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Psychedelic pop (or acid pop)[3] is pop music that contains musical characteristics associated with psychedelic music.[1] Developing in the mid-to-late 1960s, elements included "trippy" features such as fuzz guitars, tape manipulation, backwards recording, sitars, and Beach Boys-style harmonies, wedded to melodic songs with tight song structures.[1] The style lasted into the early 1970s.[1] It has seen revivals in subsequent decades by neo-psychedelic artists.[2]


Further information: Psychedelic music

According to AllMusic, psychedelic pop was not too "freaky", but also not very "bubblegum" either.[1] It appropriated the effects associated with straight psychedelic music, applying their innovations to concise pop songs.[1] The music was occasionally confined to the studio, but there existed more organic exceptions whose psychedelia was bright and melodic.[1] AllMusic adds: "What's [strange] is that some psychedelic pop is more interesting than average psychedelia, since it had weird, occasionally awkward blends of psychedelia and pop conventions – the Neon Philharmonic's 1969 album The Moth Confesses is a prime example of this."[1]

Notable works (1966–1969)

See also: Psychedelic rock




Decline and revivals

See also: Neo-psychedelia

By the end of the 1960s, psychedelic folk and rock were in retreat. Many surviving acts moved away from psychedelia into either more back-to-basics "roots rock", traditional-based, pastoral or whimsical folk, the wider experimentation of progressive rock, or riff-laden heavy rock.[12][verification needed] Psychedelic influences lasted a little longer in pop music, stretching into the early 1970s.[1]

Psychedelic pop became a component of the neo-psychedelic style. There were occasional mainstream acts that dabbled in the genre, including Prince's mid-1980s work and some of Lenny Kravitz's 1990s output, but it has mainly been the domain of alternative and indie rock bands.[2]

List of artists

Main article: List of psychedelic pop artists


  1. ^ As albums that followed in the wake of Pet Sounds, McPadden cites Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band (the Beatles, 1967), Triangle (the Beau Brummels, 1967), The Magic Garden (the 5th Dimension, 1967), Captain Sad and His Ship of Fools (the Cowsills, 1968), Head (the Monkees, 1968), The Turtles Present the Battle of the Bands (The Turtles, 1968), Odessa (The Bee Gees, 1969), The Genuine Imitation Life Gazette (The Four Seasons, 1969), Odessey and Oracle (The Zombies, 1969), and Intercourse (The Tokens, 1971).[3]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k Anon (n.d.). "Psychedelic Pop". AllMusic.
  2. ^ a b c "Neo-Psychedelia". AllMusic. n.d.
  3. ^ a b c McPadden, Mike (May 13, 2016). "The Beach Boys' Pet Sounds and 50 Years of Acid-Pop Copycats". The Kind. Archived from the original on November 9, 2016. Retrieved June 18, 2016.
  4. ^ MacDonald 2005, p. 192.
  5. ^ Hoskyns 2009, p. 128.
  6. ^ Interrante, Scott (May 20, 2015). "The 12 Best Brian Wilson Songs". Popmatters.
  7. ^ "British Psychedelia". Allmusic. Archived from the original on January 1, 2011. Retrieved 2011-06-07.
  8. ^ 'Evolution (Hollies album),' in Oxford 'Encyclopedia of Popular Music.' Edited by Colin Larkin, 2009
  9. ^ Kitts & Tolinski 2002, p. 6.
  10. ^ Eder, Bruce. "Odessey and Oracle". Allmusic.
  11. ^ Packard, Joshua (October 31, 2015). "Record Bin: The psychedelic pop spectacle of The Zombies' "Odessey and Oracle"". Record Bin.
  12. ^ Bogdanov, Woodstra & Erlewine 2002, pp. 1322–1323.