Heavy Psych. Lyte Psych. Acid Psych. Folk Psych. Eclectic Psych. Fuzz Psych. Melodic Psych. Pop Psych. Experimental Psych. Avant Psych. Electronic Psych…The World was changing. Rapidly! 1968 was a much different year than the innovative 1967. 1968 was more revolutionary, esoteric, cerebral, politicized, eerie, sophisticated, and aggressive. Music was also changing, transforming. Imagine a large cocoon with numerous caterpillars inside, patiently waiting to be transformed into butterflies. Colorful Butterflies… Many different species emerged… Farewell Psychedelia! Welcome Psych! TimeMaZine tracks down some of the Cosmic Acid Seekers of that year…
*compiled by TimeLord Michalis
*first published on Issue #11 of Psychedelic “printed” Fanzine, TimeMaZine (December 2019)
*list is in alphabetical order according to the Album title
68 LPs of 1968 that Helped Psychedelia Transformed into Psych
ANT TRIP CEREMONY
Not On Label (CRC 2129) USA
Reference Song: Elaborations
An iconic legendary stoned Acid Prog Folkie Rock hidden gem of the 60s, made by a bunch of students at Oberlin College in Ohio (the band was built around student Steve Detray, though they had as drummer a 16years old local kid). They took their name after a suggestion from a local English professor who had seen the term in a novel, describing the modern human society. Their album was recorded in just 2 sessions, the first in February 1968 and the second some months later but without Steve Detray, because he left the College in Spring of 1968. It was produced by a fellow-student, David Crosby, not to be mistaken with The Byrds/ CSN&Y one, and only 300 copies were pressed. The band disbanded as the members left college. A blend of Blues, Jazz, and Folk with touches of Eastern Psychedelia, druggy vocals, Raga-flirting soundscapes becoming spooky or weird PSYCH! A Masterpiece!
A Beacon From Mars
Epic (BN 26333) USA
Reference Song: Beacon From Mars
Having released one of the best albums of 1967 (“Side Trips”), this time they become more weird more obscure more Eastern-inspired more PSYCH with “A Beacon From Mars” (released in January 1968), an album where they managed to capture all of the crazy mind-blowing atmospheres of their live appearances, inside the vinyl grooves using a wide range of “unknown-instruments-in-rock-music” and a variety of influences, traditional Country and Blues among them! Solomon Feldthouse, David Lindley, Chester Crill, Chris Darrow, and John Vidican made one of the Best Psychedelic Eastern-tinged Rock albums, innovative, influential and a true precursor of many others that follow. An Eclectic piece of Kaleidoscopic PSYCH!
A Mouth In The Clouds
THE GROUP IMAGE
Community Records (A 101)
Reference Song: Banana Split
The Group Image was a New York collective of artists and despite the wide exposure and commercial coverage (featured in Time magazine and being chosen to represent American culture at the 1968 Olympics in Mexico City), their sole album failed in charts and sales. A logical thing, if you ask me because their album isn’t eupeptic at all! Yes, there are strong influences by West Coast acts like Jefferson Airplane, The Mamas & The Papas and The Lovin’ Spoonful but their music a nice psychedelic freakout, shimmering through a huge colorful kaleidoscopic PSYCH prism, aggressive jamming and an astonishing vocal performance by singer Sheila Darla pre-dating performances of Patti Smith and Yoko Ono! A Mouth In The Clouds asks “What Time Are You?” Answer and Enter The Twinkie Zone of The Group Image!
A Saucerful Of Secrets
Columbia (SCX 6258) UK
Reference Song: Set The Controls For The Heart Of The Sun
“It’s awfully considerate of you to think of me here / And I’m most obliged to you for making it clear that I’m not here” (Jugband Blues)… Sometime around Christmas (1967), David Gilmour (Barrett’s old school friend) was asked to join the band as a second lead guitarist to cover for Barrett… Pink Floyd performed briefly as a five-piece group, from 12 January till the 20th. On April 6, 1968, Pink Floyd announced that Barrett was no longer a member of the band, leaving the new incarnation of Pink Floyd to finish their 2nd album… An album full of Secrets. An album full of Saucers. An album full of Psychedelia. An album full of Space-Rock. An album full of Mind-Trips. An album full of British PSYCH! An album dominated by Syd’s absence! In the UK it was released on 29 June by EMI and in the US on 27 July by Tower Records… Among others, it contains the Ultimate 60s Pink Floyd PSYCH song “Set The Controls For The Heart Of The Sun”…
Agemo’s Trip To Mother Earth
Philips (844 083 PY) THE NETHERLANDS
Reference Song: Little Fly
This is the most PSYCH band to emerge from the Netherlands in the 60s and among the TOP 3 60s Dutch bands (Q65 and The Outsiders being the other two)! They were founded in Hague in 1964 and this is their debut album, released through Philips in late 1968. It’s a concept album telling the saga of Agemo, son of Dog from the Nirvana-like planet Irotas, who visits Earth to experience the urban paranoia and depravity of modern life. The original sleeve had a 3-D image on the cover and came with a pair of 3-D glasses. Inventive, cerebral, quite Floyd-ish and sometimes experimental Acid Rock with a strong pinch of early Progressive Rock! Dutch majestic PSYCH at its best!
Smash Records (SRS-67114) USA
Reference Song: Mourning Of The Day
Hailing from Chicago and active since 1966, they managed to release a few Singles (British invasion inspired) till the “psychedelic wave” and the “it’s a happening” thing penetrates their minds, leading to their sole “Poppy-Heady” PSYCH LP in 1968. Losing the”s” from their name, The Troll released a psychedelic album with popsike melodies and rather strange titles/lyrics mixing Garage and Psych with orchestrated eclectic Beatlesque Pop freakiness!
