Bands/Musicians The Best Psychedelic Rock Bands  

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10.4k votes 883 voters 72.9k views 180 items

At it's apex in the late 1960s, psychedelic rock has long remained one of rock's most popular genres. Popularized by the Summer of Love, the best psychedelic rock bands were able to fuse elements of other sounds - in particular those of the non-Western variety - to replicate the trippy, groovy feeling that was popular during that era. Psychedelic rock became a more underground rock movement since the late 1960s, but that doesn't mean it's not any less relevant. The neo-psych bands drew a lot of inspiration from earlier psychedelic rock bands and the kaleidoscopic nature of their sound, though it's not associated with the counter culture, remains one of the most excited brands of rock music.

So, who are the best psych rock bands? When you think of psychedelic rock bands, you have to include the likes of The Doors, Grateful Dead, Flaming Lips, The 13th Floor Elevators, The Zombies, Iron Butterfly and the Jimi Hendrix Experience. Some of these psychedelic rock bands are considered some of the greatest rock bands of all time, and with good reason. Their songs transcend psych rock and continue to strike a chord with music listeners across the globe and through multiple generations. 

That said, take a look at this list psychedelic rock bands and it should provide a context of who is considered the best in psych music. If you are a fan of psych or need a point of reference of what are new psychedelic rock artists, this is the place to look.
This list answers the questions "who are the best psychedelic rock bands of all time?" and "who is the greatest psychedelic rock musician ever?" If you know enough about the genre, please vote based on the quality of the band's music instead of just voting for the most popular psychedelic rock bands that you might've heard of. (180 items)

1
264 101
The Doors is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Psychedelic Rock Bands
The Doors Blues-rock, Rock music, Protopunk

2
226 95
The Jimi Hendrix Experience is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Psychedelic Rock Bands
The Jimi Hendrix Experience Blues-rock, Psychedelic soul, Rock music

3
183 72
Jefferson Airplane is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Psychedelic Rock Bands
Jefferson Airplane Blues-rock, Psychedelic folk, Rock music

4
290 143
Pink Floyd is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Psychedelic Rock Bands
Pink Floyd Rock music, Space rock, Experimental rock

5
168 69
Cream is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Psychedelic Rock Bands
Cream Blues-rock, Classic rock, Rock music

6
147 59
13th Floor Elevators is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Psychedelic Rock Bands
13th Floor Elevators Rock music, Garage rock, Protopunk

7
111 47
Iron Butterfly is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Psychedelic Rock Bands
Iron Butterfly Blues-rock, Rock music, Heavy metal

8
116 55
Love is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Psychedelic Rock Bands
Love Rock music, Garage rock, Folk rock

9
110 53
The Byrds is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Psychedelic Rock Bands
The Byrds Jangle pop, Pop music, Raga rock

10
103 51
The Yardbirds is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Psychedelic Rock Bands
The Yardbirds British Invasion, Blues-rock, Rock music

11
104 52
T. Rex is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Psychedelic Rock Bands
T. Rex Psychedelic folk, Rock music, Folk rock

12
101 50
Tame Impala is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Psychedelic Rock Bands
ElijahKaganer added Tame Impala Space rock, Neo-psychedelia, Dream pop

13
93 46
Captain Beefheart & His Magic ... is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Psychedelic Rock Bands
Captain Beefheart & His Magic Band Blues-rock, Spoken word, Garage rock

14
137 78
Grateful Dead is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Psychedelic Rock Bands
Grateful Dead Blues-rock, Rock music, Folk rock

15
101 56
Janis Joplin is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Psychedelic Rock Bands
RobinGallego added Janis Joplin Blues-rock, Rock music, Folk music

16
96 56
The Arcana is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Psychedelic Rock Bands
buster added The Arcana Baroque pop/rock

17
85 42
The Mothers of Invention is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Psychedelic Rock Bands
RobinGallego added The Mothers of Invention Rock music, Protopunk, Jazz fusion

18
86 43
Steppenwolf is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Psychedelic Rock Bands
RobinGallego added Steppenwolf Blues-rock, Rock music, Heavy metal

19
94 44
Strawberry Alarm Clock is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Psychedelic Rock Bands
Strawberry Alarm Clock Bubblegum pop, Blues-rock, Rock music

20
87 45
The Seeds is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Psychedelic Rock Bands
The Seeds Rock music, Garage rock, Protopunk

