syd Barrett died in 2006, and bassist Roger Waters left the group in 1985; guitarist David Gilmour, who had been brought into Pink Floyd in 1968, assumed creative control of the band. Nick Mason continued as the group’s drummer.

The band’s influence

Pink Floyd is often cited as one of the most influential rock bands of all time. They were one of the first groups to experiment with extended jams, sound effects, and studio effects in their recordings, and their use of these elements helped to pioneer the concept of progressive rock. In addition, their conceptual themes and lyrical topics, which ranged from mental health issues to political commentary, were highly influential on subsequent generations of musicians.

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. They were one of the most controversial and influential rock bands of the 1960s, mostly because of Morrison’s lyrics and charismatic but unpredictable stage persona.

The band’s sound

The Doors’ sound was a fusion of rock, blues, jazz, and classical music.Jim Morrison’s deep, vibrato-laden baritone vocals were iambic and often poetic. The band was known for its extended improvised live performances, which featured long, dramatic solos by guitarist Robby Krieger and keyboardist Ray Manzarek.

The Doors’ debut album, The Doors (1967), included two of their best-known songs, “Light My Fire” and “Break On Through (To the Other Side)”. The band’s second album, Strange Days (1967), produced their hit singles “People Are Strange” and “Love Me Two Times”. Their third album, Waiting for the Sun (1968), included the singles “Hello, I Love You” and “Touch Me”.

The Doors’ fourth album, The Soft Parade (1969), featured the singles “Tell All the People” and “Touch Me”. Their fifth album, Morrison Hotel (1970), included the singles “Love Her Madly” and “Riders on the Storm”.

The band’s sixth and final studio album, L.A. Woman (1971), was released after Morrison’s death. It included their final hit single, “Riders on the Storm”.

The band’s influence

The Doors’ impact was felt not only in their own time, but also in subsequent decades. The band has sold over 100 million records worldwide, and their self-titled debut album is one of the best-selling debut albums of all time. In addition, the band’s music has been widely influential, particularly on other artists in the psychedelic rock genre.

Led Zeppelin

Psychedelic rock is a subgenre of rock music that emerged in the late 1960s and early 1970s. The style is characterized by a preoccupation with psychedelic experiences and drug culture, and often incorporates Eastern influences. Led Zeppelin was one of the most successful and innovative rock bands of all time. They were a major influence on the development of psychedelic rock.

The band’s sound

Led Zeppelin’s sound has been described as an ” amalgamation of blues and rock with a heavy, guitar-driven sound”,[1][2] while others have seen them as a progressive rock band. Jimmy Page used an underestimate of microphones to record “Whole Lotta Love”, and the result was a sonic texture that advanced the possibilities of recorded rock music.

The band’s influence

Led Zeppelin’s influence cannot be overstated. They have been cited as one of the most influential rock bands of all time, and their impact is still felt today. They popularized a new style of rock music that blended elements of blues, folk, and country with a hard-driving, guitar-driven sound. They were also one of the first bands to regularly use amplification and distortion to create a “heavier” sound. Their innovative approach to songwriting and instrumentation inspired subsequent generations of rock musicians, and their songs have been covered by everyone from Bruce Springsteen to Metallica.

The Rolling Stones

The Rolling Stones are an English rock band that formed in London in 1962. The first stable line-up consisted of Brian Jones (guitar, harmonica), Ian Stewart (piano), Mick Jagger (lead vocals, harmonica), Keith Richards (guitar, vocals), Bill Wyman (bass) and Charlie Watts (drums). Watts left the band in 1965 and was replaced by Mick Taylor, who remained until 1974.

The band’s sound

The Rolling Stones are an English rock band formed in 1962. The first stable line-up consisted of Brian Jones (guitar, harmonica), Mick Jagger (lead vocals), Keith Richards (guitar, backing 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.

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 contributed to shifting the music scene away from its focus on fifties rock and roll influencers such as Elvis Presley and Chuck Berry. Rooted in blues and early rock and roll, they later experimented with different genres as their careers progressed. Releasing eight studio albums between 1964 and 1971; starting with 12 X 5, Their Early LPs were characterized by Jagger and Richards’ blues influence songs (“Little Red Rooster”, “Off The Hook”),standard pop fare (“Time Is On My Side”, “Heart Of Stone”),and R&B numbers(“Tell Me”,”The Last Time”).Afterward they began introducing more original material to their albums(“(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction”, “Paint It Black”,”Get Off Of My Cloud”,”Jumpin’ Jack Flash”).

During this period Jones frequently played with slide guitar on songs such as “Satisfaction”and”Sway”.Jagger expanded his vocal range adding techniques taken from African American soul singers such as Sam Cookeand Jackie Wilson resulting in him becoming one of rock’s most distinctive singers.(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction earned them their first Grammy Award for Best Pop Vocal Performance by a Duo or Group.”Mother’s Little Helper” broke intothe Billboard Top Ten chart forthe first time becomingone of their most controversial hits due to its then- daring drug references.”Honky Tonk Women”reached number one inthe UKand United States giving them their first co-written US number one single.”Brown Sugar/Bitch”, which also reached number one on both charts featured Watts playing drums with stops while Wyman kept a basic bass groove giving it an free flowing sound.”Gimme Shelter”, released shortly after Altamont Speedway Free Concert where member Meredith Hunter was stabbed to death by Hells Angel Alan Passaro during a performance by The Rolling Stones.Their album Exile on Main St sold over 3 million copies worldwide despite not being released as a single outside North America and is considered one of Rock’s greatest albums of all time containing such classic tracks as “Tumbling Dice”,”Rocks Off”,”All Down The Line”.

The band’s influence

The Rolling Stones’ influence on popular music is pervasive.Psychedelic rock reached its apogee in the last years of the decade. In 1967, the band released their fourth UK album, Between the Buttons. The album showed the band’s evolving musical style moving away from the raw rock and roll of their first three albums. The album peaked at No.3 in the UK and was a top 30 hit in the US.

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