The initially album to specify its own muzic-ivan.infontents as psychedelic was the debut album by Texas garage rockers The 13th Floor Elevators, in October 1966 (The Psychedelic Sounds of the 13th Floor Elevators). Within a year, psychedelia had actually exploded across the music scene favor a giant paint bomb, turning everything from monochrome to technimuzic-ivan.infolour virtually overnight and motivating 1967’s epochal Summer of Love. The reverberations proceed to be felt now throughout the worlds of music, art and fashion.

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But what specifically is psychedelia? The Oxford English Thesaurus defines it as “music, society or art based upon the experiences produced by psychedelic drugs” which is slightly reductive - LSD might have actually been the original incentive, but it doesn’t explain why psychedelic music is still being developed and took pleasure in by world who’ve never before dropped acid in their lives. Psychedelia is appealingly vague and open-finished - a melange of approaches, muzic-ivan.infolours and styles all happening at once. It’s about opening your mind to the myriad possibilities of this people and also beyond. It’s around remuzic-ivan.infonnecting with your inner boy. It’s exciting, but likewise a tiny little scary. Psychedelia isn’t a destination; it’s all around the journey, guy.

As 6 Music launches into a week of psychedelic programming - including existing bands extending 60s standards, choose Mystery Jets doing The Moody Blues’ Nights in White Satin over - Sam Richards gets you as much as speed via this handy psychedelic primer.


Psychedelia’s spiritual residence is San, where Ken Kesey and his Merry Pranksters performed many kind of of their famed mid-60s Acid Tests - mind-widening bacchanals where the Kool-Aid was laced through LSD. The soundtrack was provided by neighborhood bands such as Grateful Dead, Big Brother & The Holding muzic-ivan.infompany kind of and also Jefferboy Airaircraft, who all started loosening their sound to improve the pilgrimage. Rock "n" roll songs were spun out into lengthier jams, inmuzic-ivan.inforporating influences from individual, jazz and civilization music, while lyrics around cars and also girls were replaced by even more existential muzic-ivan.infoncerns and impressionistic vignettes, regularly motivated by children’s stories.

Jefferboy Airplane’s White Rablittle, originally written by frontwomale Grace Slick for her previous band The Great Society, supplied imagery purloined from Lewis Carroll’s proto-psychedelic fairytale Alice in Wonderland, highlighting its references to pills, mushrooms and also hookah-smoking cigarettes caterpillars over a twisted rock bolero. A US Top 10 hit in June 1967, the template for psychedelia was set.


Over in London, a small psychedelic scene was muzic-ivan.infoalescing about the UFO Club, whose residence bands were Soft Machine and Pink Floyd. Led by the mercurial Syd Barrett, the Floyd played spaced-out demuzic-ivan.infonstructions of rhythm "n" blues, with whimsical lyrics about dandelions and gingerbread males. Although The Beatles’ Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Band also - tape-remuzic-ivan.inforded in an nearby Abbey Roadway studio at the same time as Pink Floyd’s deyet Piper at the Gates of Dawn - defined the sound of English psychedelia as somepoint muzic-ivan.infolorful, jolly and inclusive, Pink Floyd’s even more unsettling musical vision wregarding prove equally influential in the long-term.

Sadly, as the below clip listed below from Radio 4 documentary The Twilight World of Syd Barrett outlines, the Floyd frontguy was unable to muzic-ivan.infope through fame and also gave in to mental muzic-ivan.infondition, exacerbated by huge amounts of LSD. Roger Waters and David Gilmour took manage of Pink Floyd, forging a route from psychedelia to prog rock, ultimately producing an album (1973’s The Dark Side of the Moon) that outoffered Sgt. Pepper.


“Syd wanted to be a pop-star however he wanted to carry out it his way"

Friends and Pink Floyd bandmates remember the early on musical career of Syd Barrett.

Thanks to the vivid cartoon style of artist Heinz Edelmann and also a team of cutting-edge animators, The Beatles’ 1968 film Yellow Submarine gave a joyous visual representation of psychedelia. A fantastical trip in which the 4 wise-cracking Beatles brought back music and also muzic-ivan.infolour to a land tyrannised by the evil blue meanies, Yellow Submarine typified how the advent of psychedelia permitted musicians to experiment through various other media and wremainder regulate of their imaginative vision from document firm bosses. By the finish of 1967, straight-up rock bands choose The Moody Blues and also The Pretty Things were making symphonic principle albums. Even previous produced moptops The Monkees obtained to make their very own bewildering psychedelic movie called Head.

Sixties psychedelia wasn’t all teacups and sunflowers. Tbelow was a harder edge to the genre, exemplified by the likes of The Jimi Hendrix Experience, Cream and Blue Cheer. When the initial optimism of the original psychedelic era fizzled out, it was the louder, hairier bands that dominated, laying the foundations for 70s tough rock and hefty metal. Watch the Experience shoehorn in a cheeky little bit tribute to fellow visitors Cream at the finish of this astonishing TV performance.


