Heavy Metal Psychedelic Rock from the 60s

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, heavy metal psychedelic rock from the 60s? Then you’ve come to the right place! Here at our blog, we’ll be featuring some of the best bands and tracks from this genre, so you can trip out and headbang to your heart’s content.

The 60s

Psychedelic Rock is a subgenre of Rock music that originated in the 60s. It is characterized by a heavy use of improvisation, distortion, feedback, and sometimes extreme volume levels. The genre developed during the height of the psychedelic drug culture of the 1960s and reached its peak in the late 1960s and early 1970s.

The Beatles

Formed in Liverpool in 1960, the Beatles–composed of John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison, and Ringo Starr–are widely regarded as the most influential band of all time. Rooted in skiffle and 1950s rock and roll, the Beatles later experimented with several genres, ranging from pop ballads to Indian music to psychedelia. They also helped pioneer the development of concept albums and album-oriented rock radio. The Beatles are the best-selling band in history, with estimated sales of over 600 million records worldwide. In 1988, they were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame; 15 years later, they received their own star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

Jimi Hendrix

Jimi Hendrix was an American musician who was considered one of the greatest electric guitarists in music history. He achieved mainstream success in the late 1960s with his band The Jimi Hendrix Experience and became a rock icon in the process. His style of playing was unique and often imitated, and he expanded the possibilities of what could be done with the instrument. Hendrix’s recordings include the albums Are You Experienced, Axis: Bold as Love, and Electric Ladyland, as well as the live albums Band of Gypsys and Live at Winterland.

The Doors

The Doors were an American rock band formed in 1965 in Los Angeles, with vocalist Jim Morrison, keyboardist Ray Manzarek, guitarist Robby Krieger, and drummer John Densmore. They were among the most controversial and influential rock acts of the 1960s, mostly because of Morrison’s lyrics and charismatic but unpredictable stage presence. After Morrison’s death in 1971 at the age of 27, the remaining members continued as a trio until disbanding in 1973.

Despite the animosity between band members and former band members, they are frequently cited by music critics as one of the most important rock bands of all time for their contributions to music and culture. The Doors have been listed as one of Rolling Stone magazine’s “100 Greatest Artists of All Time”, as well as being included in VH1’s “100 Greatest Artists of All Time”. The band has sold over 100 million records worldwide, making them one of the best-selling bands of all time.

Psychedelic Rock

Psychedelic rock is a style of rock music that was popular in the 1960s. It is characterized by its use of feedback, electronics, and distorted guitars. Psychedelic rock was also influenced by Eastern music and Indian music.

The Grateful Dead

The Grateful Dead was an American rock band formed in 1965 in Palo Alto, California. Ranging from quintet to septet, the band is known for its unique and eclectic style, which fused elements of country, folk, bluegrass, blues, reggae, rock, improvisational jazz, psychedelia and space rock[1][2] for live performances of lengthy instrumental jams, and for their devoted fan base, known as “Deadheads”. “Their music,” writes Lenny Kaye,”was like a tiny piece of the cosmos all its own.” The band was ranked 57th by Rolling Stone magazine in its The Greatest Artists of All Time issue. The band was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1994 and their discography includes over 200 albums.

Jefferson Airplane

Formed in San Francisco in 1965, Jefferson Airplane was one of the first American psychedelic rock bands. Their 1967 album Surrealistic Pillow was a huge success, and the band became known for their acidic, mind-bending lyrics and mind-altering live performances. With their unique blend of folk, rock, and psychedelia, Jefferson Airplane helped define the sound of the 60s.

Pink Floyd

Pink Floyd was one of the most influential psychedelic rock bands of the 60s. They were known for their extended jams, surrealist lyrics, and innovative sound effects. Pink Floyd’s music was a major influence on the development of heavy metal and progressive rock.

Heavy Metal

Though it was a subgenre of rock that arose in the late 1960s, heavy metal has been around in some form or another since the 1950s. Early practitioners of the style – such as Link Wray, with his 1958 instrumental hit “Rumble” – were mostly relegated to the underground. In the mid-1960s, a few bands began to play a harder, heavier style of rock that would eventually coalesce into the sound and style of heavy metal.

Black Sabbath

Black Sabbath is one of the most influential bands in the history of heavy metal music and one of the first to pioneer the genre. Formed in Birmingham, England in 1968 by Ozzy Osbourne, Tony Iommi, Geezer Butler and Bill Ward, the band helped to define a new sound that would come to dominate the world of rock music for decades to come. With their dark, brooding lyrics and heavy riffing, Black Sabbath created a sound that was both intensely powerful and deeply unsettling, paving the way for countless other metal bands that would follow in their wake.

Deep Purple

Deep Purple is an English rock band that was formed in Hertfordshire in 1968. The band is considered to be one of the pioneers of heavy metal and modern hard rock, although their musical approach changed over the years. Deep Purple’s debut album, Shades of Deep Purple, was released in July 1968 and reached #6 on the UK Albums Chart; it was followed by The Book of Taliesyn in December 1968.

Led Zeppelin

Led Zeppelin was an English rock band formed in London in 1968. The group consisted of guitarist Jimmy Page, singer Robert Plant, bassist and keyboardist John Paul Jones, and drummer John Bonham. The band’s heavy, guitar-driven sound, rooted in blues and psychedelia on their early albums, has led them to be cited as one of the progenitors of heavy metal.

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