Top 10 Favorite Psychedelic Rock Bands

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

Contributors: Andranick Tanguiane, Fred Lerdahl,


Here are my top 10 favorite Psychedelic Rock Bands of all time. I’ve included a short description of each band and why I like them.

The Beatles

1. The Beatles – The Beatles are undoubtedly the most influential band of all time, and their impact on psychedelic rock is undeniable. From “Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds” to “A Day in the Life,” their psychedelic period represents some of their finest work.
2. The Rolling Stones – The Stones dabbled in psychedelia on albums like “Between the Buttons” and “Their Satanic Majesties Request,” but it wasn’t until 1968’s “Beggars Banquet” that they truly embraced the sound. This album marked a shift in their sound that would prove to be incredibly influential.
3. Pink Floyd – Pink Floyd is one of the most well-known psychedelic rock bands, and for good reason. Their 1967 debut album, “The Piper at the Gates of Dawn,” is an excellent example of early psychedelic rock, and their later work only got more experimental from there.
4. Cream – Cream was a short-lived but highly influential supergroup consisting of Eric Clapton, Jack Bruce, and Ginger Baker. They only released four studio albums, but each one is packed with bluesy psychedelia.
5. Jimi Hendrix – Jimi Hendrix is one of the most legendary guitarists of all time, and his influence on psychedelic rock cannot be overstated. His unique blend of blues, R&B, and rock made him a true innovator, and songs like “Purple Haze” and “All Along the Watchtower” are timeless classics.
6. The Doors – The Doors were another band that blended different genres to create something truly unique. Psychedelic rock was only a part of what they did; they also incorporated elements of jazz, blues, and even classical music into their sound.
7. The Grateful Dead – The Grateful Dead were one of the most prolific bands of all time, releasing over 30 studio albums during their career. They explored a variety of different sounds, but psychedelic rock was always a significant part of their music.

The Rolling Stones

The Rolling Stones are an English rock band that was formed 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). Their musical style rooted in blues and early rock and roll, has also come to incorporate elements of pop, soul, R&B, country and rockabilly.

The Doors

One of the most popular and influential rock bands of the late 1960s, The Doors consisted of lead singer/songwriter Jim Morrison, keyboardist Ray Manzarek, drummer John Densmore, and guitarist Robby Krieger. The group developed a reputation for their outrageous and sometimes surreal onstage behavior, which included Morrison’s spontaneous poetry and unpredictable antics. Although they were only together for a little over four years, The Doors released eight studio albums, which sold over 100 million copies worldwide. They were inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 1993.

Pink Floyd

Formed in London in 1965, Pink Floyd is one of the most influential and successful rock bands of all time. With a unique blend of psychedelic and progressive rock, the band has created some of the most iconic and timeless songs in popular music history. From their early hits like “See Emily Play” and ” Stargazer”, to their later masterpieces like “The Wall” and “Wish You Were Here”, Pink Floyd has left an indelible mark on the world of music.

The Grateful Dead

The Grateful Dead was an American rock band formed in 1965 in San Francisco. The band is known for its unique and eclectic style, which combined elements of country, folk, bluegrass, blues, reggae, rock, improvisational jazz, and spacey jamming. The band also popularized the use of darkly humorous lyrics in psychedelic songs. They were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1994.

Jimi Hendrix

No modern artist has been as influential in the development of psychedelic rock as Jimi Hendrix. Hendrix was a master of the electric guitar, and his unique style of playing combined with his innovative use of feedback and distortion helped to redefine the possibilities of what could be done with the instrument. Hendrix’s influence can be heard in the work of many subsequent psychedelic bands, and he remains one of the genre’s most iconic figures.

Led Zeppelin

Formed in 1968, Led Zeppelin consisted of guitarist Jimmy Page, singer Robert Plant, bass player and 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 rock anthems such as “Stairway to Heaven” and “Whole Lotta Love” are among the most popular and influential songs in rock history.

The Who

The Who is a British 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 has released eleven studio albums, seven live albums, nine compilation albums, five video albums, and three extended plays.

David Bowie

1. David Bowie – The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars
2. Pink Floyd – The Piper at the Gates of Dawn
3. The Velvet Underground – The Velvet Underground & Nico
4. The Doors – Strange Days
5. Syd Barrett – The Madcap Laughs
6. Can – Tago Mago
7. Faust – Faust IV
8. Neu! – Neu! 75
9. Ash Ra Tempel – Ash Ra Tempel


Cream was a British psychedelic rock band that was popular in the late 1960s and early 1970s. The band consisted of guitarist Eric Clapton, bassist Jack Bruce, and drummer Ginger Baker. Cream was one of the first supergroups, and their albums Disraeli Gears (1967) and Wheels of Fire (1968) are considered psychedelic rock classics. The band broke up in 1968 due to creative differences, but they reunited for a farewell tour in 2005.

The Jimi Hendrix Experience
The Jimi Hendrix Experience was an American psychedelic rock band that was active from 1966 to 1970. The band featured Jimi Hendrix on guitar, bassist Noel Redding, and drummer Mitch Mitchell. The band is best known for their 1967 album Are You Experienced?, which is considered one of the greatest debut albums of all time. The band broke up shortly after Hendrix’s death in 1970.

The Doors
The Doors were an American psychedelic rock band that was active from 1965 to 1973. The band consisted of vocalist Jim Morrison, guitarist Robby Krieger, keyboardist Ray Manzarek, and drummer John Densmore. The Doors are best known for their 1967 debut album Strange Days, which includes the classics “Break On Through (To the Other Side)” and “Light My Fire.” The band’s popularity dwindled in the early 1970s following Morrison’s death in 1971, and the group disbanded shortly thereafter.

The Grateful Dead
The Grateful Dead was an American psychedelic rock band that was active from 1965 to 1995. The band consisted of lead guitarist Jerry Garcia, bob Weir on rhythm guitar, Phil Lesh on bass, Bill Kreutzmann on drums, Ron “Pigpen” McKernan on keyboards and harmonica, and vocalist Donna Godchaux. The Grateful Dead’s music is often described as “acid rock” due to its experimental nature and use of improvisation. The band released a number of influential live albums during their 30-year career, but they are best known for their studio album Workingman’s Dead (1970), which contains the hits “Uncle John’s Band” and “Casey Jones.”

Jefferson Airplane
Jefferson Airplane was an American psychedelic rock band that was active from 1965 to 1972. The original lineup consisted of vocalists Grace Slick and Marty Balin, guitarist Paul Kantner, bassist Jack Casady, drummer Spencer Dryden, and keyboardist Signe Toly Anderson. Jefferson Airplane is best known for their 1967 album Surrealistic Pillow, which includes the hits “Somebody to Love” and “White Rabbit.” The band broke up in 1972 due to creative differences but reunion tours have been sporadic since then.

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