Music

The Best Psychedelic Rock Bands  

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12.7k votes 1.2k voters 79.5k views 184 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. (184 items)
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list ordered by
1
The Jimi Hendrix Experience is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Psychedelic Rock Bands
Blues-rock, Psychedelic soul, Rock music
2
The Doors is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Psychedelic Rock Bands
Blues-rock, Rock music, Protopunk
3
Pink Floyd is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Psychedelic Rock Bands
Rock music, Space rock, Experimental rock
4
Jefferson Airplane is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Psychedelic Rock Bands
Blues-rock, Psychedelic folk, Rock music
5
Cream is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Psychedelic Rock Bands
Blues-rock, Classic rock, Rock music
6
13th Floor Elevators is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Psychedelic Rock Bands
Rock music, Garage rock, Protopunk
7
Grateful Dead is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Psychedelic Rock Bands
Blues-rock, Rock music, Folk rock
8
Love is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Psychedelic Rock Bands
Rock music, Garage rock, Folk rock
9
The Byrds is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Psychedelic Rock Bands
Jangle pop, Pop music, Raga rock
10
The Yardbirds is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Psychedelic Rock Bands
British Invasion, Blues-rock, Rock music
11
Iron Butterfly is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Psychedelic Rock Bands
Blues-rock, Rock music, Heavy metal
12
Tame Impala is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Psychedelic Rock Bands
ElijahKaganer added Space rock, Neo-psychedelia, Dream pop
13
Janis Joplin is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Psychedelic Rock Bands
RobinGallego added Blues-rock, Rock music, Folk music
14
The Zombies is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Psychedelic Rock Bands
British Invasion, Rock music, Psychedelic pop
15
Captain Beefheart & His Magic ... is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Psychedelic Rock Bands
Blues-rock, Spoken word, Garage rock
16
King Gizzard & the Lizard Wiza... is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Psychedelic Rock Bands
a.gordonguitar added Psychedelic rock, garage rock, acid rock
17
Big Brother and the Holding Co... is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Psychedelic Rock Bands
Blues-rock, Punk blues, Rock music
18
T. Rex is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Psychedelic Rock Bands
Psychedelic folk, Rock music, Folk rock
19
The Mothers of Invention is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Psychedelic Rock Bands
RobinGallego added Rock music, Protopunk, Jazz fusion
20
Steppenwolf is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Psychedelic Rock Bands
RobinGallego added Blues-rock, Rock music, Heavy metal
21
Syd Barrett is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Psychedelic Rock Bands
Blues-rock, Psychedelic folk, Space rock
22
Strawberry Alarm Clock is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Psychedelic Rock Bands
Bubblegum pop, Blues-rock, Rock music
23
The Arcana is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Psychedelic Rock Bands
buster added Baroque pop/rock
24
The Seeds is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Psychedelic Rock Bands
Rock music, Garage rock, Protopunk
25
The Electric Prunes is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Psychedelic Rock Bands
Rock music, Garage rock, Acid rock