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]



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]

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    

Gal Costa S/t Lp Philips 60s Brasil Psych Pop Vg+ Original MonoAmbrose Slade Ballzy Lp Fontana Hard Rock Psych Vg++ Great!Bronco Ace Of Sunlight Lp Island/capitol 60s Stereo Folk Psych Vg+ Cactus Restrictions Lp Atco 70s Hard Rock Blues Psych Vg++ " Zior " Mega Rare Super Nepentha / Vertigo Uk Lp Lost Psych Gem L@@k Caravan, 1969 Uk 1st Lp, Caravan, Pillar Cover, Mono, Psych, Verve LblRare! 1968 Mc5 ~ Kick Out The Jams ~ Revolutionary Hard Psych Attack! Rare / Sought 1970 Uk Swirl Vertigo ~ Clear Blue Sky ` Hard Heavy Prog Psych Rock Psych Progressive Lp - Dedalus "s/t" Trident Orig Italian 1st Press 1973 NmRare Orig Gianni Mazza "la CittVelvet Underground & Nico S/t Lp On Verve Rare Psych Stereo Warhol UnpeeledFifty Foot Hose Cauldron Lp On Limelight Rare Psych Sealed1971 Maggot Brain - Funkadelic - Stoned Wah-wah Hendrix Hard Wild Acid Psych OutElevator To Hell Lp '95 Sub-pop Records #288 Lo-fi Punk/psych Eric's Trip RareHoneybus ~ Story ** 1969 Uk 1st Deram Lp Pop PsychRare Orig Gianni Mazza "la CittSuperb & Rare 1974 Orig = Christmas ~ Lies To Live By = Hard Acid Prog PsychPink Floyd "see Emily Play" Scarce Orig Dutch Train Ps 45 Syd Barrett Psych 7"Tomorrow Morning 12" 6 Song Unreleased Acetate Post Ace Frehley Psych ListenKrautrock Psych Prog - Gunter Schickert "samtvogel" Orig Green Brain German 1stTeddy & Patches Suzy Creamcheese/from Day To Day Snotty Psych 1967 Vg Hear Both!1968 Rare Orig ~ Mad River ~ 1st Acid Psych Quivering Drenched Quicksilver JamsRare & Clean ~ Perth County Conspiracy ~ Does Not Exist = 1970 Prog Folk Psych! Rare 1968 Orig ~ Dino Valenti ~ Deep Sf Hippie Cosmic Folk Psych QuicksilverRock Psych Fuzz - World Of Oz "s/t" Deram Orig Uk 1st Press 1969 NmRock Psych Progressive - Harmonia "de Luxe" Green Brain German Orig 1st PressIndia Psych Funk Lp Ananda Shankar And His Music On Emi Hear!French Psych Prog Lp Laurence Vanay - Evening Colours / Italian Original !!1971 Krautrock ~ Eulenspygel "2" Acid Prog Psych 2066 & Then Tortured Hammond Patto "patto" Lp 1970 Orig 1st Us Vertigo Swirl Vel-1001 Rare Prog PsychRare 1968 Orig Mystic Astrologic Crystal ~ Clip-out Put-on Hip Garage Psych GemRock Psych Progressive - Citta Frontale "el Tor" Fonit Italian Orig 1st Press NmBliss Hard Xian Psych Lp, Original, Fuzz, Blues TrioThe Sweet Rare Uk 1970 A Label Demo / Promo / Psych / Amazing Condition !!!The Pogs Scarce Oz Garage/psych/promo =now That Its Over1967 Orig ~ Hp Lovecraft ~ 1st Psych Garage White Ship Weavy Organ & Acid GuitarLove Forever Changes Lp On Elektra Rare Psych Gold Label Stereo Jimi Hendrix ~ Electric Ladyland Nude Psych Lp Rare Beautiful ~ Near Mint!The Pretty Things*british R&b Blues Psych*private Sorrow*columbia*uk*sample*mKrautrock Psych Prog - Klaus Schulze "irrlicht" Ohr Orig German 1st Press 1972Rare Promo Sir Lord Baltimore "kingdom Come" 1971 Heavy Brutal Crusher PsychOrang-utan Heavy Psych, Fuzz, Dj, Original, Nm/nmCatapilla S/t Self Titled Rare Uk Og 1st Press Prog Psych Lp On Vertigo SwirlMint Shrink! 1967 =orig= Freakbeat ~ The Id ~ Inner Sounds - Psych Garage FreaksRare 1970 Orig ~ Plum Nelly ~ Decepive Lines ~ Hard Prog Psych Lime Capitol GemPopol Vuh "einsjager & Siebenjager" M- 70's German Prog Psych Lp Krautrock The Velvet Underground White Light/white Heat Lp On Verve Rare Psych Skull Vg+Rock Psych Prog King Crimson "red" Island Uk Orig 1974 1st Press Robor Lam Cov Latin Psych Funk Lp Afrosound - Carruseles On Discos Fuentes Hear!1968 Orig The Outlaw Blues Band = Unique Electrified Psych Fusion Prog BluesPink Floyd*it Would Be So Nice*acetate*genuine*original*psych*listen To ItCream - Disraeli Gears Lp Uk A1 B1 Reaction Original Psych Eric Clapton Lovely!B.j.ward Vocal Ease Rare Dutch Jazz Funk Psych Lp On CatfishTomorrow*my White Bicycle*claramount Lake*demo*psych*hear Both SidesRare 1st Press ~ No Strange ~ Acid Psych Prog Floyd Hawkwind Ash Ra Tempel GilaPsych Prog "heads Together/first Round" 1971 U.k .1st Swirl Vertigo Mega Rare NmThe Barrier Spot The Lights Uk Monster 1967 Freakbeat Psych 45 Fuzz Dutch Ps LsnSitar Psych Eastern Acid - Popol Vuh "yoga" Pdu Orig Italian 1st Press 1976 Tomorrow Morning 12" 6 Song Unreleased Acetate Post Ace Frehley Psych ListenV.a:festen P

