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Psychedelic Rock Music

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Natalie Turner

on 3 October 2012

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Transcript of Psychedelic Rock Music

Psychedelic Rock Natalie Turner A wide range of music genres comprised the category of psychedelic music, which emerged in the mid 1960s
These styles of music such as folk, pop, soul, and rock were influenced by the psychedelic culture of the decade (which also included experiences under the influence of psychedelic drugs.)
LSD at this time was being used legally in the U.S. and UK for experimental treatment, therefore lending itself to being promoted in the mass media
The youth of the 60's began to use LSD and other hallucinogens and promoted their use in response to their refusal to conform to America society at the time. This became a defining characteristic of this generation.
In 1964, a group called the Merry Pranksters sponsored "Acid Tests"
Psychedelic music heavily drew from folk rock and blues rock genres, which were very popular at the time in the U.S. and the UK. Additionally, new techniques and use of electronic instruments were very crucial to the new psychedelic genre
Although the new musical genre declined in the 1970s, neopsychedelia emerged in the 1980s and was highly influential for electronic music, especially for acid house music and trance music Introduction to Psychedelic Music Characteristics Although San Francisco was the center of the psychedelic scene, many other U.S. cities hosted numerous psychedelic rock bands
Bill Graham - a promoter and event organizer, was very influential in expanding the genre. His shows attracted the most popular psychedelic rock bands from both the U.S. and UK to perform
In 1966 the first psychedelic single that hit the US Top 10 charts was "Psychotic Reaction" by Count Five
The Beach Boys' album Pet Sounds employed psychedelic lyrics based on emotional longings and elaborate sound effects
Other notable cities in the U.S. that bred psychedelic rock bands included Los Angeles, New York, Chicago, and Detroit
In the UK, the underground culture emerged as a reaction to alternative weekly publications like International Times and OZ Magazine, which presented psychedelic music with counter culture lifestyle
Psychedelic rock clubs began to emerge, and the musical acts that performed were oftentimes accompanies by liquid light shows
Joe Boyd - an American promoter and record producer, moved to London in 1966 and was very instrumental in the growth of psychedelic rock in the UK. He co-founded the psychedelic rock club "UFO club", produced Pink Floyd's first single "Arnold Layne", and managed several folk rock bands Psychedelic Rock - continued The genre was pioneered by The Beatles, The Byrds, and The Yardbirds in the mid 1960s
These groups emerged among folk rock and blues rock bands in the U.S. and UK
Psychedelic music culminated in the Summer of Love and Woodstock Rock Festival, thus sparking an international musical movement and symbolizing a mass counter-culture
The first group to identify themselves as psychedelic rock was The 13th Floor Elevators from Texas
In the mid 1960s, The Beatles and Bob Dylan introduced psychedelic sound to mainstream audiences, thereby becoming the leaders of the psychedelic rock genre
In Dylan's song "Subterranean Homesick Blues" he writes: Take me on a trip upon your magic swirling ship
Members of The Beatles experimented wth LSD, and their songs reflected their experiences under the influence of psychedelics. The guitar feedback in "I Feel Fine", use of the sitar in "Norwegian Wood", and reversed audio tapes in the B-side of "Rain"
The psychedelic life-style was booming in San Francisco in the mid 1960s, largely due to the underground LSD factory owned by Owsley Stanley. Free thinkers gravitated towards the city, and the music scene in coffee houses, independent radio stations, and folk clubs in Berkeley was really taking off
In addition to The Beatles, The Byrds (folk scene in California) and The Yardbirds (blues scene in UK) were extremly influential
The Byrds' song "Eight Miles High" made use of free jazz and Indian ragas, and the lyrics made several drug references, therefore there was limited airplay. Psychedelic Rock Exotic instrumentation, often using a sitar or tabla
More complex song structures
Surreal/whimsical/esoteric lyrics
Emphasis on extended instrumental solos
Electric guitars often using wah wah, fuzz pedal, or feedback
Heavy use of keyboards
Ellaborate studio effects, such as: panning, long delay loops, backwards tapes, phasing, and intense reverb
Use of electronic instruments like synthesizers and theremin
In 1967 The Beatles released the double A-side "Strawberry Fields Forever" and "Penny Lane", which was considered nostalgic psychedelia. This was followed by "Sgt Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band", which featured "Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds". This was seen as their defining psychedelic musical statement
Pink Floyd produced what is considered their best psychedelic work that year as well called "The Piper at the Gates of Dawn"
In 1967, the Summer of Love drew 100,000 people to the Haight-Ashbury district in San Francisco (considered a social phenomenon)
In 1969, Woodstock Rock Festival premiered the most popular psychedelic rock bands at the time, including Janis Joplin, Santana, and Jimi Hendrix (still known as one of the most famous musical events of all time)
However, by the end of the 1960s, the genre began to decline. LSD was made illegal in the U.S. and UK in 1966. Several iconic figures like Brian Jones, Brian Wilson, Syd Barrett, and Janis Joplin all died from drug-related deaths.
As such, many psychedelic rock bands shifted to roots rock, which was more traditional (Bob Dylan, The Beatles, The Byrds, and many more)
Psychedelic rock has had a profound influence on musical genres such as pop, motown, progressive rock, metal, and electronic today.
Radiohead - The Gloaming (modern day example)
MiMOSA - Psychedelic Stereo Peak Years
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