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12 Great Underrated Underground Psychedelic 1960's Bands

These are bands who should have been famous world wide, outside of the area they're from or popular at.

The Music Machine - The People In Me

The Music Machine (Sean Bonniwell)

L.A.'s Music Machine formed in 1966 by Sean Bonniwell and they had a moderate hit with "Talk, Talk". They donned one black glove, wore all black and all had black hair. . Sure bands would get streamlined but up to that point it hadn't been done before in all black. Their songs were on the dark side, a lot of social commentary. Alienation, peer pressure and paranoia themes too.

The Music Machine - Eagle Never Hunts the Fly

They made a couple of albums but bad management and industry greed led the band to become disenchanted with the music business. Bonniwell, later in the 80's and 90's was touted the godfather of garage punk by a new generation of fans. Their music certainly has carved out the niche for others to be inspired by in the punk and grunge genres that would come 10-20 years later.

The Music Machine - Dark White

The Creation - Life is Just Beginning

The Creation

Early 1966 the Creation were formed out of the band the Mark Four. They were from Cheshut, England.Guitarist for the Creation. They made some decent music. If you get your hands on a compilation album called "Our music is red-with purple flashes" get it, it's all the best that they had done throughout their time as the Creation.

Eddie Phillips: First guy to take a violin bow to an electric guitar.

Eddie Phillips: First guy to take a violin bow to an electric guitar.

The Creation were a part of a burgeoning freakbeat scene in 1966-1968.Guitarist for the Creation, Eddie Phillips was the first person to put the violin bow to the guitar, while Jimmy Page was banging away at the tamborine as a session man for the Hermans Hermits.Their first single "Making Time" featured Phillips playing this style..

The Creation - Making Time

The Creation -How Does It Feel To Feel?

The Bystanders(Man) - Cave of Clear Light

Man is a Welsh band, really big in Wales and perhaps all the UK but not much of an American fanbase, comparatively. They started out as the Bystanders, with a sort of psychedelic progressive sound. Man saw them make that transition towards a heavier sound with some interesting quirk, a slight bent to their music.

Man - Don't Just Stand There(Come Out in the Rain)

Listen to the harmonica in "It is as it must be"- a kind of coming-atcha-sideways feel and then again at 2:53 the key changes and again comes atcha sideways in a way that's very appealing-cause it's like blues done differently-way different. That quirk comes up again and again in their music whether it a bluesy tune or a psychedelic tune or a soft mellow tune. Their album "Revelation" is sweet fraught with some beautiful vocal harmonies, philosophical musings,

Man - It Is As It Must Be

HP Lovecraft - It's About Time

Chicago band, naming themselves after the famous horror story writer. Their sound was progressive for what was happening in the USA at that time. A lot of the american music was still very much like it's citizens--green and immature. It wasn't refined like UK and Euro music of the time.But bands like H.P.Lovecraft of Chicago were different. Orchestral while being rough around the edges too. They could be trippy and laidback or angsty and garagey or folky and grown up sounding. Their music runs the gamit.

H.P. Lovecraft - Blue Jack of Diamonds

H.P. Lovecraft - Keeper of the Keys

Sagittarius - Gladys

Sagittarius - The Blue Marble

The Master's Apprentices - Wars or Hands of Time

Masters Apprentices - Undecided

The Master's Apprentices - Elevator Driver

The West Coast Pop Art Experimental Band - Suppose They Give A War And No One Comes (EarpJohn)

The West Coast Pop Art Experimental Band

The West Coast Pop Art Experimental Band was an L.A. band that started in 1965. They had 5 albums, 6 if you count Bob Markley "solo" album which sounds just like WCPAEB.

  • Their albums are Volume 1,
  • Part 1,
  • Volume 2,
  • Volume 3: A Childs Guide to Good and Evil,
  • Where's My Daddy
  • Markley, A Group


WCPAEB - Carte Blanche

When I first heard this band when I was 18, it didn't take for a couple of years. Then all of the sudden, I fell in love with them and I just had to hear more. First was Part 1 with the wistful "Shifting Sands" and wild "Help I'm a Rock" and the innocent "I won't hurt you". The second one I acquired was a moldy (the record was literally moldy)Volume 2 which I loved from the gate. The glorious "Buddha", the stilted "Unfree Child' and the banger "Carte Blanche" are excellent songs.

The third one I got was "Where's My Daddy" which I think is one of their better albums but many disagree. Just about every song on there is good. "Money rules everything" is great. I love the sweet, sad "My dog back home" some poignant lyrics. "Outside, Inside" showcases the beautiful vocal harmonies done by the Harris brothers.

