Genres -> Psychedelic Rock
|Psychedelic Rock or Acid Rock fuels the mind-altering experiences brought on by drugs such as 'Magic Mushrooms', 'Cannabis', 'Mescaline' and 'LSD'.
In the greater scheme of things Psychedelic Rock forms the bridge between early Blues-based Rock and Progressive Rock, which later evolved into Heavy Metal. Psychedelic Rock also draws influence from the stranger genres, Jazz being an example.
Whilst the first use of the term psychedelic in popular music was credited to, in 1964, an Acid Folk group named The Holy Modal Rounders it wasn't until 1966 that the term was used in a Rock context in the form of the 13th Floor Elevators album The Psychedelic Sounds of the 13th Floor Elevators. Psychedelic sounds had been around earlier than that in the form of Pink Floyd, Greatful Dead, Beatles and Donovan to mention a few. Notable singles include Donovan's Sunshine Superman as well as Day Tripper and Paperback Writer by Beatles.
The 'Studio as an Instrument' trend was formed largely due to Psychedelic Rock. This development in music is no more noticeable than in Beatles albums Please Please Me recorded on a single day in 1963 and the later album Sgt Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band (1967) which is a result of over 700 hours in the studio.
The most distinguishable characteristic must be the modal melodies, furthermore lyrics often refer to visions, dream and hallucinations (usually drug induced). Songs are usually quite lengthy and largely populated by instrumental solos. Psychedelic Rock plays allot with effects such as reverbs, flangers, distortion and delays and usually disrupts the traditional four over four timing of Rock.
Many psychedelic tracks touch on themes of nostalgia and longing for a lost innocence. The surrealistic creations of Charles Lutwidge Dodgson (Lewis Carroll) an English author, mathematician and photographer among other things known for Alice in Wonderland it's sequel Through the Looking-Glass became a strong influence on the genre. An example can be found in the 1967 track Living in a Childs Dream by The Master Apprentices. An alternate approach can be heard on the Pink Floyd track The Gnome, written by Syd Barrett whom was inspired by authors like Lewis Carroll and JM Barrie. Some tracks express criticism and rejection of the 'Western Consumer Culture'.
Psychedelic Rock was heavily influenced by the interest in Indian music, the Hindustani and Raga genres being most prominent, this was popularized in the west by band like Beatles and Ravi Shanker. Extended modal structures, passages of improvisation and unusual time signatures combined with exotic instruments like the Tambura and Sitar. This influence can be heard in Paint it Black by Rolling Stones, See my Friends by The Kinks and Tomorrow Never Knows, Love You To and Norwegian Wood by once again The Beatles.
The use of keyboards in psychedelic rock, although the Harpsichord had been out of fashion in popular music for at least two centuries it's distinctive tinkly sound appealed to the psychedelic rock movement. Session musicians like Nicky Hopkins were called upon for recordings. The Hammond organ was already widely used by Jazz musicians like Jimmy Smith and the widely celebrated soul group BookerT and the MGs but the wide tonal and timbral range of the instrument made a great gift to psychedelic rock groups, used in conjunction with the Leslie speaker, a rotating speaker that added a complex phase-shifted sound to the organ.
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