CBS (S 63690) GERMANY
Reference Song: Strange
They were formed in Illinois in 1962 as Kal David and the Exceptions playing Soul, Pop and Rock n’ Roll (Peter Cetera of Chicago was also a member). After many change lineups, it was shortened to The Exceptions and in 1967 wanting to follow a more psychedelic path they became Aorta! They were signed to Columbia and their self-titled debut album became part of Columbia’s promotion “The Chicago Sound” (along with albums by Chicago, Illinois Speed Press, The Flock). There’s a variety of styles that are blending together inside the album using some “inventive studio wizardry” along with horns, strings, circus music, vaudeville, and various sound effects, a mix of soul, jazz, folk, rock, and Psychedelia, of course, resulting a unique PSYCH amalgam of Pioneer Music!
Behold & See
MGM Records (SE4570) USA
Reference Song: Mind Flowers
Name it Psychedelia. Name it Acid. Name it PSYCH. Name it Mind-Expanding music. Name it whatever your Soul desires! “Behold & See” is simply One of the Ultimate Albums of PSYCH music of All Times! Ian Bruce-Douglas – the mastermind of Ultimate Spinach – made a mystical album essentially influenced and inspired by descriptions of different Visions he experienced while tripping on LSD, Acid, Magic Mushrooms. “Unlike most who experienced these psychedelic/psychotropic substances, I didn’t see Love, Peace & Flowers. Instead, I tended to see the Dark Side of the Psychedelic World. This is one of the things that set Ultimate Spinach apart from all the happy Hippie bands. I saw Darkness then, I still see Darkness now” (Ian Bruce Douglas Interview, TMZ#3, Autumn 2008). This is the 2nd album that the band released in 1968, right after, Ian left the band…
Mainstream Records (S/6106) USA
Reference Song: Riddles & Fairytales
Probably this one of the TOP 3 Bests albums of the “Psychedelic” era of Mainstream Records. Some call it Acid-Punk, some other Psych-Punk, the sure thing is that this quintet from Long Island, New York made a PSYCH album in which their original compositions are competing for their cover adaptions in the most remarkable stoned and unexpected Garage-Psych way! You’ll find All Kinds Of High inside here, an abnormally PSYCH album, full of Paradoxies! Counterculture couldn’t be more psychedelically Genuine!
Carnival Of Life
A&M Records (SP-4140) USA
Reference Song: Love
Looking at the cover you may find yourself thinking of a failed attempt to imitate Inspector Jacques Clouseau, but when you listen it’s really hard to find yourself! It’s Heavy but Pop! It’s Art but Psych! An excellent example of California Psych-Pop-Lunacy dominated by Lee’s vast vocal range and his Hammond/Harpsichord/Piano melodic inventive genuineness along with crushing fuzzy-like guitar riffing, solid drumming and massive acidly drenched basslines! Top-Notch!
Hed-Arzi (BAN 14106) ISRAEL
Reference Song: Subsequent Final
They were formed in Israel in 1965 and after a few lineup changes, they released their debut LP with a Canadian singer (Stan Solomon) and a British guitarist (Robb Huxley, formerly with The Tornados, 4th cousin of Aldous Huxley!) Their name was a nickname given to original guitarist Yitzhak Klepter, whose appearance reminded the other band members of a young Winston Churchill. The band later relocated to England and they released a 2nd LP as Jericho Jones and the 3rd one as Jericho. Top shelf PSYCH with lots of influences inside, an album that becomes the Holy Grail of Israeli Rock music.
Come And Have Some Tea With The Tea Company
THE TEA COMPANY
Smash Records (SRS-67105) USA
Reference Song: Flowers
One and only album by this New York State band that should be called “Come And Have Some Marijuana With The Marijuana Company”! Brainchild singer/guitarist Frankie Carretta (aka Frankie Carr) along with the rest of the guys made a unique album that sounds so Psychedelically Trippy even without having any of those “substances”! Controlled freaky, controlled obscured, controlled Beatles-Psychedelic influenced, controlled dopey, controlled lysergic, controlled acidly experimental. A PSYCH manifesto! “There’s Fun in Tea…”
Polydor (236 803) THE NETHERLANDS
Reference Song: Prisonsong
This is a cornerstone album of pure Dutch raw PSYCHness released by Wally Tax and his gang. CQ (an expression used by amateur radio enthusiasts) is their 3rd LP deeply influenced by the wild n’ freak dark side of the British Psych Empire! Consistent, Diverse, Experimentally Trippy, Dangerously Avant-Garde Folkie, Distorted NetherBeat, Sensitive, Acidly Punkish, Cosmic Free-Form, Full of Nihilistic Psychosis! Inevitably Spectacular! An Impassioned Emotive album!
Stable Records (SLP 7001) UK
Reference Song: Somewhere To Go
They grew up around Notting Hill and put together by one of the most important Underground British figures of the 60s, Mick Farren. “Disposable” is Deviants’ 2nd LP and it is more Psychedelic, weirder, more acidly drenched, more Proto-Punk, more anarchic, more revolutionary than its precursor “Ptooff!” A definitely Non-Disposable Album, sufficiently British Abnormal PSYCH!
