4 Jan 2012

The Active Listener's 40 Favorite Psychedelic Albums

These sorts of lists are always subjective, so apologies in advance for any glaring omissions, and the fact that not everyone's favorite album could make it to Number One. Anyway here's my top 40. I've tried to strike a balance between my very favorite albums of the genre and albums that should be on a best of list .
You have a different list? Good! I'd be disappointed if you didn't. These are my favorites - if you want to share your favorites list post it in the comments section. Cheers - and enjoy!

40. The Fraternal Order Of The All - Greetings From Planet Love ( 1998 )
Graham Gouldman and Andrew Gold collaborated to create this wonderful homage to all of their favorite albums from the sixties. Highlights: Tomorrow Drop Dead ( ala Tomorrow Never Knows ) and Doors tribute Ride The Snake. It's just a pity about that cover.
BUY IT


39. The Lollipop Shoppe - Just Colour ( 1968 )
Originally known as the Weeds, but convinced to change their name by a conservative record label, the Lollipop Shoppe were Dead Moon's Fred Cole's early band. Their sole album is an intriguing mixture of garage and psychedelic folk rock, as likely to evoke Love as it is Dead Moon. BUY IT



38. Fifty Foot Hose - Cauldron ( 1967 )
This must have been pretty out there when first released in 1967 - it still freaks me out now. Female vocals with a mixture of psychedelic rock and early electronic music. Truly unusual and very experimental - I would imagine that Broadcast and Stereolab are fans. BUY IT


 37. The Chesterfield Kings - The Mindbending Sounds of ( 2003 )
The Kings manage to sound more like the Stones than the Rolling Stones have since the early eighties. Excellent Nuggets style garage rock with a very psychedelic edge - Paint it Black is an obvious touchstone. BUY IT

36. Earth And Fire ( 1970 )
Not to be confused with Earth, Wind and Fire. An excellent Dutch psychedelic prog band, this is their first album and sounds like a cross between Jefferson Airplane and Pink Floyd. Excellent fuzz guitar and very strong female vocals. BUY IT
Hear a track on this cloudcast.


35. The End - Introspection ( 1969 )
Unfortunately the release of this album was held back for 18 months ( a lifetime in the late sixties )by their label, otherwise this would likely have been a major hit. Produced by the Rolling Stone's Bill Wyman. Excellent U.K Psych with a few toytown elements creeping in. Shades of Orange is one of the great U.K Psych singles. BUY IT


34. The United States of America ( 1968 )
Electronics wizard Joseph Byrd led this envelope-pushing outfit who combined psych rock with jazz touches and avant garde electronica. This must have been what the future sounded like in 1968. Challenging but highly rewarding. BUY IT

33. The 13th Floor Elevators - The Psychedelic Sounds Of ( 1966 )
The first and the best from Texas's greatest 60's psych outfit. Adventurous and influential garage rock with impressive acid flourishes. BUY IT

32. Spirit - The Family That Plays Together ( 1968 )
Often overlooked in favor of their later album, 12 Dreams of Doctor Sardonicus, I prefer this, their second album. Very diverse Californian psych rock with jazz elements. Some beautifully sustained fuzz guitar, and very tight band interplay make this one of my faves from the era. BUY IT


31. Os Mutantes ( 1968 )
Great debut from this unusual Brazilian psych outfit, beloved of Beck and many others. One of the first indicators of how well traditional South American rhythms would gel with psychedelia. Check out Bat Macumba. Highly influential and heaps of fun. BUY IT

30. The Soundcarriers - Harmonium ( 2009 )
Fascinating debut from this English group, who manage to mix influences as diverse as psychedelia, krautrock, sixties style TV / movie soundtracks and Broadcast's future pop into a very distinctive aural stew. The follow up Celeste is just as good. BUY IT
Hear a track on this cloudcast.


29. Soft Machine ( 1968 )
No list would be complete without a representation of the Canterbury scene, and Soft Machine's first sees it at it's best. Progressive musicianship mixed with whimsical pop smarts. Exceptional. BUY IT

28. Moby Grape ( 1967 )
Moby Grape's first is West Coast psychedelia at it's best - so good that the record label released five of it's songs as singles simultaneously.  Great harmonies and stinging acid guitars, all of the hallmarks of the West Coast sound distilled into one near perfect album.


