The Best Psychedelic Rock Songs of All Time

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

Contributors: Andranick Tanguiane, Fred Lerdahl,


A comprehensive list of the best psychedelic rock songs of all time, as chosen by experts.

The Beatles – “A Day in the Life”

“A Day in the Life” is a song by the English rock band the Beatles released on their 1967 album Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band. The song is one of several that marked the Beatles’ transformation from a pop band to artists creating complex studio recordings. It was ranked the 28th greatest song of all time by Rolling Stone magazine and is included in The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame’s 500 Songs that Shaped Rock and Roll.

The Beach Boys – “Good Vibrations”

The Beach Boys – “Good Vibrations”
Considered by many to be the ultimate pop song, “Good Vibrations” is a triumph of innovation and collaboration, with Brian Wilson’s groundbreaking production techniques fusing perfectly with the group’s impeccable vocal harmonies. The result is a timeless classic that sounds as fresh and exciting today as it did when it was first released.

The Doors – “Light My Fire”

“Light My Fire” is a song by the American rock band the Doors, which was released on July 3, 1967, on their eponymous debut album. The song was written by the band’s guitarist and singer, Jim Morrison, and produced by Paul A. Rothchild. It became a massive hit for the Doors, reaching number one on the Billboard Hot 100 chart in the United States and number six in the United Kingdom. It is one of their signature songs and is still frequently broadcast on radio stations across the world.

Pink Floyd – “Another Brick in the Wall”

“Another Brick in the Wall” is a song by the English rock band Pink Floyd. It was released as a single in 1979, and is the title track of their album, The Wall. The song topped charts in several countries, including the United States, Canada, Ireland, New Zealand and Australia. In the UK, it was Pink Floyd’s only single to reach number one on the UK Singles Chart. In 2005, “Another Brick in the Wall” was voted number 374 in Rolling Stone’s 500 Greatest Songs of All Time list.

The song is aboutPinkFloyd’s education while at schoolin England; more specifically, it is about rebellion against authority figures. “AnotherBrick in the Wall” has been interpreted as an anti-establishment anthem criticized for its violent overtones.

Led Zeppelin – “Kashmir”

Led Zeppelin’s “Kashmir” is one of the most iconic psychedelic rock songs of all time. Released in 1975, the song features an ethereal and atmospheric sound that is perfect for a mind-bending psychedelic experience. The song also has a catchy and unforgettable chorus that will have you singing along for hours.

The Rolling Stones – “Gimme Shelter”

One of the darkest and most foreboding songs in the Stones’ canon, “Gimme Shelter” is also one of their most complex from a production standpoint. The mainbody of the song is propelled by a simple, menacing bassline from Bill Wyman and some slide guitar work from Brian Jones, but it’s the subtle elements — like the faint cowbell in the background, or the eerie gospel choir that comes in during the last chorus — that elevate “Gimme Shelter” to true classic status.

Jimi Hendrix – “All Along the Watchtower”

The song was originally written and performed by Bob Dylan, who released it on his 1967 album John Wesley Harding. Hendrix’s recording, which appeared on the 1968 album Electric Ladyland, is widely considered to be superior to Dylan’s original, and has been ranked as one of the greatest cover songs of all time.

Hendrix recorded “All Along the Watchtower” in October 1967 with the members of his band Gypsy Sun and Rainbows: Mitch Mitchell on drums, Noel Redding on bass guitar, and Larry Lee on rhythm guitar. The song features a distinctive wah-wah guitar solo by Hendrix, which has been lauded as one of the greatest solos in rock history.

The Who – “Won’t Get Fooled Again”

The Who’s “Won’t Get Fooled Again” is one of the all-time great psychedelic rock songs. Written by Pete Townshend, it was released as a single in 1971 and reached #15 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. The song features some of Townshend’s most accomplished guitar work, including the famous opening riff and solo. The lyrics are also among the most biting and cynical of Townshend’s career, making “Won’t Get Fooled Again” a perfect example of psychedelic rock at its best.

King Crimson – “21st Century Schizoid Man”

This is one of the best, most innovative and influential progressive rock songs of all time, let alone the best psychedelic rock song. Written by Robert Fripp, Michael Giles, Ian McDonald, Greg Lake and Peter Sinfield, “21st Century Schizoid Man” is a seven-minute tour de force that sounds like nothing else that came before it. With its manic drumming, jagged guitarwork and Fripp’s Robert Fripp’s searing, atonal soloing, it’s a track that still sounds fresh and vital today.

Yes – “Roundabout”

“Roundabout” is a 1971 progressive rock song by the British rock band Yes. Written by group member Jon Anderson, the song originally appeared on the band’s 1971 album Fragile. Since then, it has been released as a single, become one of the band’s best-known songs, and been included on several greatest hits compilations.

The song is built around a simple opening guitar riff played by Steve Howe and follows a basic Verse-Chorus form. However, it also features an extended middle section that includes a solo by Howe as well as a choral interlude sung in Latin. These elements give the song a complex and psychedelic sound that was typical of Yes’ early work.

Despite its complex construction, “Roundabout” was a commercial success for the band, reaching number 13 on the Billboard Hot 100 in the United States and number 9 on the UK Singles Chart. It has been praised by critics for its innovative structure and catchy melody, and has been included on several lists of the best psychedelic rock songs of all time.

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