The Most Popular Psychedelic Rock Band: Ranking the Top Contenders

Choose the psychedelic rock band you think is the most popular!

Author: Gregor Krambs
Jun 16, 2023 10:18 (Updated on Nov 27, 2023 08:56)
Step into the kaleidoscope of colors and swirling sounds as we embark on a mind-expanding journey into the realm of psychedelic rock! At StrawPoll, we've curated a cosmic list of the most popular psychedelic rock bands that have transcended time and space, resonating with fans across generations. Now, it's time for you, the fans and stargazers, to cast your votes and decide which band will claim the throne in our otherworldly ranking. Will it be the pioneers of the genre or the modern-day torchbearers? Every vote counts, and if you feel a band has been overlooked, don't hesitate to suggest a missing option. So, tune in, turn on, and let your voice be heard in our quest to crown the ultimate psychedelic rock band!

What Is the Most Popular Psychedelic Rock Band?

  1. 1
    Pink Floyd
    PinkFloyd1973.jpg: TimDuncan derivative work: Mr. Frank (talk) · CC BY 3.0
    Perhaps the most well-known psychedelic rock band, Pink Floyd's music is characterized by its experimental soundscapes and philosophical lyrics. Their album "Dark Side of the Moon" is considered a masterpiece of the genre.
    Pink Floyd was an English rock band formed in London in 1965. They are considered one of the most influential and successful bands in the history of music. Pink Floyd's music is known for its deep lyrics, atmospheric sound, and groundbreaking use of technology and visual effects in their live shows.
    • Genre: Progressive rock
    • Active Years: 1965-1995
    • Albums Released: 15 (studio albums)
    • Best-Selling Album: "The Dark Side of the Moon"
    • Record Sales: Over 250 million worldwide
    Pink Floyd in other rankings
  2. 2
    The Beatles
    Bo Trenter · Public domain
    While not exclusively a psychedelic rock band, The Beatles' experimentation with psychedelic sounds and themes in albums such as "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band" and "Magical Mystery Tour" helped popularize the genre.
    The Beatles were a highly influential British rock band that emerged in the early 1960s. They are regarded as one of the most popular and successful bands in the history of music.
    • Years Active: 1960-1970
    • Genre: Rock, Pop, Psychedelic, Folk
    • Albums Released: 13 Studio Albums
    • Record Sales: Over 600 million worldwide
    • Number One Hits: 20 in the United States
    The Beatles in other rankings
  3. 3
    The Doors
    Elektra Records-Joel Brodsky · Public domain
    With frontman Jim Morrison's poetic lyrics and the band's use of organ and guitar effects, The Doors were a major force in the psychedelic rock movement.
    The Doors were an influential psychedelic rock band formed in Los Angeles in 1965. They were known for their unique blend of rock, blues, and psychedelic elements, as well as the introspective and poetic lyrics of their frontman, Jim Morrison. With their groundbreaking sound and controversial performances, The Doors became one of the most popular and iconic rock bands of the 1960s.
    • Genre: Psychedelic rock
    • Years active: 1965-1973
    • Members: Jim Morrison, Ray Manzarek, Robby Krieger, John Densmore
    • Debut album: The Doors (1967)
    • Popular songs: Light My Fire, Break On Through (To the Other Side), Riders on the Storm, People Are Strange
  4. 4
    As one of the pioneers of the San Francisco sound, Jefferson Airplane's blend of folk and rock with psychedelic elements helped define the genre.
    Jefferson Airplane was an American psychedelic rock band formed in San Francisco, California, in 1965. They were pioneers of the emerging counterculture movement and became one of the most influential and popular bands of their time. Known for their unique sound and thought-provoking lyrics, Jefferson Airplane helped define the psychedelic rock genre and paved the way for many artists who followed.
    • Genre: Psychedelic rock
    • Active Years: 1965-1974
    • Origin: San Francisco, California, United States
    • Record Label: RCA Victor, Grunt, Epic, etc.
    • Members: Marty Balin, Paul Kantner, Grace Slick, Jorma Kaukonen, Jack Casady, Spencer Dryden
  5. 5
    Grateful Dead
    Herb Greene · Public domain
    With their improvisational style and incorporation of elements from many genres, Grateful Dead's music is often associated with the psychedelic rock movement.
    Grateful Dead in other rankings
  6. 6
    With Eric Clapton on guitar, Jack Bruce on bass, and Ginger Baker on drums, Cream's influential sound combined blues, rock, and psychedelic elements.
    Cream is a soothing and versatile farmhouse paint color that adds a touch of warmth and elegance to any space. It is a light, off-white shade with subtle undertones of yellow and beige, creating a soft and inviting ambiance. Cream is synonymous with serenity, making it an excellent choice for creating a cozy atmosphere in farmhouse-style interiors.
    • Color Family: Off-White
    • Undertones: Yellow, Beige
    • LRV: 80
    • Finish: Matte
    • Opacity: High
  7. 7
    Jimi Hendrix's innovative guitar work and use of effects made him a key figure in the psychedelic rock movement.
    The Jimi Hendrix Experience was a highly influential psychedelic rock band formed in 1966. Known for their innovative sound and Hendrix's virtuosic guitar skills, they became one of the most popular and enduring rock bands of all time.
    • Formation Year: 1966
    • Disbandment Year: 1970
    • Genre: Psychedelic rock
    • Members: Jimi Hendrix, Noel Redding, Mitch Mitchell
    • Albums Released: 3 studio albums
  8. 8