Every One Of Us
ERIC BURDON & THE ANIMALS
MGM Records (SE-4553) USA
Reference Song: New York 1963 – America 1968
“Every One of Us” was the second of three albums (the other 2 were “Love Is” and “The Twain Shall Meet”) released by the band in the US in that year (the album was not released in the United Kingdom). All 3 of them are in my list of TOP 60s Albums, all 3 of them are in my list of TOP ’68 Albums, but only “Every One Of Us” has made the list with the PSYCH ones of 1968! Eric Burdon (lead vocals), Vic Briggs (guitar, bass), John Weider (guitar, celeste), Danny McCulloch (bass, 12-string, vocals), and Barry Jenkins (drums, percussion) with new member Zoot Money (credited, for contractual reasons, as George Bruno) on keyboards and vocals, made an album with a tremendous Psychedelic mood flirting with Hendrix-inspired anthems, acoustic Folk-Rock, early Rap-Spoken-Word, Psychedelic Black Music, Blues and Hippie-Jam endeavors mixing politics with social cries, emerging an intense PSYCH feeling after repeatedly listening…
Everybody’s Here OR Forever Lasting Plastic Words
LOST AND FOUND
International Artists (IA-LP-3) USA
Reference Song: Living Eyes
The front cover gives the title as “Forever Lasting Plastic Words”. On the back cover, the title is “Everybody’s Here”. On the label, there is no title at all! Lost And Found were a band from Houston, Texas area, they started as The Misfits (in 1965) but when busted for LSD (the first in Texas to be busted!) they changed to Lost And Found and released their sole album in early 1968 (introduced to the label by Roky Erickson), heavily influenced by their label-mates 13th Floor Elevators despite the fact that they pre-existed! Moby Grape, Dylan, Who, Love, Elevators, Byrds all blended together under a superb Psychedelic vein creating a unique PSYCH atmosphere, putting Lost And Found in the Pantheon of Great Texas Psych Bands (13th Floor Elevators, Golden Dawn, Red Krayola, Fever Tree, Bubble Puppy…)
Five Day Week Straw People
THE FIVE DAY WEEK STRAW PEOPLE
Saga FID (STFID 2123) UK
Reference Song: Five Day Week Straw People
Five Day Week Straw People may otherwise be described as the intermediate station in John Du Cann’s musical quests, between The Attack and Andromeda! (Though later he joined Atomic Rooster). John hired a bass player and a drummer and they recorded the 10 songs of this rare album in just 4 hours in a London schoolroom! It’s a wonderful mix of Heavy-Psych Rock along with some British Mod and FreakBeat material under a colorful Flower Power cloak, telling the story of how a typical working-class British family spends its weekend! A minor classic UK Underground PSYCH album by a one-off studio-only group!
ABC Records (ΑBCS-641) USA
Reference Song: Full Cycle
They started in Massachusetts as The Prophets but relocated to Boston and released just one album, being one of the Best Boston Psych albums, ever! Their music is a combination of West Coast Psychedelia and East coast punk with some strong Folk, Country and Roots influences enriched with Acid, some called it “Hippy Punk”, with wonderful and ethereal male/female interaction-like vocals! Their label ruined the whole thing by delaying the album release, misproduction, ruining artwork and releasing very few copies despite the high demand. This is Proto-PSYCH that will Blow you away!
God Bless The Red Krayola And All Who Sail With It
THE RED KRAYOLA
International Artists (IA-LP-7) USA
Reference Song: Green Of My Pants
After dropping the “C” for a “K” (after a lawsuit), The Red Crayola became The Red Krayola and the Psychedelic cacophony Free-Form Freak-Outs of their debut “The Parable Of Arable Land” were followed by an extreme form of Texan Experimental minimalistic Avant-Garde PSYCH with a low-fi aesthetic, predicting post-punk, indie rock and no wave, courtesy of mastermind Mayo Thompson! What actually Mayo did, was a remake of the album “Coconut Hotel” (their ‘famous’ 2nd album that was rejected by their label IA and finally released in 1995). A visionary and Ahead-Of-Its-Time Album!
ABC Records (ABCS-663) USA
Reference Song: New Life/Girl On Fire/Cold Water/Love In Spite
Many of you Psych-Garagers out there you may know Graffiti by their superb LSD-Drenched 7inch Single “He’s Got The Knack”! Fair enough! But, the same year (1968) along with their sole Single they released their sole album too, an album full of PSYCH with lots of Progressive and Psychedelic “substances”, that stands out as so-ahead-of-its-time, an album that even didn’t include the aforementioned single! Graffiti were based in Greenwich Village, New York, having relocated from Washington DC and they were signed to ABC Records and did one album produced by Bob Thiele and engineered by Eddie Kramer. Some “accused” it for being too “Bubble-Gum”, well then it must have been the only “Bubble” album blending jazz, pop, classical, psychedelia, West Coast sound, fuzz, feedback, sound effects, Hammond, multi-vocal harmonies and Progressive Rock! In other words, is this a Bubble-PSYCH masterpiece?
H.P. Lovecraft II
Philips (PHS-600-279) USA
Reference Song: At The Mountains Of Madness
In less than 1 year, Chicago based Psychedelic-Folk-Rock outfit, throws in the market their 2nd album, after relocating to Marin County, California. On “II” the band managed to “expand” the Psychedelic aspect of their music in a more emphatic way and become more esoteric, hallucinogenic, in other words, more PSYCH, using lots of innovative techniques by engineer Chris Huston along with a lot of electronic experimentation and acoustic orchestration by the band. It is reportedly said that this LP was the first major-label release to have been recorded by musicians who were all under the influence of LSD, BUT on an interview, I did with David Michaels (TimeMaZine #4, autumn 2009) he partially denied it! Surreal PSYCH at its Best!
Verve Forecast (FTS-3030-2X) USA
Reference Song: Fire By The River
Are there Holy Grails in PSYCH? If yes, how many there are out there? Is “Harumi” one of them? Harumi is the debut album by Japanese musician Harumi (full name Harumi Ando, his dad was a Japanese ambassador for the United Nations). The double album was produced by famous producer Tom Wilson in New York and very little is known about it. The first LP contains Harumi’s Psyched-Out original songs in an attempt to perform West music but Eastern-influenced or the opposite! Byrds and Jefferson are brilliantly mixed with the sounds of vibraphone creating an obscure kind of PSYCH album while things are getting weirder on the 2nd LP which consists of only two songs, each a sidelong. Strange meditative music along with conversations (mostly stoned) and frantic acid jams with Japanese spoken word vocals by Harumi’s family (!!!) An effectively PSYCHotropic album!
Mercury (SR-61163) USA
Reference Song: Genesis Through A Window
Hard to believe, but Yes, The McCoys of the “Hang On Sloopy” fame (1965), have released a PSYCH album and it’s worth listing over here! The two Zehringer brothers (then known as Rick Derringer and Randy Z) along with the rest guys made a record full of Psychedelic intelligence, lysergic passion and musical eclecticism combining Loungy Jazz, Country, Pop, Psychedelia and Avant-Garde, managing if anything to confuse Everyone but succeeded in exploring new territories! The McCoys with their unconventional songwriting techniques and their experimental multi-dimensional music they created an intriguing album developing a sound quite different from anything mainstream of that time!
