Two albums to listen to: A couple of psychedelic rock pioneers

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Photo Credit: Courtesy of Dezo Hoffmann

Surrealistic Pillow

Jefferson Airplane

After their debut album achieved moderate success, Jefferson Airplane reimagined their sound, combining folk influences with psychedelic rock to help expose psychedelia to the masses.

With the Grateful Dead’s guitarist Jerry Garcia on board as Jefferson Airplane’s “musical and spiritual advisor,” Surrealistic Pillow finds its charm in its simple instrumentation and bluesy lyrics. The band’s pop-oriented approach to songwriting gave their 1967 record a concise and crisp feel, with the album spending most of the summer of love at the top of the charts.

Tracks to listen to: “Somebody to Love,” “Today,” “White Rabbit”

The Piper at the Gates of Dawn 

Pink Floyd

Before David Gilmour joined Pink Floyd and helped the group create progressive classics such as Dark Side of the Moon and Wish You Were Here, Syd Barrett led the band with a heavy psychedelic influence, helping Pink Floyd craft their first album, The Piper at the Gates of Dawn.

The Piper at the Gates of Dawn feeds off of Barrett’s favorite children’s book, “The Wind in the Willows,” incorporating colorful and childlike imagery he saw through the lens of hallucinogens. Each song on the album is centered around catchy pop chords, but most break down into trippy jams and chaotic lyrics.

Tracks to listen to: “Astronomy Domine,” “Lucifer Sam,” “Flaming”