    Tame Impala

    Kevin Parker
    A more recent addition to the genre, Tame Impala's use of psychedelic sounds and hazy vocals have made them a popular modern psychedelic rock band.
    Tame Impala is a critically acclaimed Australian psychedelic music project. The band is known for blending elements of rock, pop, and electronic music to create a unique sound. Their music often features dreamy, atmospheric melodies, catchy hooks, and introspective lyrics. Tame Impala's style has been compared to iconic 60s and 70s psychedelic rock bands, while also incorporating modern production techniques.
    • Formed in: 2007
    • Genre: Psychedelic rock, pop, electronic
    • Origin: Perth, Australia
    • Number of members: 1 (Kevin Parker is the primary songwriter and instrumentalist)
    • Debut album: Innerspeaker (2010)
    Tame Impala in other rankings
  9. 9
    Another modern psychedelic rock band, MGMT's use of synthesizers and pop hooks have made them a popular choice among fans of the genre.
    MGMT is an American psychedelic rock band formed in 2002. Known for their unique blend of psychedelic pop, indie rock, and electronic influences, MGMT has become one of the most popular and influential bands in the genre. Their music often features catchy melodies, dreamy synths, and introspective lyrics that explore themes of youth, existentialism, and the human condition.
    • Formation: 2002
    • Genre: Psychedelic rock, indie rock, electronic
    • Origin: Middletown, Connecticut, USA
    • Members: Andrew VanWyngarden, Ben Goldwasser
    • Debut Album: Oracular Spectacular (2007)
  10. 10
    Known for their trippy live shows and experimental sound, The Flaming Lips have been making psychedelic rock music since the 1980s.
    The Flaming Lips is a highly influential psychedelic rock band known for their experimental sound, imaginative lyrics, and eccentric live performances. They have garnered a dedicated fanbase and critical acclaim for their unique blend of psychedelic, alternative, and art rock.
    • Genre: Psychedelic rock
    • Active Years: 1983 - present
    • Origin: Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, United States
    • Members: Wayne Coyne, Michael Ivins, Steven Drozd, Derek Brown
    • Notable Albums: The Soft Bulletin, Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots, Embryonic

Missing your favorite psychedelic rock band?


Ranking factors for popular psychedelic rock band

  1. Musical influence
    A popular band must have a significant impact on the evolution of psychedelic rock and the way other bands or musicians develop their own sound within the genre.
  2. Commercial success
    Analyze the band's album sales, chart positions, and concert attendances to determine their level of commercial success.
  3. Critical reception
    Consider how well the band's music has been received by critics and music journalists. A high level of acclaim could indicate a greater popularity.
  4. Longevity
    How long has the band been active in the music industry? Longevity can be an indicator of their popularity and the ability to maintain relevance over time.
  5. Innovation
    A popular psychedelic rock band should be known for expanding the boundaries of the genre and introducing new elements to their music. This could include experimentation with instruments, song structure, or production techniques.
  6. Iconic songs or albums
    The presence of iconic and widely recognized songs or albums within the band's discography can be a strong indicator of their popularity.
  7. Fanbase
    The size and dedication of the band's fanbase can be a measure of their popularity. This can be assessed through social media following, fan website activity, and attendance at concerts or related events.
  8. Awards and honors
    A band's popularity can also be measured by the number of awards and honors they have received, such as Grammy Awards or Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductions.
  9. Influence on other bands and artists
    A popular psychedelic rock band should have inspired and influenced other musicians in the genre, helping to shape the sound and direction of the overall music landscape.
  10. Cultural impact
    Consider the band's impact on popular culture, either through their music, fashion, or other contributions they may have made. A band with a significant cultural impact would likely be viewed as more popular.

About this ranking

This is a community-based ranking of the most popular psychedelic rock band. We do our best to provide fair voting, but it is not intended to be exhaustive. So if you notice something or psychedelic rock band is missing, feel free to help improve the ranking!


  • 193 votes
  • 10 ranked items

Voting Rules

A participant may cast an up or down vote for each psychedelic rock band once every 24 hours. The rank of each psychedelic rock band is then calculated from the weighted sum of all up and down votes.


More information on most popular psychedelic rock band

Psychedelic rock emerged in the mid-1960s as a genre that combined the elements of rock music with psychedelic culture, art, and drugs. This subgenre of rock music was characterized by its use of experimental sounds, complex arrangements, and surreal lyrics that often explored themes of spirituality, consciousness expansion, and social change. Several bands have played a significant role in shaping and popularizing psychedelic rock music, including Pink Floyd, The Beatles, Jefferson Airplane, The Doors, and Jimi Hendrix Experience, among others. These bands pushed the boundaries of what was considered conventional music at the time and paved the way for future generations of psychedelic rock artists. Today, psychedelic rock still enjoys a loyal fan base, with many contemporary bands incorporating elements of the genre into their music. The popularity of the genre continues to grow, with many fans still drawn to its unique sound, experimental nature, and counterculture roots.

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