The Best Psychedelic Rock Compilations

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 compilations to get you started on your musical journey.

Best of the 60s

If you’re looking for the best psychedelic rock compilations of the 60s, you’ve come to the right place. This list includes some of the most influential and classic psychedelic rock albums of all time.

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

Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band is the eighth studio album by the English rock band the Beatles, released on 26 May 1967 on EMI’s Parlophone label and produced by George Martin. It was first released in a mono pressing on black vinyl. A stereo pressing was issued on 14 June 1967 along with initial mono release in the United States by Capitol Records. It won four Grammy Awards in 1968, including Album of the Year, the first rock album to receive this honour.

In August 1966, the Beatles permanently retired from touring following the disastrous roof-top concert at their Apple Corps offices in London’s West End. They decided to focus their energies on writing and recording music for a new album, using time at Abbey Road Studios in London when it was available. The sessions began on 24 November 1966, and after a frustrating start where they considered scrap everything and start from scratch, they recorded “Strawberry Fields Forever” and “Penny Lane” as their first new songs of 1967.

The double A-side single “Strawberry Fields Forever” / “Penny Lane” was released on 17 February 1967; both reached number one on the UK Singles Chart. These two songs would eventually be part of Sgt. Pepper, but only after much creative debate and numerous re-recordings. The album was originally planned as a concept album featuring an imaginary band – hence the usage of quotation marks around the Sgt. Pepper title – but this idea was abandoned during recording sessions.

On 1 April 1967 – which many believe to be an April Fool’s Day joke – a press release issued on behalf of EMI announced that Paul McCartney had died in a car accident three years prior; he was supposedly hit by a bus while crossing Wimpole Street in London while looking down to check for fan mail in his car’s passenger seat. The hoax caused significant reaction among fans and newspaper columnists; McCartney later joked about it saying that he “got fed up with reading [my] own obituaries”.

The Beach Boys – Pet Sounds

The Beach Boys – Pet Sounds

“…while the Lovely Sound of the 60s Psychedelic Rock might have been just a fleeting memory for many, the Best Psychedelic Rock Albums of that Era still remain as strong and timeless examples of what made the genre so special.”

From, these are the Best Psychedelic Rock Albums of the 60s:

1. The Beach Boys – Pet Sounds (1966)
2. The Beatles – Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band (1967)
3. The Jimi Hendrix Experience – Are You Experienced? (1967)
4. Pink Floyd – The Piper at the Gates of Dawn (1967)
5. The Doors – The Doors (1967)
6. Love – Forever Changes (1967)
7. The Grateful Dead – Anthem of the Sun (1968)
8. Cream – Wheels of Fire (1968)
9. Deep Purple – In Rock (1970)

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

Despite limited commercial success, The Doors exerted a considerable influence on popular music. The band has been praised for its innovative music and its ability to fuse different genres, including blues rock, psychedelia, and acid rock. It was one of the first American bands to incorporate classical influences and Eastern influences into their music.

The Doors are seen as one of the most important and influential rock bands of all time. They were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1993 and ranked number 41 on Rolling Stone magazine’s list of the “100 Greatest Artists of All Time”. In 2002, Manzarek and Krieger started a new band called Riders on the Storm.

Best of the 70s

These are the times when music was all about peace, love, and going against the establishment. The psychedelic rock compilations on this list represent the best of the best from this amazing decade. If you’re looking to take a trip down memory lane, or just want to discover some great music, these compilations are a must-listen.

Pink Floyd – Dark Side of the Moon

In 1973, Pink Floyd released Dark Side of the Moon, which is often cited as one of the greatest and most influential albums of all time. The album was a commercial and critical success, spending 741 weeks on the Billboard 200 chart (including 591 weeks in the top 10), and selling an estimated 50 million copies worldwide. In 1992, it was inducted into the National Recording Registry by the Library of Congress for being “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant”.

Led Zeppelin – Physical Graffiti

Led Zeppelin’s Physical Graffiti was released on February 24, 1975 and is the band’s sixth studio album. The double album is a compilation of unused tracks from earlier recording sessions, as well as new material. It was originally going to be a single album, but due to the abundance of good material, the band decided to make it a double album. It is one of their most popular albums, and contains some of their most well-known songs, such as “Kashmir” and “In My Time of Dying.”

The Rolling Stones – Exile on Main St.

The Rolling Stones – Exile on Main St.

The Beatles – Abbey Road

David Bowie – The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars

Pink Floyd – The Dark Side of the Moon

Led Zeppelin – Physical Graffiti

The Who – Who’s Next

Queen – A Night at the Opera

Best of the 80s

Psychedelic Rock music first came to prominence in the late 1960s and continued to be popular in the 1970s. The genre is characterized by extended guitar solos, complex song structures, and often surreal or politically-charged lyrics. If you’re a fan of psychedelic rock, then you’ll love these compilation albums.

R.E.M. – Murmur

R.E.M.’s debut album, Murmur, was released in 1983 to widespread critical acclaim. The album was recorded in just a few weeks, and its low-fi sound and jangly guitars would come to define the band’s signature sound. Murmur is an essential album of the 1980s, and it remains one of R.E.M.’s best-loved albums to this day.

The Smiths – The Queen Is Dead

The Smiths were one of the most influential British bands of the 1980s, and The Queen Is Dead is often cited as their best album. Released in 1986, it captures the band at the height of their powers, with Morrisey’s biting lyrics and Marr’s jangly guitar work coming together to create a timeless record. While it may not be as overtly psychedelic as some of the other records on this list, The Queen Is Dead is a essential listening for any fan of ‘80s rock.

Talking Heads – Remain in Light

This is the album that cemented Talking Heads’ reputation as America’s finest art-rock band. It also happens to be one of the most thrilling, inventive and downright weirdest records ever made. David Byrne took his nerdy white-boy new-wave shtick as far as it would go on Remain in Light, fashioning a kind of ersatz African-funk by layering overdubbed percussion tracks, sinewy basslines and jagged guitar over hypnotic grooves. The result was both alienating and exhilarating – and remains so today.

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