The Great Beyond: Psychedelic Rock

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

Contributors: Andranick Tanguiane, Fred Lerdahl,


The Great Beyond is a site dedicated to Psychedelic Rock. This is the place to come to find out about the latest news, reviews and interviews with the people who make this music happen.

The 60s and the Birth of Psychedelic Rock

Psychedelic rock, also called psychedelic rock, is a subgenre of rock music that originated in the late 1960s and reached its peak popularity in the mid-1970s. The genre is marked by a heavy use of distorted guitars, psychedelic effects, and trippy lyrics.

The Beatles and the British Invasion

The Beatles were not the only British Invasion band to flirted with psychedelia. The Who’s “I Can See for Miles” (1967) used a commercial radio jingle as a starting point for a stream-of-consciousness narrative delivered in a pinched, sarcastic tone by Roger Daltrey. The Moody Blues’ “Nights in White Satin” (1967), with its bombastic orchestra and Justin Hayward’s otherworldly vocals, was an instant classic that conveyed a heady sense of mysticism. The Kinks’ “Waterloo Sunset” (1967) was similarly elegant, with a beautiful, yearning melody and lyrics by Ray Davies that paid tribute to the city of London (“Dirty old river, must you keep rolling/Flowing into the night”).

The Summer of Love

In the late summer of 1967, some 50,000 young people converged on the Haight-Ashbury district of San Francisco, drawn by the phenomenon known as the “San Francisco Sound.” The Grateful Dead, Jefferson Airplane, Big Brother and the Holding Company featuring Janis Joplin, and other local bands were at the forefront of a musical and cultural revolution that changed the course of popular music.

The music of the “San Francisco Sound” was rooted in blues and folk, but it also drew on Indian ragas, playing with time signatures and experimenting with extended improvisation. The psychedelic (or mind-altering) drugs that were widely available in San Francisco’s Haight-Ashbury district also played a role in shaping the sound of this new music.

Psychedelic drugs such as LSD and psilocybin mushrooms were used by many in the counterculture to expand their consciousness and explore new states of mind. For some musicians, these drugs became a tool for pushing sonic boundaries and expanding the possibilities of popular music.

The Summer of Love was a moment when all these elements came together to create something new and exciting. The energy and idealism of the hippie movement combined with innovative music and mind-expanding drugs to create a truly unique moment in history.

Psychedelic Rock in the 70s

Psychedelic rock is a subgenre of rock music that emerged in the late 1960s and early 1970s. The genre is known for its association with drug culture and for its distinctive sound, which includes elements of feedback, distorted guitars, and extended solos. Psychedelic rock reached its commercial peak in the mid-1970s with groups such as the Eagles, Led Zeppelin, and Pink Floyd.

The Dark Side of the Moon

The release of The Dark Side of the Moon in 1973 was a watershed moment in the history of rock music. The album cemented Pink Floyd’s reputation as one of the most innovative and exciting bands of their generation, and its success ensured that the band would be a force to be reckoned with for years to come.

The album’s title track is perhaps its most famous, and it is certainly one of the most iconic songs of the 1970s. The song is a perfect example of Pink Floyd’s ability to create atmospheric, otherworldly soundscapes, and its popularity has only increased in the decades since its release.

While The Dark Side of the Moon is undoubtedly a classic album, it is not without its detractors. Some have accused the band of self-indulgence, and there are those who feel that the album’s length (over 73 minutes) makes it difficult to appreciate as a whole. Nonetheless, The Dark Side of the Moon remains one of the most important and influential albums of all time, and its impact can still be felt today.

The Rise of Punk Rock

In the mid-1970s, punk rock developed as a reaction against the perceived excesses of psychedelic and art rock. Punk soon became an underground phenomenon in the United Kingdom, with bands such as the Pistols, the Clash, and the Damned. The DIY ethic of punk rock underpinned its politics; unlike previous rock music, which was produced by professionals for a mass market, punk was created by musicians who were often unemployed and recorded in small independent studios. This aesthetic influenced subsequent generations of indie music.

Psychedelic Rock in the 80s and 90s

Psychedelic rock, also called psych rock, is a type of rock music that emerged in the late 1960s. The style is often characterized by a heavy use of repetition, extended jams, distorted guitars, and irregular time signatures. If you’re a fan of Pink Floyd, you’ve probably heard of psychedelic rock. But the genre didn’t just stop there. In the 1980s and 1990s, psychedelic rock made a comeback with a new generation of bands.

The Second British Invasion

In the 1980s, Psychedelic Rock made a comeback with the help of a new wave of British bands. These “neo-psychedelic” groups were influenced by the original Psychedelic Rock bands of the 1960s, but they also incorporated elements of Punk Rock and New Wave. The most successful neo-psychedelic band was The Stone Roses, whose 1989 debut album became an instant classic. Other notable neo-psychedelic bands include The Charlatans, Happy Mondays, Ride, and My Bloody Valentine.

The Grunge Movement

Grunge was a subgenre of rock that emerged in the Pacific Northwest United States in the late 1980s and became a major part of the alternative rock movement in the early 1990s. The term grunge was first used to describe the music ofSeattle-based bands such as Nirvana, Pearl Jam, Soundgarden, and Alice in Chains.

Grunge is characterized by its heavy, distorted guitars, dark or moody lyrics, and lack of polish or pretension. Grunge songs are often about anger, alienation, and despair. The genre became commercially successful in the early 1990s with the release of Nirvana’s album Nevermind and Pearl Jam’s album Ten.

The popularity of grunge led to a backlash against the mainstream music industry and created an opportunity for independent labels and artists to flourish. Grunge was also a major influence on subsequent genres such as emo and post-hardcore.

Psychedelic Rock Today

Psychedelic rock is a style of rock music that originated in the late 1960s. It is characterized by its use of distorted guitars, feedback, and techniques such as extended solos and improvisation. The genre is often associated with the counterculture of the 1960s.

The Revival of Psychedelic Rock

Psychedelic rock, also referred to as psychedelia, is a diverse style of rock music that emerged in the mid-1960s. The style is characterized by a preoccupation with sonic experimentation, extended modal harmonies, unusual instrumentation, and often-repetitive or elegiac structures. Psychedelic music attempted to replicate the experience of altered states of consciousness, often achieved through the use of drugs such as cannabis, psilocybin mushrooms, and LSD.

In the 2010s, there has been a revival of interest in psychedelic rock. Acts such as Tame Impala and The Black Angels have revitalized the genre while staying true to its psychedelic roots. These bands have been able to reach a wider audience than their predecessors thanks to the internet and social media. They have also benefited from the popularity of vintage clothing and furniture, which has helped create an aesthetic for the genre.

The New Psychedelic Rock

Psychedelic rock is a subgenre of rock music that originated in the late 1960s and early 1970s. Psychedelic rock is often characterized by extended instrumentation, unusual or imaginary lyrics, and the use of drug references and strong visual imagery.

The new psychedelic rock is a subgenre of alternative rock that developed in the late 1990s and 2000s. The new psychedelic rock sound incorporates elements of classic psychedelic rock, as well as other genres such as shoegaze, dream pop, noise pop, and post-rock.

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