Introspection: A Faine Jade Recital
RSVP (ES-8002) USA
Reference Song: On The Inside There’s A Middle
Faine Jade, a guitarist from Long Island (born Chuck Laskowski), was a member of the Rustics (mid-60s) and after releasing a 7” in 1967 under his own name, he decided to “cross” his mind-borders and stepped into Psychedelia and Obscurity recording his sole album in 1968. Imagine a fine blend of Psych, Pop, Jazz, Sgt Pepper, heavy organs, Between The Buttons, enigmatic cryptic lyrics, amphetamines, Piper At The Gates Of Dawn and Psychedelic guitar riffs under a colorful but more ‘grounded’ Syd Barrett prism, and you’ll get the picture! A PSYCH Introspection!
It’s A Long Way Down
THE FALLEN ANGELS
Roulette (SR-42011) USA
Reference Song: I’ll Drive You From My Mind
An amazing band formed in 1965 in Washington DC led by charismatic vocalist/bassist Jack Bryant and released 4 Singles and 2 Albums, disbanded in 1969. This is their 2nd album impregnated with sunny West Coast Psychedelia along with Jazz, Classical, East Coast Psych, Folk, The Mothers, The Beatles, Love, The Doors, The Kinks and enriched with political satire and theatrical elements, creating a distinctly solid unique sound of their own. An exceptional album of full-tilt Psychedelia that combines quality and inventiveness of Underground PSYCH!
Major Minor (MMLP 29) UK
Reference Song: Dandelion Seeds
Hailing from Ealing, London, they started as The Tomcats but with the addition of some members from the Second Thoughts and under the lead guidance of Peter Cook and Tom Newman (engineer and co-producer of Tubular Bells), they changed it to July, because the year was 1968 and the Underground Swinging London was in Full Psychedelic Glory! They released just one album that despite the commercial failure it was destined to be one of the Best and sought-after British PSYCH albums ever! They incorporated everything they could, from Californian psychedelia to British Acid-Rock through a kaleidoscopic Barrett-like lens while experimenting/exploring with anything the recording studio had to offer! It could have made this list even if the LP contained just one song, “Dandelion Seeds”, the epitome of British PSYCH! Absolutely stunning!
THE LOLLIPOP SHOPPE
Uni Records (73019) USA
Reference Song: Underground Railroad
Led by captivating charismatic singer Fred Cole (The Rats, Dead Moon, Pierced Arrows) they were signed by UNI as The Weeds (formed in 1966 in Las Vegas, Nevada), soon to be changed by producer’s advice to The Lollipop Shoppe. “Just Colour” is a perfect feedback mix of Garage-Rock and Psychedelia but in a unique PSYCH-punkish way, it’s like the juice you take after putting in the blender 1 dose of Arthur Lee, 2 doses of Seeds, 2 doses of Music Machine and a spoon of C.A. Quintet garnished by Fred’s extraordinary adrenaline burst!
Vanguard (VSD-6504) USA
Reference Song: Stoned Is
Formed in Boston, Massachusetts, led by organist/pianist Michael Tschudin, they were part of the “Bosstown Sound” (or “Boston Sound”) and they released their sole self-titled LP through Vanguard. An album full of complicated-structured songs, combing Hard and Progressive Rock with a sophisticated kind of Psychedelia along with Pop, Blues, and Jazz forms! A significant role in the recordings had Walter Powers, former Velvet Underground. Some say that “Listening” defined the Boston Sound if anything they made one of the Best PSYCH albums of the era!
Capitol Records (ST-2985) USA
Reference Song: High All The Time
Taking their name from a nearby river in Yellow Springs, Ohio in 1965, they relocated to Berkeley, California in 1967, they managed to release an EP and 2 LPs before disbanding in 1969. They were led by lead vocalist/main songwriter/bassist Lawrence Hammond and they made their self-titled debut album that released with a unique anomaly! Due to an irrelevant recording engineer, the recording and playback speed was not the same and everything came out faster and higher than the band had played it! The result was a tremendous fantastic piece of Psychedelia, darker than Country Joe & The Fish and more psychoneurotic than Quicksilver Messenger Service and more Acid than Moby Grape! A relentless swirling dark PSYCH Masterpiece of the West Coast!
Acta Records (A-38005) USA
Reference Song: Chocolate Angel
They formed as The Navarros in 1963 in Phoenix, Oregon and after a few lineup changes, they relocated to San Francisco mixed with the locals and eventually becoming The Neighb’rhood Childr’n. They released their sole album through Acta. They were part of the West Coast Psychedelic sound and their music is a fine blend of Jefferson Airplane and Peanut Butter Conspiracy with male/female vocals becoming trippy, folkie, acid, or psychedelic per occasion. After the release of their album, they found “God”, changed their name to White Horse and disbanded in 1970.
THE NIHILIST SPASM BAND
Allied Record Corporation (RECORD NO. 5) CANADA
Reference Song: Destroy All Nations
“Spasm” band means that they use homemade instruments, modifications of other instruments, or wholly new invented! So, this ‘Noise’ Improvisational band was formed in London, Ontario in 1965 and they made an album full of experimental PSYCH, full of improvisations, full of unconventional incompatible music, full of noises, shouting, screeching instruments and out of tempo. A bizarre proto-noise extravagant freak-out record!
Polydor (LPNG 44.018) BRAZIL
Reference Song: A Minha Menina
Debut album by this extremely Innovative Pop-Psych Brazilian band consisted of Arnaldo Baptista, Rita Lee and Sergio Dias. Heavy influenced by The Beatles (and other British acts), The Mamas And Papas (and other West Coast bands) and their traditional rich music of their homeland, their first album is a fine mix of Psychedelia along with Experimental Tropicalia! What if they threatened by the military government of Brazil, what if half of the songs of their debut are covers, these haven’t stopped them to make an “extreme” record blending traditional music, samba, fuzz guitars, strange chanting, sound collages, weird effects, autoharp, bell, taking advantage of all abilities the recording studio could offer, presenting a fruity supernatural authentic album! No other record could have sound so tropically PSYCH!
