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.

About our sources | Got something to add?

▼ Expand to read the full article ▼

Best of the Web (“Hall of Fame”)

Vinyl Divas

Vinyl Divas

Vinyl Divas pays homage to international female opera singers of the LP era. Chronicling more than 800 singers, the… [read review or visit site]

317X

317X

Despite its mysterious title, 317X is plain and simple—an online gallery of vintage LPs, with a 1950s vintage fee… [read review or visit site]

Mybeatles.net

Mybeatles.net

Jesse Barron's collection of Beatles 45s, picture sleeves, magazines, books, and memorabilia. Browse singles and al… [read review or visit site]

Association of Vogue Picture Record Collectors

Association of Vogue Picture Record Collectors

This great site, from the Association of Vogue Picture Record Collectors, offers detailed background information an… [read review or visit site]

The Remington Site

The Remington Site

Since 1999, the Remington Site has offered classical music collectors a glimpse into Remington Records, an independ… [read review or visit site]



Clubs & Associations

Discussion Forums

Other Great Reference Sites

Most watched eBay auctions    

National Gallery Performing Paintings Of Paul Klee Lp Philips Psych Vg+Comus First Utterance Original Mega Uk Folk Psych Prog Lp Dawn 1971 Ex+Beatles Abbey Road Uk 1st Pressing 1969 Apple Lp Nr Mint Shrink PsychLove - Forever Changes - Rare Original Elektra Ekl-4013 Mono Psych Lp Ex+ CleanBeatles Sgt. Pepper Uk Stereo Mint 1967 1st Pressing Lp Superb PsychBeatles Revolver Uk 1st Pressing 1966 Parlophone Lp Nr Mint E.j. Day Psych Fifty Foot Hose "cauldron" Rare 1969 Orig. Us Limelight Lp Fuzz Acid Psych + OisToad Same Original First Hallelujah Records Swiss Hard Psych Prog Ex+ Vg+(+) Alexander" Skip" Spence - Oar, Promo- Lp,columbia Psych,,moby GrapePippo Caruso Ost Lp L'occhio Dietro La Parete - Synth Funk Psych Lounge OhearoSpring "spring" 1st Uk *rca Neon* Monster Rare Psych Prog Masterpiece~holy GrailNeighb'rhood Childr'n Rare Original 1968 Garage Mod Psych Fuzz Lp Mint- VinylSkip Bifferty-skip Bifferty - Orig. 1967 Rca Rare Psych RockThirteenth Floor Elevators, "easter Everywhere" Psych Lp Orig International Gandalf 1st Us Promo *rainbow Capitol* Monster Rare Psych Masterpiece~great CopyRare Lp - Kinks You Really Got Me - In Shrink ! Mono Psych Garage Bob Dylan - Highway 61 Revisited Lp Uk 1st Mono 33 Textured Folk Psych Superb!Orig 66 Promo The Remains Self Titled S/t Lp Epic Mono Boston Garage Psych FuzzRare Lp - The Kinks Face To Face Sunny Afternoon - In Shrink !! Psych Garage Owen Marshall ~ Captain Puff In The Naked Truth. 1975 Jazz Funk Psych Lp. AditiThe Rolling Stones Singles Collection, Nm- 45 Box Set, W/lyric Book!garage/psych*silver Apples - Self Titled Psych, Minimalist Electronica, Obscuro Strong Vg+Caravan - Debut 1st Lp (verve Uk Original Mono Lp 1969) A-1/ B-1. Psych ProgTomorrow***revolution***mod*psych*dancer*listen To ItFrank Zappa Mothers Of Invention Lp We're Only It For The Money 1967 Verve PsychSilver Apples - "contact", Electronic Psych, Prog, "kapp", Near MintThe Gospelfolk Prodigal (emblem) Uk 1969 Near Mint Lp Prog Psych Garage NewMike Selesia Flavor Private Psych Jazz OrigThe Daybreakers Garage Psych 45 On Wlp Dial 4066! Hear It! Psychedelic Siren!Gong Camembert Electrique Lp Uk 1971 1st Press Stereo Virgin Vc502 Prog PsychVery Rare Uk Pressing Psych Garage 45/ Brian Diamond (jimmy Page) "shake..."Rare Lp - Pink Floyd Piper At The Gates Of Dawn Psych Original TowerDavid Axelrod -earth Rot- Psych Jazz Funk Lp On CapitolPink Floyd Animals 1st Uk Press Stunning Top Audio Harvest Prog Heavy Rock PsychSharon Tandy Hold On Rare Italian Ps Uk Freakbeat Psych Fleur De Lys Mod 45Giles,giles & Fripp -the Cheerful Insanity Of - Orig 1968 Deram Mono PsychRare Lp - The Kinks The Kink Kontroversy In Shrink ! Psych GarageMichigan Garage Psych-troyes-rainbow Chaser-hear It+++ Savoy Brown - Raw Sienna - Mono - Ultra Rare Acid Psych Blues (decca) N MintCatherine Ribeiro & Alpes Paix Orig France 1972 1st Press 1 Psych Mint ArchivalFunkadelic Maggot Brain Westbound Psych Funk Original LpPink Floyd Saucerful Of Secrets Japan 1971 Orig Press W/ Insert Odeon Mint PsychFifty Foot Hose-cauldron-original 1968 Psych Lp On Limelight With InnersleeveThe Litter ~ Emerge ** 1969 Uk 1st Probe Lp PsychRebs 1968 A.d. Break Through Crude Garage Psych Fuzz Lp Fredlo 200 Made ListenJ. F. Baldassare Dreams Lp Original Pressing 1977 Folk Psych Private PressDavid Morgan***true To Life***demo*psych*listen To ItRare Lp - Leathercoated Minds A Trip Down The Sunset Strip Orig Psych Lp VivaThe Mooche*hot Smoke And Sasafrass*psych*mod*listen To ItWith The Beatles Uk Pres N/mint Audio Archive Y/b Parlophone Beat Rock Psych Omega Red Star From Hungary: S/t. Decca. Wb.1w..skl 4937.rock.psych.prog. RareMcdonald & Giles Lp King Crimson Hear! Prog Psych Jazz Breaks Orig Pink IslandTraffic Mr. Fantasy Lp Orig Uk 1967 N.mint Mono Pink Eye Island 1st Press Psych Black Merda Self Titled S/t Original 1970 Lp Rare Soul Funk Psych Chess 1551Skin Alley (debut) 1st Dutch *cbs* Mega Rare Uk Psych Prog~awesome Mint Copy!!!!Trifle "first Meeting" 1st Uk *dawn* Jazz Prog Psych Monster~near Mint Vinyl!!!!Sir Lord Baltimore - Kingdom Come (rare Prog/psych Gatefold L.p) M- UnplayedThe Folklords "release The Sunshine" Original Canadian Folk Psych LpUn Homme Est Mort Orig French Ost Funk Psych Michel Legrand Bell 2008137Kin Ping Meh: S/t German Polydor 2371 259. Krautrock.rock.psych.prog. Rare