The West Coast Pop Art Experimental Band - Outside, Inside

Kaleidoscope - Egyptian Gardens

When I first bought one of their albums (in the 20th century)I remember looking at the song line up and saying to myself, I bet this will be a great album. Titles like "Egyptian Gardens", "Leave Your Mind Open", "Lulu Arfin Nanny", "Seven Ate Suite". I knew the album was going to be great. It did not disappoint.

Kaleidoscope is one of the greatest bands to come out of 60's music scene in Southern California.

Kaleidoscope - Nobody

Their use of exotic instruments, mainly middle eastern instruments and their use of 2 mandolins and 2 violins cemented a sound like no other. Listening to Seven Ate Suite one can hardly believe anyone could sound like that in 1968. The band featured guys like:

David Lindley- a multitalented musician who played guitar, sitar, banjo, bass, mandolin, bouzouki, gumbus, oud, zither etc. He later acheived some commercial success solo in the 70's-80's.

Kaleidoscope - Lulu Arfin Nanny

Solomon Feldthouse born in Idaho and from age 6-10 lived in Turkey learning Greek, Turkish, Iraqi and Iranian music.Also a multitalented multiinstrumentalist, he played flamanco guitar, saz and oud.

Chester Crill(Fenrus Epp, Max Buda) is yet another musician with a few instruments under his belt. Born in eastern Europe and raised all over the midwest, Crill went to California at a young age and was invited to play with Kaleidoscope. Played harmonica, violin, bass and keyboards.


Kaleidoscope - Seven Ate Suite

Chris Darrow was a folk and bluegrass musician before Kaleidoscope. He penned many of Kaleidoscope's songs.

This band was ahead of it's time. They were advanced musically more than any of the bands around them at that time.

There live performances usually featured long psychedelic fusions of Middle Eastern music sometimes with flamanco dancers or belly dancers onstage. They played a variety of styles rock, blues, folk, jazz, middle eastern.

The band is known for being one of the progenitors of World Music.

Wimple Winch - Save My Soul

Wimple Winch - Marmalade Hair

Wimple Winch grew out of the Merseybeat act Just Four Men around 1966. By June 1966 they releasd their first single "Save My Soul" an excellent and classic slice of freakbeat.

Their sound mainly centered around a heavy bass presence.

They did a few demos, had some really darling vocal harmonies as well as could be proto punk with songs like "save my soul" and "atmospheres".

Unfortunately, before they could get resigned with their record company, a fire broke out where they'd become the resident house band for a club called the Sinking Ship, which destroyed their housing and gear.

They continued to tour and record demos but they disbanded by mid 1967.

Wimple Winch- Atmospheres

Wimple Winch - Lollipop Minds

Q65 - Spoonful

Q65 - Cry in the night

Q65 was formed in 1965 and they were one of the more popular Nederbeat bands of the time. They were way punky and grimey. Snarling vocals "This is my life of badness This is the life I live!" they were definitely bluesy being influenced by guys like Willie Dixon and Robert Johnson.

They had a few hits in the Dutch top 40 but in 1968 they disbanded only to regroup in 1970.It featured a different line up and recorded a couple of psychedelic albums. Their name eventaully got changed to Kjoe.

Q65 - So High I've Been, So Down I Must Fall

Q65 - Ridin' On a Slow Train

The Pretty Things - Defecting Grey

This band actually is probably the best known of the bands of this article.

The Little Boy Blues was originally the band that consisted of Dick Taylor and his school mates Keith Richards and Mick Jagger.

Brain Jones was at the time recruiting for his own band the Rollin' Stones and the LBB joined the Stones. Since there were too many guitarists Dick Taylor switched to bass but he quit the Stones after 5 months to form the Pretty things with vocalist Phil May.


The Pretty Things - Talkin' About the Good Times

They had some success with their early bluesy material, charting in the UK top 40.

They recorded some great psychedelic beauties that went nowhere commercially but develoed a strong undergroud cult following. They are tauted for having the very first full on concept album ever in 1968(arguable by the Kinks Face -to Face in 1966). Pete Townscend had been listening to S.F. Sorrow before he penned the famous concept album Tommy.

The Pretty Things - Walking Through My Dreams

The Factory - Path through the Forest(extended version)

The Factory - Try A Little Sunshine

John Pantry was a busy guy in the 60's.Singer, songwriter, audio engineer(for manfed mann and small faces). He has stayed in the music business thoughout his life producing many albums for Christian bands.

The Factory, Norman Conquest, Peter and the Wolves, The Bunch at one time or another he wrote for and/or was part of these bands. Each had it's Pantry gems.

Imo this guy is underrated for these stellar performances with each outfit. "Red Chalk Hill" is the closest thing to a certain period of the Beatles, maybe Revolver or Rubber Soul era sounding.

Norman Conquest - Upside Down

The Factory - Red Chalk Hill

The Bunch - Looking Glass Alice