Psychedelic Rock in the 1990s

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Contributors: Andranick Tanguiane, Fred Lerdahl,


Psychedelic rock saw a resurgence in the 1990s with bands like The Smashing Pumpkins and Radiohead leading the charge.

The Birth of Psychedelic Rock

Psychedelic rock is a subgenre of rock music that emerged in the late 1960s and early 1970s. The style is typically characterized by distorted guitars, trippy lyrics, and drug-inspired themes. The first psychedelic rock band is generally considered to be The Grateful Dead.

The Beatles and the Birth of Psychedelic Rock

Psychedelic rock, sometimes called acid rock, reached its peak popularity in the late 1960s. Bands such as the Beatles, the Beach Boys, and the Byrds experimented with new sounds, instrumentation, and production techniques. The result was a uniquely psychedelic sound that was both innovative and influential.

The Beatles were perhaps the most important band in the development of psychedelic rock. Their 1966 album Revolver is often cited as the first truly psychedelic record. The album featured experimental techniques such as backwards tapes and distorted vocals. It also included several songs with explicit references to drug use, including “Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds” and “Day Tripper.”

The Beach Boys were another important band in the development of psychedelic rock. Their 1966 album Pet Sounds is often considered to be a direct influence on Revolver. Pet Sounds featured a similar mix of experimentation and drug references. The album’s most famous track, “Good Vibrations,” is a perfect example of the band’s psychedelic sound.

The Byrds were also an important band in the development of psychedelic rock. Their 1966 album Fifth Dimension featured several tracks that would later become classics of the genre, including “Eight Miles High” and “Mr. Tambourine Man.” The Byrds’ sound was a unique blend of folk-rock and psychedelia that influenced many later bands.

Psychedelic rock reached its commercial peak in 1967, with the release of several classic albums including Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band by the Beatles, Are You Experienced by Jimi Hendrix, Piper at the Gates of Dawn by Pink Floyd, and Grateful Dead by The Grateful Dead. After 1967,psychedelic rock began to decline in popularity, but many of its innovations would be continued by subsequent generations of musicians.

The Rolling Stones and Psychedelic Rock

The Rolling Stones, who were at the forefront of the British Invasion, began experimenting with psychedelic music on their 1966 album Aftermath. The album’s opener, “Paint It, Black,” became the first song by a British rock band to feature a sitar, played by Brian Jones. The song was a massive hit, reaching #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart in the United States.

The Stones’ 1967 album Their Satanic Majesties Request is often regarded as the band’s most overtly psychedelic production. The record features extensive use of Mellotron and other electronic instrumentation, as well as an unusual amount of studio experimentation for a mainstream rock release. In particular, the track “She’s a Rainbow” made significant use of sound effects and backward recordings.

Despite its commercial success, Their Satanic Majesties Request was not well-received by critics at the time and is now generally considered to be one of the band’s weaker efforts. Nonetheless, it remains an important document of psychedelia in popular music and influenced numerous subsequent psychedelic rock bands.

Psychedelic Rock in the 1970s

Psychedelic rock, also referred to as psyrock, is a subgenre of rock music that is characterized by the use of psychedelic effects, often distorted guitars, and trippy lyrics. Psychedelic rock reached its peak popularity in the late 1960s and early 1970s with bands such as The Grateful Dead and Pink Floyd.

The Grateful Dead and Psychedelic Rock

Psychedelic rock is a subgenre of rock music that emerged in the late 1960s and early 1970s with the goal of expanding the mind and sparking creativity. It often featured distorted guitars, extended solo jamming, and elaborate live performances. Psychedelic rock reached its pinnacle in the mid- to late-1960s with bands such as the Grateful Dead, Jefferson Airplane, and the Doors, but it soon lost commercial appeal and was replaced by heavier genres such as hard rock and metal.

In the 1990s, there was a renewed interest in psychedelic rock, led by band’s like Nirvana, Pearl Jam, and Red Hot Chili Peppers. While these band’s didn’t have the same commercial success as their 1960s counterparts, they helped to keep the spirit of psychedelic rock alive.

Pink Floyd and Psychedelic Rock

Pink Floyd was one of the most successful and influential bands of the psychedelic rock era. They initially gained popularity playing rhythm and blues-influenced rock music, but by the early 1970s, they had adopted a more experimental approach that drew on a wide range of influences, including avant-garde and electronic music. They became known for their lengthy, grandiose concept albums, which often explored themes of mental illness and social alienation.

