Underground Sixties Psychedelic Rock Goes Purple for Record Store Day

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

Contributors: Andranick Tanguiane, Fred Lerdahl,


For Record Store Day, underground psychedelic rockers are going purple! We spoke to some of the key players to find out more about this exciting new development.

The Rise of Psychedelic Rock

Psychedelic rock first made its way onto the music scene in the 1960s and has since been having a major resurgence in recent years. The genre is characterized by its use of distorted guitars, mind-altering lyrics, and mind-bending sound effects. Underground psychedelic rock bands like The Brian Jonestown Massacre and The Black Angels are leading the charge in this new wave of psychedelic rock.

The British Invasion

In 1964, a British Invasion of American shores began with the Fab Four landing in New York City and playing to screaming fans on The Ed Sullivan Show. But the Beatles were only the beginning. In the years that followed, bands like the Rolling Stones, the Kinks, Herman’s Hermits, and Dusty Springfield would dominate the American charts with their own brand of blues-influenced rock & roll. And while these acts would eventually have their own impact on psychedelic music, it was another British band that would serve as the catalyst for the genre’s transformation in the late ’60s.

The band was Cream, and their 1966 debut album Fresh Cream is widely regarded as one of the first psychedelic rock albums. It’s a spitefully heavy album rooted in blues but also featuring plenty of solos and extended jams that would come to be associated with psychedelia. Others followed suit: Jimi Hendrix’s Are You Experienced?, Pink Floyd’s The Piper at the Gates of Dawn, and The Rolling Stones’ Their Satanic Majesties Request all came out within months of each other in 1967 and were all hugely influential…

The Summer of Love

It was the summer of 1967, and young people across the United States gathered in Haight-Ashbury, San Francisco to celebrate peace, love, and music. This “Summer of Love” was defined by the counterculture movement and the psychedelic rock scene. Psychedelic rock emerged in the mid-1960s and was characterized by distorted sounds, extended improvisation, and drug-induced states. The genre was pioneered by bands like The Grateful Dead, Jefferson Airplane, and The Beatles.

As the popularity of psychedelic rock grew, so did its influence on fashion and lifestyle. The “flower power” movement reached its peak in 1967 with colorful clothing, long hair, and a focus on peace and love. This carefree attitude extended to the music as well, with lyrics that were often playful or nonsensical. Psychedelic rock quickly became the soundtrack of the counterculture movement.

Record Store Day is an annual event that celebrates independent record stores around the world. This year’s event will take place on April 13th, 2019. To celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Summer of Love, Record Store Day will be releasing a special limited edition purple vinyl pressing of The Beatles’ classic album Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band. This is a must-have for any fan of psychedelic rock!

The Psychedelic Sound

For one day only, on April 13th, psych-rockers the Purple Sun will be performing in record stores around the world to celebrate Record Store Day. The band will be playing a mix of originals and covers of songs by the likes of Jimi Hendrix, the Grateful Dead, and Pink Floyd.

The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test

In 1968, Tom Wolfe wrote The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test, an account of the exploits of Ken Kesey and the Merry Pranksters. The book popularized the term “acid test”, referring to the use of LSD during various events staged by the Pranksters designed to challenge social conventions.

Psychedelic Music Festivals

Psychedelic music is one of the most iconic genres of the 20th century. First gaining popularity in the 1960s, psychedelic music has since made a comeback in recent years with a new wave of artists and festivals.

Psychedelic music festivals are gatherings that celebrate this unique genre of music. Attendees can expect to see a variety of live performances, as well as stalls selling psychedelic-themed art and clothing. Some festivals also offer workshops on topics such as meditation and yoga.

If you’re interested in attending a psychedelic music festival, there are several to choose from around the world. The United States is home to several large festivals, including the San Francisco Psych Fest and LEVITATION in Austin, Texas. Europe also has several well-established festivals, such as Liverpool International Festival of Psychedelia and Psychedelic Network Festival in Italy.

