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    

Moving Sidewalks, The Flash Psych Ultra Rare Original Pre Zz TopFrank Zappa Uncle Meat Lp Bizarre Stereo Vg++ Psych Great Copy!Blue Cheer Vincebus Eruptum Lp Philips Stereo Heavy Psych In Shrink Vg++ Nice!Marc Brierley Welcome To The Citadel Acid Folk Psych Rare Original Uk PressMasters Apprentices A Toast To Panama Red Psych Rare Uk PressNirvana Local Anaesthetic Prog Folk Psych Rare Original Vertigo Swirl Uk PressMorgen Self-titled Rare Hard Acid Psych With InsertMove, The Shazam' Prog Psych Rare Original Uk Press Regal Zonophone LabelJodo Guts Rare 1971 Hard Blues PsychMessage From Books And Dreams 1973 German Quad Lp Prog Psych Krautrock BacillusPsychedelic Sounds Of The 13th Floor Elevators Original Ia-lp-1 Psych Lp MonoJonesy Keeping Up... Prog Psych Rare 1st Press With Insert Uk PressHaymarket Square - Magic Lantern - Original Press - '68 Chaparral Label Psych LpKhan Space Shanty Prog Psych Orig Uk Press Arzachel Nick Greenwood Cold CutsKennelmus Folkstone Prism Rockadelic #156/300 Reissue Of Private Psych RarityJuicy Lucy Self-titled Prog Psych Vertigo Swirl Rare Original Uk PressPink Floyd Piper At The Gates Of Dawn Psych Original Tower Label Syd BarrettPower Of Zeus The Gospel According To Zeus PsychSteve Morgen €Kaleidoscope A Beacon From Mars Psych Rare OriginalLsd Underground 12 Lp Ultra Rare 1966 Original Psych Private Avant HearParish Hall Self-titled Rare Hard PsychRemains, The Self-titled Psych Rare OriginalBlack Merda "st" Chess Rare Orig Funk Psych Rock LpThe Golden Dawn Power Plant Original Ia-lp-4 Psych Lp 13th Floor ElevatorsElias Hulk-unchained-lp-ultra Rare Prog Psych Aus' Promo Stamped-1st Press Ssyb8Frank Zappa Why Don't You Do Me Right Rare Norway 45 Psych Mothers Of Invention Dorothy Ashby Dorothy’s Harp Orig 1969 Stereo Lp Cadet Jazz Psych Funk SoulTasavallan Presidentti Self-titled Prog Psych 1971 Rare Swedish PressNiagara 1971 German Orig 1st Press Kraut Rock Funk Break Psych Near Mint TopJonesy No Alternative Prog Psych Rare Original Uk Press Dark Red VinylHighway Robbery For Love Or Money Original Psych Hard RockRumplestiltskin Self-titled Prog Psych Rare Original Gatefold Uk PressWigwam Being Rare Finland Vinyl Lp Finnish Prog Rock Psych Love Records Lrlp 92Kevin Ayers Joy Of A Toy Prog Psych Canadian Press Ex Soft MachineMick Abrahams Band At Last Psych Uk Press X Jethro Tull + Bldowyn PigPatto Self-titled Prog Psych Vertigo Swirl Promo Ollie HalsallBohemian Vendetta €Nitro Function Billy Cox's Nitro-function Psych Rare Orig Uk Press Jimi HendrixThin Lizzy Self-titled Hard Rock PsychLost And Found Everybodys' Here Psych OriginalJade Warrior Self-titled Vertigo Swirl Label Prog PsychThe Who A Legal Matter / Circles Denmark 45 Danish Ps Instant Party Garage PsychBattered Ornaments Mantle-piece 1969 Uk 1st Original Press Harvest Psych Prog Shy Limbs Reputation Rare Uk Psych 45 Mod Dancer King Crimson Garage Prog Hear!Tramline Moves Of Vegetable Centuries Psych Rare Original Uk Press Pink IslandPatto Hold Your Fire Prog Psych Us Vertigo SwirlMillennium. The Begin Psych 360 SoundThe Idle Race - Imposters Of Lifes Magazine Superb Rare 1967 Liberty Psych 45!!!Them Now-and Them Psych Rare LpDeep Purple Kentucky Woman *ultra Rare* Sweden 45 Swedish P/s Psych Garage MetalTom Scott - Honeysuckle Breeze Rare Orig Funk Jazz Psych Breaks Perfect M-/m-Stud Self-titled Blues Psych Rare Original Uk PressSmall Faces Ogdens' Nut Gone Flake PsychKaleidoscope Tangerine Dream Psych Uk Band Uk Press 5 Hours Back 1987 ReissueHard Stuff Bulletproof Uk Press Prog Psych 1972 Purple RecordsGandalf €Saint Steven Over The Hills PsychHawkwind Space Ritual Prog PsychJeff Liberman Solitude Within Mega Rare 1975 Librah Private Fuzz Psych Rock Lp

Recent News: Psych Records

Source: Google News

The Well-Played List, 9-15-2014: Mitch Murder, Elephant Stone, Slow Magic ...
Creative Loafing Tampa, September 15th

Elephant Stone, The Three Poisons (2014) Formed in 2009 by sitarist/bassist Rishi Dhir, Elephant Stone hails from Canada and has been brewing up some truly fantastic psych rock (so-called "Hindi rock") over three LPs (including this third and latest...Read more

Rock 'N' Roll Hall Of Famer To Perform At Performing Arts Center
KHTS Radio, September 15th

The sound the original Traffic lineup came up with blended everything from psychedelic pop to folk rock, blues and jazz to world music from India, Africa and the Middle East. It was a revolutionary and influential mix, and much of the material stands...Read more

Brooklyn glam/psych rock collective announce new album
Altsounds.com, September 15th

(New York, NY) 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 ...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

BOSTON — The name and the promo imagery of The Wytches would lead you to believe this is a really dark and moody outfit. With song titles such as “Gravedweller,” “Crying Clown” and “Digsaw,” they are definitely projecting a sinister, horror-like image...Read more

Stream: WISH's psych pop debut album
Consequence of Sound, August 21st

Though they never agreed on a specific aesthetic, the rag-tag band quickly found several threads of commonality: Their unbridled and spontaneous blend of psych rock and dream pop drew on everyone from Neu! to King Khan, Pavement to Meat Puppets...Read more

The Death And Uneasy Rebirth Of Cambodia's Psychedelic Rock
Maine Public Broadcasting, 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