The band’s 1974 album, “The Dark Side of the Moon”, became one of the best-selling albums of all time, and helped to cement their reputation as one of the leading purveyors of psychedelic rock. In the 1990s, Pink Floyd reformed with original members Roger Waters and David Gilmour, and released two critically acclaimed albums, “The Division Bell” (1994) and ” Echoes: The Best of Pink Floyd” (2001).

Psychedelic Rock in the 1980s

Psychedelic rock, also referred to as psychedelia, is a diverse style of rock music that was inspired, influenced, or representative of the subculture of psychedelia. Psychedelic rock reached its peak popularity in the late 1960s and early 1970s, but the genre saw a resurgence in the 1990s.

The Psychedelic Furs and Psychedelic Rock

The Psychedelic Furs are an English rock band that was founded in 1977. The founding members include brothers Richard and Tim Butler, who are the only members of the band to have remained with the group throughout its history. The Psychedelic Furs’ music has been described as a cross between punk rock and new wave, and the band has had a wide-ranging influence on popular culture.

Psychedelic rock is a style of rock music that originated in the late 1960s and early 1970s. Psychedelic rock is characterized by distorted guitars, mind-altering lyrics, and use of electronic effects such as reverberation and feedback. The Psychedelic Furs’ music contains all of these elements, and the band is considered to be one of the pioneers of the genre.

The Cure and Psychedelic Rock

The 1990s saw the revival of psychedelic rock, and The Cure were one of the leading bands in this genre. Psychedelic rock is a form of rock music that aims to replicate the experience of psychedelic drugs, typically through the use of extended jams, feedback, and distorted guitars. The style often incorporates elements of other genres, such as acid house, techno, and dub.

The Cure’s 1992 album Wish is considered by many to be a pinnacle of the genre; it features lengthy tracks such as “Open” and “From the Edge of the Deep Green Sea”, both of which clock in at over ten minutes. Other notable releases from The Cure include the singles “Lullaby” and “High”, both of which reached number one on the UK Singles Chart.

Psychedelic rock enjoyed a brief resurgence in popularity in the late 1990s and early 2000s thanks to bands such as The Flaming Lips, Spacemen 3, and Syd Barrett-era Pink Floyd. However, by the mid-2000s, the genre had once again fallen out of favor with most listeners.

Psychedelic Rock in the 1990s

Psychedelic rock, also known as Psychedelic, is a style of rock music characterized by imaginative or idiosyncratic lyrics, distorted guitars, and trippy sound effects. The term “psychedelic” is derived from the Greek word ψυχή (psyche, “soul, mind”) and δηλείν (delein, “to manifest”), and was first coined by British psychologist Humphry Osmond in 1956. Psychedelic rock reached its peak popularity in the late 1960s, but declined rapidly in the early 1970s.

Nirvana and Psychedelic Rock

Psychedelic rock enjoyed a brief but influential resurgence in the early 1990s, led by Nirvana and other grunge bands from Seattle. These bands brought the sounds and aesthetics of 1960s psychedelia back to the mainstream, resulting in a new wave of psychedelic music that was rawer and more aggressive than its predecessors.

Nirvana’s success marked the end of the 80s “hair metal” scene, but also brought with it a new wave of mainstream interest inpsychedelic music. As a result, many 90s bands were influenced by the sounds and styles of psychedelic rock, even if they didn’t necessarily embrace the countercultural values associated with it. Some of these bands, like Pearl Jam and Stone Temple Pilots, went on to have huge commercial success, while others, like L7 and Mudhoney, remained cult favorites.

In the years since its initial surge in popularity,psychedelic rock has once again retreated to the underground, but the influence of Nirvana and other 90s grunge bands can still be heard in the music of today.

Pearl Jam and Psychedelic Rock

Psychedelic rock reached its peak of popularity in the 1990s with the rise of grunge and alternative rock. Pearl Jam, who initially found success with their 1991 album Ten, began to experiment with psychedelic sounds on later releases. In particular, their 1994 album Vitalogy featured a number of psychedelic-influenced tracks, such as “Spin the Black Circle” and “Not for You.” Other popular grunge and alternative bands of the 1990s, such as Nirvana, Alice in Chains, and Smashing Pumpkins, also incorporated psychedelic elements into their music.

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