Psychedelic Sight asks readers to nominate recordings for its lists of best psychedelic songs and psychedelic albums. Below are some of their picks. View readers’ picks for best albums.
→ Nominate your psychedelic songs (or albums).
‘Song for Our Ancestors’
Steve Miller Band | 1968
Reader J. Johnson finds this opening track on Miller’s “Sailor” album works well “for the head as well as the ears.” The atmospheric 6-minute instrumental is “unusual for Steve Miller music.”
An instrumental that’s for the head as well as the ears.
The Doors | 1967
Reader T. Modock warns: “Do not listen to this while tripping; it’s extremely odd and scary as is.” Found on the second LP, it’s “one of the weirder and more avant-garde pieces by the Doors.”
Do not listen to this while tripping. You’ve been warned.
‘Pictures of Matchstick Men’
Status Quo | 1968
Reader C. Blom recalls this as the long-running English band’s “real first hit,” out of so many in the U.K. You’ll want the mono version, complete with the trippy wah-wah and phasing. “Love it.”
Count Five | 1966
Reader S. Annan notes: “Many have filed this great song under garage rock, which also fits as it is far more ragged than polished. But those psych breaks …” Part of the “Nuggets” family.
Many have filed this great song under garage rock — which also fits.
‘Through With You’
Lemon Pipers | 1968
Reader Mr. Lee is in for the long haul with this “9-minute opus,” complete with “Byrds-like guitar solo and great intro.” Closing the debut LP, it “did not even make their greatest hits record.”
A 9-minute opus features Byrds-like guitar solo and a great intro.
‘May the Circle Remain Unbroken’
13th Floor Elevators | 1969
Reader M. Weiner: “Creates a total sound/head space, bringing a legendary piece of American folk-roots culture directly into the late ’60s psychedelic consciousness.” Closes “Bull of the Woods.”
A total sound/head space created by the Elevators.
‘1983 … ‘
Jimi Hendrix Experience | 1968
Reader G. Williams says “you won’t find a trippier time than with some headphones and this gem of audio-cinema: “1983 … a Merman I Should Turn to Be.” Dive into the “surreal soundscape.”
> Listen (demo)
You won’t find a trippier time than in this surreal soundscape.
‘Sunshine of Your Love’
Cream | 1967
Reader S. Ray wants you to listen carefully to this “perfect example of a classic blues crunch tone on the guitar.” Dig “the late ’60s creation of Eric Clapton called ‘the woman tone.’ ”
Eric Clapton’s “the woman tone” with classic blues crunch.
Kak | 1969
Reader D. Bartko: “Dark and moody, this exceptionally well-played piece conjures up all of the magical imagery of the psychedelic heaviness that that era had to offer.” Out of the Bay Area.
Dark and moody with the magical imagery of psychedelic heaviness.
‘Alone Again Or’
Love | 1967
Reader J. Garcia thinks Bryan MacLean’s “Forever Changes” opener “captures perfectly the love and peace atmosphere of late ’60s California.” Horns inspired by the Tijuana Brass.
Captures perfectly the love and peace atmosphere of late ’60s California.
‘Reflections From the Looking Glass’
1910 Fruitgum Company | 1967
Reader D. Almaguer urges you to listen without prejudice: “(‘Reflections’) is the sound of the time.” An “excellent” B-side that “doesn’t sound like bubblegum music — quite ironic.”
The sound of the time — doesn’t sound like “bubblegum music.”
‘Too Many Do’
The Peanut Butter Conspiracy | 1967
Reader A.L. Brackett recalls this track from the second LP as “perhaps the first long recording — 6 1/2 minutes — to get airplay in 1967.” The L.A. band “was not a huge success, but great in concert.”
Perhaps the first long recording to get airplay in 1967.
‘Epitaph for a Head’
J.D. Blackfoot | 1969
Reader J. Selby clicks with this “manic Neanderthal beat” out of Ohio. “Crazed fuzz guitar, impassioned vocals, intense. Leaves the listener stunned. I saw them perform this live — wow!”
Crazed fuzz guitar, impassioned vocals, intense. Leaves the listener stunned.
‘Not So Sweet Martha Lorraine’
Country Joe and the Fish | 1967
Reader T. Modock: “The kooky lyrics tell an interesting story.” The “psych/blues fusion” from the San Francisco band’s classic debut album “reminds me of the great music of the 1960s.”
A psych/blues fusion. The kooky lyrics tell an interesting story.
‘The Paw Paw Negro Blowtorch’
Brian Eno | 1974
Reader P. Hughes hails this “great production” with “warped lyrics” based on a curious tale from the 1880s. From Eno’s debut LP, “an opening gambit by an emerging uber genius of headspace.”
An opening gambit by an emerging uber genius of headspace.
‘In the Valley of the Shadow of Love’
Tuesday’s Children | 1968
Reader J. Stewart likes the “great introduction” to this dreamy B-side. “The lead singer’s voice is incredible.” This North London psych band soon morphed into the equally obscure prog outfit Czar.
‘Change Is Now’
The Byrds | 1967
Reader M. Weiner calls this track from “The Notorious Byrd Brothers” a “dream within a dream within a sweet message song.” B-side of “Goin’ Back,” written by Roger McGuinn & Chris Hillman.
A dream within a dream within a sweet message song.
‘Do You Dream’
Circus | 1968
Reader B. Starke loves the lyrics: “Do you dream / Castles in the sky / Do you dream / So do I.” Beatles-influenced song from prolific Brit songwriter Philip Goodhand-Tait (Stormsville Shakers).
→ MORE PSYCHEDELIC SONGS: view the readers’ list on PAGE 2.