27. The Ultimate Spinach - Behold and See ( 1968 )
The Spinach's second album is the best Bosstown psych album of the lot. Long, majestic psychedelic tracks with heaps of trippy effects and totally daft lyrics. Mind Flowers is mindblowingly good, like Crimson and Clover's more druggy moments stretched into one epic mind derailer.
Hear a track on this cloudcast.

26. Family - Music In A Doll's House ( 1968 )
A very English psychedelia with cups of tea and weird victorian doll's houses to the fore. A lot of their contemporaries struggled to produce albums without filler, but this is one of the most consistent albums from the sixties U.K psych scene. They dropped the psych angle after this and went for a more progressive / hard rock sound, but this is a total gem. BUY IT



25. The Rolling Stones - Their Satanic Majesties Request ( 1967 )
One of the most misunderstood pieces in the Stones catalogue, this is often written off as bandwagon jumping. Their attempt at a Sgt Pepper, it's true that the whimsical English take on psychedelia doesn't sound at all like the Stones but it's still a hell of a lot of fun and a total oddity in their back catalogue. Fans of the End's Introspection album should find much to like here too. BUY IT

24. Malachai - The Ugly Side of Love ( 2009 )
A spirited tribute to the sixties, which manages to both update the sound of psychedelia, and evoke many of the best bands of the era ; Cream, the Small Faces etc. Hugely appealing and more hooks than most bands come up with in a whole career. BUY IT
Hear a track on this cloudcast.


23. Donovan - Sunshine Superman ( 1966 )
Donovan left his folkie image behind with this classic, groundbreaking LP.  Sitars, songs about Carnivals and Kingfishers, Jimmy Page and tributes to Mama Cass, Bert Jansch and Jefferson Airplane. What more could you want? Hurdy Gurdy man's a great  Donovan psych album too. BUY IT

22. Eric Burdon & The Animals - Wind of Change ( 1967 )
Eric Burdon flipped his lid, turned on, tuned in and dropped out with this great period piece recorded in San Francisco. Mad Gregorian chants, wigged out solos and general craziness and Burdon reinvents himself as an acid messiah. You can read a more detailed review here. BUY IT

21. Fairport Convention ( 1968 )
Before being joined by Sandy Denny and turning into folk rock kingpins, Fairport were the English Jefferson Airplane as evidenced by this highly entertaining debut. Great guitar from Richard Thompson, well chosen covers ( Chelsea Morning, Time Will Show The Wiser ) and strong originals ( It's Alright Ma, It's Only Witchcraft ) make this a winner in anyone's book. BUY IT
Hear a track on this cloudcast.

20. The Music Emporium ( 1969 )
An excellent regional U.S group who released just the one album, but what a beaut it is. Chanted latin vocals, dominant Farfisa organ, excellent guitar solos and a strong sense of melancholy. Recorded with a fairly small budget, this transcends it's restrictions to become one of the best psych rarities out there. BUY IT

19. The Gun ( 1968 )
Massive orchestral accompaniments and huge, fuzzy guitar leads are the first things you'll notice with this one. Pretty heavy for it's time, but with such concise, palatable pop hooks that they still managed to score a hit with Race With The Devil. The Gurvitz Brothers would later team up with Ginger Baker, but this is their first, and their best. BUY IT

18. Golden Dawn - Power Plant ( 1967 )
Recommended to International Artists by the 13th Floor Elevators Roky Erickson, Golden Dawn were the real deal, but unfortunately only managed this one great LP, before label frustrations ended things prematurely. Elevators comparisons are apt, but I hear more of Love's Forever Changes in it's more instrospective moments. Elsewhere, Starvation is a dual guitar monster and essential listening. BUY IT

17. The Moody Blues - In Search of the Lost Chord ( 1968 )
Very briefly between their phases as a blue eyed soul outfit and a lumbering dinosaur of a prog band, the Moodys were an imaginative psych band, best exemplified by this proto concept album. Heavy mellotron use and beautifully recorded reverbed flute passages make this one of the most English sounding records I own. Check out Legend of a Mind and the Actor for starters. BUY IT

16. Procol Harum ( 1967 )
Even without the CD bonus tracks ( including Whiter Shade of Pale ) this is one of the best English albums of 1967. Excellent keyboard heavy psych which should appeal to fans of pre Dark Side of the Moon Pink Floyd. Tight and concise with great pop smarts. BUY IT


