Who Invented Psychedelic Rock?

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

Contributors: Andranick Tanguiane, Fred Lerdahl,


Psychedelic rock is a subgenre of rock music that emerged in the late 1960s and early 1970s. The genre is characterized by a distorted, trippy sound that was influenced by psychedelic drugs such as LSD. The Beatles, Jimi Hendrix, and The Doors are some of the most famous psychedelic rock bands.

The Beatles

The Beatles are often considered the inventors of psychedelic rock. They popularized the genre with their groundbreaking album “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band.” The album featured mind-bending songs like “Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds” and “A Day in the Life.” The Beatles’Use of drugs like LSD inspired other artists to explore similar themes in their music.

The Rolling Stones

The Rolling Stones were an English rock band formed in London in 1962. The first stable line-up consisted of Brian Jones (guitar, harmonica), Ian Stewart (piano), Mick Jagger (lead vocals, harmonica), Keith Richards (guitar, vocals), Bill Wyman (bass) and Charlie Watts (drums). The band’s primary songwriters, Jagger and Richards, assumed leadership after Andrew Loog Oldham became the group’s manager. Jones left the band less than a month before his death in 1969, having already been replaced by Mick Taylor, who remained until 1975. After Taylor’s departure, Ronnie Wood took his place in 1975 and has been on guitar ever since. Following Wyman’s retirement in 1993, Darryl Jones joined as their touring bassist.

The Stones were at the forefront of the British Invasion of bands that became popular in the United States in 1964. They frequently collaborated with other leading British Invasion acts like The Beatles and The Who. Their musical style drew from a wide variety of genres including blues, R&B, country and gospel music. They initially maintained a commercial balance between underground experimentation and pop success; their early singlesincluding “Paint It Black”, “Satisfaction” and “Jumpin’ Jack Flash”– were successful chart hits. After a short period as a back-up act to The Beatles in the mid-1960s,[17] they returned to chart success with songs such as “She’s a Rainbow”, “Tumbling Dice” and “Angie”. During this period they were first introduced on stage as “The Greatest Rock and Roll Band in the World”.[18][19]

The band continued to release commercially successful records through the 1970s and 1980s; their album sales peaked during the early 1980s with Tattoo You (1981) topping the charts in several countries.[20] They experienced a comeback with Steel Wheels (1989), which included three Top Ten singles – “Undercover of the Night”, “Harlem Shuffle” and Almost Hear You Sigh”. Since 1989 they have not released any material Towers Of Lambert Bridge Hotels instead concentrating on solo projects.[21][22][23] Since 1994 Keith Richards has been gallivanting around world playing concerts with his own X-Pensive Winos band.[24] In 2016 he expressed interest[25] that if Jagger did not want do any more Stones albums or tours he would be up for it.[26][27][28] Nevertheless later that year it was announced that the Stones would tour North America again in 2019 without him.[29]

The Doors

The Doors were an American rock band formed in 1965 in Los Angeles, with vocalist Jim Morrison, keyboardist Ray Manzarek, guitarist Robby Krieger, and drummer John Densmore. They were among the most controversial and influential rock acts of the 1960s because of Morrison’s lyrics and voice, as well as the group’s regular use of opening doors onstage before concerts ( From which their name was derived).

Jimi Hendrix

Psychedelic rock, also referred to as psychedelia, is a diverse style of rock music that originated in the mid-1960s. Psychedelic rock was developed by a number of bands who experimented with drugs like LSD and psilocybin mushrooms in an attempt to create an altered state of consciousness. The genre is often associated with the subculture of the counterculture of the 1960s, which was particularly associated with psychedelic drugs.

The most famous psychedelic rock band is probably The Jimi Hendrix Experience, whose members included Hendrix on guitar, Mitch Mitchell on drums, and Noel Redding on bass. Hendrix is widely considered to be one of the greatest guitarists in rock history, and his use of feedback, distortion, and other effects helped to define the psychedelic sound. Other notable bands from the genre include The Doors, Jefferson Airplane, The Grateful Dead, Pink Floyd, and The Byrds.

Pink Floyd

Psychedelic rock, sometimes called acid rock, reached its peak of popularity in the late 1960s, but its origins go back much further. Though the sound of psychedelic music was shaped by the drug culture of the day, many of the genre’s early innovators were influenced by Eastern music and philosophy long before they ever heard of LSD.

One of the earliest and most influential bands in the psychedelic rock movement was Pink Floyd. Formed in London in 1965, Pink Floyd was led by Syd Barrett, a singer and guitarist who was deeply influenced by Eastern music. Barrett’s obsession with sitars and Eastern modes can be heard on early Pink Floyd albums like The Piper at the Gates of Dawn (1967), which is widely considered to be one of the first psychedelic rock records ever made.

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