Music Lists #4: The Top 100 Psychedelic Songs of the 1960s

Yes, I'm at it again. This time round, I thought we'd look at those trippy, groovy, psychedelic songs that came out in the latter half of the 1960s. Some of these songs may not fit a strict classification as psychedelia, but classifying music is a risky business anyway.

As usual, these are in no particular order and, like all pop culture lists, totally a matter of taste and therefore worthless.

1. The Red Telephone - Love
2. 2000 Light Years from Home - The Rolling Stones
3. Happiness Stan - Small Faces
4. Incense and Peppermint - Strawberry Alarm Clock
5. Time of the Season - The Zombies
6. Daily Nightly - The Monkees
7. The Hurdy Gurdy Man - Donovan
8. Lucifer Sam - Pink Floyd
9. White Bicycle - Tomorrow
10. Roll With It - Steve Miller Band
11. Fire - The Crazy World of Arthur Brown
12. Strawberry Fields Forever - The Beatles
13. Porpoise Song (Theme from Head) - The Monkees
14. Our Love Was - The Who
15. Fixing a Hole - The Beatles
16. Dear Mr. Fantasy - Traffic
17. Anyone for Tennis? - Cream
18. 8 Miles High - The Byrds
19. Making Time - The Creation
20. Open My Eyes - The Nazz
21. Dazed and Confused - Led Zeppelin
22. Codine - The Charlatans
23. Time Has Come Today - The Chambers Brothers
24. Along Comes Mary - The Association
25. Defecting Grey - The Pretty Things
26. See Emily Play - Pink Floyd
27. She's Not There - The Zombies
28. Sun - The Pretty Things
29. Cloud Nine - The Temptations
30. I'm Only Sleeping - The Beatles
31. Wintertime Love - The Doors
32. Colonel Brown - Tomorrow
33. Every Day Another Hair Turns Grey - Manfred Mann
34. You're Gonna Miss Me - 13th Floor Elevators
35. Some Velvet Morning - Nancy Sinatra & Lee Hazelwood
36. Orange Skies - Love
37. A Minah Menina - Os Mutantes
38. Legend of a Mind - Moody Blues
39. Aquarius/Let the Sunshine In - The 5th Dimension
40. Mas Que Nada - Sergio Mendes & Brasil 66
41. I See the Rain - Marmalade
42. Over Under Sideways Down - The Yardbirds
43. Court of the Crimson King - King Crimson
44. Venus in Furs - Velvet Underground
45. It's All Too Much - The Beatles
46. Are You Experienced? - Jimi Hendrix
47. A Quick One - The Who
48. Good Vibrations - The Beach Boys
49. Microbes - George Harrison (Wonderwall soundtrack)
50. Magic Carpet Ride - Steppenwolf
51. Big Black Smoke - The Kinks
52. Season of the Witch - Donovan
53. I'm Not Your Steppin' Stone - Paul Revere & the Raiders
54. Good Morning Starshine - Oliver
55. Fresh Garbage - Spirit
56. We Ain't Got Nothin' Yet - The Blues Magoos
57. I Had Too Much to Dream Last Night - The Electric Prunes
58. Can't Find My Way Home - Blind Faith
59. Sky Pilot - Eric Burdon & the Animals
60. Psychotic Reaction - Count Five
61. Everything That Touches You - The Association
62. A House Is Not a Motel - Love
63. Crimson and Clover - Tommy James & the Shondells
64. Journey to the Center of Your Mind - Amboy Dukes
65. On the Road Again - Canned Heat
66. Pictures of Matchstick Men - Status Quo
67. Shape of Things to Come - Max Frost & Troopers
68. Blue's Theme - David Allan & the Arrows
69. Tuesday Afternoon - Moody Blues
70. I Got a Line on You - Spirit
71. Evil Ways - Santana
72. Arnold Layne - Pink Floyd
73. In-a-Gadda-Da-Vida -Iron Butterfly
74. I Am the Walrus - The Beatles
75. Wear Your Love Like Heaven - Donovan
76. I Can See for Miles - The Who
77. Sunshine of Your Love - Cream
78. Itchycoo Park - The Small Faces
79. My Friend Jack - The Smoke
80. A Woman Like You - Bert Jansch
81. Scarborough Fair/Canticle - Simon & Garfunkle
82. The End - The Doors
83. Witches Hat - Incredible String Band
84. Afterglow - The Small Faces
85. New Potato Caboose- The Grateful Dead
86. She's Like a Rainbow - The Rolling Stones
87. Tomorrow Never Knows - Junior Parker
88. White Rabbit - Jefferson Airplane
89. For Your Love - The Yardbirds
90. Blue Jay Way - The Beatles
91. My Little One - Marmalade
92. Get Together - Youngbloods
93. How Many More Times - Led Zeppelin
94. 1941 - Harry Nilsson
95. In My First Mind - Steve Miller Band
96. Equestrian Statue - Bonzo Dog Doo-Dah Band
97. Nights in White Satin - The Moody Blues
98. Manic Depression - Jimi Hendrix
99. In the Land of the Few- Love Sculpture
100. White Bird - It's a Beautiful Day

Damn! This list took longer than I thought. The Retrospace Top 100 Songs of the 1970s took ten minutes, this took over an hour! Obviously, I'm not as well versed in 60s music as I am the 70s.

