Looking back on the 1950s, it’s hard to imagine that any of the rock bands from that era could have made a successful transition to psychedelic rock. After all, the two genres are about as different as can be. But as it turns out, there were a few bands who managed to make the switch and find success in the 1960s. Here are a few of them.
The Beatles were an English rock band formed in Liverpool in 1960. The group, whose best-known line-up comprised John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr, are regarded as the most influential band of all time. With a sound rooted in skiffle, beat and 1950s rock and roll, they later utilised several genres ranging from pop ballads to psychedelia and hard rock. During their initial years, they issued some of the era’s defining recordings, including the US chart-toppers “I Want to Hold Your Hand”, “Can’t Buy Me Love” and “A Hard Day’s Night”. As their popularity grew into global megafandom, their concert tours became a catalyst for societal change. fter the band’s break-up in 1970, all four members enjoyed success as solo artists.
The Rolling Stones
The Rolling Stones, who formed in 1962, are often cited as the first psychedelic rock band. They pioneered the use of feedback and distortion on their 1966 album “Aftermath.” The album also featured sitar on the song “Paint It, Black,” which was one of the first uses of the instrument in rock music. The Stones continued to experiment with psychedelic sounds on their 1967 album “Their Satanic Majesties Request.”
The Beach Boys
The Beach Boys began as a surf rock band, and their early songs reflect that influence. However, they began to experiment with other genres, including psychedelic rock, as they became more successful. One of their most famous psychedelic songs is “Good Vibrations,” which was released in 1966. The Beach Boys continued to produce new music into the 21st century, and their work has influenced many subsequent generations of musicians.
Bob Dylan is an American singer-songwriter, artist and writer. He has been an influential figure in popular music and culture for more than five decades. Much of his most celebrated work dates from the 1960s, when he became an informal chronicler and a reluctant figurehead of the American civil rights movement. A number of Dylan’s early songs, such as “Blowin’ in the Wind” and “The Times They Are a-Changin’” became anthems of the anti-war and civil rights movements. As his career progressed, Dylan explored numerous musical genres, including country, pop rock, gospel and blues, often on tour with various famous musicians.
The Doors were an American rock band formed in 1965 in Los Angeles, with vocalist Jim Morrison, keyboardist Ray Manzarek, guitarist Robby Krieger, and drummer John Densmore. They were among the most controversial and influential rock acts of the 1960s and 1970s, mostly because of Morrison’s lyrics and his erratic stage persona. The band took its name from the title of Aldous Huxley’s book The Doors of Perception (1954), which itself was a reference to a William Blake quotation: “If the doors of perception were cleansed, everything would appear to man as it is: infinite.” They were unique and among the first American bands to achieve widespread popularity in Europe.
Although the Doors’ primary musical style was psychedelic rock, they also incorporated elements of blues-rock, hard rock, and folk rock, and their sound was further influenced by jazz, world music, and classical music. Morrison developed an alcohol dependency during the band’s first two years which resulted in his death at age 27 in 1971. The remaining members continued as a trio until finally disbanding in 1973. Signing with Elektra Records in 1966, they released eight albums between 1967 and 1971. All of their studio albums sold well and received critical acclaim. By 1973, it was reported that the Doors had sold 4 million albums domestically and 7 million albums internationally.
The Doors had a huge impact on popular culture and are widely regarded as one of the most influential rock bands of all time. They were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1993. Rolling Stone ranked them 41st on their list of the “100 Greatest Artists of All Time”. According to Billboard charts, they have sold over 33.5 million records in the US alone.
Led Zeppelin is often cited as one of the first and most important bands of the psychedelic rock genre. Formed in 1968, the group’s early style was firmly rooted in the blues rock of the late 1960s. However, as the band began to experiment with longer, more atmospheric pieces, they began to incorporate elements of psychedelic music. This can be heard on their 1969 debut album, which features the lengthy, improvised track “Dazed and Confused.” Led Zeppelin would go on to become one of the most successful and influential rock bands of all time, Helping to pioneer the subgenre of heavy metal with their later work.
The Grateful Dead
The Grateful Dead was an American rock band formed in 1965 in Palo Alto, California. The band is known for its eclectic style, which fused elements of rock, folk, country, jazz, bluegrass, blues, and gospel. They also became renowned for their live performances, which were often improvisational and included extended jams.
Pink Floyd was an English rock band formed in London in 1965. They achieved international acclaim with their progressive and psychedelic music. Distinguished by their philosophical lyrics, sonic experimentation, extended compositions, and elaborate live shows, they are one of the most commercially successful and influential groups in popular music history.
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