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    

Beautiful Mint 1967 Deram ~ David Bowie 1st Lp Toytown Popsike London Mod PsychRare Holy Grail 1968 Wlp Orig Mc5 ~ Kick Out The Jams ~ Revolutionary Hard PsychA Beauty! Rare! 1970 Orig ~ David Bowie ~ Man Of Words Music Groovy Pop Psych LpJan Dukes De Grey Sorcerers - Original Uk Stereo Lp - Decca Nova Prog Folk PsychPlastic Cloud S/t Acid Archives Psych Allied No. 10 Canada Original Lp + InsertZombies Odessey And Oracle Lp Date Pop Psych 60s Vg+ In Shrink Nice! Ozobby Horn Born To Move On Deep Afro Funk Psych Fuzz Og Grail Lp Vg+! ListenMega Rare 1967 Minds Eye The Children ~ Rebirth ~ Texas Psych Garage Hippie RockAlexander "skip" Spence~oar~ultra-rare Orig'69 Columbia Lp~folk Psych Classic~1aThe Way We Live A Candle For Judith Original Uk Lp Dandelion Prog Psych Tractor The Funkees Now I’m A Man Killer Rare Afro Funk Psych Nigeria Og Lp ListenCan Tago-mago - Original Uk Double Lp - Prog Psych Krautrock Faust Ash Ra TempelT.i.m.e. Smooth Ball Lp Liberty Heavy Psych Vg+ Gatefold NiceDragonfly~insanely Rare Orig '68 Psych Lp~private Pressing On Megaphone Label~nmStone Mint = Uk Polydor Jimi Hendrix Experience '68 Electric Ladyland Psych Lp The Hygrades In The Jungle Wicked Afro Funk Psych 45 Og Nigeria Hmv Vg+ ListenMint! 1971 Heavy Psych ~ David Bowie ~ Man Who Sold The World ~ Hard Fuzz PsychSlapp Happy "sort Of" 1972 Kraut Psych Lp M-/vg+ Insert PolydorThe Seeds "s/t" Garage Psych Lp Gnp Crescendo Nm Heads Funk Cold Fire Monster Rare Afro Funk Psych Grail Nigeria Og Lp Vg+! HearRare 1970 Orig ~ The Mandrake Memorial ~ Puzzle - Lsd Soaked Trippy Psych Prog !Daevid Allen & Gilli Smyth (gong) "magick Brother" Psych Lp Byg Actuel NmFrank Zappa "mystery Box" Psych 10x Lp Box Set Nifty & Tuff Vg+Can Ege Bamyasi - Original German Lp - Prog Psych Krautrock Holger CzukaySilver Apples "contact" Psych Electronic Lp Kapp Ex Jan Dukes De Grey Mice & Rats In The Loft - Original Uk Lp - Prog Folk PsychJelly Bean Bandits Self Titled Orig.1967 Mainstream Psych Fuzz LpClean ! 1965 Orig ~ Yardbirds ~ For Your Love ~ Jeff Beck + Clapton Psych GarageCan Monster Movie - Uk Lp - Prog Psych Krautrock Faust Neu! Popol Vuh ClusterLove "forever Changes" Uk M-/m- 1967 Elektra Orig. Stereo Lp Psych 74013Lp + Promo Inserts '69 Led Zeppelin 1 ~ Hard Heavy Blues Psych Page YardbirdsBilly Nicholls - Being Happy C/w Life Is Short 1967 Acetate Small Faces Psych Rail Band Moko Diolo Super Sick Rare Mali Psych Funk Ps 45 Vg+! ListenGolden Dawn Lp Power Plant 1968 Original International Artists Psych Nico "chelsea Girl" Psych Lp Mgm Uk Vg+Egg "s/t" Psych Prog Lp Deram Vg++Silver Apples "s/t" Psych Electronic Lp Kapp Vg+The Pink Floyd*apples And Oranges*paint Box*mod*psych*listen To Both SidesClassic/psych Rock Lp Lot 7x Orig (led Zepp/rolling Stones/janis/grateful Dead)Top Copy 1973 Orig ~ Buckingham & Nicks ~ Hippie Psych ~ Fleetwood Mac No CdLp Emily Bindiger Orig French 1971 Obscure Acid Folk Psych Pokora Prog Singer Us+++ Jimi Hendrix Experience - Electric Ladyland Rare Psych (blue Lettering) Ex+Garage Psych Les Haunted Vapeur Mauve (purple Haze) 45 Insanely Rare Canadian Tasavallan Presidentti "s/t" Rare Psych Prog Lp Love Nm Roger Damahouzan Wait For Me / Xede Nge Killer Nigerian Psych Funk 45 Nm HearRare "byg" 1969 Orig = 1st Lp "freedom" At Last - Hard Uk Blues Psych MelodicsV Rare Mushroom Early One Morning 1973 Original 1st Press Rock Folk Psych LpThe White Noise "an Electric Storm" Psych Lp Island NmFaust Faust - Original Clear Vinyl Lp In Plastic Sleeve - Prog Psych KrautrockThe West Coast Pop Art Experimental Band "part One" Psych Lp Reprise Ex 1967 Orig = West Coast Pop Art Band ~ Vol.1 ~ Acid Garage Psych Calif Groover !Gravity Adjusters Expansion Band "s/t" Rare Psych Lp Nocturne Vg++Nico "the Marble Index" Psych Lp Elektra Vg+Opal "happy Nightmare Baby" Psych Lp Sst Vg++Hal Blaine "psychedelic Percussion" Psych Funk Lp Dunhill Vg++Faust So Far - Original Uk Lp + Inserts - Prog Psych Krautrock Can Amon DuulMaranatha "soon" Rare Private Xian Psych Lp Count Five "psychotic Reaction" Garage Psych Lp Double Shot NmEuphoria Lost In Trance-original Rare 70's Private Psych-rock Lp- Rainbow LabelGarage Psych 45 - Creation - Making Time - Planet - Vg+ Mp3

