Newest Revised List of Greatest 1960’s Psychedelic Rock Albums

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

Contributors: Andranick Tanguiane, Fred Lerdahl,


Check out our newest revised list of the greatest 1960’s psychedelic rock albums!

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

The Beatles’ eighth studio album, Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, released in 1967, is the band’s most iconic and influential work. The album is a psychedelic masterpiece, full of innovative studio techniques and beautiful melodies. It is often listed as one of the greatest albums of all time.

The Beach Boys- Pet Sounds

Released in 1966, the Beach Boys’ eleventh studio album Pet Sounds is widely considered one of the most influential records in pop history. Though it was not an immediate commercial success, selling only around 200,000 copies upon its initial release, the album has since been lauded by critics and fellow musicians alike for its innovative sound and melodies. In particular, the record’s use of layered tracks featuring various instruments has been cited as a major influence on subsequent pop recordings. The Beach Boys would go on to release two more albums before officially disbanding in 1998.

The Doors- The Doors

One of the most influential and controversial rock bands of the 1960s, the Doors were founded in Los Angeles in 1965 by UCLA film students Ray Manzarek (keyboards) and Jim Morrison (vocals). The group also featured John Densmore (drums) and Robby Krieger (guitar). The Doors’ debut album, The Doors, was released in 1967 and featured the smash hits “Light My Fire” and “Break On Through (To the Other Side).” The band’s dark, mystical lyrics and Morrison’s provocative on-stage antics made them one of the most popular and influential rock groups of their era.

Jimi Hendrix- Are You Experienced

Are You Experienced is the debut studio album by American rock band the Jimi Hendrix Experience. Released in May 1967, it was the first LP for Track and Reprise Records. The album was produced by Chas Chandler and features Hendrix’s debut single “Hey Joe”, along with “Purple Haze” and “The Wind Cries Mary” which were released as successful follow-ups. The final track on the album, “Stone Free”, was also issued as a single in several countries.

The album peaked at number two on Billboard’s Pop Albums chart and has been certified triple platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America. Rolling Stone ranked it number fifteen on their list of the 500 Greatest Albums of All Time, and number four on their list of the 100 Greatest Debut Albums of All Time.

The Grateful Dead- Anthem of the Sun

The Grateful Dead’s second album, Anthem of the Sun, is the first real statement of their psychedelic ambitions. Although more erratic and less focused than their debut, it’s a much more interesting record, with the group pushing at the boundaries of their abilities. “Alligator” is one of the best Garcia/Hunter compositions of the period, complete with an electrifyingly wild solo from Pigpen. “That’s It for the Other One” is a incredible showcase for both Weir and Kreutzmann, as they explore space in a way that few other bands ever have. And Ron “Pigpen” McKernan makes his presence felt on every track, whether it’s his ragged blues singing on “New Potato Caboose” or his Hammond B-3 work on “Born Cross-Eyed.” In many ways, Anthem of the Sun is the archetypal Grateful Dead album — flawed yet fascinating.

Cream- Disraeli Gears

“Disraeli Gears” is the second studio album by the British rock band Cream, released in November 1967. It was titled after a lyric in the song “Sunshine of Your Love”. The album reached number 5 in the UK Albums Chart and number 4 on the US Billboard 200, where it stayed for two weeks. It was also Cream’s first LP to enter the US top 10. The single “Strange Brew” peaked at number 16 on the Billboard Hot 100 while “Sunshine of Your Love” reached number 5 in both the US and UK.

The album featured a more pop-oriented sound than their debut album, Fresh Cream, with more emphasis on songwriting rather than improvisation. This approach helped take Cream to new heights of commercial success, but displeased some fans who preferred their earlier, harder-edged work. Despite this, Disraeli Gears is widely considered to be one of the greatest psychedelic rock albums ever made.

The Jimi Hendrix Experience- Electric Ladyland

Released in October 1968, Electric Ladyland was the third and final album by The Jimi Hendrix Experience, and the only one featuring bassist Billy Cox. The double album was the most commercially and critically successful of Hendrix’s career, reaching number one in several countries including the United States.[1]

Recorded over a period of six months at New York’s Record Plant Studios with engineer Eddie Kramer, Electric Ladyland saw Hendrix expanding his musical style by incorporating elements of funk and R&B into his psychedelic rock sound. It is also notable for its experimental soundscape, which featured extensive use of studio effects and overdubbing.

While Axe is considered one of the greatest guitar albums of all time, it was not without its share of controversy. Some critics felt that Hendrix was “spreading himself too thin” by attempting to tackle so many different genres on one album, while others felt that the use of studio effects detracted from the band’s raw power. Regardless of the mixed reaction it received upon release, Electric Ladyland is now widely regarded as one of the greatest rock albums ever made.

The Kinks- Are the Village Green Preservation Society

The Kinks- Are the Village Green Preservation Society is the eighth studio album by the English rock band The Kinks, released in 1968. It was the last album by the group to feature founding member Dave Davies, and was conceived as a concept album featuring an extended cycle of songs about suburban life and nostalgia for a bygone era.

The Moody Blues- In Search of the Lost Chord

The Moody Blues’ third album, In Search of the Lost Chord (1968), was their most experimental to date. Released shortly after the completion of Days of Future Passed, it was a concept album based on spiritual and philosophical themes, with each song representing a different “state of mind”. It reached number five in the UK and number 24 in the US.

Pink Floyd- The Piper at the Gates of Dawn

Released in August of 1967, Pink Floyd’s debut album The Piper at the Gates of Dawn was both a commercial and critical success. It reached #6 on the UK charts and #131 on the US Billboard 200, and was well-received by music critics. The album featured a unique blend of English pop and psychedelic rock, with elements of folk, classical, and blues thrown in for good measure. Piper is often cited as one of the greatest psychedelic rock albums of all time, and helped pave the way for Pink Floyd’s subsequent success.

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