The Best Obscure Psychedelic Rock Tapes

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

Contributors: Andranick Tanguiane, Fred Lerdahl,


A list of the best psychedelic rock tapes that are obscure and not well known.

Psychedelic Rock

Psychedelic rock, also referred to as simply psychedelia, is a wide-ranging style of rock music influenced by 1960s psychedelia, a subculture of people who used psychedelic drugs such as LSD, psilocybin mushrooms, mescaline and DMT to experience visual and auditory hallucinations, synesthesia and altered states of consciousness. Psychedelic rock covers a wide range of styles, from the catchy pop-influenced songs of the Beatles and the Beach Boys to the dark and heavily distorted sounds of the 13th Floor Elevators and the Electric Prunes.

What is Psychedelic Rock?

Psychedelic rock is a type of rock music that emerged in the late 1960s and early 1970s, characterized by its experimentation with psychedelic drugs and hallucinogenic imagery. Psychedelic rock developed out of the subgenres of acid rock and psychedelic pop, and was influenced by Indian classical music, jazz, and folk music. Psychedelic rock reached its peak in popularity in the late 1960s, when it flourished in the underground music scene of the counterculture.

Psychedelic rock often makes use of extended improvisation, distorted guitars, feedback, tape effects, and complex studio techniques such as reverse engineering and sound collage. Some of the best-known examples of psychedelic rock include The Beatles’ Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band (1967), The Beach Boys’ Pet Sounds (1966), Pink Floyd’s The Piper at the Gates of Dawn (1967), The Jimi Hendrix Experience’s Are You Experienced (1967), The Doors’ The Doors (1967), Grateful Dead’s Anthem of the Sun (1968), and Jefferson Airplane’s Volunteers (1969).

Origins of Psychedelic Rock

Psychedelic rock, also referred to as psychedelia, is a diverse style of rock music that emerged in the mid-1960s. The genre is generally characterized by distorted guitars, lyrics about LSD and other psychedelic drugs, and feedback-drenched soundscapes.

The first wave of psychedelic rock was led by American bands such as the Grateful Dead, who blended blues and folk influences with extended improvisational jams and LSD-inspired lyrics. Other influential early psychedelic rock bands include the Jefferson Airplane and the 13th Floor Elevators. The British Invasion of the 1960s also produced a number of important psychedelic bands, including the Beatles, the Rolling Stones, and the Kinks.

Psychedelic rock began to lose its commercial appeal in the early 1970s, but the genre continued to be popular among underground music fans. In the 1980s and 1990s, a new generation of psychedelic bands emerged, including Spacemen 3, My Bloody Valentine, and Loop. These groups blendedpsychedelia with other styles such as noise rock, shoegaze, and post-punk.

The Best Psychedelic Rock Tapes

Psychedelic rock music first gained popularity in the 1960s, and it has been making a comeback in recent years. This type of music is characterized by its use of feedback, distorted guitars, and mind-altering lyrics. If you’re a fan of this genre, then you’ll want to check out some of the best psychedelic rock tapes.

The Grateful Dead – Live/Dead

Originally released in 1969, Live/Dead was the Grateful Dead’s third official live album. It was also their first live album to be commercially released in both stereo and mono. Recorded over the course of several live performances in early 1969, Live/Dead captures the Dead at the height of their powers as a psychedelic rock band.

Featuring extended jams on classics like “Dark Star” and “Turn On Your Lovelight,” Live/Dead is essential listening for any fan of the Grateful Dead or psychedelic rock. It’s also one of the best examples of the Dead’s legendary live improvisational skills, making it an essential part of any collection of live concert tapes.

Jimi Hendrix – Electric Ladyland

Jimi Hendrix’s 1968 double album Electric Ladyland is a psychedelic rock masterpiece. Taking cues from the Beatles’ Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, Hendrix created an ambitious work that incorporated everything from blues and rock to jazz and soul. The result is a sprawling, experimental work that is both eclectic and cohesive. Featuring guest appearances from Steve Winwood, Al Kooper, and Miles Davis, Electric Ladyland is a must-hear for fans of psychedelic rock.

Pink Floyd – Ummagumma

This landmark experimental double album from Pink Floyd is divided into two parts, with the first disc consisting of live recordings, and the second featuring studio material. The live tracks are culled from various concerts throughout 1968 and 1969, including their famous set at the BBC’s Maida Vale Studios. The studio side is a different beast entirely, with each band member contributing a solo composition, as well as an experimental collage piece. This is essential listening for any fan of psychedelic rock.


In conclusion, these are some of the best obscure psychedelic rock tapes that you can find. If you’re a fan of this genre, then you should definitely check out these tapes. You won’t be disappointed.

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