Note: I could have easily added more Beatles tunes, but the Fab Four have a tendency to overcrowd "best of" lists, so I refrained. Also, sorry no Zappa songs here.

Worst psychedelic song? Well, that honor may go to "Just Dropped In (To See What Condition My Condition Was In)" by Kenny Rogers' psychedelic band, First Edition; see a post on it where you'll also see a psychedelic video by Grapefruit, a band fronted by the older brother of Angus Young (of AC/DC).

Many of these choices were pulled from a previous post: Great Psychedelic Songs


  1. I recently came across your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I don't know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.

  2. Oh man, some good choices here! The Monkees' "Porpoise Song" from Head! Is that the song playing at the end of the movie that goes "Goodbye...Goodbyyyyyeeee..."?

    I think I'll make a 60's mix using some of these songs. Nice post!

  3. Love the list. Thanks for reminding me of some that I need to throw onto my Ipod. (I like it when other people do my thinking for me, even if it takes them an hour.)

  4. Hey Gil. Great list. I love them all. I've really enjoyed these lists of yours. You've got me wanting to listen to some tunes. Have a cool & swingin' weekend. Cheers!

  5. Great, great list. Although I will confess to having a cheesy admiration for "Just Dropped In..." I think it's that "Ah! Ah! Ah-ah-ah!" part that cheeses it up for me.

    Also, you wouldn't think there would be a connection between the Strawberry Alarm Clock and Lynyrd Skynyrd, but lead guitarist Ed King was in the Clock, then went on to join Skynyrd. Ed is the one going "One, two, three" in the opening to "Sweet Home Alabama," and he then plays the iconic opening riff. King is a self-taught guitarist, and you have to love somebody who says, "My guitar teacher couldn't play Dick Dale's 'Surf Beat,' so I quit taking lessons."

  6. Barry - It IS the goodyyyyyyyyye song (composed by Carol King I might add).

    Thanks Keith and Marissa. It was an hour well spent, I guess.

    Jim- That is fascinating - what an unexpected connection!

  7. Man, you are on fire. I still haven't finished my seventies list yet!

  8. Hey, I'm all about the Skynyrd. I know it's fashionable to slag on them, and I'm as tired of hearing idiots shout "Free Bird" at every. single. concert. as anybody, but the boys could flat-out rock.

  9. Gil,

    Another great list! Although I love the Monkees Steppin' Stone, The Raiders really did it justice as well. Mark Lindsey was a really underated singer. The guy could flat out howl when he had the chance.

  10. Jim - Free Bird makes me want to quit my job, buy a 70s muscle car and drive 120 mph down a desert road screaming like my head was on fire while smoking a big fat one!.... never'll happen but it's nice to imagine.

    Don - The Sex Pistols used the Paul Revere version as their inspiration for their cover. People think of the band as hokey all dressed in period costumes, when in fact they could really kick some ass and deserve a lot more cred.

  11. I could quibble that some of these aren't psychedelic by any definition i'm aware of or note that your Beatles exclusion rule left off my all-time favoriye Psychedelic number, It's All Too Much. Instead, I'll just thank you for pointing me to 29 songs I've bnever even heard of before!! Now to find them!

  12. Booksteve,

    Yeah, I know stuff like "Scarborough Fair/Canticle" and "How Many More Times" are probably a stretch to call psychedelic - but I didn't want to get too wrapped up in a strict definition... I acknowledge some are pushing the limits of the term.

    It's All Too Much is one of my favorites too.... it was left off simply due to laziness. Some day someone will pay me millions of dollars to do this and I'll take more time making posts. My bad.

    Let me know if you find any gems you didn't know about.

  13. Spencer Davis Group's "I'm a man" is a little freaky.

  14. Wichita Lineman by Glen Campbell? Is that to check and make sure people are reading your list?

    No Big Brother and the Holding Company? "Oh Sweet Mary" should be on your list. Or at least, it will be on mine.

  15. retro hound - My bad. Thought I'd slip that one in... I've changed it to Orange Skies by Love. Look forward to your list.

  16. Very interesting list. I would have put more 13th Floor Elevators and Jefferson Airplane. I really like psychedelic music, so I will have to check out a few of these songs I'm not familiar with. Not sure where you live, but Mojo Magazine had a huge feature on psychedelic music in their last issue. Not sure if it's still on the new stands, but you should check it out.

    They were a big stepping stone for psychedelia!

  18. What about a very psychedelic song that unfortunately wasn't a hit: "Land of OZ" by Le Cirque on Buddah Records. Leon Russell was co-writer.

  19. Here's one, hot smoke and sassafras by bubble puppy. Worth a listen

  20. AnonymousJuly 03, 2013

    Put some "Make Love not War" by the Tea Company here. . .

  21. Fixing a Hole? Are you on crack? Tomorrow Never Knows, recorded in early 1966, was The Beatles best psychedelic song by a mile and was at least 25 years ahead of its time. It featured analog sampling as dense as any digital work Public Enemy's Bomb Squad did in 1988.

  22. AnonymousMay 20, 2014

    Check out Madcap Music review-Best Psychedelic list I've seen

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