15. Hawkwind - Hall of the Mountain Grill ( 1974 )
More well regarded for their live shows this is probably the most successful of Hawkwind's studio albums, highlighted by the spacey  Psychedelic Warlords ( Disappear in Smoke ) and Lemmy's proto metal anthem Motorhead. An essential Space Rock purchase. BUY IT

14. The Electric Prunes - Mass In F Minor ( 1968 )
An acquired taste, and a personal favorite this one.  David Axelrod assembled a band of session legends and cut this amazing psychedelic Mass. Funky drums, searing guitar breaks, church organ and massed choirs singing in Latin make this an album that's not for everyone, but a classic for those of discerning taste.

13. The Byrds - Fifth Dimension ( 1966 )
The Byrds third album was a huge leap forward and would earn it's place here on the strength of singles Eight Miles High and 5D alone, but is chock full of other trippy goodies too like Roger McGuinn's  I See You and David Crosby's ode to confusion What's Happening?!?! ( the grammar is his not mine ). Heavily infuenced by John Coltrane, you can definitely hear it in McGuinn's guitar playing. BUY IT
Hear a track on this cloudcast.

12. The C.A Quintet - A Trip Thru Hell ( 1968 )
Fantastic regional psych oddity. Nightmarishly dark and creepy as heck, with excellent organ work, inspired guitar leads and at least 3 tracks which would have made cracking singles if the label had had a bit of a promotional budget. You can read an in depth review of the album here. BUY IT

11. Jimi Hendrix - Axis Bold As Love ( 1967 )
Hendrix's science fiction obsessions and studio experimentation combine to good effect here. A massive step forward from Are You Experienced, it's obvious that Hendrix is a lot more comfortable in the studio here with lots of trickery going on, especially on EXP. He'd move onto epic psychedelic blues with Electric Ladyland, but I prefer the more concise material presented here. BUY IT

10. Jefferson Airplane - After Bathing At Baxters ( 1967 )
Conventional wisdom would have it that Surrealistic Pillow is the Airplane's classic but it's follow up After Bathing at Baxter's shows them at their psychedelic best. Much more experimental, with lots of improv, bits of sound collage and a huge advance in songwriting this is the place for the more adventurous listener to start. BUY IT

9. Pink Floyd - Piper at the Gates of Dawn ( 1967 )
The Floyd's first album, and the only full album to feature the erratic genius of wayward frontman Syd Barrett.
Whimsical psychedelic fairytales which walk a fine line between childlike innocence and something much darker. Totally unlike anything that was to follow in their catalogue and one of the most important albums of the sixties. BUY IT

8. H.P Lovecraft ( 1967 )
Excellent psychedelic folk rock with strong dual vocals ( like an all male Jefferson Airplane ) and excellent Doors style organ work. The centrepiece is based on horror author and namesake H.P Lovecraft's White Ship and is an evocative, mysterious epic but the whole album is a class act. The follow up has it's moments too (and is packaged with all CD reissues of the first album - an excellent bonus). You can read more about them here. BUY IT



7. The Misunderstood - After The Dream Faded ( 1982 , recorded 1965/1966 )
A compilation with one side of early demo recordings and more importantly one side of absolutely mindblowing heavy psychedelic rock. This is acid fried garage psych of the highest possible order with wonderful steel guitar played by Glen Campbell ( later to join Juicy Lucy )through a fuzz pedal to get their distinctive sound. Unfortunately things fell apart when the U.S Army's Vietnam draft came into effect or who knows how huge theyd be now? Absolutely essential. Buy It

6. My Solid Ground (1971 )
One of the few German bands of it's era to not fit in with the prevailing Krautrock sound. Using Pink Floyd's Careful With That Axe Eugene as a starting point, they released their sole album ( before reforming in thirty years later ) on the Baccilus label. Trippy progressive rock with creepy, reverbed, whispered vocals and slabs of heavy guitar, this is at it's best on Dirty Yellow Mist and The Executioner. An obscure classic.
Hear a track on this cloudcast.


5. Tame Impala - Innerspeaker ( 2010 )
Excellent debut full length from this very promising Australian outfit who mix Lennonish vocals with psychedelic Pink Floyd and Flaming Lips touches as well as a keen awareness of stoner rock. Wall of sound production and wonderful fuzz guitar with massive choruses. If there's any justice in the world these guys will be absolutely huge. BUY IT
Hear a track on this cloudcast.


