Psych is a broad term referring to a genre of psychedelic vinyl albums and singles recorded from roughly 1966 to 1969. As psych record collector Patrick Lundborg describes it in his interview at Collectors Weekly, psychedelic music was created by bands that were influenced by psychedelic drugs, from LSD to mushrooms. Both an album’s cover and the music on the vinyl inside reflected these intense influences.

Although the most active sector of today’s market for psych records is in rare and obscure recordings, some of the most famous psych records are by some of the world’s most popular artists, from Jimi Hendrix to Eric Clapton. Album covers such as Revolver (1966) and Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band (1967) place The Beatles squarely in the psych-records camp. Magical Mystery Tour (1967) is also a link to the world of rock music posters, thanks to its cover by renowned poster artist John Van Hamersveld.

Other highly regarded examples of British psych include Donovan’s Sunshine Superman from 1966. The list from 1967 is exceptionally deep—Pink Floyd’s The Piper at the Gates of Dawn, Their Satanic Majesties Request by the Rolling Stones, Cream’s Disraeli Gears, The Who Sell Out by The Who, and Traffic’s Mr. Fantasy are just a few of the trippy English gems from that seminal year.

In the San Francisco Bay Area, a multitude of rock bands released a plethora of psych records in the late 1960s. Moby Grape’s eponymous 1967 debut is a must-have for most psych vinyl collectors, as is the Jefferson Airplane’s 1967 After Bathing at Baxter’s, which was reportedly mixed by the band based on how well the music would sound while the listener was under the influence of LSD.

Country Joe and the Fish made the connection between psychedelic drug culture and their music explicit with their 1967 Electric Music for the Mind and Body. Power trio Blue Cheer released Vincebus Eruptum in 1968, which was the same year one of San Francisco’s most influential acts, Quicksilver Messenger Service, offered up its spacey self-titled debut. Also desirable is the pair of albums by H.P. Lovecraft, a Chicago band that was formed in 1967, relocated to San Francisco in 1968, and then disbanded a year later.

The Grateful Dead was the region’s psychedelic heavyweight. Anthem of the Sun (1968), with its mandala-like cover, combined live tracks with studio work, while the band’s studio follow-up, Aoxomoxoa, featured a gloriously psychedelic cover by Fillmore and Avalon poster artist Rick Griffin.

And then there was the back cover of the band’s 1969 double LP, Live Dead, which featured the word "Dead" in big, blocky letters: It was designed by artist R.D. Thomas so that the top part of "Dead" appeared to spell out the word "Acid" in a not-so-subtle wink to the recreational drug of choice for the Grateful Dead’s audience of Deadheads...

As with Northern Soul, though, the most intense collecting activity in psych vinyl records revolves around the lesser-known, cult-status bands that produced discs in small production runs. Like Northern Soul, scarcity is key.

For example, in 1967, the bands Golden Dawn and 13th Floor Elevators, both from Austin, Texas, released a pair of albums that were not widely distributed at the time but today are considered by many to be classics of the genre. Golden Dawn’s Power Plant is less well known than the Elevators’ Easter Everywhere or The Psychedelic Sounds of the 13th Floor Elevators, the group’s 1966 debut. But that extra layer of obscurity, it seems, is at least part of what makes Golden Dawn attractive to collectors.

But for sheer scarcity and cult cachet, few psych bands compare to C.A. Quintet, a Minneapolis outfit that produced just one album in its heyday. Trip Through Hell, 1969, sold less than 1,000 copies for a label called Candy Floss. Today, beat-up copies with tequila-sunrise stains on their covers fetch more than a grand on eBay.

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Recent News: Psych Records

Source: Google News

Watch Miguel's Sexy Short Film, 'WILDHEART Chapter 1'
RollingStone.com, July 6th

"Only you can save me / I'm a sinner," he sings over fuzzy psych-rock guitars. Recent single "Coffee" (teased last month as a stand-alone clip) follows the romantic and sexual themes of the lyrics, as the couple spend an evening between the sheets...Read more

On July 4, Rubedo Raised the Standard for Putting on a Show
Westword, July 6th

The three disparate elements combined create some kind of completely novel psych rock. At moments catchy and fun, at others mysterious, dark, almost consumed by cacophony. It's unlike anything you could hear from a local band on Saturday night, but ...Read more

Grateful Dead end long, strange trip in Chicago
CNN, July 6th

"There's a little bit of jazz, a little bit of Southern rock, little bit of bluegrass, little bit of folk, psychedelic rock, country. Little bit of blues. They do so many different things." The five concerts, which kicked off with two shows at Levi...Read more

Northern American's High-Desert Rock Doesn't Fit Into Any LA Scene — And ...
LA Weekly, July 6th

A big part of their current character is having strong roots in psychedelic rock. The song “Elysian,” which the band cites as particularly capturing the spirit of whole album, finds psych elements creeping onto a canvas of countrified dream-pop...Read more

Party animals: Psych-rockers Fly Golden Eagle embrace collaboration and ...
RedEye Chicago, July 5th

Ben Trimble, frontman for rising Nashville psych-rock crew Fly Golden Eagle, has long embraced collaboration, appearing on recordings by Alabama Shakes, Hurray for the Riff Raff and Benjamin Booker. With his own group, however, he's only recently ...Read more

South America welcomes Pope Francis with pasillos, cumbias, psychedelic rock
Miami Herald, July 4th

Pope Francis' whirlwind trip through Ecuador, Bolivia and Paraguay, which begins Sunday, has brought out the regional muse. All three nations have official songs welcoming the pope, but there are also hundreds of independent efforts that run the gamut ...Read more

Tame Impala's Kevin Parker, from psych-rock stoner to disco infiltrator
The Guardian, July 4th

His acclaimed 2010 debut, Innerspeaker, ushered in a new wave of young psych rock bands such as Pond, Toy and Hookworms, and turned a whole new generation of fans on to the transcendental power of scuzzy, droning guitars. The follow-up, 2012's ...Read more

10 Essential Neo-Psychedelia Albums
Treble, July 2nd

Psychedelic rock's heyday was inarguably the 1960s—the love was free, the drugs were plentiful, and guitar effects pedals were becoming increasingly loud and more advanced. But psychedelic rock has been on a long spiritual journey since the Summer of ...Read more