Who Created Psychedelic Rock?

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

Contributors: Andranick Tanguiane, Fred Lerdahl,


Who created psychedelic rock? This is a question that has been debated for years. While there is no clear answer, there are a few artists who are often credited with popularizing this musical genre.

Jimi Hendrix

Psychedelic rock is a style of rock music that is inspired or influenced by psychedelic culture, such as that of the late 1960s and early 1970s. Psychedelic rock music attempts to replicate or enhance the experience of psychedelic drugs, often through the use of instruments such as feedback-laden electric guitars, tape effects like backward masking, and sitar.

The Beatles

Psychedelic rock, sometimes called acid rock, reached its height of popularity in the mid- to late 1960s, propelled by classic recordings from The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, and The Jimi Hendrix Experience. While each of these artists brought a slightly different approach to psychedelic rock, they all shared a common interest in expanding the sonic possibilities of the genre and using mind-altering drugs as a means of musical and spiritual exploration.

The Beatles were the first major group to fully embrace psychedelia with their 1967 album Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band. This record was a radical departure from anything the band had ever done before, featuring complex arrangements, heavily processed vocals, and experimental production techniques that pushed the boundaries of what was possible in rock music. The album was an instant classic, and it inspired other artists to start experimenting with similar sounds.

The Rolling Stones followed suit with their 1968 album Beggars Banquet, which featured the groundbreaking single “Sympathy for the Devil.” This song combined elements of psychedelic rock with African rhythms and textures, creating a unique and influential sound. The Stones continued to experiment with psychedelia on subsequent albums like 1969’s Let It Bleed and 1971’s Sticky Fingers.

And finally, Jimi Hendrix took psychedelic rock to new heights with his 1967 debut album Are You Experienced? This record featured some of Hendrix’s most famous songs, including “Purple Haze” and “Foxy Lady.” Hendrix’s innovative guitar playing and otherworldly stage presence made him one of the most popular musicians of his generation, and his influence can still be felt in modern psychedelic rock bands like Tame Impala and Warpaint.

The Rolling Stones

The Rolling Stones were one of the first bands to really experiment with psychedelic sounds in their music. They achieved this by using echo and feedback, as well as different combinations of instruments. The song “Paint It Black” is a good example of how the Stones incorporated psychedelia into their music.


Psychedelic rock, also referred to as acid rock or simply psychedelia, is a style of popular music that emerged in the mid-1960s. Musicians began to experiment with mind-altering substances, such as LSD and mushrooms, in an attempt to create a more “trippy” sound. The resulting music was often characterized by extended improvisation, distorted guitars, and drug-inspired lyrics.

The Beatles were at the forefront of the psychedelic movement, with their iconic album Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band serving as the genre’s defining work. However, it was British band Cream who truly brought psychedelic rock to the mainstream with their 1967 hit “Sunshine of Your Love.” Cream combined elements of blues and hard rock to create a sound that was both pioneering and commercially successful. Other notable psychedlica acts include The Jimi Hendrix Experience, The Doors, and Pink Floyd.

Pink Floyd

Throughout the history of rock music, there have been a number of bands and artists who have been credited with creating or heavily influenced the psychedelic rock genre. One of the most influential and well-known of these bands is Pink Floyd.

Pink Floyd was formed in 1965 by Syd Barrett, Roger Waters, Nick Mason, and Richard Wright. Barrett is generally considered to be the mastermind behind the band’s unique sound, which incorporated elements of both psychedelia and experimental music.

The band’s debut album, The Piper at the Gates of Dawn, was released in 1967 and is considered by many to be a landmark psychedelic rock album. It includes such classic tracks as “Astronomy Domine” and “Interstellar Overdrive.”

Pink Floyd continued to experiment with their sound on subsequent albums like 1968’s A Saucerful of Secrets and 1969’s More. They also began to explore more dark and personal themes on albums like 1971’s Meddle and 1973’s The Dark Side of the Moon, which is widely considered to be one of the greatest albums ever made.

The band’s later work would see them move away from their psychedelic roots, but their early work remains some of the most influential and innovative in all of rock music.

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