4. The Fallen Angels - It's A Long Way Down ( 1968 )
The Fallen Angel's second and last album is a big step up from their promising debut and is an incredibly diverse mix which shares a lot with Love's Forever Changes. Ambitious arrangements, clever studio trickery and most importantly adventurous and memorable songs. This is definitely an album to spend a lot of time with. BUY IT

3. The Pretty Things - S.F Sorrow ( 1968 )
If you only know the Pretty Things for their early R&B material be prepared for a shock. Leaving their early R&B roots behind completely this is one of the first concept albums and a major influence on the Who's Tommy . It's like they turned from the Stones to the Beatles overnight. The great production and amazing harmonies are the first things you'll notice, but there's plenty happening under the surface to keep drawing you back. The follow up album Parachute is phenomenal too. BUY IT


2. The Beatles - Revolver ( 1966 )
The Beatles kickstarted the U.K's psychedelic movement with this stone cold classic, a huge step forward musically and lyrically from Rubber Soul. George Martin's production is a vital ingredient here and he really earns his reputation as the fifth Beatle with the imaginative touches on display here from the hazy backwards guitars on I'm Only Sleeping to the kitchen sink epic Tomorrow Never Knows - the ultimate psychedelic track? The Beatles may have recorded better albums, but this is the most important to their evolution and definitely their most psychedelic. BUY IT


1. Love - Forever Changes ( 1967 )
The first glimpse of the dark side of the Summer of Love, this quietly contemplative album appears regularly on best album lists and with good reason. It's the type of album that you can spend a lifetime listening to and still be surprised by. Completing their transition from garage rockers to baroque psychedelic pop this captures an organic feeling that only a small number of artists have ever successfully tapped into. Van Morrison's Astral Weeks comes to mind. Mariachi horns and ambitious string arrangements have found their way into the increasingly diverse mix, but tracks like A House is Not a Motel still contain a sense of their earlier albums' urgency.
An album everyone should own. BUY IT
Hear a track on this cloudcast.

This post has been so popular that I've decided to periodically add updates.

Feel free to send in suggestions of title for these lists.

Updates here :
15 More Great Psychedelic Albums
15 More Great Psychedelic Albums ( 2 ) 
15 More Great Psychedelic Albums ( 3 ) 

72 comments:

  1. Some superb choices in there. Especially nice to see Fairport's self-titled LP. May we recommend US69 - Yesterday's Folks...
    And huge thanks for putting as at #30.
    Cheers!

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    1. Personally I think we getting beyond ourselves, firstly 'Revolver' was not psychedelic and Fairport's debut neither , in the fact the latter erred toward jazz and I now I see a recommendation for Caravan's debut ???? The discerning line between Prog , psychedelia or just Fab sixties music like the Beatles ''Revolver'' has to be definitively separated , otherwise we have a fruit salad melting pot ? Don't get me wrong all outstanding choices but we have to have a refining filter on genre's

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    2. Have to respectfully disagree sorry. The genre melting pot that allows influences in from almost anywhere is exactly what makes psychedelia so exciting for me, so I definitely don't see a need for separating these genres out so rigidly - if the bands had thought this way, half of these albums either wouldn't exist, or would be much less adventurous.
      And Revolver not psychedelic? Oh boy. Tomorrow Never Knows is one of the most important and influential psychedelic recordings of all time - I doubt that few would / could argue that.
      In the end though, this was just a list of my favourite 40 albums at the time of writing, which I considered to be psychedelic, so there's no right or wrong answers, it's all just personal preference.

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    3. As modern psychedelic goes the soundcarriers are excellent can't believe I saw them on UK news saying they hardly make any money and do it because they like playing ! Life just isn't fair is it. I hate what Simon cowel and co has done to the music industry.

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  2. Thanks guys. one of the nicest things about doing a blog like this is being contacted by people from the bands I love, so thanks for getting in touch. I haven't heard US69 but will definitely check them out soon. And looking forward to hearing what you lot come up with next too.

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  3. Great list. Lots to check out. Can I throw The Zombies' Odessey & Oracle in here too?

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  4. can i add the CARAVAN debut - best thing they ever did...it's psych too - not prog !

