Best of 60’s Psychedelic Rock

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

Contributors: Andranick Tanguiane, Fred Lerdahl,

The Best of 60’s Psychedelic Rock is a collection of the greatest hits from the 60’s Psychedelic Rock era. This collection features tracks from the likes of The Beatles, The Doors, and Pink Floyd.

The Beatles – “A Day in the Life”

“A Day in the Life” is a song by the English rock band the Beatles that was released as the final track of their 1967 album Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band. Credited to Lennon–McCartney, it was mainly written by John Lennon with contributions from Paul McCartney. It is widely regarded as one of the greatest and most influential songs ever recorded.

The Beach Boys – “Good Vibrations”

One of the most innovative, influential and important American bands of all time, The Beach Boys are also one of the most enigmatic. The group’s history is full of highs and lows, line-up changes, drug abuse, family tragedy and creative rebirths.

“Good Vibrations” is the Beach Boys at their very best – a song that perfectly captures the feeling of those heady, innocent days of summer. It’s a complex work, with multiple sections and time changes, but it all hangs together perfectly. And that chorus – pure pop perfection.

Jimi Hendrix – “All Along the Watchtower”

“All Along the Watchtower” is a song written and recorded by American singer-songwriter Bob Dylan. The song initially appeared on his 1967 album John Wesley Harding, and it has been included on most of Dylan’s subsequent greatest hits compilations. Since the late 1970s, he has performed it in concert more than any of his other songs. Different versions appear on four of Dylan’s live albums. The song was ranked number rate 347 on Rolling Stone magazine’s list of the “500 Greatest Songs of All Time”.

The Hendrix version, released six months after Dylan’s original, became a Top 40 single in 1968 and has been inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. It is regarded as one of Hendrix’s greatest interpretations of another artist’s work, particularly for its recording quality and innovation.

The Doors – “Light My Fire”

One of the most popular and influential rock bands of the 1960s, the Doors were founded in Los Angeles, California in 1965 by UCLA film students Ray Manzarek (keyboards) and Jim Morrison (vocals). The band also included drummer John Densmore and guitarist Robby Krieger. Morrison’s poetic lyrics, often dark and surreal, and Manzarek’s atmospheric keyboard work helped to make the band one of the most distinctive and innovative groups of their era. The Doors released their self-titled debut album in 1967, which featured their breakout hit “Light My Fire.” The song, which reached number one on the Billboard Hot 100, became an instant classic and helped to propel the album to number two on the Billboard 200. The Doors went on to release a string of successful albums throughout the late 1960s and early 1970s, including Strange Days (1967), Waiting for the Sun (1968), Morrison Hotel (1970), and L.A. Woman (1971), before Morrison’s sudden death in Paris in 1971 at the age of 27.

Pink Floyd – “Another Brick in the Wall, Pt. 2”

The second single from Pink Floyd’s eleventh studio album, The Wall, “Another Brick in the Wall, Pt. 2” was released in 1979. The song is an attack on teacher authority, and quickly became one of the band’s most popular tracks. It even won a Grammy for Best Performance by a Rock Vocal Duo or Group.

The Rolling Stones – “Gimme Shelter”

The Rolling Stones – “Gimme Shelter”

The last great Rolling Stones song, “Gimme Shelter” is a perfect example of their mastery of the psychedelic genre. Initially released as the opening track of their 1969 album Let it Bleed, the song quickly became a fan favorite and is often cited as one of the greatest rock songs of all time.

With its dark, apocalyptic lyrics and slow, grinding groove, “Gimme Shelter” perfectly captures the paranoia and fear that were prevalent in the late 1960s. The song features some of the best guitar work of Mick Taylor’s career, as well as some haunting background vocals from Merry Clayton. If you want to hear the Rolling Stones at their psychedelic best, this is the song for you.

The Who – “Won’t Get Fooled Again”

This is The Who at their most anthemic, a thumping, bass-driven rocker with one of the all-time great rock vocal performances from Roger Daltrey. The song’s mix of defiance, disillusionment and hope struck a chord with the counterculture and has made it a classic.

Led Zeppelin – “Whole Lotta Love”

I can think of few songs more emblematic of the 60s, and of Psychedelic Rock in particular, than Led Zeppelin’s “Whole Lotta Love.” From the opening riff to Robert Plant’s wailing vocals, this song has it all.

The song was released in 1969 on the band’s second album, Led Zeppelin II, and quickly became a classic. It was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame in 2005 and was ranked #75 on Rolling Stone magazine’s list of the 500 Greatest Songs of All Time.

If you’re looking for a song that captures the spirit of Psychedelic Rock, and of the 60s in general, you can’t go wrong with “Whole Lotta Love.”

Creedence Clearwater Revival – “Fortunate Son”

From the opening chords of “Fortunate Son”, Creedence Clearwater Revival stake their claim as one of the best rock bands of the 60s. The song is an unapologetic anti-war anthem, with John Fogerty’s searing vocal delivery matched by the band’s tight musicianship. It’s a perfect example of the power of CCR’s songwriting, and its message is as relevant today as it was when it was first released.

Sly & The Family Stone – “Everyday People”

“Everyday People” was written by Sly Stone in 1968 and released by his band, Sly & the Family Stone, as a single the following year. The song became an instant hit, eventually reaching number one on the Billboard Hot 100 chart.

The song is perhaps best known for its iconic opening line, “I am everyday people,” which has since been sampled or referenced by numerous artists, including Queen Latifah, Arrested Development, and Outkast.

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