The Best Psychedelic Rock Albums of All Time

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

Contributors: Andranick Tanguiane, Fred Lerdahl,


Looking for some mind-bending, out-of-this-world psychedelic rock? Look no further than our list of the best psychedelic rock albums of all time! From The Beatles to Pink Floyd to The Doors, these are the albums that will take you on a trip like no other.

The Beatles – Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band

Released in 1967, The Beatles’ Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band became an instant classic and is widely regarded as one of the most important albums of all time. A concept album featuring a fictional band, the album is musically diverse, exploring a number of genres including psychedelic rock, pop, and classical music. The album’s artwork is also iconic, and its title track is one of the most well-known and loved songs in the world.

The Beach Boys – Pet Sounds

The Beach Boys’ eleventh studio album, Pet Sounds, was released on May 16th, 1966. The album is widely considered to be one of the most influential albums of all time, and was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame in 1998.

Pet Sounds was the product of Brian Wilson’s obsession with The Beatles’ Rubber Soul album. Inspired by the Fab Four’s use of multitrack recording techniques, Wilson set out to create an album that would be the ultimate pop experience. He enlisted the help of fellow Beach Boys Al Jardine, Bruce Johnston, Mike Love, and Carl Wilson, as well as a cast of studio musicians to realize his vision.

The album features some of The Beach Boys’ most beloved songs, including “Wouldn’t It Be Nice”, “God Only Knows”, and “Sloop John B”. Pet Sounds is often cited as one of the first concept albums, and its influence can be heard in the work of subsequent generations of artists.

The Doors – The Doors

The Doors’ self-titled debut album is one of the most important and influential rock albums of all time. It is a collection of some of the band’s most popular songs, including “Light My Fire,” “Break On Through (To the Other Side),” and “The End.” The album reached number two on the Billboard 200 chart and has been certified platinum by the RIAA.

Pink Floyd – The Piper at the Gates of Dawn

Pink Floyd’s debut album, The Piper at the Gates of Dawn, is one of the most important and influential psychedelic rock albums of all time. Released in 1967, the album was a critical and commercial success, and helped to cement Pink Floyd as one of the leading bands of the psychedelic rock scene. Piper is a truly trippy album, full of mind-bending soundscapes and hallucinatory lyrics, and it remains an essential listen for any fan of psychedelic rock.

Love – Forever Changes

Love’s Forever Changes is one of the best psychedelic albums of all time. It was released in 1967 and features the band’s unique blend of folk, rock, and pop. The album is full of beautiful melodies and lyrics that reflect the hope and innocence of the counterculture movement. Even though it was not a commercial success at the time, it has since been recognized as one of the greatest albums of all time.

The Jimi Hendrix Experience – Are You Experienced

Are You Experienced is the debut studio album by English-American rock band the Jimi Hendrix Experience. Released in May 1967, it was the first LP for Track and Reprise Records. The album featured Jimi Hendrix’s breakthrough hits “Purple Haze” and “Hey Joe”, and became a critical and commercial success. It peaked at number two on the Billboard Pop Albums chart behind The Beatles’ Sgt. Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band and reached number one in the United Kingdom, where it spent 33 weeks on the chart.

The Velvet Underground – The Velvet Underground & Nico

The Velvet Underground’s debut album is one of the most influential and important records ever made. It’s a landmark of experimental rock that pushed the boundaries of what was considered acceptable in music. The album features the band’s signature sound: a raw, distorted guitar sound, minimalistic song structures, and ethereal Vocals courtesy of Nico. It’s an essential album for any fan of rock music.

The Grateful Dead – Anthem of the Sun

The Grateful Dead’s second album, Anthem of the Sun (1968), is often considered one of their best works. It was an important turning point for the band, as they began to experiment with extended jams and complex multi-part arrangements. The result was a sprawling, psychedelic masterpiece that captures the Dead at their creative peak. Anthem of the Sun is a must-have for any fan of the Grateful Dead or psychedelia in general.

Creedence Clearwater Revival – Cosmo’s Factory

Released in 1970, Cosmo’s Factory was Creedence Clearwater Revival’s fifth studio album and their second released that year. The album was a commercial success, reaching number 2 on the US Billboard 200 chart and number 1 on the UK Albums Chart. The album features some of the band’s most popular songs, including “Ramble Tamble”, “Lookin’ Out My Back Door”, “Travelin’ Band”, and “Who’ll Stop the Rain”.

The Stooges – Fun House

The Stooges – Fun House
(1970, Elektra)

If ever an album deserved to be called a “classic”, it is The Stooges’ Fun House. This is the album where Iggy Pop and his bandmates truly unleashed their primal energy and madness, resulting in some of the most explosive and exciting rock ever put to tape. From the opening salvos of “Down on the Street” and “TV Eye”, it is clear that The Stooges mean business, and they do not let up for a second over the course of this landmark LP. With its raw, distorted guitars, pounding drums, and Iggy’s manic howls, Fun House is an album that simply cannot be ignored – it is one of the most important documents of rock history.

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