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    

Music Emporium - S/t Lp - Sentinel - Rare Psych Vg+Roger Nichols Small Cirlcle Of Friends Let It Ride 45 A&m 60s Pop Psych Vg++Nico + Jimmy Page / Velvet Underground - Im Not Sayin Rare Uk 1965 / Psych !!!Sixto Rodriguez - Cold Fact - Sussex A&m Sxbs 7000 - Sa Press - 1974 Rare PsychThe Bamboo Shoot The Fox Has Gone To Ground 1968 Uk Db 8370 Psyche FreakbeatStray Suicide Vinyl Lp Promo Photo Poster Textuted Sleeve Tra 233 Psych Prog LpUele Kalabubu Et Sa Tribu - Afro Ground 1969 Italy Lp Durium Afro/breaks/psychChris Thompson Self Titled Vinyl Village A Thing Records 1973 Ex Psych Folk RareAnanda Shankar - Same 1970 Uk Lp Reprise Sitar/psych/funk/breaksBoz / Pre-king Crimson -light My Fire Uk Rare 1968 Demo Promo / Psych /the DoorsGary Farr Take Something With You Rare '69 Uk Marmalade Lp Mighty Baby Psych NmCaptain Beefheart & His Magic Band 'moonchild' A&m Psych Blues 1968Time T.i.m.e. 1st Lp 1968 Blue Liberty 1st Press!! Amazing Psych Rarity!!!!Midas Touch -the Rhythm Of Life Rare Uk 1967 Demo Promo / Weird Psych Popsike !Rare Uk Vinyl Lp Vg+ Audience Friends Friend Charisma 1st Scroll Prog Psych RockThe Orange Bicycle - Jenskadajka Rare Uk 1968 / Psych / Mod / Vg+++ !!!Sugarloaf - Spaceship Earth Orig Liberty Lst-11010 Lp Us 60s Psych Rock InnerRay Barretto New York Soul Nm 45 7" Single Ps Latin Mod Northern Soul Funk PsychPeter Cook & Dudley Moore L.s. Bumble Bee Uk 1967 Orig Decca F 12551 Vg+ PsychThe Beatles Eight Days A Week Orig Dutch Ps 45 7" Single Parlophone Garage PsychThe Flying Circus Us Promo *green Eyes Green World* 1967 Garage Rock Psych NmintThe Illusion *how Does It Feel/ Once In A Lifetime* 1969 Garage Rock Psych NmAlexander Spence Oar 1969 Orig. Folk Psych Moby Grape 1a Matrix Wow......Majic Ship, S/t 1970 Bel-ami Ba-711 Rare Original In Shrink Hard Psych Rock Ex!Rare! Gandalf-self Titled- Monster Psych Og 1969 Canada Capitol St121 PsychRare!! Mighty Baby Self Titled-1969 Head Lps 025 Psych/ Ex+/ex- LpArcadium Breathe Awhile/middle Earth Mdls 302/rare 1969 Uk Heavy Prog PsychAlejandro Jodorowsky Alfa-gungadin Killer Psych Latin Jazz (1968 Mexico 12 Lp)Joseph Stoned Age Man, Orig 1970 Scepter Sps-574 Shrink Hard Psych Acid ArchivesThe Waters_mother Samwell/day In Day Out_delcrest 45 _orig 7"_psych_louisvilleHaizea Hontz Gaua Monster Rare Spanish Prog Psych Rock Folk Original 1979 Ex/exSurprize Keep On Truckin East Coast Records Rare Psych Ec1049 1973 Repress VgLost And Found~texas Psych Monster~ia-lp-3~1968 Orig Garage~uncut Still Sealed~Pirana, Self-titled 1971 Australian Harvest 1st Press Oz Prog Psych LpFifty Foot Hose - Lp Cauldron Orig.1968 Limelight/usa Rare Experimental PsychGarage Psych Lsd Insanity - Stu Mitchell - Acid 45 + Orig. Promo Letter - HearDj Promo! Josefus Josefus-1970 Mainstream Records S/6127 Psych/acid LpFbi Rhythm Trip *holy Grail* Deep Funk 45 Ultra Rare! Psych Northern Soul GarageEternity Self Titled Band Of Gold '81 Heavy Psych Fuzz Metal Private Lp HearGarage~psych~the Blue Things~1966 Us Rca Lsp-3603~beautiful M- Stereo~stoeckleinSeeds A Web Of Sound 1966 Us Original Heavy Garage Psych Lp MintNo Remix! 1969 Rare Orig = Neil Young = With Diff Mix ~ Springfield Csn&y PsychGreenwood, Curlee & Clyde - One Time, One Place Lp - Private Psych Folk Vg+1967 Mono Orig ~ The Byrds - Younger Than Yesterday ~ Folk Psych David Crosby Aynsley Dunbar / Blue Wale-1971 French Import Byg 529-15 Psych/prog Nm-James Thornbury North & South Lp Generation Records Jt-1981 Rare Psych Folk Exc Johnny Thunder "i'm Alive" Psych Funk Soul 45 Calla Mp3Jackson Heights-the Fifth Avenue Bus-prog/psych Lp-vertigo Swirl-german-vg+/vg+Ultimate Spinach S/t Lp Poster Unplayed Acid Garage PsychDel Shannon 'the Further Adventures Of Charles Westover' Lp Rare PsychGedo S/t Japan Orig Lp Hard Psych Show Boat 3a-1021Blac Dog, Backwoods Boogie, 1978 Crazy Horse Records 2001 Hard Swamp Psych RockRare David Colby With Mary Caird Private Folk Psych Loner Outsider LpRay Harlowe & Gyp Fox First Rays Lp On Water Wheel Private 70s Psych Rock MintThe Psychedelic Sounds Of The 13th Floor Elevators, Garage Psych Rare Og Stereo A Beauty! Stunning Mint! 1971 Orig! Crosby Stills Nash & Young ~ Deja Vu Psych W.l. 1971 Promo David Crosby + Dead Airplane Santana Quicksilver N Young PsychTomorrow - S/t Lp - Visa - Psych RockLot Of 15 Great Rock/metal/punk/psych Vinyl Records-joykiller-zappa-gypsy-loveLes Mogol Mogollar Orig French Lp Danses Rythmes Turquie Psych Turkish Folk Mint