This is my favourite musical genre. As various R&B purveyors in the sixties got a bit older, they started experimenting with illicit substances other than amphetamines, such as THC, LSD, mescaline and psilocybin.
Consequently, the music became far more complex (and occasionally extremely self-indulgent) and was meant to reflect an alternate consciousness, if getting totally off your face on the aforementioned substances could be dignified with such a term. See for example, the difference in musical style between Help and Rubber Soul, recorded after the Beatles had recently experienced Mary Jane (courtesy of one Bob Dylan) and LSD. Syd Barrett, the founder of and key initial figure in Pink Floyd was a salutary example of what happens when too much LSD is barely enough.
The Psychedelic style has remained a musical staple since the late sixties, nonetheless. The definitive (for me) record of 1967’s (northern) “Summer of Love” was the Monterey Pop Festival, so gloriously essayed in the D A Pennebaker film – although the standout performance is by Otis Redding, who was most certainly not a purveyor of Psychedelia. Various movies of the time also sought to explore the “altered consciousness” concept, including “The Trip” and “Vanishing Point”, not to mention “Easy Rider”.
Some of my favourite examples of the genre post the sixties include Naz Nomad and the Nightmares and the Dukes of Stratosphear (the Damned and XTC respectively). Primal Scream also mined the genre with their 1997 epic, “Vanishing Point” (named after the film), which included an awesome homage to Syd Barrett, “Burning Wheel”.
The other wonderful thing about Psychedelia is the fashion style and the instruments. Stoves, suede Chelsea boots, paisley shirts, mop top haircuts, granny glasses, suede fringed or Levi’s jackets, mellotrons and twelve string guitars (hello, Rickenbackers).
Some other bands and artists that have dabbled in the genre include:
The Dandy Warhols
Barely scratching the surface. No doubt there are many artists, bands and songs that will be posted by Cats this evening. Now again, comes the hard part – picking two intro songs. Let’s have some local flavour:
The Church (1981)
The Moffs (1984)
114 thoughts on “Rabz’ Radio Show Rocktober 2022: Psychedelia”
The Byrds – Eight Miles High
I really have to start with this one, which manages to be both a tribute to psychedelica and a satire of it. It’s also great fun, and did well on the charts.
Deee-Lite – Groove Is In The Heart (1990)
Does this qualify? I think it does.
Is this thing on?
Taxiride – Get Set
The quintessential psychedelic single.
Or maybe this.
Red eyes and tears …
Or this, from The Dead’s second album.
See if you can work out why it’s called The Eleven.
Another worthy tribute to the genre.
No Quarter – Tool (2000, Led Zeppelin cover)
The video alone is enough to get you to another planet.
For me the defining album of 1967 is Forever Changes.
The Funkees – Break Through
Acid drippin’ funk from Nigeria.
Sorry, I accidentally reported a comment. No idea which one. But if someone gets vapourised, know that I will remember you fondly, whoever you are.
PS: another vote for Traffic.
Roger started it.
Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds (1967)
A Day In The Life (1967)
13th floor elevators
it’s all over now baby blue
you’re gonna miss me
The 13th Floor Elevators were great purveyors of the genre in that initial 1965-67 period.
Dick Clark (?) Interviewed the band,
Q: Who’s the head of the band ?
A: we’re all heads
House of Love – a tribute to their favourite artists …
And yep closer to home The Moffs were an awesome experience in 1984-86
Turn this one up to eleventy, peoples!
’89 writ large
Waterfall/Don’t Stop …
Ah snap Eric Hinton
I was mates with Nick Potts at university. They were of course, best experienced in that dingy hot box in the Strawberry Hills Hotel.
If you look at what the media and most of the twitterati are spouting they are using some serious hallucinogens . Most of the posters here were around when the hippy age occurred but embraced reality . In the end it was heroin that decimated this genre . https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z-GUjA67mdc pretty sums it up .
Fine pop band the Dandy Warhols! We used to be friends is an anthem.
Slightly OT … should have spun this one on the live show
Billy Orphan’s Tears Shooting Screen
Any Sandgroper know of other bands the guitarist (Bradley Clark) was in?
Oceanic lights are cleverly dim
Bluish features in the lower reaches
We raise our traffic flares to him
Fishnet girlish the red ones spark
Holy arks trapped in the dark …
The more I see the less I look
Here’s another name I took
Listen in the early morning air
The remnants of their evening wear …
Branching off the road winds east
Deluxe locations just near completion
Come dine with wine and oyster feast
The pearls are real have one for free
They’re washed up by the foam waved sea …
The more I look the less I smile
Never mind let’s stay awhile
The fans blow secrets on the night
Out of mind but not out of sight …
Is this where you live
Is this where you live
Is this where you live?
Back to business, these two tracks go together all the way to orbit.
Space Oddity – Bowie (1969)
Ashes To Ashes – Bowie (1980)
The Bees- These Are The Ghosts
from the smuggler’s Isle of Jersey, confessed that the only substances which they could access were the Blue Meanie mushrooms, which grow on horse patties.