No matter where you are in the world, there is sure to be a psychedelic music festival near you. So dust off your flower crown and get ready to groove to some trippy tunes!

The Legacy of Psychedelic Rock

Psychedelic rock was a subgenre of rock music that emerged in the 1960s. It was characterized by distorted guitars, acid rock instrumentation, and mind-altering lyrics. The genre is named after the psychedelic drugs such as LSD and psilocybin mushrooms, which were commonly used by the subculture that originated the music. Psychedelic rock reached its peak of popularity in the late 1960s, but the genre continued to influence rock music in the 1970s and beyond.

The Grateful Dead

The Grateful Dead was an American rock band formed in 1965 in Palo Alto, California. Ranging from quintet to septet, the band is known for its eclectic style, which fused elements of folk, bluegrass, country, jazz, blues, reggae, and rock. They also became well-known for their extended live jams, which featured improvisational passages that drew on each member’s eclectic influences. The Grateful Dead has sold more than 35 million albums worldwide.

Jimi Hendrix

Psychedelic rock, sometimes referred to as garage rock, is a subgenre of rock music that emerged in the mid-1960s. The style is distinguished by its use of distorted guitars, feedback, extended solos, and complex studio effects. It was developed during the Golden Age of Rock and Roll as artists sought to replicate the mind-altering experiences of psychedelic drugs such as LSD.

Psychedelic rock reached its peak popularity in the late 1960s with artists such as Jimi Hendrix, Pink Floyd, and The Grateful Dead. The genre began to fade in popularity in the early 1970s, but experienced a resurgence in the 1990s with bands such as Nirvana and Radiohead.

The term “psychedelic” is derived from the Greek word ψυχή (psyche), meaning “mind” or “soul”, and δηλείν (delein), meaning “to make visible, to reveal”. Psychedelic music attempts to replicate the experience of altered states of consciousness such as meditation, prayer, sleep or drug-induced states such as LSD trips.

The Return of Psychedelic Rock

Psychedelic rock made a comeback in a big way in the nineties, with the likes of The Smashing Pumpkins, Radiohead, and Nirvana all citing the sixties psychedelic era as a big influence on their sound. The popularity of the genre has only grown in recent years, with Tame Impala and The Black Keys producing some of the best-selling albums of the past decade.

Record Store Day

Psychedelic rock made a comeback this year for Record Store Day, with a number of classic 60s bands putting out limited edition vinyl releases. Among them were The Zombies, who released their 1968 album Odessey and Oracle on purple vinyl, and The Jimi Hendrix Experience, whose 1967 debut Are You Experienced? was pressed on red, white and blue vinyl.

The Zombies’ Odessey and Oracle is considered one of the greatest albums of all time, and it’s especially revered by psychedelic rock fans. The band’s keyboardist Rod Argent said that the album’s reissue on purple vinyl was a “tribute to all the wonderful record stores who have supported us over the years.”

The Jimi Hendrix Experience’s Are You Experienced? is another stone cold classic, and its reissue on red, white and blue vinyl is sure to be a hit with fans of the late guitar legend.

These are just two of the many classic psychedelic rock albums that were reissued on limited edition vinyl for Record Store Day. Other notable releases include The Doors’ self-titled debut album, The Grateful Dead’s Live/Dead, Pink Floyd’s Piper at the Gates of Dawn and Cream’s Disraeli Gears.

Psychedelic Rock Revival

Psychedelic music (sometimes called psychedelia) is a wide range of popular music styles and genres influenced by 1960s psychedelia, a subculture of people who used psychedelic drugs such as LSD, psilocybin mushrooms, mescaline and DMT to experience visual and auditory hallucinations, synesthesia and altered states of consciousness. Psychedelic music may also aim to enhance the experience of using these drugs.

Psychedelic rock is a diverse style of rock music inspired, influenced, or representative of psychedelic culture, which is centred on perception-altering hallucinogenic drugs. The music is intended to replicate and enhance the mind-altering experiences of psychedelic drugs, most notably LSD. Many psychedelic groups differ in style, and the label is often applied spuriously.

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