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  5. Hi Alan
    Thanks - good call on the Zombies - it almost made it on here, I even went so far as to write up an entry for it, but it was left off in favor of a few albums that were a little more psychedelic. Great album though.
    And Hi to Qualified Galley Slave - I had forgotten the Caravan debut. Great album and I agree much better than their generally favored classic In The Land of Grey & Pink, but maybe not quite as good as their second. Good stuff anyway and thanks for the input. I might need to add an addendum to this list sometime soon!

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    1. what about tago mago of the kraut band CAN
      or gong flying teapot album...
      or...what about...Love of Arthur Lee...
      ?

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  6. Excellent list, a good few albums there I haven't heard before, but I will be checking out. Glad you included Music Emporium, and for putting Forever Changes at number 1.

    A few others that could have made the list would be Work and Non Work by Broadcast, Collectors Item by The Great Society, Incense & Peppermints by Strawberry Alarm Clock and The Yankee Dollar's self titled album.

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  7. Thanks Micky - Work and Non Work is the only Broadcast CD I'm not familiar with so shall have to give it a listen soon. The Yankee Dollar's unfamiliar to me as well so I'll investigate that too.
    There's lots of suggestions coming in so feel free to post your lists in the comments sections here. There's been some great recommendations coming in, so thanks everyone!

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  8. I've been getting so many recommendations as a result of this list that I'm going to post a follow up list, so drop a comment with some suggested titles if there are albums you think should have been on this list.
    Thanks.

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  9. This is great! Glad to see so many faves on here as well as some unknown to me I must find! Many of the bands on Tee Pee records would certainly qualify for the newer sounds! Have you ever heard The Entrance Band? <3

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  10. Hi Paisleybabee - glad you enjoyed it. To be honest I've never even heard of the Entrance Band. What's a good album to start with if I was to give them a listen? Thanks x

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  11. Nice choices. Great to see the Soundcarriers included and the Fallen Angels, Moodys & Misunderstood so highly regarded. I assume Da Capo didn't make it as Forever Changes was included? That FC is the greatest album of all time (not necessarily psych) is not in question.

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  12. Hi Vic - thanks very much. If Forever Changes didn't exist then Da Capo would certainly be on the list, but I've been pretty strict about one album per artist. it's been interesting to see how many people have commented positively about the Soundcarriers being on here - I'd assumed they were one of the most obscure bands that I'd mentioned but they've certainly got a vocal fanbase. Good stuff.

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  13. King Crimsons' "In the court of the Crimson King"?

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  14. Hi Dumbtube, Crimson King is definitely a great prog rock album, but I don't hear enough psychedelia in there personally for it to make it on this list. It would certainly make it onto a best prog rock albums list though. Cheers :-)

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  15. TAME IMPALA! Innerspeaker is the best album of the 21st century! Other new Psychedelic albums to check out are MGMT - Congratulations and anything by Dungen, Pond (members of Tame Impala) and Sleepy Sun.

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  16. Hi Tyler. Innerspeaker sure is great. Can't wait for their upcoming album. Love Pond too, although have discovered them since writing these lists, otherwise Frond would have probably found a home on here. All the best.

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    1. Tame Imapala are pretty big over here in the alternative field that is! & at present have an awesome single out called Elephant. Melbourne Radio 3RRR (Subscriber Station, not Commercial)play them regular. Another recommendation would be The Sand Pebbles Dark Magic album, great live also. Saw them recently supporting Kurt Vile. Great list. Other additions (& im sure they might be already considered..Zodiac Cosmic Sounds, Summerhill & Stillwater, who i believe were the 1st band to open up Woodstock Day 1)

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  17. Loads to check out for me, thanks. Here's one you should listen to. Great album by a very young Dutch band DeWolff, albumtitle is Orchard/ Lupine. Greetings Marcel Selier, Katwijk, The Netherlands

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  18. Hi Marcel - thanks for the heads up I will certainly check out DeWolff - they're a new one on me. Cheers!

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  19. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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  20. Very nice work. If I may, I would suggest The Gris Gris (Self-Titled) from 2004 - Birdman Records...

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  21. Thanks for putting this together. Great list.
    I now have some new homework to listen to :)

    The several I would add for consideration:
    Brian Eno - "Another Green World"
    The Books - "Lemon of Pink".
    Portishead - "Third"

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  22. Oh, and also Pet Sounds!!!

