When Did Psychedelic Rock Start?

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

Contributors: Andranick Tanguiane, Fred Lerdahl,


Psychedelic rock is a style of rock music that is inspired or influenced by psychedelic culture and attempts to replicate and enhance the mind-altering experiences of psychedelic drugs. The genre originated in the mid-1960s with the British band The Beatles and their album Revolver.

The Birth of Psychedelic Rock

Psychedelic rock, also referred to as acid rock, is a style of music that became popular in the late 1960s. The genre is characterized by its use of drugs, particularly LSD, and is often associated with the counterculture of the 1960s. The early psychedelic rock bands were often inspired by Eastern music and philosophy, and they sought to replicate the experience of drug use in their music.

The Beatles and Drugs

The Beatles and Drugs
Psychedelic rock is a genre of rock music that achieved mainstream popularity in the 1960s.Its The Beatles who infused drugs with pop, thereby helping to create the zeitgeist of the Woodstock Nation and profoundly influencing subsequent generations.

The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test

In the fall of 1966, Ken Kesey and the Merry Pranksters traveled across America in a painted school bus, spreading their subversive message of turn on, tune in, drop out. Wired on LSD and armed with electronic music and light shows, the Pranksters threw parties called Acid Tests, launching the psychedelic era.

The Psychedelic Sound

The first time the term “psychedelic” was used to describe music was in 1965, when it was used in the liner notes of the album “The Psychedelic Experience” by the band The 13th Floor Elevators. The term was originally coined by psychiatrist Humphry Osmond in 1956. Psychedelic rock is a style of rock music that was inspired by psychedelic drugs such as LSD and psilocybin. The music is intended to replicate the experience of a psychedelic drug trip.

The San Francisco Sound

Psychedelic rock, also referred to as psychedelia, is a diverse style of rock music that emerged in the mid-1960s. The sound of psychedelic rock is often characterized by distorted guitars, druggy lyrics, and trippy sound effects. Psychedelic rock reached the height of its popularity in the 1967 Summer of Love, when thousands of young people gathered in San Francisco to listen to psychedelic bands such as The Grateful Dead and Jefferson Airplane. However, the genre was short-lived, and by the early 1970s, it had largely been replaced by more mellow styles such as soft rock and country-influenced singer-songwriter music.

British Psychedelia

The term “psychedelic” was first coined in the late 1950s by psychiatrist Humphry Osmond, when he was researching the effects of LSD. It comes from the Greek words psyche (“soul” or “mind”) and delein (“to manifest”), and can be translated as “mind-manifesting”. Psychedelic experiences are characterized by altered states of consciousness, often featuring intensified colors, smells and sounds.

Psychedelic rock is a subgenre of rock music that emerged in the mid-1960s. Musicians attempted to replicate and enhance the psychoactive effects of psychedelic drugs, such as LSD and psilocybin mushrooms. The genre often makes use of flamboyant and colorful visuals, including nautical imagery,Subgenres like acid rock incorporated elements of psychedelic pop and other styles to create a unique sound.

Psychedelic rock reached its peak popularity in the late 1960s, but continued to be influenced by other genres throughout the 1970s and into the 1980s. Some notable psychedelic rock bands include The Beatles, Pink Floyd, Jimi Hendrix Experience, Jefferson Airplane and The Doors.

The Legacy of Psychedelic Rock

Psychedelic rock, also known as “acid rock”, is a style of rock music that became popular in the late 1960s and early 1970s. The style is distinguished by a heavy use of distorted electric guitars, bass guitars, drums, and often provocative lyrics. Psychedelic rock developed out of the early British R&B and beat music scenes of the mid-1960s.

The Psychedelic Movement

Psychedelic rock, also occasionally called psychedelia, is a style of rock music characterized by the use of psychedelic themes, often musically represented by extended guitar solos, mind-altering lyrics, and an overall trippy feeling. The genre emerged during the mid-1960s with bands like the Beatles and the Rolling Stones dabbling in psychedelic sounds, but it truly came into its own in 1967, dubbed “The Summer of Love.” From there, Psychedelic Rock went on to influence everything from fashion to film to future musical genres.

The Summer of Love

Psychedelic rock, often shortened to psychedlia, is a diverse style of rock music that emerged in the mid-1960s. Its origins are often associated with the Southern California region, particularly Los Angeles and San Francisco. Psychedelic rock is generally characterized by distorted guitars, mind-altering lyrics, and extended instrumental solos that create an altered state of consciousness.

The term “psychedelic” was first coined in 1956 by psychologist Humphry Osmond. It comes from the Greek words “psyche,” meaning “soul,” and “delos,” meaning “clear.” The term was originally used to describe the effects of LSD, but it soon came to be associated with a wide range of mind-altering experiences.

Psychedelic music began to coalesce into a distinct genre in the mid-’60s, driven in part by the popularity of psychedelics like LSD and psilocybin mushrooms. A key moment in the history of psychedelic rock was the 1967 Summer of Love, when hundreds of thousands of young people converged on San Francisco’s Haight-Ashbury district in search of love, peace, and freedom. This countercultural movement spawned a new wave of psychedelic bands, including The Grateful Dead, Jefferson Airplane, and The Doors.

Psychedelic rock reached its commercial peak in 1967 with the release of The Beatles’ Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band. This groundbreaking album featured elaborate studio production techniques and psychedelic lyrics that captured the imagination of young people around the world. Sgt. Pepper’s was soon followed by other influential psychedelic albums like Pink Floyd’s The Piper at the Gates of Dawn (1967) and The Doors’ Strange Days (1967).

While psychedelia enjoyed a brief moment in the mainstream spotlight, it was largely pushed out by more traditional styles of rock in the early 1970s. Nevertheless, psychedlic rock continued to be popular among underground audiences, and it remains an influence on today’s indie and alternative scenes.

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