“The psychedelic eye of acid rock” from

I well remember hearing the first psychedelic tracks, from artists like Jimi Hendrix. His “Are You Experienced” is the classic for me, although his pop tune “Purple Haze” is more usually cited because that was a contemporary name for LSD – or a “brand” of acid.

Sacrilege perhaps, but this live cover of “Are You Experienced” totally nails it for me: Eric Johnson, with nice use of delay hold.

There were a host of pop tunes all drawing on the psychedelic idea: from “Here We Go Round the Mulberry Bush (also a film), “My White Bicycle”,  to the Beatles astonishing “Sgt Peppers” and the Stones darker “Satanic Majesties”.  There was also a sub-culture of British bands like Tomorrow – all well worth investigation. Here’s one interesting attempt at determining the top 100 songs here.

And of course Pink Floyd’s epic “Ummagumma”, which turned upside down all notions of what live gigs should be about; a huge step forward from the wonderful madness of Syd Barrett. An attempt at defining the top 50 albums is here.  Even from the start, they’re all very different; from sixties clanging guitars and country western origins, to full-on rock with electronica.

Defining psychedelic music is difficult. I may attempt a blog on that someday. It’s to do with travelling inside the mind…

In the meantime, this sort of music is one of the many component parts of of what I try to do (what bands list as their  “influences”). Music allows us to go to places that not even our minds can conjure up for us. Psychedelic music is exactly that.

Furthermore, replicating a full-on drug experience using just sound is remarkable, as that’s what the early psychedelic bands were trying to do – reflecting their own drug use. The fact that they do pass on identifiable aspects of this, shows us the power of music working inside our minds –  an instant trip that ceases as soon as the music stops.  Maybe this can be developed….?

So I very much hope you enjoy what I will post here in this topic.

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