Imperial (LP-12423) USA
Reference Song: Wildfire
Musician, producer, singer, publisher, songwriter, the one and only Kim Fowley released his 3rd solo effort entitled “Outrageous”, a shocking shamanic testimonial freak-acid-wild PSYCH album! Imagine an orgasmic mix of Stooges and MC5 with a stoned auto sarcastic Jerry Lee Lewis that screams, spits, mumbles raps, moans, and yells under a pure full of madness proto-punk cloak! A dirty, filthy, sneaky, horrible, animalistic, insane, psychotically PSYCH ugly record! Oink! Oink!
Verve Records (V6-5054) USA
Reference Song: Love Eyes
Boston based band that managed to release 2 Singles and a self-titled album, cursed to be inevitably part of “Bosstown Sound”, released through jazz label Verve. “Phuph” is a lively and psychedelic album with prog and folk elements, organ-driven with a garage-rock feel, jangling guitars and heavy grooves, becoming freaky or bizarre at times! Phluph surely had potentials for “making it bigger” but they unfairly sank into oblivion with the rest of the so-called Boston Sound bands but they managed to leave a ‘stockpile’ album for PSYCH related music!
Verve Forecast (FTS3042) USA
Reference Song: You’re The Biggest Thing In My Life
Led by brothers John and Terry Boylan, they were a studio project that released their sole album with the help of some jazz musicians through Verve Forecast label. A concept-like album divided into 3 acts an overture and an epilogue containing “poppy” songs that are linked with narrations, sound effects and little comedy skits flirting with jazz, acid rock, psychedelia and classical music under an intense PSYCH colorful Beatlesque umbrella! In 1968 John Lennon named it one of his favorite new albums! A high-quality record with stoned vocals, psych guitar solos, inventive melodies, beautiful harmonies, feedback, sunshine freshness with an experimental twist that makes you wonder if Psychedelic Substances did play a role in the making! A brilliant Odd PSYCH album!
MGM Records (SE-4557) USA
Reference Song: Nature
A radio producer and a Funk/Soul/R’n’B artist that decided in 1967/68 to be hip and follow the Psychedelic flow. “Rainbow” is produced by Alan Lorber (of Bosstown fame or infamy), it is a strange mixture of PSYCH-Pop-Baroque-Jazzy elements, extremely Eastern-influenced, full of trippy ragas, stoned poetic lyrics, free form lethargic sitar, and Indian percussion. “Out-There” Psychedelia that dangerously flirts with the nowadays called “new age meditative music”.
Polydor (583 045) UK
Reference Song: The World Will End Yesterday
Debut album by an obscure British Psychedelic band (led by keyboardist Kenny Elliott) that flirts with Progressive Rock much earlier than other bands! The album is an unusual mixture of a Jimi Hendrix/Arthur Brown/Cream meltdown, an inventive elegiac PSYCHedelic becoming Heavy or Baroque Pop with the use of mellotron, harpsichord, Hammond organ, cello, sax, flute and lots of imaginative studio trickery. Pioneering!
Cinema Records (CLP # 1) USA // ATCO Records (SD 33-271) USA
Reference Song: Pictorial
Prior to discovering LSD that led them to The Children formation, their members were part in 3 of the hottest San Antonio, Texas, garage bands, The Stoics, The Argyles and The Mind’s Eye! Their sole album “Rebirth” is one of the finest examples of Texas Psychedelia released by Cinema Records and by Atco Records a little later for national distribution. An intense and diverse PSYCH album, mixing Heavy and Light Psychedelia, hippie music, male/female vocals, Baroque Pop, dreamy orchestration, Californian LSD, Sgt. Pepper and laid back Kinks overdosed with some colorful Flower Power, it’s like tripping in a field of green grass among fairies and white rabbits.
THE PRETTY THINGS
Columbia (SCX 6306) UK
Reference Song: Death
Dick Taylor and Phil May brought in Wally Allen, John Povey, and drummer Twink and were about to record the 4th LP for The Pretties, a sort of concept album (people/critics call it the first Rock Opera) based on a story by Phil, about an imaginary character called Sebastian F. Sorrow, starting from Birth and through Love, War, Tragedy, and Madness reaches old age’s disenchantment! Musically, it’s an incredible glorious colorful paradisiacal mix of sounds, acidly drenched, ranging from haunting minimalistic Psychedelia to sprawling refreshing Freakbeat along with Eastern drones, guitar Freak-outs, mellotrons, wind instruments, surrounded by euphoric harmonies. Was it because of the Aura, the Psychedelic Aura of the 2 other albums that were recorded there at Abbey Roads Studios – Sgt. Pepper and Piper – that this Album became one of the Best British Psych albums ever released? Maybe… Personally, this is one of the Top 3 Albums ever recorded! British PSYCH Bliss!
Parlophone (PCS 7050) UK
Reference Song: Sun Sing
“And now for your own, for your very own rapturous mystification and spectromorphic iridescents I name this rubber ark Rainbow Ffolly and good luck to all who sail in her”, what to expect from an album that starts this way but a delightful colored psychedelically poppy mix of songs with a rather strange and incredible story behind it! An album that consisted of quirky Demo recordings in order to secure a contract with Parlophone, EMI. The executives asked for the rights to the tape exactly as delivered and they released the album without the Band’s knowledge! There’s Beatles and The Move, and some Blossom Toes, and Skip Bifferty, and Small Faces too inside, blended together with an eccentric aesthetic, trippy, surreal, sophisticated whimsical British PSYCH-e-Delia with attractive vocal harmonies! And do I need to mention the mind-blowing artwork cover (painted by band-member John Dunsterville)? Just imagine what could have happened if they let them complete all these magical ideas they had in mind.
Kapp Records (KS-3562) USA
Reference Song: Oscillations
Taking their name from a W.B.Yeats poem, the duo of Dan Taylor and Simeon Cox, were not only one of the First Electronic Experimental bands of the 60s but were also One of The Best of All Times, true innovators and far ahead of their Time! Their debut album was full of the ‘Simeon’ sounds (a self-invented huge instrument with over a dozen oscillators and various tone bending circuits through telegraph keys), electronically flavored PSYCHedelia and highly drug-induced! Absolutely mind-shattering music that to this very day remains fresh, groundbreaking, unconventional, influential and I really could add a hundred more epithets! A Milestone!
