Readers’ picks: Top psychedelic albums

Psychedelic Sight invites readers to nominate recordings for its lists of best psychedelic albums and psychedelic songs. Below are some of their picks. Also, view readers’ picks for best songs.
Nominate your favorite psychedelic albums (or songs).

Freak Scene album 1967

‘Psychedelic Psoul’

The Freak Scene | 1967
Reader J. Evans says: “This album always personified true psychedelic music for me. It takes on an entirely different sound and feeling when one is, let’s just say, altered.”
> Listen (full album)

Always personified true psychedelic music for me.

Spirit Clear 1969

‘Clear’

Spirit | 1969
Reader B. Weismuller says this is one of Spirit’s “more obscure albums, but definitely one of the best. Musically and lyrically it’s one of a kind.” Get lost in the dreamy title instrumental track.
> Listen (full album)

Musically and lyrically it’s one of a kind.

Ventures in Space album 1964

‘The Ventures in Space’

The Ventures | 1964
Reader R. Krueger notes the album came out three years earlier, but “you could easily image this being a 1967 psychedelic garage band. Makes me wonder what these guys could have done on acid.”
> Listen (full album)

Makes me wonder what these guys could have done on acid.

Steve Miller Children of the Future album

‘Children of the Future’

Steve Miller Band | 1968
Reader R. Blades cites the debut album’s “song sequencing, excellent lead vocalists and use of SF sound effects. Distinctly different from Bay Area contemporaries such as the Dead and Quicksilver.”
> Listen (side 1)

Distinctly different from Steve Miller’s Bay Area contemporaries.

Hawkwind live album 1973

‘Space Ritual’

Hawkwind | 1973
Reader Paul celebrates this “dark odyssey through space and time” from the British space rockers. “I first heard it when I was 12 — I’m now 48 and it still amazes me.”
> Listen (full album)

A dark odyssey through space and time.

Abraxas, 1970

‘Abraxas’

Santana | 1970
Reader D. Lesser is swept away by the “beautiful slow cascades of sound; singing winds and crying beasts — strong vibrations” from Santana and Co. on their second studio album.
> Listen (full album)

Beautiful slow cascades of sound; singing winds and crying beasts.

Nirvana UK 1967

‘The Story of Simon Simopath’

Nirvana (UK) | 1967
Reader A. Kaz wants to hear this early narrative concept album by the London-based psychedelic group. Our hero Simon’s dreams of flight lead to marriage with a tiny goddess.
> Listen (“Pentecost Hotel”)

Dreams of flight and a marriage to a tiny goddess.

Paupers from Canada album

‘Magic People’

The Paupers | 1967
Reader R. Kendzior hails this Canadian act that “should have been bigger in the States.” Hear “great harmonies, special-effect guitar sounds and multipercussive drum breaks (pre-Santana).”
> Listen (full album)

Great harmonies, special-effect guitar and multipercussive drum breaks.

United States of America 1968

‘The United States of America’

The United States of America | 1968
Reader M. Coe votes for “one of the first psych records to double as electronic music.” Electronic noises used “liberally and outrageously.” Despite “the music-school sheen, it’s still pretty subversive.”
> Listen (full album) — +1 from reader Astroman

One of the first psych-rock records to double as electronic music.

Dukes XTC

’25 O’Clock’

Dukes of Stratosphear | 1985
Reader J. Ward bows to the XTC’s psychedelic spinoff project: ” ‘The Mole From the Ministry’ is the most worthy successor to ‘Strawberry Fields’ I’ve ever heard — alone worth the price of the album.”
> Listen (“Mole From the Ministry”)

“Mole” is the most worthy successor to ‘Strawberry Fields’ I’ve ever heard.

Music in a Doll's House album

‘Music in a Doll’s House’

Family | 1968
Reader C. Marks says: “This covers all the bases: Mellotron, massive production, phaser, ambiguous lyrics and disappointing sales. … Criminally underappreciated band.”
> Listen (full album)

Family was a criminally underappreciated band.

CRB 2012

‘Big Moon Ritual’

Chris Robinson Brotherhood (CRB) | 2012
Reader B. Werbowsky is happy to report that “the torch has been passed from the Dead to the CRB. The genre is alive and well. Give it a spin.”
> Listen (“Tulsa Yesterday”)

The torch has been passed from the Dead to the CRB.

West Coast Pop Art Experimental Band

‘Part One’

West Coast Pop Art Experimental Band | 1967
Reader I. Lund points to the early cover of Frank Zappa’s “Help, I’m a Rock.” Second album from the L.A. band, famed for its psychedelic light show and heavy friends.
> Listen (“Shifting Sands”)

Sons of Champlin 1969

‘Loosen Up Naturally’

Sons of Champlin | 1969
Reader J. Kelley thinks back: “The ‘Live / Dead’ album and ‘Loosen Up Naturally’ were regulars on the turntable on ‘traveling nights.’ ” Psych-jazz and R&B from Bill Champlin’s Bay Area outfit.
> Listen (double album)

A regular on the turntable on ‘traveling nights.’

cosmic sounds 1967

‘The Zodiac’

Mort Garson, Paul Beaver … | 1967
Reader Jason’s Brain digs these dozen songs, each dedicated to an astrological sign with spoken-word beat poetry and “cosmic sounds.” Early use of the Moog on an LP (Paul Beaver). Elektra project.
> Listen (full album)

Love at Psychedelic Velocity

‘Love at Psychedelic Velocity’

The Human Expression | 1966-67
Reader Bez fell hard for this latter-day collection of psychedelic/garage rock from a SoCal band that never made an album: “As it says on the tin, master of them all.”
> Listen (“Velocity” single)

As it says on the tin, master of them all.

Ultimate Spinach

‘Behold & See’

Ultimate Spinach | 1968
Reader J. Perman urges you to fire up the “Gilded Lamp of the Cosmos” and behold the second coming of Ultimate Spinach. Concept album with Ian Bruce-Douglas at the controls.
> Listen (“Gilded Lamp of the Cosmos”)

Vanilla Fudge debut

‘Vanilla Fudge’

Vanilla Fudge | 1967
Reader T. Greco goes for the “Hammond B3 organ with Leslie speaker. Eerie harmonies. Wild guitar. Carmine Appice on tribal drums.” Dig the sticky “You Keep Me Hangin’ On.”
> Listen (full album)

B3 organ. Eerie harmonies. Wild guitar. Tribal drums.

Moon 1968 psychedelic

‘Without Earth’

The Moon | 1968
Reader R. Bone says listen for “great Beatlesque songs with fantastic use of early studio trickery such as lots of backward parts, sitar, basic electronics.” Still, no “Beatles clone — they had their own sound.”
> Listen (“I Should Be Dreaming”)

Great Beatlesque songs with fantastic use of early studio trickery.

Mad River psychedelic band

‘Mad River’

Mad River | 1968
Reader Jammakat calls this “the strangest music ever — great spacey songs” such as “Eastern Light.” Counterculture author Richard Brautigan helped kickstart the Berkeley band.
> Listen (“Eastern Light”)

The strangest music ever — great spacey songs.

Established 1970

‘est. 1970’

Goose Creek Symphony | 1970
Reader M. Wienke cites this “post-acute care psychedelic country rock” out of Arizona. “Apolitical Americana to catch up Mr. Jones — with a dash of optimism.”
> Listen (“Satisfied Mind”)

Post-acute care psychedelic country rock.

> MORE PSYCHEDELIC ALBUMS: View the readers’ list on PAGE 2.

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