utorak, 10. siječnja 2012.

The 40 Best Psychedelic Albums of All Time

40. The Fraternal Order Of The All - Greetings From Planet Love ( 1998 )
Graham Gouldman and Andrew Gold collaborated to create this wonderful homage to all of their favorite albums from the sixties. Highlights: Tomorrow Drop Dead ( ala Tomorrow Never Knows ) and Doors tribute Ride The Snake. It's just a pity about that cover.

39. The Lollipop Shoppe - Just Colour ( 1968 )
Originally known as the Weeds, but convinced to change their name by a conservative record label, the Lollipop Shoppe were Dead Moon's Fred Cole's early band. Their sole album is an intriguing mixture of garage and psychedelic folk rock, as likely to evoke Love as it is Dead Moon.

38. Fifty Foot Hose - Cauldron ( 1967 )
This must have been pretty out there when first released in 1967 - it still freaks me out now. Female vocals with a mixture of psychedelic rock and early electronic music. Truly unusual and very experimental - I would imagine that Broadcast and Stereolab are fans.

 37. The Chesterfield Kings - The Mindbending Sounds of ( 2003 )
The Kings manage to sound more like the Stones than the Rolling Stones have since the early eighties. Excellent Nuggets style garage rock with a very psychedelic edge - Paint it Black is an obvious touchstone.

36. Earth And Fire ( 1970 )
Not to be confused with Earth, Wind and Fire. An excellent Dutch psychedelic prog band, this is their first album and sounds like a cross between Jefferson Airplane and Pink Floyd. Excellent fuzz guitar and very strong female vocals.

35. The End - Introspection ( 1969 )
Unfortunately the release of this album was held back for 18 months ( a lifetime in the late sixties )by their label, otherwise this would likely have been a major hit. Produced by the Rolling Stone's Bill Wyman. Excellent U.K Psych with a few toytown elements creeping in. Shades of Orange is one of the great U.K Psych singles.

34. The United States of America ( 1968 )
Electronics wizard Joseph Byrd led this envelope-pushing outfit who combined psych rock with jazz touches and avant garde electronica. This must have been what the future sounded like in 1968. Challenging but highly rewarding.

33. The 13th Floor Elevators - The Psychedelic Sounds Of ( 1966 )
The first and the best from Texas's greatest 60's psych outfit. Adventurous and influential garage rock with impressive acid flourishes.

32. Spirit - The Family That Plays Together ( 1968 )
Often overlooked in favor of their later album, 12 Dreams of Doctor Sardonicus, I prefer this, their second album. Very diverse Californian psych rock with jazz elements. Some beautifully sustained fuzz guitar, and very tight band interplay make this one of my faves from the era.

31. Os Mutantes ( 1968 )
Great debut from this unusual Brazilian psych outfit, beloved of Beck and many others. One of the first indicators of how well traditional South American rhythms would gel with psychedelia. Check out Bat Macumba. Highly influential and heaps of fun.

30. The Soundcarriers - Harmonium ( 2009 )
Fascinating debut from this English group, who manage to mix influences as diverse as psychedelia, krautrock, sixties style TV / movie soundtracks and Broadcast's future pop into a very distinctive aural stew. The follow up Celeste is just as good.

29. Soft Machine ( 1968 )
No list would be complete without a representation of the Canterbury scene, and Soft Machine's first sees it at it's best. Progressive musicianship mixed with whimsical pop smarts. Exceptional.

28. Moby Grape ( 1967 )
Moby Grape's first is West Coast psychedelia at it's best - so good that the record label released five of it's songs as singles simultaneously.  Great harmonies and stinging acid guitars, all of the hallmarks of the West Coast sound distilled into one near perfect album.

27. The Ultimate Spinach - Behold and See ( 1968 )
The Spinach's second album is the best Bosstown psych album of the lot. Long, majestic psychedelic tracks with heaps of trippy effects and totally daft lyrics. Mind Flowers is mindblowingly good, like Crimson and Clover's more druggy moments stretched into one epic mind derailer.

26. Family - Music In A Doll's House ( 1968 )
A very English psychedelia with cups of tea and weird victorian doll's houses to the fore. A lot of their contemporaries struggled to produce albums without filler, but this is one of the most consistent albums from the sixties U.K psych scene. They dropped the psych angle after this and went for a more progressive / hard rock sound, but this is a total gem.

25. The Rolling Stones - Their Satanic Majesties Request ( 1967 )
One of the most misunderstood pieces in the Stones catalogue, this is often written off as bandwagon jumping. Their attempt at a Sgt Pepper, it's true that the whimsical English take on psychedelia doesn't sound at all like the Stones but it's still a hell of a lot of fun and a total oddity in their back catalogue. Fans of the End's Introspection album should find much to like here too.

