On the Floyd’s debut Syd Barrett constructed glorious fantasies, spurred on by LSD consumption that could be described as ‘gargantuan’.

What would later become stomach-churning drug clichés are here startlingly original: childlike whimsy (‘Matilda Mother’), space-rock (‘Interstellar Overdrive’) and eastern mysticism (‘Chapter 24’).


No matter how much LSD you take, turquoise satin bell-bottoms are never a good idea.


Codeine found its way into hip-hop in Texas, where Houston natives have long been in the habit of dosing-up on a blend of prescription cough medicine and soda.

Three 6 Mafia’s ‘Sippin’ On Some Syrup’ brought the trend to national attention, while the late DJ Screw rose to fame thanks to his mixtapes, which slowed down popular hits of the day so they sound reeeallly gooood on syrup. But the...


The apogee of cool, a dinner-party classic, and the biggest–selling jazz album of all time, made by a man who chipped smack throughout his career.

Which might also explain 1970’s ‘Bitches Brew’ – jazz-fusion’s insane, filthy, skronky Year Zero, inspired equally by Jimi Hendrix’s wah-wah and having half of Afghanistan in your system.


The Fab Four’s seventh album was a revolutionary step forward, featuring string octets (‘Eleanor Rigby’), backwards guitars (‘I’m Only Sleeping’), high distortion (‘She Said She Said’) and pioneering tape loops (‘Tomorrow Never Knows’).

Mostly inspired by their burgeoning psychedelic experiences on acid, which reportedly developed after Lennon and Harrison had their coffee spiked...


The album once destined to be known as ‘I Hate Myself And I Want To Die’ records Kurt’s much-wallowed misery in being impaled on the barbed spike of heroin addiction.

Eight months later Kurt decided he couldn’t live with the gut-rotting pain that heroin had brought to his door.


The theme was the death of ‘60s idealism, and Sly was his own test subject, getting off his bonce on angel dust and making it sound like the best-ever time in the process.


Forty minutes, 13 seconds of jolting, messy, jaw-gnawing darkness.

Famously, Sterling Morrison said the band were all “dragging ourselves off a cliff... but at least we were all heading in the same direction”.


Rock Rule #3975: for the sake of your sanity, avoid the château. It might sound like the isolated Dukedom where you can knuckle down to your new album free of distractions, dealers and A&R ne’er-do-wells, but it might well end up a prison of paranoia, self-destruction and parties you can never leave.

When Pink Floyd picked Studio Miraval in a remote French château to record ‘The Wall’, it led to...

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