Recent News: Psych Records

Source: Google News

I Hear Colors: The Black Angels Open a One-Stop Psychedelic Shop
Austin Post, April 18th

April 19 is Record Store Day, the unofficial international holiday celebrating music shops, and this year in Austin it marks the official grand opening of a new store. The Reverberation Appreciation Society, a record label founded by members of the...Read more

Temples Unfurl Psychedelic Excellence in 'Sun Structures' Live Video
SPIN, April 17th

English psych-rock warriors Temples had a big SXSW, and we should know — they gave us a gallery's worth of their behind-the-scenes photos from Austin's annual music-oriented bacchanal, and they also played SPIN's annual day party at Stubb's. They're ...Read more

Three to see: World rock, shoegaze and psychedelic rock
Sacramento Bee, April 16th

There are more than enough sun splashes of soul and breezes of blues in Tinariwen's effervescent sound to make it seem like a soundtrack to a road trip – but these are roads and journeys the likes of which very few of us here would ever comprehend, ...Read more

The Black Keys' "Turn Blue" Makes Them Sound Like a Trippy Psych Rock Jam ...
Bustle, April 14th

The Black Keys just released the “official audio” for “Turn Blue” the title track to their upcoming album. It is the second song released from the new album; the toe-tapping “Fever” has been floating around Spotify since last month. The album, which...Read more

Faith Connections
Sydney Morning Herald, April 5th

Holy men parade on elephants or strike improbable yogic poses; chanting and drumming is constant, as is the smoking of ganja. Cyril Morin's score is tinged with psychedelic rock, while Nalin's penchant for distorting wide-angle lenses adds to the...Read more

Zagk Gibbons Is a One-Man Rock Band with a Psych Edge
Riverfront Times (blog), March 28th

In this weekly column, RFT Music gets to know local creatives, musicians and their missions. Get a slice of the local scene, complete with a snippet of sound and info about upcoming releases and shows. Stick around to see what St. Louis artists have to...Read more

One Wytch, Unplugged In A Sunny Backyard
KUAC, March 27th

The Wytches' furious, hair-flinging psych-rock isn't the stuff of back-porch acoustic sessions: Both live and on the English band's singles, the energy is so intense, it can barely be contained. But when NPR Music arranged a Wytches session during SXSW ...Read more

The Black Keys explore psych-rock on new song 'Fever'
HitFix, March 24th

The Black Keys are back. Last week, the band announced that its first new album in almost three years, “Turn Blue,” will be released May 13 and, today, dropped its first single, “Fever.” Listen to the new song, watch the album teaser and check out the...Read more