The Top 5 Psychedelic Rock Bands with a Lot of Flanger

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

Contributors: Andranick Tanguiane, Fred Lerdahl,


We’re taking a look at the top 5 psychedelic rock bands that make liberal use of the flanger effect. From the 60s to today, these bands have used the flanger to create some of the most iconic psychedelic sounds in rock history.

The Beatles

The Beatles were an English rock band formed in Liverpool in 1960. They became the most commercially successful and critically acclaimed act in the history of popular music. Their sound permeated pop culture for over a decade and their influence on the music industry is still felt today. The Beatles were known for their innovative and experimental approach to songwriting, as well as their use of new technologies in the recording studio. One of the most notable examples of this is their use of the flanger effect on several of their tracks. The flanger is an audio effect which produces a “swooshing” sound, and it was used extensively by The Beatles on tracks such as “Tomorrow Never Knows” and “I Am The Walrus”. The use of the flanger helped to create a unique sound for The Beatles, and it is one of the things that made them so influential.

The Rolling Stones

The Rolling Stones are an English rock band formed in London 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 Jones left the band less than a month before his death in 1969, having already been replaced by Mick Taylor, who remained until 1974.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’s departure, Ron Wood would be a member of the group until death in 2020.

The Rolling Stones were at the forefront of the British Invasion of bands that became popular in the US in 1964. They have released 30 studio albums, 23 live albums and numerous compilations. Let It Bleed (1969) was their first US No. 1 album. Sticky Fingers (1971) was the first of eight consecutive number one studio albums in the US charts, a record that still stands. In 1989 they were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame; in 2004 they ranked number 4 in Rolling Stone magazine’s 100 Greatest Artists of All Time list and number 38 on VH1’s 100 Greatest Artists of All Time list.

The Kinks

The Kinks were one of the most influential British rock bands of the 1960s. They were noted for their creative and innovative songwriting, and their use of feedback and distorted guitars. The Kinks are considered to be one of the first “psychedelic” rock bands, and their song “You Really Got Me” is often cited as an early examples of the use of distortion in rock music. The band was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1990.

The Who

The Who are an English rock band who were active between 1964 and 2017. The band consisted of Roger Daltrey (vocals, guitar, percussion), Pete Townshend (guitar, keyboards, vocals), John Entwistle (bass guitar, brass instruments, vocals) and Keith Moon (drums, vocals). They are considered one of the most influential rock bands of the 20th century and have sold over 100 million records worldwide.

The Who’s music was marked by the use of powerful vocals, aggressive instrumentation, and energetic live performances. They are credited with helping to pioneer the rock opera format with their albums Tommy (1969) and Quadrophenia (1973). The Who are also known for their hits such as “My Generation” (1965), “I Can’t Explain” (1965), ” Substitute” (1966), “Happy Jack” (1966), “I Can See for Miles” (1967), “Magic Bus”
(1968), “Pinball Wizard” (1969), “Won’t Get Fooled Again” (1971), and “You Better You Bet” (1981).

Led Zeppelin

Led Zeppelin is often cited as one of the most influential rock bands of all time. They were responsible for popularizing a number of different genres, including psychedelic rock, and their use of flanger was a major part of their sound. Led Zeppelin made extensive use of flanger on their fourth album, which is often considered to be one of the best rock albums of all time.

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