The Best Psychedelic Rock Music of All Time

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 songs of all time, as voted on by the Ranker community. This list includes classic hits like “In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida” and “Paint It Black.”

The Beatles – “A Day in the Life”

In “A Day in the Life,” The Beatles created one of the most iconic psychedelic songs of all time. The song is based on a newspaper article John Lennon read about an everyday man who died tragically. The lyrics are cryptic and open to interpretation, which only adds to the song’s enigmatic appeal. The arrangement is complex and features some of the most innovative production techniques of the time, including backwards recordings and tape loops. The result is a timeless classic that still sounds fresh today.

The Beach Boys – “Good Vibrations”

It’s hard to believe that “Good Vibrations” is almost 50 years old. The Beach Boys classic was released in 1966 and became an instant hit, staying at the top of the charts for six weeks. It’s one of those perfect pop songs, with a catchy hook and innovative production. The song was produced by Brian Wilson, who used a theremin to create the famed “woooo-ooo-ooo” sound. The Beach Boys were at the forefront of the psychedelic rock movement, and “Good Vibrations” is a perfect example of their psychedelic sound.

Pink Floyd – “Another Brick in the Wall”

Roger Waters wrote “Another Brick in the Wall” while Pink Floyd were suffering creative and personal difficulties during the recording of their album The Wall. He used the song as a way of expression his feelings of alienation, and it quickly became one of the most popular songs on the album. The song is sung by a schoolteacher to his pupils, and it reflects Waters’ own experiences as a teacher. The lyrics are critical of the education system, and they led to the song being banned in several countries. Despite this, “Another Brick in the Wall” was a huge commercial success, and it remains one of Pink Floyd’s most iconic songs.

The Doors – “Light My Fire”

The Doors’ debut album, released in 1967, is one of the most influential debuts in rock history. “Light My Fire” was the first single off of that album, and it quickly became a #1 hit. The song is an example of the perfect psychedelic rock song – it has a catchy hook, it’s psychedelic without being too “trippy,” and it features some great guitar work from Jim Morrison.

Jimi Hendrix – “Purple Haze”

psychedelia was always about expanding your mind, and no one expanded minds quite like Jimi Hendrix. On “Purple Haze,” the second single from his 1967 debut album, Are You Experienced?, Hendrix takes the listener on a trip with his signature mix of blistering guitar work and trippy lyrics. The song would go on to become one of Hendrix’s most popular and enduring hits, perfectly encapsulating the psychedelic experience.

Janis Joplin – “Piece of My Heart”

Considered one of the greatest singers of her generation, Janis Joplin’s powerful voice and emotive delivery made her a counterculture icon in the late 1960s. While she is best known for her work with Big Brother and the Holding Company, she also had a successful solo career, culminating in her posthumously released album, Pearl. “Piece of My Heart” was originally written by Jerry Ragavoy and Bert Berns and recorded by Erma Franklin in 1967. However, it was Joplin’s 1968 cover that made it a hit, reaching number twelve on the Billboard Hot 100.

The Grateful Dead – “Touch of Grey”

The Grateful Dead was an American rock band formed in 1965 in the San Francisco Bay Area. The band was known for its unique and eclectic style, which fused elements of rock, folk, bluegrass, blues, reggae, country, jazz, and space rock. They were considered one of the most influential bands of the 1960s and ’70s.

“Touch of Grey” is a song by the Grateful Dead. It was released as a single in 1987 and reached #9 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. The song was written by Jerry Garcia and Robert Hunter.

Led Zeppelin – “Kashmir”

One of the most iconic and well-known bands of all time, Led Zeppelin was responsible for some of the most influential and groundbreaking music in rock history. “Kashmir” is one of their most famous and well-loved songs, and for good reason – it’s an absolutely beautiful and mesmerizing track that perfectly captures the essence of psychedelic rock.

The Rolling Stones – “Gimme Shelter”

The Rolling Stones – “Gimme Shelter”
The greatest psychedelic rock song of all time is The Rolling Stones’ “Gimme Shelter.” The song was released in 1969 on the band’s album Let it Bleed. The song features some of the most iconic guitar work by Mick Taylor and Keith Richards, as well as one of the most memorable performances by Merry Clayton. The song is a perfect example of how The Rolling Stones were able to take the blues and infuse it with a new level of energy and excitement.

Cream – “Crossroads”

Cream was a British rock band formed in London in 1966. The group consisted of bassist Jack Bruce, guitarist Eric Clapton, and drummer Ginger Baker. They were one of the first supergroups and are widely regarded as one of the greatest bands of all time.

“Crossroads” is a song written by Robert Johnson in 1936. It was first recorded by Johnson in 1937 and has been covered by many artists, including Cream. Clapton’s version is the most famous and is often cited as one of the greatest rock songs of all time.

The song is about a man who makes a deal with the devil at a crossroads. Johnson’s original is a slow, 12-bar blues, but Cream’s version is an uptempo rock song. It features an extended guitar solo from Clapton and is one of the highlights of their live show.

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