A list of the scariest psychedelic rock songs of all time that are sure to send chills down your spine.
Psychedelic rock, also referred to as psychedelia, is a diverse style of rock music that originated in the mid-1960s. The genre is characterized by its use of distorted guitars, feedback, and extreme volumes. Psychedelic rock often incorporates elements of other genres, including folk music, blues, and Eastern music.
The term “psychedelic” is derived from the Greek word ψυχή (psychē), meaning “soul” or “spirit”, and δηλοῦν (dēloun), meaning “to make visible, to reveal”. The first use of the term psychedelic rock was in 1966 by musician and critic Ralph J. Gleason. Psychedelic rock was also used to describe the music of bands such as The Beatles, The Doors, and Jefferson Airplane during the late 1960s.
The Scariest Psychedelic Rock Songs of All Time
1) “In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida” by Iron Butterfly
2) “I Am the Walrus” by The Beatles
3) “The End” by The Doors
4) “Fire” by Jimi Hendrix
5) “Boris the Spider” by The Who
“In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida” by Iron Butterfly
“In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida” is a seventeen-minute long psychedelic rock song by American band Iron Butterfly, released in 1968 on their second album In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida. The song was written by band members Doug Ingle and Lee Dorman, and recorded in one take after the band improvised it during a soundcheck. It is best known for its unusual length, extended instrumentals, and iconic machine gun histrionics.
The song is widely considered to be one of the earliest examples of heavy metal music, and influenced the development of the genre. It has been covered by a number of artists, including Metallica, Slipknot, and Avenged Sevenfold.
“I Wanna Be Sedated” by the Ramones
I Wanna Be Sedated by the Ramones is often considered one of the scariest psychedelic rock songs of all time. The lyrics are full of dark and disturbing images, and the music is unsettling and chaotic. The song is a perfect example of the dark side of the psychedelic experience, and it’s sure to send chills down your spine.
“Don’t Fear the Reaper” by Blue Oyster Cult
“Don’t Fear the Reaper” is a song by Blue Oyster Cult, released in 1976. The song was written by Donald “Buck Dharma” Roeser and was inspired by the comic book character Death.
The song is a classic example of psychedelic rock, with its ethereal keyboards, dark lyrics, and dense sound. The opening guitar riff is one of the most iconic in rock history, and the song has been covered by many artists over the years.
While the song is not overtly scary, its subject matter – death – makes it a perfect choice for this Halloween playlist. So turn down the lights, crank up the volume, and don’t fear the reaper!
“Psycho” by the Sonics
“Psycho” by the Sonics is definitely one of the scariest psychedelic rock songs of all time. The song is about a psycho killer who is on the loose, and it is sung from the perspective of the killer himself. The lyrics are absolutely chilling, and the song’s atmospheric production only adds to its eerie tone. If you’re looking for a truly nightmarish psychedelic rock song, “Psycho” by the Sonics is definitely it.
“Black Sabbath” by Black Sabbath
While many associate psychedelic music with sunshine and good vibes, there’s a dark underbelly to the genre as well. Just as songwriters explored the mind’s connection to external forces and inner demons during the late-’60s and early-’70s, some of rock’s most influential artists played with these ideas in a more eerie, unsettling way.
One of the earliest and most effective examples is Black Sabbath’s self-titled debut album, released in early 1970. The record has since been cited as one of the most influential metal albums of all time, but it’s also filled with creepy moments that foreshadowed the band’s future explorations of horror-themed lyrics and imagery.
From the opening riff of “Black Sabbath” to the eerie finale of “N.I.B.,” the album is filled with dark soundscapes and chilling vocals that suggest a descent into madness. Ozzy Osbourne’s lyrics add to the unsettling atmosphere, as he sings about dealing with evil forces, restless spirits, and otherworldly beings.
While Black Sabbath would go on to explore these themes in greater detail on subsequent albums, they laid the foundation for what would become one of metal’s most popular subgenres: doom metal. Bands like Pentagram, Saint Vitus, and Cathedral would take the sounds pioneered by Sabbath and expand upon them, creating an even more daunting and foreboding style of music that continues to terrify listeners to this day.
“The End” by the Doors
“The End” is a song by the Doors. It is the last track on the Doors’ debut album, The Doors, and was released as a single in 1967. It reached number two on the Billboard Hot 100 chart and number seven on the UK Singles Chart.
The song is allegedly about lead singer Jim Morrison’s desire to place an end to his life. The lyrics are highly symbolic and open to interpretation. The song features a very long, drawn out crescendo, which builds up to a climax near the end of the song.
This is one of the most well-known and recognizable songs by the Doors, and is considered one of their signature songs. It is also one of the most covered songs in history, with over 1,000 recorded versions.
“I’m Eighteen” by Alice Cooper
There are few things as quintessentially Halloween as Alice Cooper, and “I’m Eighteen” is probably his most iconic song. It’s the perfect blend of creepy and catchy, with lyrics that perfectly capture the teenage angst and horror of growing up. It’s dark, it’s strange, and it’s definitely one of the scariest psychedelic rock songs of all time.
“Purple Haze” by Jimi Hendrix
This song is considered one of the first and most influential psychedelic rock songs of all time. The song is about the effects of the drug LSD, and it perfectly captures the paranoia and hallucinations that can come with a bad trip.
“Sympathy for the Devil” by the Rolling Stones
Few songs are as synonymous with the dark side of the 60s as the Rolling Stones’ “Sympathy for the Devil.” The track, which appeared on the band’s 1968 album Beggars Banquet, is a sardonic take on the Biblical story of Lucifer’s fall from grace. With its ominous opening riff and Jagger’s sneering delivery, “Sympathy for the Devil” is a chilling reminder of the corrupting power of evil.
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