The Prime: Alt Through the Ages

December 19th, 2023 by Liz Kosik

by Liz Kosik ’25

Genre: Alternative

Subgenre: Psychedelic rock

RIYL: The Electric Prunes, The Velvet Underground, The Yardbirds, Temples

The birth of psychedelic rock can be traced back to the mid-1960s, primarily in the United States and the United Kingdom. Bands like The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, and The Byrds incorporated elements of psychedelic music into their sound, experimenting with unconventional song structures, mind-expanding lyrics, and the use of mind-altering drugs. The genre reached its peak with the iconic album “The Dark Side of the Moon” by Pink Floyd, released in the late 1960s.

While the popularity of traditional psychedelic rock waned in the 1970s, its influence continued to shape the music scene. Bands embraced a more progressive and experimental sound, incorporating synthesizers and compositions. Meanwhile, the uprising of punk and new wave in the late 1970s brought a different approach to psychedelia, with acts like The Clash infusing their music with elements of psychedelia, albeit in a more raw and aggressive manner.

The 1990s saw a comeback of psychedelic rock, as bands sought to revisit the sound of the 1960s with a modern twist. The genre fused with alternative rock, grunge, and shoegaze, giving birth to the “neo-psychedelia” movement. Bands like The Flaming Lips and Tame Impala carried the psychedelic torch, introducing new sonic landscapes, incorporating electronic elements, and pushing the boundaries of psychedelic rock. This trend continued into the 2000s and beyond, with newer bands like King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard and Temples bringing fresh energy and innovation to the genre, proving that psychedelic rock remains a vibrant and evolving force in contemporary music.

Want to get more into Psychedelic rock? Check out some suggestions below!

The Zombies“Time of the Season”

The Grateful Dead“Dark Star”

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