Song Of Innocence
Capitol Records (ST 2982) USA
Reference Song: The Mental Traveler
Davis Axelrod was an American producer/composer and this was his debut album out of many that followed (mostly in the 70s). (Though it should have been his 2nd, if “Mass In F Minor” was listed to Axelrod and not to The Electric Prunes, for those who know the story). An obscure, mystical and magical album that consists of a Suite in 7 parts inspired by William Blake’s writings (a 1789 illustrated collection of poems). With an orchestra and a few studio musicians, David made an instrumental experimental Poppy album that flirts with Jazz Fusion, Funk, Classical, Baroque, Rock even Theatrical music! A euphoric dramatic PSYCH-a-like set of compositions, a PSYCH liturgical Art Pop achievement by a Blake freak!
THE SOUND OF FEELING
Limelight (LS 86063) USA
Reference Song: The Time Has Come For Silence
Jazz producer Leonard Feather discovered twins Alyce and Rhae Andrece in San Francisco that were in an avant-garde jazz band called The Sound Of Feeling. Feather produced their 2nd album, total obscurity with electronic sounds, Moog, harp, cello, saxophone, vibraphone, male/female vocals, sounding like an avant-garde polyphonic PSYCH experiment!
Capitol Records (ST-2991) USA
Reference Song: Black Sheep
Hailing from Birmingham, Michigan, originally they were called The Scot Richard Case, which was shortened to SRC. Scot (Richardson), Richard (Scott) Case, (Steve Case Lyman) along with the 2 Quackenbush brothers and Robin Dale, were signed to Capitol and released 3 albums till 1971 which they split. Their self-titled debut album is an amazing amalgam of killer wild guitars, dreamy melodic n’ druggy organ, and pounding drums easily can be mistaken as an early British Prog LP, but is just another Detriot-area Super Fuzzed Out Acidic PSYCH record!
St. John Green
Flick-Disc (FLS 45,001) USA
Reference Song: Messages From The Dead
A Hollywood-based short-lived quintet that is best remembered among Psych-Heads for the self-titled sole obscure and unusual album that was produced by Kim Fowley (along with Michael Lloyd of WCPAEB), developing Kim’s visionary artistic new style of music, The “Canyon Sound”! Staring at the colorful cover you can’t expect anything less than scary weird PSYCHedelia vaccinated with darkness, twisted madness and a pinch of Arthur Brown’s Crazy World, all together blended with spoken poetry, tongue-in-cheek lyrics under a various spectrum of musical styles, a bizarre occult PSYCH album indeed!
CAPTAIN BEEFHEART & HIS MAGIC BAND
Blue Thumb Records (BTS 1) USA
Reference Song: Trust Us
This is the follow-up to 67’s “Safe As Milk”, initially was going to be released through Buddah as a 2LP set entitled “It Comes To You In A Plain Brown Wrapper”, but when Captain teamed up with producer Bob Krasnow, the material was shortened and it finally released as “Strictly Personal” on Krasnow’s new label Blue Thumb! The album was assembled by Krasnow adding phasing and studio “psychedelic” effects while Captain and his band were still touring in the UK! The album acts like a rambling jam session, a chaotic album full of Beefheart’s unique style of Avant-Garde Rhythm N’ Blues, an aural PSYCH LP infused with real experimental unorthodox cacophony Psychedelia!
Suddenly One Summer
J.K. & CO.
White Whale (WWS 7117) USA
Reference Song: Fly
Hard to believe that this album was the product of a 15 years old Jay Kaye from Las Vegas, who led J.K. & CO. and teamed up with a few session musicians in order to record their sole album in 1968, in Vancouver, Canada. An album inspired by The Beatles, The Kinks, The Zombies and Hallucinogenics (probably), comprising Psychedelia, Spiritualism, Heavy studio effects, Sitar, trippy soundscapes, dreamy PSYCHness and Baroque Pop! J. K. & CO. made a very short pass in the 60s musical history but their record finally discovered by Psych Maniacs (fans and musicians) from all over the world.
The Animated Egg
THE ANIMATED EGG
Alshire (S-5104) USA
Reference Song: Shock It My Way
Clearly, this one is listed here because of its remarkable PSYCHEDELIC music! Being a product of Psychsploitation, there’s actually no group behind The Animated Egg, just a few session musicians gathered together under the guidance of guitarist Jerry Cole in order to record an instrumental set of psychedelic songs, heavy and fuzzed-out with feedback and swirling organ sounding! (Later that year Alshire label released most part of this album – adding strings and various effects – as “Astro Sounds From Beyond The Year 2000” by 101 Strings!!!)
The Bonniwell Music Machine
THE BONNIWELL MUSIC MACHINE
Warner Bros. Records (WS-1732) USA
Reference Song: The Eagle Never Hurts The Fly
This is the 2nd and final album by The Music Machine, released under The Bonniwell Music Machine moniker. An album that leans more into Psychedelia than Garage, thanks to the persona of Sean Bonniwell with the help of some recruited musicians (thus the new moniker). According to Sean “Each track was a studio invention…” blending Psychedelia, organ-driven Garage and Folk Rock in an eclectic experimental way that leads into distinctive Pop-PSYCH or even fresh PSYCH-Punk! An Astrologically Incompatible Album destined to be Cult!
New Syndrome Records (WS 1746) CANADA // Warner Bros. Records Of Canada, Ltd. (WS 1746) CANADA
Reference Song: What Love (Suite)
Debut album by a Canadian band that started out in 1961 in Vancouver as The C-Fun Classics (changing it to The Classics, The Canadian Classics and finally to The Collectors). Their self-titled album, produced by Dave Hassinger, is an atmospheric LP full of sublime heady PSYCHedelia, becoming dreamy or experimental at times, combining Pop with Progressive Rock elements under complex arrangements and extended improvisations, using distorted guitars, sax, flute, lovely vocals, and a few Gregorian chants!
