In 1967, America’s countercultural movement was in full force...
The youth and other open minded demographics embraced love, sexuality, and hedonism of all colors in a grandiose middle finger to the tireless years of war and conformity past. The iconic movement had its heyday in the summer of ’67 when thousands flocked to San Francisco’s Haight-Ashbury district to celebrate peace, freedom, and oh so groovy psychedelia.
Enjoy and subscribe to the latest Closer Look above! Scroll down for the individual tracks selected from the Psych Rock of 1967.
Musical and literary icons like Jefferson Airplane and Ken Kesey walked side by side during this time, representing the blissful individuality that was deeply cherished by the members of this movement. This surge of psychedelic rock entered its peak in ’67, and would remain there all the way through the legendary Woodstock of ’69. Psychedelic rock music built upon the foundation laid by blues, folk and rock music to produce a new sound that reflected the feelings and ideals of the changing times. Sonically, this type of music is often viewed as complementary to psychedelic drugs like LSD whose usage was widespread in the hippie community.
Acts like the Grateful Dead epitomize the trippy sound of psychedelic rock with their freeform song structure, surreal lyrics and wild electric guitars that used effects like feedback, wah-wah and fuzz. Jimi Hendrix and his cerebral electric guitarwork grew to define the era as well, breaking sonic ground with his groovy wails. His two albums from ’67 Are You Experienced and Axis: Bold As Love are both masterpieces that are often considered the cornerstones of psych rock. Though over a half century in the past, psych rock’s cultural ethos and sonic influences continue to thrive today, gaining new meaning in our absurd modern world. For this week’s Closer Look, we bring you ten essential tracks from the genre’s most important artists.