The Stones only ever pretended to dabble in Psychedelia, although they did gift us this most underrated classic:
2000 light years from home
Old Goat – that album is awesome. I love The Stranglers. So here’s another one from them:
Ice Queen – The Stranglers (1984)
And of course, She’s a rainbow …
Tame Impala, back in the midst of bat flu madness …
Here’s one of the earliest I can remember. Circa 65, Yardbirds with Shapes of Things.
Temples – Colours To Life
The youngsters punch it home with a three-chorus throwback.
Nice one Harlequin, I’d cued that one up myself
Reminds me of another track, by Icehouse. As trippy as you can get:
The Ghost Of Time – Icehouse (31 Dec 1999)
Twenty minutes of pretty amazing. I was watching it live at the time, the video doesn’t have the clarity to do it justice. It was a complete blast. Welcome little new millennium!
Thanks Walli, how could anyone beat Beck, Clapton and Page?
White Rabbit would be my second post, fantastic song but that’s already been posted by Roger.
Sugar Hiccup – the original and the best (i.e. no staggeringly beautiful soft tummied brunettes going all whimsical) …
So that leaves one that Mr Rabz brought to my attention a few years ago…Black Angels-Young Men Dead.
Tame Impala – Half Full Glass Of Wine (2008)
White Denim – Drug
Made on – drugs
About – drugs
Feels like – …
An homage to this band, I reckon.
Tame Impala –
I Knew Them Before They Were Famous.
They were unknowns opening for post-hotness You Am I in a brick highway tavern, did a nifty cover of Blue Boy’s Remember Me. Sung it low and easy, wigged out guitars- organic three piece back then. I said gday as they swept the floor afterwards, complimented him that he made it look easy- genuinely effortless singing voice. I don’t know why the hell he’s adopted the whiny Billy Corgan tone.
Enough to say, I Like Their Old Stuff Better Than Their New Stuff.
Side project- Pond – Xan Man
Harlequin – thank you, Squire – the song was featured at the end of one of the episodes of the best crime drama ever, True Detective (Season One).
I keep getting distracted by excellent tracks by other Cats. Must focus.
To the fine psychedelic band NASA. Not the space agency.
Spacious Thoughts – N.A.S.A. (2009)
Gifted – N.A.S.A. (2009)
(My favorite is of course Way Down for some inscrutable reason known only to Cafe Bruce customers.)
I think this fits.
Mazzy Star always fits, Squire.
Hope at her most alluring with the J&MC.
Two J&MC classics:
The perfect Crime
Just like honey
I am the son and heir
of a shyness that is criminally vulgar
I am the son and heir
of nothing in particular …
No Hippee Chick … 🙂
Bruce of Newcastle says: October 1, 2022 at 8:58 pm
Thanks for the recommendation, it wasn’t bad.
On clarity, you could have linked to a clearer version.
The Great Curve, 1980, featuring the most out of it guitar work in human history (sorry, Jimi).
Mazzy Star – Tell Me Now (1995)
This isn’t in any of their albums, but is just gorgeous.
Yeah, OK, some Jimi … 🙂
Colonel – The trippiest bit was all those floats on Sydney Harbour. I want a clearer version of the thingies on the water. The track and the visuals together were really awesome. All those strange floating creatures were real, built by someone just for the event.
My thanks go to P for that video btw.
I meant to include this credit but I got 500 errored.
Ogdens’ Nut Gone Flake 🙂
Turn, Turn, Turn*
Mr Tambourine Man
Whoa – talk about 12 strings just ringing out …
*Our very own superstar goil next door …
Perfect blend of awesome with pop to produce awesome pop. I liked it when Soho came out with it in 1990 (had to look the year up but). Cool idea.
OK – it is not remotely psychedelic, but it’s my thread and I’ll post whatevah I want to, Cats! 🙂
Fellas, I’m ready to get up and do my thang
I wanna get into it, man
You know, like a sex masheen, man …
Got to stop, I get awoken at 5:30am by insistent magpies.
My final contribution:
Second Song (2011)
Dunno why they did the video since the track isn’t even a B side. But both the single and the video are pretty cool, and fit well with Rabz theme.
It can’t be psychedelia unless you have the Moodies.
The 12 string invocation by Rabz last night got me thinking- were R.E.M. ever psych?
Maybe. The Lifting, off the underrated Reveal album.
Note I’m posting all this deaf tonight, nu computa sans speaker. I’ll have to catch up on the new suggestions soon.
I so forgot the Moody Blues and ELO. 😀
Still skirting around psych pop music, keepin’ the vim in the thread.
The Coral – Goodbye
Janelle Monae – Tightrope
“whether you’re high or low.. trippy trip on the tightrope…”
Tho Monae is ostensibly a Baptist who prays with the band on the way on and off the stage, me reckons she is fascinated enough by the pageantry of voodoo to have a few wild sessions behind her. This song might sound like straight up R&B funk, but pay attention to the composition- the extended trickle-down fadeout is the way a good trip will burn off in the dawn
Fleet Foxes – Mykonos
The film clip is a work of art in itself- another discombobulating change of pulse at the 3/4 mark
…is anyone still standing?