Recent News: Psych Records

Source: Google News

Get your weekly fix of psychedelia with WAND's 'Flying Golem' video
Entertainment Weekly, September 22nd

WAND, the excellent psych-rock outfit that spent September supporting reigning genre champ Ty Segall on the road, dropped a new record last month. Now they've released a video for the psychedelic freak-out “Flying Golem.” With their hummable ...Read more

10cc's "I'm Not In Love" Was The Real Song Of The Summer
Deadspin, September 22nd

At Strawberry Studios, they collaborated with both Neil Sedaka and a PE-instructor-turned-Egyptian-Pharaoh-incarnate who recorded psych-rock under the name Ramases. (Aside: Six CDs of Ramases music were recently reissued by a label run by actor ...Read more

Live music roundup: Psych revival, serene Americana, smooth jazz
The Missoulian, September 19th

Like many other young bands dabbling in the arena of psych rock, they take the appealing elements of the sound – fuzzbox guitars, nasally vocals, keyboard effects and loop-worthy drums – while editing out the parts that can make vintage psychdelic ...Read more

Brooklyn glam/psych rock collective announce new album
Altsounds.com, September 11th

Brooklyn based glam/psych rock collective Evil Arrows announces the release of their new single, “In Clover”, in anticipation of their new album, EP 4, which comes out on September 30th. The ensemble is the new project from singer Bryan Scary, who made...Read more

Psych-rock band Fractal Cat releases sophomore Album
DOA, September 2nd

Fractal Cat's second album, Lovingkind, features nine new songs by songwriters Miles Gannett and Keith Jones. The band is completed by Jason Armstrong Baker on drums and Andy Myatt on bass, and is joined by several guest musicians to create an ...Read more

Khun Narin's Electric Phin Band: The Psychedelic Rock Band Discovered in a ...
Newsweek, August 26th

One afternoon in early 2013, Josh Marcy discovered an unusual YouTube video on quirky culture blog Dangerous Minds that would set him on the path for the adventure of a lifetime. Stunned by his discovery, he decided to ditch his high-paying day job to ...Read more

The Wytches Unplugged—Monsters Of Psych Rock Sing Quiet, Heartbreaking ...
WBUR, August 25th

Their sound incorporates early '90s driving rock, Syd Barrett-style vocals, and a 1960s surf influence. All together it sounds something like Nirvana playing in the 1965 teenybopper flick “Beach Blanket Bingo.” It's quite a contrast of styles, but...Read more

The Death And Uneasy Rebirth Of Cambodia's Psychedelic Rock
New England Public Radio, August 17th

Though abruptly silenced by the Khmer Rouge in 1975, Cambodian psychedelic rock has seen a recent rebirth in the modern world of hip-hop, rap and pop music — replayed and remixed by young Cambodian-American musicians. Connecting first over ...Read more