The Crazy World of Arthur Brown
THE CRAZY WORLD OF ARTHUR BROWN
Track Record (613 005) UK
Reference Song: Prelude-Nightmare/Fanfare-Fire Poem
Yes! Of course, this is a PSYCH album! A weird but typically British album produced by The Who’s manager Kit Lambert with executive producer Pete Townshend! Their debut album is dipped in eccentric grotesque Psychedelia with an Arthur Brown singing/performing/acting like a Frank Zappa, or a Syd Barrett, or a Jim Morrison, or a Screamin’ Jay, or a James Brown, or Sergeant Pepper with an extremely mind-blowing dramatically theatrical approach! Nightmarish artistic PSYCH madness that becomes Wizardry, pointing to the Dark Side Of Psychedelia by The God Of Hell Fire…
The Doughnut In Granny’s Greenhouse
BONZO DOG BAND
Liberty (LBL 83158) UK
Reference Song: We Are Normal
This is the 2nd album by the Bonzos, a British comedy band by a bunch of Art School students combining Psychedelic Pop, Jazz, Avant-Garde, Music Hall, Blues, and Surreal humor, of course! Naming their LP after an Obscure British slang for the lavatory, they become more PSYCH that in their 1st LP. A rather weird album becoming trippy or acid or freaky, or vaudeville cauterizing with their sarcastic clever humor, Everything and All, proving that the title from the opening track of the album “We Are Normal” is insanely Wrong! Vitriolic PSYCHedelia!
The Eyes Of The Beacon Street Union
BEACON STREET UNION
MGM Records (SE-4517) USA
Reference Song: Blue Avenue
Named after a street in their native Boston and hailing from Boston University, they released 2 albums in 1968 (this one is their debut), being part of the overhyped Boston Sound, inevitably! So, look into the Eyes of The Beacon Street Union and you’ll see Garage PSYCHedelia at its Best, uptempo and trippy, fuzz guitar and organ-driven, some Freaking Out Old Blues, a wrong speed tune and some of the best PSYCH songs ever recorded!
The Far Cry
THE FAR CRY
Vanguard Apostolic (VSD-6510) USA
Reference Song: Dreams
A 7-piece band hailing from Boston released just one album that really agitated the ‘waters’ of the so-called Boston Sound, an album that opened new horizons to the Free Form Psychedelic Avant-Garde Jazz! Full of Blues, early Prog, Ornette Coleman, Funk, howling vocals, distinctive a-la Beefheart Sax sounds, vibraphones, organ freak-outs, electric acid guitars and Zappaesque musical motives creating a unique strange blend of PSYCH Fusion! Ιnsurmountable!
Mercury (SR 61178) USA
Reference Song: Fly
You may wonder what these Fools are doing here. But, it’s the 60s, the Swinging London, 1968, art & music & paintings & designs are ALL connected! A Dutch design collective, having produced clothes and art for every ‘hip’ dude or duchess in London (from The Beatles and The Hollies to Procol Harum, Incredible String Band, and Cream) decided to release a Folkie PSYCHedelic album produced by Graham Nash and recorded in Los Angeles. Ethereal melodies played with acoustic guitars, organ, banjo, bagpipes, emerging a Peace-And-Love Hippie feeling, being magical, trippy with a few Eastern scales causing a hypnotic spiral Psychedelic worm-tunnel inside your inner self!
The Further Adventures Of Charles Westover
Liberty (LST-7539) USA
Reference Song: Silver Birch
I’m pretty sure that if this record was released under a pseudonym, for instance, if Del Shannon used his real name Charles Weedon Westover then this MASTERPIECE would have “decorated” many PSYCH related lists, but anyway. Del the “Runaway” guy from Michigan, turned to a Psychedelic hippie-cowboy and released a splendid album, combining Pop, Psychedelia, Country and Baroque in an eerie but psychedelically trippy way. Almost every song here is a little mind-blowing PSYCH gem!
The Savage Resurrection
THE SAVAGE RESURRECTION
Mercury (SR-61156) USA
Reference Song: Tahitian Melody
An extremely short-lived Bay Area, San Francisco band – with members being from 16 to 21 years old – that formed in 1967, released their self-titled album in 1968 and disbanded right after! Influenced by Yardbirds, Jimi Hendrix, Blue Cheer, Cream, and Love (with this order) their sole album is a perfect blend of a wide range of styles, Garage Rock, Acid Rock, Blues, and Eastern-inspired Psychedelia! A primitive druggy heavy dark fuzzy and expansive PSYCH record that you can even smell it!
The Soft Machine
THE SOFT MACHINE
Probe (CPLP 4500) USA
Reference Song: Hope For Happiness
British cerebral head PSYCH music juggling with Fusion Jazz and Progressive Rock by founders of the Canterbury scene, Soft Machine! This is their debut album also titled “Volume One”, produced by Chas Chandler and Tom Wilson. Robert Wyatt, Mike Ratledge and Kevin Ayers (Daevid Allen went to Paris to form Gong) made an album (recorded in New York) full of Dadaist ideas, acidic organ sound, wiggly Jazz rhythms, brainy experimentation, and weird lyrics! One of the best schizophrenically mental PSYCH albums of all time! A lunatic Beauty of its own!
The Square Root Of Two
Spectrum Stereo (ST 2001) USA
Reference Song: Illusion
Describe it with 2 words. Psychedelic Sorcery! Period! Bass player, organizer, and producer of the band, Aleck Janoulis (last full-blooded male Greek in the Yanoulis family), is responsible for this Garage-Raw-Psych-Rock-Anomaly Masterpiece which he calls it “Circular Feel Acid-Punk” music. “The recordings took place in several locations from 1967 to January/February 1968. It was mastered in my basement studio. To get a trippy feel on the tunes I pulled out all the gimmicks available at that time I had experimented with. Backward tape tracks, the vibrato channel in guitar amps for some vocals a microphone I would have a roadie swing in circles when recording music backgrounds… A mix of live performances and studio enhancements during the freak party mix session. There were legal amphetamines and opiates available in those days. Electric Bob supplied the hallucinogens… The cover art evolved after I started to doodle while stoned…” (Aleck Janoulis interview 13 Feb 2019 / TMZ #10) An album full of Psychedelic Illusions and Freak-Out Smash Confusions!