Dr John – Gris Gris Gumbo Ya Ya
Dungen – Ta Det Lungt
Straight outta Sverige. Actually never made it out, might never have wanted to, insisted on singing in that daft elftalk they use there. Dungen translates as The Woods, song means “take you time”. Max volume recommended.
They most certainly were, Wallee
LOL, calli – reminds me of an offhand remark about teenage fanclub – “they just want to be the Hollies”
Star Sign, with the full intro …
Oh for sure, berry buck n Mills were masters of space and misdirection, and Stipe’s dadaist lyric construction sure kept the listener wondering. Funnyly enough it was only late in the piece where he got more into storytelling and alternate personas, and unconsciously or not bought his own demons to the front of stage, that the songs really touched me.
Mind you, psych-by-numbers can be fun too, even from the endowment fund baby of the entertainment aristocracy-
Kula Shaker – Second Sight
Here’s an astral plane to fly.
Would this song qualify?
The Beach Boys certainly spent a long time recording this one. Was it due to certain chemicals?
Suede – with the greatest guitarist of his generation slightly restrained …
There’s a song playing on the radio …
The Small Faces – Itchykoo Park (1967)
Nellie McKay – Itchycoo Park
Who said that the mighty Quo were a one trick pony?
Pictures of Matchstick Men (1968)
Psychedelic folk rock by Donovan:
The rumour was that you could get high by smoking banana peels. Never tried it, though.
Hawkwind at the centre of the universe.
Like so many others my favourite will always be Hope Sandoval – either on her own or fronting Mazzy Star. Saw the mazzys in Sydney a few years ago and marvelled at the smh review that spent most of the article criticising the lighting for being too dark rather than the music. What exactly did they expect?
This is all just so cool. Going to take days to make my way though these links, just to make sure my ideas are not repeats.
The prize must go to Bruce of Newcastle for Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds, it might not have been the first, but it was the biggest.
Very Excellent work Rabz.
Tame Impala, close to me geographically, so to speak. Also have connections to Jerry, Kevin’s old man. Big noting.
The rumour was that you could get high by smoking banana peels. Never tried it, though.
After poor ol’ Syd was checked into a psychiatric facility, the Floyd recruited a male model who’d been bludging his way around Italy. But he knew how to wield a Strat*, nonetheless.
Echoes – if you want to enjoy the best of it, fast forward to the five minute mark.
*Here he is, wielding a Gibbo in the film clip for one of Kate’s most mighty ditties.
Tripped out funk from Tangiers
Nomade Orquestra – Bedum
It’s actually a rock solid album, a lot slower and richer than a lot of inch-deep afrobeat dross.
…as long as this thread’s open I’ll keep chipping in
Wally – you are most welcome, Squire.
I’m here and it’s happening. Still lots of tunes to be posted.
Two versions of the same song:
Them: I can only give you everything
Naz Nomad and the Nightmares: I can only give you everythang, baybee … 🙂
Sometimes I think about
Play the Rolling Stones “Dandelion” to people of sixties/seventies generations and see if (i) they recall it at all, and (ii) can recognise it as a Rolling Stones song.
Jefferson Airplane and The Doors. Nothing else comes close.
They actually toured Europe together, and Morrison got completely off his face on drugs before one performance. He just scoffed whatever pills young people in the street gave him – all at once.
I completely forgot last night to put up a Zappa track.
Nanook Rubs It (1974)
Whoops – going backwards and realising I’d muffed the copy/paste-
Nomade Orquestra, take 2
Skin deep stranglers
Russell Morris – The Real thing
Blonde – union city blues
They were the best
Mazzy Star – Disappear …
Rabz – The Incredible String Band. Many lost nights on this and other stuff in the sixties.
Creeping back, as usual.
Sorry, I accidentally reported a comment.
And if a six, turns out to be nine,
I don’t mind.
Lizzie, you can come to our place out near your childhood places any time. Never mind the grinch of QBN.
Rabz is a friend of mine.
And of the ole Hairy Cap’n Beefheart fan.
Who can’t stand the Incredible String Band.
I can’t stand them either these days either and many other bands were better.
But under acid and stoned to the eyeballs, back then, another story.
Even more than in seventies, for the psych-sixties, you had to be there.
Once Upon a Time in Hollywood indeed.
Thanks Anchor What.
Good to see ya back lizzie
Hardly ‘back’, Louis Litt, thanks though. I’m on holidays in Pacifica, the New World of the multi-racial multi-ethnic Pacific and just dropped by to say hello to Rabz, my buddie on his own thread, whom I’m pleased to see is in a good place in his life right now, and because the whingey old Incredible String Band, endpoint of many a stoned psychedelic sixties party, hadn’t had a mention.
So easy to forget how boring psychedelia became. 🙂
By 1973 under Mike Oldfield it turned to spooky horrorshow: Tubular Bells.
Oh shucks Lizzie, you can call we Luigi
Look around, around, around …