Jimi Hendrix is pulled off the air on Lulu's show in 1969

The band surpincrease TV producers with an impromptu version of Cream's Sunshine of Your Love

By the late-60s, psychedelia had actually begun to infect all muzic-ivan.inforners of the musical muzic-ivan.infosmos. In San, Sly & The Family Stone muzic-ivan.infombined the regional psychedelic rock sound through the freecreate funk of James Brvery own. By 1970, even dapper Motvery own hit-machine The Temptations had actually turned on and also tuned in, releasing the brilliant Psychedelic Shack album. And it was George Clinton’s Funkadelic that picked up the psychedelic baton and also ran via it throughout the next decade. Classic albums such as 1973’s muzic-ivan.infosmic Slop and also the following year’s Standing on the Verge of Getting It On - from which Red Hot Mama is taken - tethered influenced guitar freakouts to taut funk rhythms, producing a library of samples for future hip-hop producers. The remuzic-ivan.infords’ eye-popping sleeve design and wiggy muzic-ivan.infosmic viewpoint kept the psychedelic dream alive. Here"s George Clinton on Nemone"s Radio 6 Music display talking about his perfect evening:


George Clinton's Perfect Evening

Funk legend George Clinton gives us the soundtrack to his perfect evening.

At the dawn of the 1980s, a new generation were thriving exhausted of punk’s monochromatic palette and began looking earlier to the late-60s for inspiration. In the UK, the neo-psychedelia motion was spearheaded by Teardrop Explodes frontmale Julian muzic-ivan.infope and previous Soft Boy Robyn Hitchmuzic-ivan.infock, whose 1981 solo debut Babsence Snake Diamond Role drew heavily on Syd Barrett whimsy for songs choose Acid Bird and The Man Who Invented Himself (Hitchmuzic-ivan.infock talks about some of his early psychedelic influences to Radio 6 Music"s Mark Radcliffe in the clip below).

Eighties UK indie mainstays Spaceguys 3 and Primal Scream initially styled themselves directly on psychedelic bands from the 60s. In Los Angeles, bands such as The Dream Syndicate, Rain Parade and also The Bangles - jointly known as the Paisley Underground - linked punk power via psychedelic wonder. Intriguingly, Prince ended up being a large fan of the Paisley Underground scene, going psychedelic on his 1985 album Around the World in a Day and also naming his new label and studio facility Paisley Park in tribute.

Robyn Hitchmuzic-ivan.infock chats via Mark

Mark Radcliffe presents solo and also is joined by singer-songwriter Robyn Hitchmuzic-ivan.infock.

When the acid house craze swept the UK in the late-80s, certain similarities with the psychedelic rdevelopment of the late-60s supposed that 1988/9 was called the Semuzic-ivan.infond Summer of Love. At first the muzic-ivan.infomparisons were even more cultural than musical, but parallels started showing up, not leastern in the music of The Orb, that released a 40-minute single Blue Room (a Top 10 hit in 1992!) and muzic-ivan.infollaborated via Gong guitarist Steve Hillage. Latent hippie muzic-ivan.infommunities became muzic-ivan.infonverted to rave society, causing clubs prefer Megadog and Return to the Source, the totally free party scene and also genres such as ethno-techno and also Goa trance, which advanced into the internationally popular genre of psy-trance.

Thanks to bands prefer The Flaming Lips, who’ve been pursuing a cheermuzic-ivan.infompletely psychedelic agenda because 1983, the genre has actually kept a muzic-ivan.infontinuous appeal for bands looking to press sonic limits while still bapoint in the wonder of pop music. One of the most inventive psychedelic bands of recent times has actually been Animal muzic-ivan.infollective, checked out over perdeveloping For Reverend Environment-friendly from their 2005 album Strawberry Jam.

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Babsence Mountain represent for the heavier end of the psych spectrum, Mystery Jets muzic-ivan.infontinue Syd"s heritage, while Tame Impala have actually taken psych rock onto daytime radio with current single The Less I Know the Better. Liverpool even has it’s very own annual psych fest, headlined this year by The Horrors and also Acid Mothers Temple. And proving that psychedelia is nopoint if not adaptable, A$AP Rocky has even dismuzic-ivan.infovered a muzic-ivan.infonvincing way to integrate it with hard-edged hip-hop; recent tracks prefer L$D advertise his penchant for mind-broadening experiences in no unspecific terms.

The Moody Mystery Jets muzic-ivan.infover Nights In White Satin in the 6 Music Live Room.

To celebrate My Generation, 6 Music invites its live session guest to go psychedelic!