bands/musicians The Best Psychedelic Rock Bands  

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9.8k votes 812 voters 71.6k views 201 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. (201 items)
list ordered by

1
240 91
The Doors is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Psychedelic Rock Bands
The Doors Blues-rock, Rock music, Protopunk

2
214 87
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
168 66
Jefferson Airplane is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Psychedelic Rock Bands
Jefferson Airplane Blues-rock, Psychedelic folk, Rock music

4
160 64
The Velvet Underground is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Psychedelic Rock Bands
The Velvet Underground Noise rock, Blues-rock, Rock music

5
158 63
Cream is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Psychedelic Rock Bands
Cream Blues-rock, Classic rock, Rock music

6
176 82
The Beatles is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Psychedelic Rock Bands
The Beatles Pop music, Rock music, Pop rock

7
140 56
13th Floor Elevators is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Psychedelic Rock Bands
13th Floor Elevators Rock music, Garage rock, Protopunk

8
269 137
Pink Floyd is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Psychedelic Rock Bands
Pink Floyd Rock music, Space rock, Experimental rock

9
123 52
David Bowie is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Psychedelic Rock Bands
passionsears added David Bowie Rock music, Psychedelic pop, Electronic music

10
104 45
Iron Butterfly is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Psychedelic Rock Bands
Iron Butterfly Blues-rock, Rock music, Heavy metal

11
96 49
The Arcana is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Psychedelic Rock Bands
buster added The Arcana Baroque pop/rock

12
109 52
Love is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Psychedelic Rock Bands
Love Rock music, Garage rock, Folk rock

13
104 50
The Byrds is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Psychedelic Rock Bands
The Byrds Jangle pop, Pop music, Raga rock

14
98 48
The Yardbirds is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Psychedelic Rock Bands
The Yardbirds British Invasion, Blues-rock, Rock music

The Best Rock Vocalists

15
98 49
T. Rex is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Psychedelic Rock Bands
T. Rex Psychedelic folk, Rock music, Folk rock

16
87 43
Captain Beefheart & His Magic ... is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Psychedelic Rock Bands
Captain Beefheart & His Magic Band Blues-rock, Spoken word, Garage rock

17
79 38
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
80 39
Steppenwolf is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Psychedelic Rock Bands
RobinGallego added Steppenwolf Blues-rock, Rock music, Heavy metal

19
85 43
Big Brother and the Holding Co... is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Psychedelic Rock Bands
Big Brother and the Holding Company Blues-rock, Punk blues, Rock music

20
82 41
Moby Grape is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Psychedelic Rock Bands
Moby Grape Rock music, Garage rock, Folk rock

21
126 73
Grateful Dead is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Psychedelic Rock Bands
Grateful Dead Blues-rock, Rock music, Folk rock

The Best New Original Shows on Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon

22
83 42
The Seeds is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Psychedelic Rock Bands
The Seeds Rock music, Garage rock, Protopunk

23
89 41
Strawberry Alarm Clock is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Psychedelic Rock Bands
Strawberry Alarm Clock Bubblegum pop, Blues-rock, Rock music

24
85 44
Tame Impala is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Psychedelic Rock Bands
ElijahKaganer added Tame Impala Space rock, Neo-psychedelia, Dream pop

25
91 49
The Zombies is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Psychedelic Rock Bands
The Zombies British Invasion, Rock music, Psychedelic pop

26
92 53
Janis Joplin is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Best Psychedelic Rock Bands
RobinGallego added Janis Joplin Blues-rock, Rock music, Folk music

27
81 42
The Rolling Stones is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Best Psychedelic Rock Bands
The Rolling Stones Blues-rock, Rock music, Protopunk

28
73 31
The Amazing World of Arthur Br... is listed (or ranked) 28 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

The Best Frontmen in Rock

29
79 41
Quicksilver Messenger Service is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Best Psychedelic Rock Bands
Quicksilver Messenger Service Rock music, Acid rock, Jam band

30
83 44
The Beach Boys is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Best Psychedelic Rock Bands
jonathan-guerra added The Beach Boys Pop music, Rock music, Psychedelic pop

31
75 33
Blue Cheer is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Best Psychedelic Rock Bands
Blue Cheer Noise rock, Blues-rock, Rock music

32
63 25
Buffalo Springfield is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Best Psychedelic Rock Bands
Buffalo Springfield Pop music, Rock music, Folk rock

33
63 30
Blind Faith is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Best Psychedelic Rock Bands
RobinGallego added Blind Faith Blues-rock, Rock music, British blues

34
127 79
Syd Barrett is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Best Psychedelic Rock Bands
Syd Barrett Blues-rock, Psychedelic folk, Space rock

35
74 39
The Hollies is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Best Psychedelic Rock Bands
The Hollies Pop music, Rock music, Psychedelic pop

The Top 500 Musical Groups/Artists of All Time

36
75 40
The Pretty Things is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Best Psychedelic Rock Bands
The Pretty Things British Invasion, Rock music, Garage rock

37
78 37
The Small Faces is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Best Psychedelic Rock Bands
manny-kent added The Small Faces British Invasion, Classic rock, Pop music

38
65 28
The Electric Prunes is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Best Psychedelic Rock Bands
The Electric Prunes Rock music, Garage rock, Acid rock

39
75 41
Eric Burdon & the Animals is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Best Psychedelic Rock Bands
Eric Burdon & the Animals Blues-rock, Rock music, British blues

40
72 39
Vanilla Fudge is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Best Psychedelic Rock Bands
Vanilla Fudge Blues-rock, Rock music, Heavy metal

41
73 40
The Move is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Best Psychedelic Rock Bands
The Move British Invasion, Pop music, Rock music

42
76 43
Traffic is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Best Psychedelic Rock Bands
Traffic Rock music, Folk rock, Jazz fusion

The Worst Rock Bands of All Time

43
53 26
Count Five is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Best Psychedelic Rock Bands
jonathan-guerra added Count Five Rock music, Garage rock, Protopunk

44
58 30
The Chocolate Watchband is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Best Psychedelic Rock Bands
jonathan-guerra added The Chocolate Watchband Rock music, Garage rock, Psychedelic rock

45
59 31
The Great Society is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Best Psychedelic Rock Bands
The Great Society Psychedelic folk, Rock music, Garage rock

46
66 37
The Blues Magoos is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Best Psychedelic Rock Bands
The Blues Magoos Rock music, Garage rock, Psychedelic rock

47
54 23
Tangerine Dream is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Best Psychedelic Rock Bands
Tangerine Dream Krautrock, New Age music, Electronic music

48
72 37
Roky Erickson is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Best Psychedelic Rock Bands
Roky Erickson Rock music, Garage rock, Outsider music

49
14 1
King Crimson is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Best Psychedelic Rock Bands
Fil Gau added King Crimson New Wave, Rock music, Experimental rock

50
57 33
The Incredible String Band is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Best Psychedelic Rock Bands
The Incredible String Band Psychedelic folk, World music