Why Did Psychedelic Rock End?

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 attempt to replicate and enhance the mind-altering experiences of psychedelic drugs. Psychedelic rock reached the height of its popularity in the late 1960s, but by the early 1970s, it had been largely supplanted by other genres, such as progressive rock. Nevertheless, some of the best known and most influential psychedelic rock bands, such as Pink Floyd and The Grateful Dead, continued to record and perform

The Beatles

The Beatles are often cited as the beginning of the end for psychedelic rock. While The Fab Four never stopped experimenting with drugs, their sound became less overtly psychedelic after 1967. The band’s embrace of drugs no longer seemed to be about expanding their consciousness, but rather about escape. On the 69’ documentary film Let It Be, Paul McCartney is seen telling John Lennon that he is “fed up with being a Beatle.”

The band’s final album, Abbey Road, would be their last album of new material.Recorded in early 1969 during the band’s final months, the album includes some of their most experimental music, such as Lennon’s “I Want You (She’s So Heavy)” and “Because,” which features all four Beatles singing in three-part harmony. However, the album also features more conventional songs such as McCartney’s “Oh! Darling” and George Harrison’s “Here Comes the Sun.”

With The Beatles no longer leading the charge, psychedelic rock soon lost its way. By 1969, many of the bands that had defined the sound of psychedelic rock were either disbanded or>

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The Rolling Stones

The Rolling Stones’ self-titled debut album, The Rolling Stones, was released in 1964. The album featured songs that would become rock classics, such as “Mannish Boy”, “I Can’t Get No Satisfaction”, and “Tell Me”. The Rolling Stones quickly rose to prominence in the United Kingdom and Europe with their brand of blues-influenced rock music.

By 1966, The Rolling Stones had become one of the most popular rock bands in the world. Their popularity was bolstered by their live performances, which were often delivered with a high level of energy and showmanship.

In 1968, The Rolling Stones released their eighth studio album, Beggars Banquet. The album featured the song “Sympathy for the Devil”, which would become one of the band’s signature songs.

Beggars Banquet was followed by 1969’s Let It Bleed, which featured the song “Gimme Shelter”. The song “Gimme Shelter” would go on to become one of the most iconic songs in rock history.

The 1970s saw The Rolling Stones experiment with different musical styles. Their 1973 album Goat’s Head Soup featured the song “Angie”, which became one of their biggest hits. 1974’s It’s Only Rock ‘n’ Roll featured the song “Fool to Cry”, which would also become a major hit.

The Rolling Stones entered a period of turmoil in the late 1970s and early 1980s due to drug abuse and internal strife. The band managed to overcome these problems and continued to record and release new albums throughout the decade. Public opinion of The Rolling Stones remained high despite their personal problems.

The band continued to tour extensively throughout the 1980s and 1990s. In 1989, they released Steel Wheels, which was followed by Voodoo Lounge in 1994. These two albums marked a return to form for The Rolling Stones and were both commercially successful.

The 2000s saw The Rolling Stones continue to tour successfully despite being well into their 50s and 60s. In 2005, they released A Bigger Bang, which was their first studio album in eight years. A Bigger Bang was a commercial success and cemented The Rolling Stones’ status as one of the greatest rock bands of all time.

The Grateful Dead

The Grateful Dead may have been the last gasp of the original psychedelic era. Formed in the San Francisco Bay Area in 1965, the Dead were originally billed as “the Warlocks,” and won a devoted following playing extended electric improvisations in music halls and on college campuses. The band’s sound gradually coalesced around the guitar interplay of Jerry Garcia and Bob Weir, and the rhythm section of Phil Lesh (bass) and Bill Kreutzmann (drums). Mickey Hart (percussion) became a regular member of the band in 1967, and Ron “Pigpen” McKernan played keyboards and harmonica; both left the group before it disbanded in 1995.

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. The band got its name at Morrison’s suggestion from the title of Aldous Huxley’s book The Doors of Perception (1954), itself a reference to a quote by William Blake.

Jimi Hendrix

Psychedelic rock is often associated with the hippie movement of the 1960s and 1970s, but the genre actually has deeper roots. Psychedelic rock began in the 1950s with artists like Chuck Berry and Bo Diddley, who were experimenting with distortion and feedback. In the 1960s, psychedelic rock reached its peak with bands like The Beatles, The Doors, and Jimi Hendrix.

So why did psychedelic rock end? There are a few possible explanations. First, the early pioneers of the genre like Berry and Diddley began to lose popularity in the 1960s as newer, more experimental artists emerged. Second, psychedelia was often tied to drug use, and as drug use became less socially acceptable in the 1970s, psychedelic rock lost some of its appeal. Finally, many of the key figures in psychedelic rock (including Jimi Hendrix and Janis Joplin) died tragically young, depriving the genre of its biggest stars.

Janis Joplin

Psychedelic rock, also referred to as psychedelia, is a style of rock music that originated in the mid-1960s and reached the height of its popularity in the late 1960s. The genre is generally characterized by a distorted or altered sense of reality, induced by psychedelic drugs such as LSD and psilocybin. Psychedelic rock began to decline in popularity in the early 1970s, following the deaths of several prominent musicians including Janis Joplin and Jimi Hendrix. The genre was further marginalized by the arrival of punk rock in the late 1970s.

Led Zeppelin

Psychedelic rock is a style of rock music that was popular in the late 1960s and early 1970s. The style is marked by its use of distorted guitars, feedback, and extended solos. Psychedelic rock began to fall out of fashion in the late 1970s as bands like Led Zeppelin moved away from the style.

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