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  23. Thanks FalseSleep. Third, Another Green World and Pet Sounds are all great things. I haven't heard the Lemon of Pink so will have to hunt that down for a listen. Thanks for the tip and all the best!

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  24. And thanks General Cheatham - I do have a copy of that around somewhere that I've been meaning to pay closer attention to.....

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  25. Great lists. I think Savage Resurrection is worth a mention, and by chance I recently discovered Axe - A Child Dreams, pretty haunting vocals.

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  26. What about The Orange Alabaster Mushroom?

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  27. Thanks guys - I've always meant to investigate Savage Resurrection - this has prompted me to do so. Cyrus - you're right The Orange Alabaster Mushroom is good stuff. it wouldn't make it into my top 40 but there's plenty to recommend them nonetheless.

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  28. Great List: Glad to see After Bathing at Baxters there!!!

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  29. Helping seekers keep on seekin on since the break of dawn and beyond. Iinfinitely blessed with your psych insight. Thanks again.

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  30. Love this list - and I have most of these! I might suggest The Gnostic Mass by The Entheogens (particularly since you included Mass in F Minor), Cottonwoodhill by Brainticket, either of the first two West Coast Pop Art Experimental Band albums, or Penetration: An Aquarian Symphony by Yahowa 13. And, being me, I would throw in a Grateful Dead album, but each to their own tastes ;-)

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  31. Fake Sleep Says : I'm curious about your thoughts on psychedelic music that may be outside the scope of rock. In particular, I'm thinking of Boards of Canada's "Geogaddi" or "The Campfire Headphase." They're both electronic, but in my opinion extremely intelligent, brilliantly produced, and quite a mind fuck (especially in altered states).

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  32. Hi Fake Sleep - I'm certainly very open to the fact that psychedelic music needn't be created exclusively by rock instruments - I'm very fond of the BBC Radiophonic Workshop as well as Boards of Canada, and their followers The Advisory Circle, belbury Poly etc

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  33. Country Joe and the Fish - Electric Music For The Mind And Body?

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  34. Electric Music For The Mind And Body - yup great album - it's on one of the supplemental lists added at the end of the feature

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  35. Great list. Forever Changes, H.P. Lovecraft, The Misunderstood, The USA, Os Mutantes, Moby Grape, S.F. Sorrow, Procul Harum (particularly without A Whiter Shade of Pale).
    Glad to see some newer stuff on here too (Big fan of both Malachai & Tame Impala).
    And lots of unheard nuggets to explore, so cheers!!

    Although I must add (as will always be the case with lists like these):
    ISB - The Hangman's Beautiful Daughter (this, to me, is God's music)
    Gong - Angels Egg
    Jean-Claude Vannier - L'Enfant Assassin Des Mouches
    Sun City Girls - Torch of The Mystics
    Eno - Another Green World
    Mike Oldfield - Tubular Bells
    Brian Wilson's Smile
    Black Moth Super Rainbow - Dandelion Gum

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  36. how about east of eden's first lp, mercater projected? guess i'm not spellin that correctly
    the first track should make it in there on it's own

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    1. I will second the East of Eden, Mercator Projected, which is so great as to be considered for #1 on the list much less INCLUSION. Massive oversight but just goes to show, there's MORE STUFF out there waiting for your discovery. Mercator is SO GREAT I wish I hadn't heard of it so I could rediscover it for the FIRST TIME! ;-)

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  37. Mercator Projected certainly is a top album - their best by a long way. Thanks Outrage Music.

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  38. Gee from Malachai20 May 2013 at 14:38

    Chuffed to be in the list A.L, so much out there that could (and deserved to) be ahead of us but someone getting what we're about means a lot, LP number 3 is on the way!

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  39. absolutely live by the doors should be on here
    at least a doors album should be on here
    their mentioned twice in the descriptions
    no best of psychedelic list should be complete without the doors

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  40. Hi there Anon - you'll notice that the Doors are on one of the add-on lists.

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  41. Great list, I've still got so much more I need to hear. Moby Grape is my all time favourite so far.