The Tangerine Zoo
THE TANGERINE ZOO
Mainstream Records (56107) USA
Reference Song: Trip To The Zoo
Another Great band that considered a part of the Bosstown Sound, formed in Swansea, Massachusetts and released 2 albums in Mainstream both in 1968 (being 19 to 21 years old!). They were invited to perform at Woodstock but they forced to decline because of other commitments!!! The Tangerine Zoo is their debut LP, full of swirly Hammond and Guitar Psychedelic outbursts combing the Citrate Acid of the Balmy and Sour Tangerine along with the PSYCHedelic Rumbles that were coming out of the ZOO!
The Third Testament
ESP-Disk’ Ltd. (ESPS 1077) USA
Reference Song: The First Multitude
Their 3rd album was released on January 1, 1968, by New Yorkers The Godz and it seems that they were FREE to experiment as long and much they wanted during the recording sessions! They invited a few friends to invade the studio for a Freak Out Party recording session, resulting in an anarchic mix of Avant-Garde Psychedelia blending Folk, Blues, Garage, Proto-Punk, Country and Noisy elements with lots of sound effects, sometimes sounding like they had just discovered their instruments! A psychedelically peculiar PSYCH album!
The United States Of America
THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
Columbia (CS 9614) USA
Reference Song: The Garden Of Earthly Delights
Drop the 60s label. Drop the Psych label. Their sole album is one of the best albums in recorded history ever! Mastermind Joe Byrd decided to experiment with electronic sound combining Dixieland Jazz, an Oberheim ring modulator, aggressive hard Rock, harpsichord, hauntingly beautiful ballads, Dorothy’s ethereal sensitive vocals, synthesizers, Charles Ives, Calliope, Velvet Underground, Zappa, John Cage, Grateful Dead, Silver Apples, Marching Bands… A circus freak atmosphere coming straight out of the Poisonous Lethal and Sweat Garden of Earthly Delights! Delightful PSYCH!
Time Out! Time In For Them
Tower (ST 5116) USA
Reference Song: Black Widow Spider
Formed in Belfast in 1964 and after many lineup changes and the departing of Van Morrison in 1967, they regrouped and relocated to the USA. They hung out with the L.A. Psych Hippie circuit and managed to release 2 albums in 1968, experimenting with West Coast Psychedelia! “Time Out! Time In For Them” is a great PSYCH combination of heavy fuzz guitars, resonant head swirled sitar, Raga-Rock, Jazzy signatures, a variety of instruments and lots of strange sounds! A PSYCH beauty by NOT the original Them!
TOMORROW Featuring KEITH WEST
Parlophone (PCS 7042) UK
Reference Song: Revolution
One of the hottest (and leading) freakbeat PSYCH bands of the London Underground that released their sole album in 1968 though it was recorded almost 1 year earlier! (Soon after they disbanded following different artistic routes). Featuring Keith West, John Wood, Steve Howe and Twink they made an astonishing album including Pure Psychedelia, Eastern-influenced scales, hippie anthems and trippy lyrics along with some exciting backward guitar phasing, sitar riffs and a colorful interpretation of Strawberry Fields Forever. Top-notch British PSYCHedelia!
Trilogy For The Masses
ABC Records (ABCS-658) USA
Reference Song: Theme For The Masses
Despite their highly West Coast Californian sounding, they were another genuine high-talented band from Boston, taking their name from the venue where Abraham Lincoln was assassinated! Segregating themselves from the overhyped “Boston Sound” they managed to release 2 albums, with “Trilogy” being their debut. An album that despite its title it’s certainly NOT for the masses! San Franciscan Psychedelia combined with influences by The Beatles, The Doors, The Byrds and Jefferson Airplane (of course!). They create a rather dark atmosphere all over the album with jangling acid guitars, exciting and mysterious organ, flirting with proto-prog operatic music!
MGM Records (SE4518) USA
Reference Song: Ballad Of The Hip Death Goddess
The answer to the question “What is Psych?” is the Ultimate Spinach! This is the debut album (and precursor to “Behold & See” / both released in 1968), dominated by the masterful talented idiosyncratic figure of Ian Bruce-Douglas who wrote all the material and Barbara Hudson’s beautiful hallucinogenic vocals, experimenting with various guitar sounds (fuzz, echo, wah-wah, tremolo, feedback), tabla, bells, chimes, harpsichord, flute, theremin, kazoo, and sitar but staying close to the Dark Side of the Flower Power Hippie Anti-War Psychedelic aesthetic! Besides being one of the Best PSYCH albums, one of the Best 60s albums, one of the Best PSYCHEDELIC albums, the “Ultimate Spinach” album is also one of the Best Debut albums, Ever!
FLAT EARTH SOCIETY
Fleetwood Records (FCLP 3027) USA
Reference Song: Feeling Much Better
Another Psychedelic band from the Boston area that were approached to make an album to advertise the Waleeco Candy Bar! It’s really surprising how a bunch of teenagers (aged from 15 to 16) made a joyful album of Psychedelia, folk, rock, hard rock, garage including a couple of mind-bending experimental psychedelic instrumentals! Undoubtedly one of the best albums of the era! After a few gigs, the band disbanded soon after, leading the album to obscurity and oblivion till the “re-discovering”/ re-issue of the album in the 90s!
White Light/White Heat
THE VELVET UNDERGROUND
Verve Records (V6-5046) USA
Reference Song: The Gift
After the release of “Banana”, the band fired Andy Warhol (or Andy lost his interest), departed with Nico (to pursue a solo career) and recorded their 2nd album for the Verve label in just 2 days, staying focused in their experimental noisy improvisations which they had “perfected” during their live gigs! The band, under the PSYCH moniker, and probably under a huge amphetamine-experimentation, they presented a variety mixing of Rock styles, in their weird unique way, Experimental Rock, Art Rock, Noise Rock, Proto-Punk. This is Unorthodox Avant-garde PSYCH that influenced/inspired a soldiery of later musicians. John Cale: “… a very rabid record… The first one had some gentility, some beauty. The second one was consciously anti-beauty…”