21
96 52
The Zombies is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Psychedelic Rock Bands
The Zombies British Invasion, Rock music, Psychedelic pop

22
135 81
Syd Barrett is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Psychedelic Rock Bands
Syd Barrett Blues-rock, Psychedelic folk, Space rock

23
80 35
Blue Cheer is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Psychedelic Rock Bands
Blue Cheer Noise rock, Blues-rock, Rock music

24
77 33
The Amazing World of Arthur Br... is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Psychedelic Rock Bands
manny-kent added The Crazy World of Arthur Brown Rock music, Shock rock, Pop rock - Psychedelic Rock

25
86 45
Moby Grape is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Psychedelic Rock Bands
Moby Grape Rock music, Garage rock, Folk rock

26
90 48
Big Brother and the Holding Co... is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Best Psychedelic Rock Bands
Big Brother and the Holding Company Blues-rock, Punk blues, Rock music

27
68 33
Blind Faith is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Best Psychedelic Rock Bands
RobinGallego added Blind Faith Blues-rock, Rock music, British blues

28
78 41
The Hollies is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Best Psychedelic Rock Bands
The Hollies Pop music, Rock music, Psychedelic pop

29
79 42
The Pretty Things is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Best Psychedelic Rock Bands
The Pretty Things British Invasion, Rock music, Garage rock

30
82 39
The Small Faces is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Best Psychedelic Rock Bands
manny-kent added The Small Faces British Invasion, Classic rock, Pop music

31
69 30
The Electric Prunes is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Best Psychedelic Rock Bands
The Electric Prunes Rock music, Garage rock, Acid rock

32
82 45
Quicksilver Messenger Service is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Best Psychedelic Rock Bands
Quicksilver Messenger Service Rock music, Acid rock, Jam band

33
60 24
Tangerine Dream is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Best Psychedelic Rock Bands
Tangerine Dream Krautrock, New Age music, Electronic music

34
77 42
Vanilla Fudge is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Best Psychedelic Rock Bands
Vanilla Fudge Blues-rock, Rock music, Heavy metal

35
77 42
The Move is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Best Psychedelic Rock Bands
The Move British Invasion, Pop music, Rock music

36
57 27
Count Five is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Best Psychedelic Rock Bands
jonathan-guerra added Count Five Rock music, Garage rock, Protopunk

37
62 31
The Chocolate Watchband is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Best Psychedelic Rock Bands
jonathan-guerra added The Chocolate Watchband Rock music, Garage rock, Psychedelic rock

38
63 32
The Great Society is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Best Psychedelic Rock Bands
The Great Society Psychedelic folk, Rock music, Garage rock

39
70 38
The Blues Magoos is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Best Psychedelic Rock Bands
The Blues Magoos Rock music, Garage rock, Psychedelic rock

40
77 38
Roky Erickson is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Best Psychedelic Rock Bands
Roky Erickson Rock music, Garage rock, Outsider music

41
76 48
Traffic is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Best Psychedelic Rock Bands
Traffic Rock music, Folk rock, Jazz fusion

42
28 7
Chambers Brothers is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Best Psychedelic Rock Bands
Chambers Brothers Psychedelic soul, Disco, Rock music

43
62 40
CAN is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Best Psychedelic Rock Bands
CAN Krautrock, Rock music, Electronic music

44
58 37
The Incredible String Band is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Best Psychedelic Rock Bands
The Incredible String Band Psychedelic folk, World music

45
25 9
The Peanut Butter Conspiracy is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Best Psychedelic Rock Bands
jonathan-guerra added The Peanut Butter Conspiracy Psychedelic rock

46
30 10
The Amboy Dukes is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Best Psychedelic Rock Bands
The Amboy Dukes Rock music, Heavy metal, Acid rock

47
24 9
Golden Earring is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Best Psychedelic Rock Bands
RobinGallego added Golden Earring Blues-rock, Pop music, Nederpop

48
7 0
Primus is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Best Psychedelic Rock Bands
El Hicks added Primus Progressive metal, Rock music, Experimental rock

49
21 6
The Fugs is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Best Psychedelic Rock Bands
Brendan Hamilton added The Fugs Rock music, Experimental rock, Psychedelia

50
21 6
The Holy Modal Rounders is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Best Psychedelic Rock Bands
Brendan Hamilton added The Holy Modal Rounders Psychedelic folk, Freak folk