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  42. a) Shpongle: Are You Shpongled?
    b) Amon Tobin: ISAM
    c) Tipper: Broken Soul Jamboree

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  43. thank you so much, you've just opened me up to quite a few things that were immediately appealing to check out ... I consider myself a very curious (almost obsessed) listener of all kinds of music, but a decent # of these have never made it onto my radar, I am quite happy that you have shared these must-haves - from Dave, Boston MA

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  44. Hope you enjoy what you hear Dave!

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  45. This is a great site, thanks! Good call on Soundcarriers and Tame Impala, but I'd like to see you go deeper!

    A-Austr
    Gandalf
    Strawberry Alarm Clock "Wake Up It's Tomorrow"
    Ravi Shankar's soundtracks - Charly, Chappaqua and Alice In Wonderland most of all
    Träd Gräs Och Stenar "Djungelns Lag" (though maybe that's prog)
    Turkish psych (3 Hurel, Boris Manco, Erkin Koray, Selda...)
    Psychsplotation LPs (Mind Expanders, Mesmerizing Eye, Friar Tuck and his Psychedelic Guitar, Hell Preachers)

    For most recent, have you heard Peaking Lights and Sun Araw? Recommend Off Duty + Boat Trip

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  46. Any list that has Love - Forever Changes as number 1 is off to a good start. You might give a listen to the Conqueroo - From The Vulcan Gas Company (snarling fuzz guitar on Passenger) or Passing Fancy - A Passing Fancy - opposite end of the spectrum, but quite good too. And a shout out to Mad River - Amphetamine Gazelle (only a single).

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  47. Great lists. I also agree with another post that "Cubist Castle" by OTC should be on here somewhere. A couple more I'd add that I didn't see

    "Take It From the Man" and "Their Satanic Majesty's Second Request" by The Brian Jonestown Massacre
    "Hair" by Ty Segall & White Fence
    "Underwater Moonlight" by The Soft Boys
    "Notorious Byrd Brothers" by The Byrds
    "The Perfect Prescription" by Spacemen 3

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  48. I'm a bit surprised to not see Blue Cheer's 2nd album Outsideinside ... total psychedelia IMO and their 3rd album New Improved in particular side 2 check them out if you're not familiar . Gypsy Ball off Outsideinside with ultra pan so much so it trips you out ;) lol http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=owu_xx2T1d4

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  49. NO Rain Parade????

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  50. Guys - Among the great comments I've had on this thread I've been getting stacks of people complaining about certain artists and albums not being on these lists (only a fraction of which I have published in the comments section, I've only included the more pleasantly worded replies - typical comment is "I can't believe this album by this band isn't on this list, what are you thinking?/this album totally belongs on here).
    It's stated pretty clearly that this is not an attempt to identify the best albums of the genre but is merely a list of my FAVORITES. So if your query is not one of my favorite 85 albums then it doesn't belong on a list of my favorite 85 albums - pretty simple. I'm not going to include an album that I'm not particularly into just because the consensus is that it's great. And there are always going to be more than 85 psych albums that people love, so of course there is some great stuff that isn't listed on here - what fun would we have obsessing over a genre with only 85 great albums? So while your recommendations are extremely welcome and interesting (please keep them coming - I love checking out stuff I don't know, and being given the opportunity to re-evaluate other stuff), please understand the concept before you decide to lambast me for not including your favorite album. Keep your recommendations coming - I enjoy them as much as I hope you enjoy mine - cheers :-)

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  51. Active Listener is exactly right -- these are AL's fave 40, not everybody's necessarily, and he's entitled to his own dang list, complete or incomplete, good or bad, as we all are ;-) That having been said, I recently listened to album by band called Dark, "Round the Edges" (in fact, I have it on the headphones even now). This is one mind-blowing album. 1972. It might not fit your criteria or might be on one of the addenda to your main post. However it goes, folks, check this one out. Can't wait to explore all the recs from AL and other posters ;-)

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  52. I have yet to find any album more completely psychedelic than Anthem Of The Sun (1968) by the Grateful Dead. I know they are a really popular band but this album is really unpopular amongst dead heads as I've noticed for whatever reason. It is my favorite album of all time and I challenge anyone to introduce me to a more completely psychedelic album from start to finish. They only way to acquire a liking is to listen during heavy triptamine dosage lol.