24. Malachai - The Ugly Side of Love ( 2009 )
A spirited tribute to the sixties, which manages to both update the sound of psychedelia, and evoke many of the best bands of the era ; Cream, the Small Faces etc. Hugely appealing and more hooks than most bands come up with in a whole career.

23. Donovan - Sunshine Superman ( 1966 )
Donovan left his folkie image behind with this classic, groundbreaking LP.  Sitars, songs about Carnivals and Kingfishers, Jimmy Page and tributes to Mama Cass, Bert Jansch and Jefferson Airplane. What more could you want? Hurdy Gurdy man's a great  Donovan psych album too.

22. Eric Burdon & The Animals - Wind of Change ( 1967 )
Eric Burdon flipped his lid, turned on, tuned in and dropped out with this great period piece recorded in San Francisco. Mad Gregorian chants, wigged out solos and general craziness and Burdon reinvents himself as an acid messiah. You can read a more detailed review here.

21. Fairport Convention ( 1968 )
Before being joined by Sandy Denny and turning into folk rock kingpins, Fairport were the English Jefferson Airplane as evidenced by this highly entertaining debut. Great guitar from Richard Thompson, well chosen covers ( Chelsea Morning, Time Will Show The Wiser ) and strong originals ( It's Alright Ma, It's Only Witchcraft ) make this a winner in anyone's book.

20. The Music Emporium ( 1969 )
An excellent regional U.S group who released just the one album, but what a beaut it is. Chanted latin vocals, dominant Farfisa organ, excellent guitar solos and a strong sense of melancholy. Recorded with a fairly small budget, this transcends it's restrictions to become one of the best psych rarities out there.

19. The Gun ( 1968 )
Massive orchestral accompaniments and huge, fuzzy guitar leads are the first things you'll notice with this one. Pretty heavy for it's time, but with such concise, palatable pop hooks that they still managed to score a hit with Race With The Devil. The Gurvitz Brothers would later team up with Ginger Baker, but this is their first, and their best.

18. Golden Dawn - Power Plant ( 1967 )
Recommended to International Artists by the 13th Floor Elevators Roky Erickson, Golden Dawn were the real deal, but unfortunately only managed this one great LP, before label frustrations ended things prematurely. Elevators comparisons are apt, but I hear more of Love's Forever Changes in it's more instrospective moments. Elsewhere, Starvation is a dual guitar monster and essential listening.

17. The Moody Blues - In Search of the Lost Chord ( 1968 )
Very briefly between their phases as a blue eyed soul outfit and a lumbering dinosaur of a prog band, the Moodys were an imaginative psych band, best exemplified by this proto concept album. Heavy mellotron use and beautifully recorded reverbed flute passages make this one of the most English sounding records I own. Check out Legend of a Mind and the Actor for starters.

16. Procol Harum ( 1967 )
Even without the CD bonus tracks ( including Whiter Shade of Pale ) this is one of the best English albums of 1967. Excellent keyboard heavy psych which should appeal to fans of pre Dark Side of the Moon Pink Floyd. Tight and concise with great pop smarts.

15. Hawkwind - Hall of the Mountain Grill ( 1974 )
More well regarded for their live shows this is probably the most successful of Hawkwind's studio albums, highlighted by the spacey  Psychedelic Warlords ( Disappear in Smoke ) and Lemmy's proto metal anthem Motorhead. An essential Space Rock purchase.

14. The Electric Prunes - Mass In F Minor ( 1968 )
An acquired taste, and a personal favorite this one.  David Axelrod assembled a band of session legends and cut this amazing psychedelic Mass. Funky drums, searing guitar breaks, church organ and massed choirs singing in Latin make this an album that's not for everyone, but a classic for those of discerning taste.

13. The Byrds - Fifth Dimension ( 1966 )
The Byrds third album was a huge leap forward and would earn it's place here on the strength of singles Eight Miles High and 5D alone, but is chock full of other trippy goodies too like Roger McGuinn's  I See You and David Crosby's ode to confusion What's Happening?!?! ( the grammar is his not mine ). Heavily infuenced by John Coltrane, you can definitely hear it in McGuinn's guitar playing.

12. The C.A Quintet - A Trip Thru Hell ( 1968 )
Fantastic regional psych oddity. Nightmarishly dark and creepy as heck, with excellent organ work, inspired guitar leads and at least 3 tracks which would have made cracking singles if the label had had a bit of a promotional budget. You can read an in depth review of the album here.

