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).
‘This Wheel’s on Fire’
Julie Driscoll, Brian Auger & the Trinity | 1968 single
Reader A. Cooke digs this “swirling, intense” Dylan cover. “Released in 1968 at the height of psychedelia. Still one of my favorites.” And still absolutely fabulous.
A swirling, intense Dylan cover from the height of psychedelia.
Buffalo Springfield | from “Buffalo Springfield Again,” 1967
Reader S. Duke says the “elliptic, fractured imagery and cut-up music of widely-different styles … create this mini-psychedelic epic.” Early weirdness from Neil Young.
Elliptic, fractured imagery and cut-up music of widely-different styles.
‘Flowers and Beads’
Iron Butterfly | from “In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida,” 1968
Reader Tasos says this period piece from bandleader Doug Ingle is “the most atmospheric and representative song of the late 1960s — the heyday of psychedelic music.”
The most atmospheric and representative song of the late 1960s.
‘Over Under Sideways Down’
The Yardbirds | 1966 single
Reader G. Arsenault says “Jeff Beck is on it. The Indian influence and the way Jeff plays this are unforgettable. You won’t be able to get that riff out of your head.”
> Listen | +1 from R. Pederson.
You won’t be able to get that riff out of your head.
Erkin Koray | 1973 single
Reader A. Ercan applauds Erkin Koray, “Godfather of Turkish Rock.” It’s “only one of his outstanding contributions to psychedelic rock.” An “immense impact on the Turkish rock/psych scene.”
The “Godfather of Turkish Rock” in full psychedelic mode.
‘Incense and Peppermints’
Strawberry Alarm Clock | 1967 single
Reader J. Waters says listening to Strawberry Alarm Clock’s “pretty yet intense music” — such as this No. 1 hit — “always makes me feel like I’m flying.” Band at “the deepest root of the psychedelic era.”
Pretty yet intense music always makes me feel like I’m flying.
‘The Green Manalishi’
Fleetwood Mac | 1970 single
Reader A. Dorshkind asks: “You want LOUD? You want enough headroom for four keening harpies to fly around in, shrieking the approach of doomsday?” Check in with Peter Green.
Four keening harpies fly around, shrieking the approach of doomsday.
‘Night of Fear’
The Move | 1966 single
Reader Jim Young recalls this “sad and beautiful story of an innocent kid rolling around in his bed on acid.” A track “magnificently embellished by Roy Wood.” Plus, the “1812 Overture.”
Story of an innocent kid rolling around in his bed on acid.
‘When I Touch You’
Spirit | from “Twelve Dreams of Dr. Sardonicus,” 1970
Reader R. Olson loves the “great astral sound” of this track from the fourth and final album of the band’s classic lineup. “Melodic guitar” from Randy California at the heart of Jay Ferguson’s song.
Great astral sound with melodic guitar.
Led Zeppelin | from “Houses of the Holy,” 1973
Reader J. James says John Paul Jones’ organ “is the trippiest craziest haunting presence” on this track that’s “much different” than Led Zeppelin’s other recordings.
John Paul Jones’ organ is the trippiest craziest haunting presence.
‘Move Into the Light’
Quintessence | 1969 B-side
Reader J. Palmer hears “the most psychedelic hallucinating drone sound ever produced by an acid rock band in the 1970s. Non-album B-side and CD bonus track.
A psychedelic hallucinating drone sound.
The Magic Mushrooms | 1966 single
Reader C. Lantana finds “real, true psychedelia” on this track that’s “very innovative” and “predates most others” in the genre. Found on the original “Nuggets” compilation.
Real, true psychedelia made famous on the “Nuggets” comp.
‘Child in Time’
Deep Purple | from “In Rock,” 1970
Reader S. Jones wants you to take this 10-minute “cosmic trip that takes the listener up and down through escalating cycles of sonic intensity.” The ending “will leave you shattered.”
Escalating cycles of sonic intensity that last 10 minutes.
‘You’re Gonna Miss Me’
13th Floor Elevators | 1966 single
Reader L. Stephens lobbies for this “one-of-a-kind song from out of nowhere” with “deranged and spacey lyrics.” N. Washburn adds it’s “one of the earliest uses of the electric jug.”
> Listen | +1 from W. Barber
A one-of-a-kind song from out of nowhere. With electric jug.
Quicksilver Messenger Service | from debut album, 1968
Reader D. Lesser envisions “sonic pictures of gardens, strange beasts, clouds and swirls of color.” Plus, “appropriately lame psychedelic lyrics” for the 12-minute epic.
Sonic pictures of gardens, strange beasts, clouds and swirls of color.
‘Open Air Shop’
Savage Rose | from debut album, 1968
Reader Jeff salutes the “amazingly powerful, harsh and unique female lead vocals” plus the “atmospheric lead-in and buildup, and a wicked closing drum solo.” Out of Denmark.
Amazingly powerful, harsh and unique female lead vocals.
‘Real Crazy Apartment’
Winston’s Fumbs | 1967
Reader M. Rowlett says: “When I think of what an acid trip felt and sounded like back in the ’60 (I was born in ’83), this is the song that comes to mind.” From Small Faces veteran Jimmy Winston.
When I think of what a ’60s acid trip felt and sounded like …
Black Sabbath | from “Paranoid,” 1970
Reader B. McCracken says this “spacey, atmospheric” track is a “perfect example of how Black Sabbath bridged the gap between psychedelia and what was to become heavy metal.”
Black Sabbath bridges the gap between psychedelia and heavy metal.
Captain Beefheart | from “The Mirror Man Sessions,” 1967
Reader B. Bowen urges you to “be reborn / be reformed” with this sweet track from the “lost” Captain Beefheart album. “And groove for 5 or 6 minutes as well.”
“Be reborn / be reformed” … And groove for 5 or 6 minutes as well.
‘House of the Rising Sun’
Frigid Pink | 1969 single
Reader J.P. Penrod says “the distorted guitar intro blew away my 15-year-old mind — and I wish I still had the album!” Single cracked the Top 10 in 1970.
The distorted guitar intro blew away my 15-year-old mind.
‘Pressed Rat and Warthog’
Cream | from “Wheels of Fire,” 1968
Reader D. Carrigan : “No matter what state of mind one is in, this rock poetry will get your head reeling!” Narrator Ginger Baker serves up “atonal apples” and “dog legs and feet.”
This rock poetry will get your head reeling!
→ MORE PSYCHEDELIC SONGS: view the readers’ list on PAGE 2.