MC5 | 1969 — “Leaving the solar system, leaving the solar system,” warns reader Russell Chipman. “A psychedelic assault” from the Detroit hard rockers, recorded live “and written by Sun Ra nonetheless.” The 8-minute song closes out the debut album, recorded live in the Motor City.
A psychedelic assault as the Detroit rockers cover Sun Ra.
‘Slip Inside this House’
The 13th Floor Elevators | 1967 — “The Elevators have a lot of head songs,” reader Aaron Ward notes. “With this one in particular the lyrics guide you perfectly along your way to the void. Making you feel distant, distorted, reverberated, and at one with all.” From “Easter Everywhere.”
You feel distant, distorted, reverberated, and at one with all.
The Blues Magoos | 1966 — Reader Kevin McKay urges you to light up this “awesome” track from “Psychedelic Lollipop.” A minute or so of garage rock, followed by a startling freakout that carries on for most of the track. “Much underrated,” or at least unjustly forgotten.
A minute or so of garage rock, followed by a startling freakout.
‘The Garden Of Earthly Delights’
The United States of America | 1968 — Reader John Green pledges allegiance to this short but sweet and strange number from the electronic-music pioneers. “It has all the makings of a classic ’60s LSD acid trip sound.” That’s Dorothy Moskowitz on vocals.
All the makings of a classic ’60s LSD acid trip sound.
‘7 and 7 Is’
Love | 1966 — “The lyrics are obviously about an LSD trip,” says reader Dennis Stone. Who’s to say, but Arthur Lee always said it was about the frustrations of teenage life and of hanging out at home with his father. “A vivid example of the times.” From the great “Da Capo.”
A vivid example of the times.
‘Even the Clock’
Steamhammer | 1969 — Reader Lynn Ovington hears “searing guitar from Martin Pugh, insinuating that, ‘Life is a wine at the right time.’ Drink a vat and listen to the whole album.” From the British blues rockers’ debut album, “Reflection.”
Searing guitar from Martin Pugh.
‘On a Meadow-Lea’
Bobak, Jons, Malone | 1969 — “This gem will surely be cropping up in your list soon,” correctly predicts reader Neil Barnes. UK studio pros Mike Bobak and Andy Johns joined with Wilson Malone to craft this pleasant obscurity. From the intersection of psychedelic and prog.
From the intersection of psychedelic and prog.
‘Brother Lou’s Love Colony’
The Moon | 1968 — Reader Richard Bone says amen to the “swirling sitars and summer of love communal vibe” found on this track from the album “Without Earth,” recorded in Hollywood. The pop-up group included the early Beach Boys member David Marks.
Swirling sitars and summer of love communal vibe.
Nirvana | 1968 — “Lovely ’60s-style distortion” on this track that’s not by that Nirvana, writes reader James Baird. A “great melody” awash in phasing. Salvador Dali joined the UK band for a TV performance of this single, painting them black whilst they played.
Lovely ’60s-style distortion … and a great melody.
Gong | 1974 — Reader Dave Silverman wants you to hear this “massive tune” with a “heavy Asiatic riff that runs all the way through it.” It’s “punctuated by stunning synth notes and phrases, then climaxes with a burst of pure Steve Hillage as he does his thing.”
Climaxes with a burst of pure Steve Hillage.
The Jimi Hendrix Experience | 1967 — “I can’t hear the opening notes without thinking that the world is about to be changed,” says reader Owsley. Reader Gerri Corrado says the guitar “sounds like humans communicating … or something absolutely ungodly.”
The sound of a world about to be changed.
Pink Floyd | 1971 — “You cannot force a dog to sing,” says reader Miguel Angel Gonzalez de la Rubia Palmerin. “If he sings it is for something, the feeling, the extreme blues. Hallucinogenic substances? They were other years.” (That’s Steve Marriott’s hound on vocals.)
Hallucinogenic substances? They were other years.
New Power Generation | 1995 — “Prince takes backup vocals and plays electric violin” on this 6-minute sonic adventure, says reader Dustin. “The blend of instruments is orgasmic. The song builds a sobering narrative that makes you both scared and sad.”
The blend of instruments is orgasmic.
‘Hurdy Gurdy Man’
Donovan | 1968 — Reader the Psychedelic Komandante finds the Scottish bard “expanding minds” with (reported) session players John Paul Jones and Jimmy Page. “How can you beat that groovy sound?” Donovan said he wrote the song hoping Jimi Hendrix would record it.
How can you beat that groovy sound?
‘Happy Nightmare Baby’
Opal | 1987 — Reader Daniel Thomas touts this neo-psychedelic love song as “a mind-blowing amalgam of the Jefferson Airplane and the Velvet Underground.” Released on the seminal ’80s label SST. The paisley underground band transformed itself into Mazzy Star.
A mind-blowing amalgam of the Airplane and Velvet Underground.
‘Mountains of the Moon’
The Grateful Dead | 1969 — “Achingly beautiful and galaxies away,” muses reader Scott Miller. “An acoustic invite into another head space. An early Hunter/Garcia collaboration that portended the songful years ahead.” From “Aoxomoxoa.”
An acoustic invite into another head space.
‘Travel By Thought’
The Church | 1983 — Reader Steve Annan is swept away by this track from Down Under: “Unearthly guitar and vocal effects, random noises, trippy lyrics, and a trainlike feeling of movement is evoked.” From the album “Seance,” the experimental track anticipated the band’s 1990s itinerary.
Unearthly guitar and vocal effects, random noises, trippy lyrics …
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> MORE PSYCHEDELIC SONGS: view the readers’ list on PAGE 2.