11. Jimi Hendrix - Axis Bold As Love ( 1967 )
Hendrix's science fiction obsessions and studio experimentation combine to good effect here. A massive step forward from Are You Experienced, it's obvious that Hendrix is a lot more comfortable in the studio here with lots of trickery going on, especially on EXP. He'd move onto epic psychedelic blues with Electric Ladyland, but I prefer the more concise material presented here.

10. Jefferson Airplane - After Bathing At Baxters ( 1967 )
Conventional wisdom would have it that Surrealistic Pillow is the Airplane's classic but it's follow up After Bathing at Baxter's shows them at their psychedelic best. Much more experimental, with lots of improv, bits of sound collage and a huge advance in songwriting this is the place for the more adventurous listener to start.

9. Pink Floyd - Piper at the Gates of Dawn ( 1967 )
The Floyd's first album, and the only full album to feature the erratic genius of wayward frontman Syd Barrett.
Whimsical psychedelic fairytales which walk a fine line between childlike innocence and something much darker. Totally unlike anything that was to follow in their catalogue and one of the most important albums of the sixties.

8. H.P Lovecraft ( 1967 )
Excellent psychedelic folk rock with strong dual vocals ( like an all male Jefferson Airplane ) and excellent Doors style organ work. The centrepiece is based on horror author and namesake H.P Lovecraft's White Ship and is an evocative, mysterious epic but the whole album is a class act. The follow up has it's moments too.You can read more about them here.

7. The Misunderstood - After The Dream Faded ( 1982 , recorded 1965/1966 )
A compilation with one side of early demo recordings and more importantly one side of absolutely mindblowing heavy psychedelic rock. This is acid fried garage psych of the highest possible order with wonderful steel guitar played by Glen Campbell ( later to join Juicy Lucy )through a fuzz pedal to get their distinctive sound. Unfortunately things fell apart when the U.S Army's Vietnam draft came into effect or who knows how huge theyd be now? Absolutely essential.

6. My Solid Ground (1971 )
One of the few German bands of it's era to not fit in with the prevailing Krautrock sound. Using Pink Floyd's Careful With That Axe Eugene as a starting point, they released their sole album ( before reforming in thirty years later ) on the Baccilus label. Trippy progressive rock with creepy, reverbed, whispered vocals and slabs of heavy guitar, this is at it's best on Dirty Yellow Mist and The Executioner. An obscure classic.

5. Tame Impala - Innerspeaker ( 2010 )
Excellent debut full length from this very promising Australian outfit who mix Lennonish vocals with psychedelic Pink Floyd and Flaming Lips touches as well as a keen awareness of stoner rock. Wall of sound production and wonderful fuzz guitar with massive choruses. If there's any justice in the world these guys will be absolutely huge.

4. The Fallen Angels - It's A Long Way Down ( 1968 )
The Fallen Angel's second and last album is a big step up from their promising debut and is an incredibly diverse mix which shares a lot with Love's Forever Changes. Ambitious arrangements, clever studio trickery and most importantly adventurous and memorable songs. This is definitely an album to spend a lot of time with.

3. The Pretty Things - S.F Sorrow ( 1968 )
If you only know the Pretty Things for their early R&B material be prepared for a shock. Leaving their early R&B roots behind completely this is one of the first concept albums and a major influence on the Who's Tommy . It's like they turned from the Stones to the Beatles overnight. The great production and amazing harmonies are the first things you'll notice, but there's plenty happening under the surface to keep drawing you back. The follow up album Parachute is phenomenal too.

2. The Beatles - Revolver ( 1966 )
The Beatles kickstarted the U.K's psychedelic movement with this stone cold classic, a huge step forward musically and lyrically from Rubber Soul. George Martin's production is a vital ingredient here and he really earns his reputation as the fifth Beatle with the imaginative touches on display here from the hazy backwards guitars on I'm Only Sleeping to the kitchen sink epic Tomorrow Never Knows - the ultimate psychedelic track? The Beatles may have recorded better albums, but this is the most important to their evolution and definitely their most psychedelic.

1. Love - Forever Changes ( 1967 )
The first glimpse of the dark side of the Summer of Love, this quietly contemplative album appears regularly on best album lists and with good reason. It's the type of album that you can spend a lifetime listening to and still be surprised by. Completing their transition from garage rockers to baroque psychedelic pop this captures an organic feeling that only a small number of artists have ever successfully tapped into. Van Morrison's Astral Weeks comes to mind. Mariachi horns and ambitious string arrangements have found their way into the increasingly diverse mix, but tracks like A House is Not a Motel still contain a sense of their earlier albums' urgency.
An album everyone should own.

This post has been so popular that I've decided to periodically add updates.

Feel free to send in suggestions of title for these lists.

Nema komentara:

Objavi komentar