Recent News: Psych Records

Source: Google News

Psychedelic festival to feature rock, jazz
Toledo Blade, February 3rd

If psychedelic rock and acid jazz are your cup of musical tea, check out Psychedelicide II on Saturday, which will showcase a number of local and national bands for an evening in experimental music. In its second year, the event takes place at the FARM...Read more

Album Reviews: This week in psych rock
The Advocate, January 28th

Its fifth album is titled “A Coliseum Complex Museum,” whatever that means. Here, the band isn't switching up its formula of epic, reverb-laden rock music. Like previous albums, songs start in mystery then bloom into psychedelic swirls of guitars and...Read more

First Listen: Dr. Dog, 'The Psychedelic Swamp'
NPR, January 27th

It's no surprise that a band called Dr. Dog might tend toward loopy, loping outsider rock with a slightly goofy streak. If there were any doubt, it's quickly dispelled by The Psychedelic Swamp, a concept album that wanders and sprawls to absorbing effect...Read more

Video: Check out Eugene's psych-rock band Snow White
Oregon Daily Emerald, January 22nd

Video: Check out Eugene's psych-rock band Snow White. Jamie Perry — January 22, 2016 at 10:00 am. The Emerald sits down with local Eugene band, Snow White, to talk glitter and psych-rock...Read more

Cheatahs review – dreamy psych-rock with stadium ambitions
The Guardian, January 20th

With the release of their eponymous 2013 debut, Cheatahs found themselves compared to 90s luminaries Dinosaur Jr and the Boo Radleys and associated with the emergent nu-gaze scene. But last year's Sunne EP gave the first hints that the quartet might ...Read more

All Them Witches Bring the Rolling Thunder and Psychedelic Lightning
Phoenix New Times, January 19th

Beginning with bassist/vocalist Michael Parks singing as sweetly as any folk troubadour, almost imperceptibly the song builds into a storm of rolling thunder and psychedelic lighting. It is soon apparent that such quiet/loud interplay runs rampant...Read more

Moon Taxi finds fruitful niche with catchy psych-rock style
Charleston Scene, January 18th

Moon Taxi has been around for the better part of a decade, touring constantly and putting in the sweat equity it takes to build a loyal fan base these days. The psych-rock group's energetic performance style offers ample room for improvisation, which...Read more

The Psych Rock Pleasures Of Old Man Canyon
Baeble Music (blog), January 13th

Pysch-rock is (pun half intended) my drug. As much as I'm enjoying this explosion of daring and genre-bending pop music that we've been having the last couple years, give me a nice, textured, swirling rock record, and I'm set for weeks. It's a rich...Read more