The Best Psychedelic Rock Bands of 2017

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

Contributors: Andranick Tanguiane, Fred Lerdahl,


A comprehensive guide to the best psychedelic rock bands of 2017.

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 unique and among the most controversial and influential rock acts of the 1960s, mostly because of Morrison’s lyrics and charismatic but unpredictable stage persona. After the lead singer’s death in 1971 at age 27, the remaining members continued as a trio until finally disbanding in 1973.

Although the Doors’ active lifespan was only about four years, they released eight albums and had many hit songs. Their self-titled debut album was released in 1967 and reached No. 2 on the Billboard 200; it included their breakthrough single “Light My Fire” which topped the charts for three weeks (and was later ranked number 35 on Rolling Stone ‘​s 500 Greatest Songs of All Time list). The second album, Strange Days (1967), which reached No. 3 on the Billboard 200, featured several additional hits including “People Are Strange”, “Love Me Two Times”, “Hello, I Love You”, “Touch Me”, and their signature song “Riders on the Storm”. The band’s next two albums—Waiting for the Sun (1968) and The Soft Parade (1969)—were also commercial successes. Morrison died at age 27 in Paris during work on what would have been their ninth studio album L.A. Woman; insufficient material was left for a LP release after his death so a compilation album featuring previously unreleased tracks along with some singles was issued as an album instead.

The Doors were one of the most popular rock bands of their era,[1][2] selling over 100 million records worldwide,[3][4] two of them being ranked by Rolling Stone magazine at number 167 – The Doors (No. 42 in 2003) and Strange Days (No. 425 in 2004) – on its 2003 list of “The 500 Greatest Albums of All Time”.[5] In 2002 they were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.[6][7][8] pawn shop

Jimi Hendrix

psychedlic music saw a resurgence in popularity in the 2010s, with bands like Tame Impala, The Black Angels, and The Brian Jonestown Massacre leading the charge. But there’s one band that will always be synonymous with psychedelia: Jimi Hendrix.

Hendrix was a true pioneer of the genre, fusing elements of blues, R&B, and rock to create a sound that was absolutely unique. His debut album, Are You Experienced?, is widely considered to be one of the greatest debut albums of all time, and contains some of Hendrix’s most iconic tracks, like “Purple Haze” and “Fire”.

If you’re looking for a true psychedelia experience, there’s no one better than Jimi Hendrix.

The Grateful Dead

The Grateful Dead was an American rock band formed in 1965 in San Francisco. The band is known for its long, improvisational jams, and for its devoted fan base, known as “Deadheads.” The band was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1994 and their 1977 live album, _Grateful Dead Live at Cornell 5/8/77_ is considered one of the greatest live concert albums ever made. The Grateful Dead has sold more than 35 million albums worldwide.

Janis Joplin

Janis Joplin was one of the most successful and influential rock stars of her era. She was a pioneer in the development of the psychedelic sound that would dominate rock music in the late 1960s and early 1970s. Joplin’s unique, powerful voice was a major force in the development of the psychedelic rock genre. She was a member of the legendary band Big Brother and the Holding Company, which was one of the first major bands to popularize psychedelic rock. Joplin’s solo career was short-lived, but highly successful. She released three albums before her untimely death in 1970. These albums, including her masterpiece Pearl, remain some of the most influential and iconic records in rock history.

Jefferson Airplane

Jefferson Airplane was one of the most influential psychedelic bands of the 1960s. Their 1967 album Surrealistic Pillow is a classic of the genre, and their live performances were legendary. The band continued to release successful albums throughout the 1970s, but internal tensions led to their breakup in 1979.

The Kinks

Formed in Muswell Hill, North London, in 1964, The Kinks are one of the most influential rock bands of the 1960s. The group’s distinctive sound was a major influence on the development of both British Invasion and garage rock. They also had a significant impact on punk rock, new wave, and power pop. With their catchy tunes, sharp wit, and social commentary, The Kinks were one of the first bands to bring a uniquely British perspective to American rock & roll.

The Kinks are often cited as an influence by some of the most popular rock bands of the last few decades, including the Beatles, the Rolling Stones, Led Zeppelin, Queen, David Bowie, Blur, Oasis, Elastica, Pulp, and Arctic Monkeys. In 2003, they were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

Led Zeppelin

When it comes to rock bands, there are few as iconic as Led Zeppelin. The band formed in 1968 and went on to release some of the most popular and influential rock albums of all time. Their music is characterized by powerful guitar riffs, thundering drums, and Robert Plant’s soaring vocals. Led Zeppelin is one of the best-selling bands of all time, and they continue to be hugely popular even today. If you’re a fan of psychedelic rock, then Led Zeppelin is a must-listen.

The Moody Blues

The Moody Blues are an English rock band formed in Birmingham in 1964, best known for their 1967 hit “Nights in White Satin”. The band consists of Justin Hayward (guitar, vocals), John Lodge (bass guitar, vocals), Graeme Edge (drums, percussion, lyrics), and for most of their recording history as a quintet featuring Mike Pinder (keyboards, mellotron) and Denny Laine (guitar, vocals). The group has sold in excess of 70 million records worldwide and has been awarded 18 platinum and gold discs.

Pink Floyd

Pink Floyd is one of the most well-known and influential psychedelic rock bands of all time. Formed in London in 1965, the band is composed of Syd Barrett, Roger Waters, Nick Mason, and Rick Wright. The group’s primary songwriter and vocalist, Barrett, left the band in 1968 due to mental health problems, but the remaining members continued to produce some of the most groundbreaking and iconic rock music of all time.

Pink Floyd is perhaps most famous for their concept album “The Dark Side of the Moon”, which was released in 1973 and spent 741 weeks on the Billboard 200 chart. The album’s themes of insanity, death, and conflict resonated with millions of fans around the world, and it remains one of the best-selling albums of all time. Other popular Pink Floyd albums include “The Wall” (1979), “Animals” (1977), and “Wish You Were Here” (1975).

In 2005, Pink Floyd were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, and they continue to be revered as one of the greatest rock bands ever.

The Rolling Stones

The Rolling Stones are an English rock band formed in London, England, 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). The band’s primary songwriters, Jagger and Richards, assumed leadership after Andrew Loog Oldham became the group’s manager. Jones left the band less than a month before his death in 1969, having already been replaced by Mick Taylor, who remained until 1974. After Taylor left the band, Ronnie Wood took his place in 1975 and continues on guitar in tandem with Richards. Following Wyman’s departure in 1993, Darryl Jones joined as their touring bassist. Other notable keyboardists for the band have been Nicky Hopkins, Billy Preston, Ian McLagan, and Chuck Leavell.

The Who

The Who is an English rock band that was formed in 1964. The group consists of singer Roger Daltrey, guitarist and singer Pete Townshend, bassist John Entwistle, and drummer Keith Moon. They are considered to be one of the most influential rock bands of the 20th century, selling over 100 million records worldwide. The Who is also known for their live performances, which often featured destruction of their instruments.

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