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  53. For anyone interested in electronica's psychedelic contributions, check out Shpongle (Tales of the Inexpressible), The Orb (U.F. Off, The Dream, The Orb's Adventure Beyond the Ultraworld), Boards of Canada (Music Has the Right to Children, Geogaddi), Ott (Mir, Skylon), The Avalanches (Since I Left You), Gaudi (Bass Sweat and Tears), Bassnectar (Underground Communication), Herbert (Bodily Functions), Chris Joss (Telephonic Overdubs), C2C (Tetra), Future Sound of London (Accelerator), Amorphous Androgynous (The Isness, The Otherness) and The Flaming Lips (Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots). There are many more. And the albums in parentheses are simply my favorites. Each artist listed has other albums that are good. I love the suggestions everyone!

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  54. Dukes of Stratosfear is one of the greatest pure psych pop albums of all time

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  55. How? How? How is there not a grateful dead album??? I mean ok, they were supernatural live, but they still had a few good albums, as well as released cd's that highlighted live shows. Let there be some more transparency in the godfathers of jam band/psychedelic rock. Bring on dark star from Live Dead and let the games begin

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  56. Well I'm that lucky guy who went to a Fallen Angels afternoon high school auditorium concert in Alexandria, Va. near to Washington DC. I went alone, walking the few blocks from my boarding school and found out unbelievably that I was the only member of the audience. Amazing: they performed a full set and light show [for me & themselves] treating the embarrassing situation as a chance to dress rehearse. WOW what a cosmic gift, to me who remain a psych nut to this day BTW: please reconsider your estimation of the 1st album. In my own view it is equal to #2, a bit slicker and poppier and 'better'-produced, but those tunes are cool! and the inexplicable 'feel' of the sound, whatever studio they were in, whichever old Fender amps they were tubing, from the opening notes...

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  57. Great list, cannot wait to dive into some of the ones I haven't heard of. Love the fact that you have "Innerspeaker" so high on this list. It's probably my all time favourite debut album! Also, check out Pond's 2012 record - "Beard, Wives, Denim" and Ty Segall's "Twins".

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  58. Brilliant website and reference for psych albums. Only beef I have is the number 1 spot. Doesn't even sound like a psychedelic rock album to me. Pretty boring and too orchestral. Just my opinion though :)

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  59. Wonderful collection, I learned a lot I didn't know before.
    I was just a bit surprised tat no one mentioned it, so I would like to take a note about my personal favourite, The Crazy World of Arthur Brown, I wonder how much you like that one.
    greetings,
    wundergusztav

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  60. Some real shockers included, but worthwhile for the albums it's introduced me to or had forgotten about.

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  61. Great list! If you haven't heard them check out Horsebeach. They have a self titled debut, and a second album titled 'ii'

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  62. From Vinyl Vandal: so glad to have discovered this page and lists. A number of tastes in common and lots to discover.

    In terms of recommendations, how about Bobby Jameson's "Songs of Protest and Anti-protest" (under the forced name of Chris Lucey) or his "Color Him In" album. The former has a great album back story and it's a shame to have lost him earlier this year. Also, wondering if the Free Design might qualify? Surprised not to see Van Dyke Parks' "Song Cycle", but it's cool.

    In terms of later psych, any album by Mercury Rev would be good (although I'm partial to "See You on the Other Side"). I saw Broadcast mentioned but I'd like to vote up "Haha Sound" as their best one for inclusion on any future lists :)

    That is all (for now :).

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  63. This Is Not A Psych​-​Rock Album by Animal Holograms

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  64. Electric Prunes /The Collectors / Chocolate Watch Band / The Wizards Of Kansas / Eire Apparent / Five Day Rain and Les Fleur De lys are quintessential. Savage Resurrection is not a bad album but cannot compare to the likes of the veterans above

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  65. Just a note here on psych albums: Please check out all of the albums penned by The Pillbugs from Toledo, Ohio in the States. Now this is psychedelic stuff. Also Mark Mikel solo albums. Bob Tibbitts.

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  66. I would like to draw Active Listener ears to a band called The Pillbugs. Now this is superb psychedelic pop/progressive elements and influences from The Kinks, Beatles, Pink Floyd, Monkees and many more, yet still defining a unique quality all of their own. Also some of the solo projects of the main writer and producer, Mark Mikel. Do yourselves a good deed and check some of their works out. Just my little point of view in addition, I agree with many of the choices already listed. Bob. Cheers!

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