Fifty of the most drug-drenched albums of all time

Originally published at:


“Heroes”? The Blue Mask?

But these were the albums where Bowie and Reed were gradually cleaning up.


Clicked on this list to see if Taking Drugs to Make Music to Take Drugs To was on it. Was not disappointed.

Also, I’m not sure how high Kevin Shields was while making Loveless. The author might know more than I do, and I get that it sounds tripped out, but I always heard Shields was an obsessed perfectionist who painstakingly slaved over every sound, not a guy going with a drug-induced flow.


Locust Abortion Technician! I could never count the times we listened to “Kuntz” over and over in my dorm room, which happened to be occupied by one Gibby Haynes some years before. Apparently, he excelled in economics before becoming a Butthole Surfer.

That album equally frightened, disturbed, and compelled me to listen. Some very odd sounds lurk in the background of that track and others. I still have “Human Cannonball” on the iPod and saved the “Daddy, what does regret mean?” clip from “Sweat Loaf” just because it’s so twisted…


Fun list. A couple of obvious (to me) omissions:

  • The La’s (self-titled). As well as being a delightfully trippy neo-Merseybeat (is that a thing?) record, it includes the classic ode-to-heroin-not-a-woman, “There She Goes”. There she blows/There she blows again/Pulsing through my veins/And I just can’t contain/This feeling that remains

  • There should probably also be something by The Stranglers. As I understand it they were deep into the H for a good chunk of the late 70s/early 80s, and the music shows it: not one but (at least) two heroin songs (Golden Brown, Don’t Bring Harry), and lots of trippy, keyboard-heavy jams. Not sure which is the most heroin-steeped album, though. It isn’t specifically a heroin song (or is it?), but I’ll bet the recording of The Raven involved considerable druggage.


I think it was possible to get a contact high just touching a 13th Floor Elevators LP.


Humble Pie. Thirty Days in The Hole!!!

I can’t believe how badly this list botched it by not including the Doodletown Pipers 1966 seminal classic “Here Come the Doodletown Pipers.” These guys fucking partied, and the stories of college kids in the late '60s that early '70s sitting around their college listening to this record getting absolutely wrecked are legendary.

Here’s a pro-tip for the weekend: get this record queued up, then press play on Dr. Zhivago at exactly 3min 47second (NOT 46, NOT48) into the movie, and prepare to have your mind blown


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Haven’t looked at them all yet, but the Syd Barrett inclusion is a mistake I think. The man suffered from mental illness that was likely exacerbated by drugs, but the drugs did not really inform the content of his work. Lots of people at the time were taking lots of acid. Few of them went the way of Syd.

And “Kuntz” is just some Middle Eastern song sampled and when the singer says a word that vaguely sounds like “cunts,” Gibby hits a button that repeats the word with varying degrees of pitch shift. “Cunts, cunts cuuuuuntssss.” Anyone spooked by that needs to have their head examined. Great record, though “Kuntz” is a silly joke amidst some truly disturbing themes. “22 Going On 23”? Now that will damage a fragile psyche.

Looking forward to checking the rest, though. Drugs and lots of them are the best thing to ever happen to popular music in the West. As important as electricity.


Interesting but notable for missing out on an entire swathe of music…

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Yay Bitches Brew is listed.
Just listening to that will expand your mind and give you a good trip.


“Daddy, what does regret mean?”


Yeah. That. Looking through the list - an important list true,true - but boomer jangly guitar bands. Screamadelica Primal Scream, UFORB The Orb, The Streets - A grand dont come for free. So many other musical genres. Children of the Bong. - Oh and kudos for plastikman.


So it’s a deeply flawed list, in my opinion (which is just an opinion about a list). Joy Division’s “Closer” is “drug addled”? Really, it’s an uninspiring list with many dubious entries. Granted, I’m skewed in favor of psychedelics.

So here are some good alternatives:

COIL - “Love’s Secret Domain” (1991) CD has more tracks than the LP. It’s dark, it’s spooky, it’s unnerving, and its blacker than black acid house vibe will make you long for the comforts of “Kuntz.” They took more speed than LSD while making it, but it remains a trippy and dark ride like no other.

A.R. Kane “69” (1988) Play the track “Spermwhale Trip Over” and see what I mean. These guys coined the term “dream pop,” and the psychedelic experience is ladled all over this record.

Primal Scream “Screamadelica” (1991) “Slip Inside this House” becomes “Trip Inside this House,” and everyone present gets “Higher than the Sun.” How is this album not on this list?

The Glove “Blue Sunshine” Made mostly by Robert Smith of the Cure and Steve Severin from Siouxsie and the Banshees, they took a ton of acid and made an album of incredibly weird and trippy pop music…named after a pop culture legendary LSD.

Animal Collective “Sung Tongs” and “Feels.”

Slowdive “Souvlaki” and “5” EP.

Black Moth Super Rainbow “Dandelion Gum”

Black Sabbath “Master of Reality”

Ride “Nowhere”

The Boo Radleys “Everything’s Alright Forever” and “Adrenalin” EP

Crystal Stilts “In Love With Oblivion”

The Doors…pick one, any one! Band named after a William Blake quote used to name a Aldous Huxley book…“The Doors of Perception.”

FUSE “Dimension Intrusion”

Outta time for now, anyone else have some good ones?


So, meth?

Just kidding, obviously.

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Definitely lacking in TG/P-TV/Coil, but props for mentioning my boys the Dots.


I think I disagree with the majority of the records on this list. If he’s going to disqualify Aerosmith albums then why include Fleetwood Mac’s “Rumours”?

Probably there should be different lists here, cocaine vs. weed vs. acid. etc. Some of these folks didn’t even really do drugs (Bud Powell?) but had drinking problems (that list would be enormous.)

It’s well documented that the Butthole Surfers were high-as-f#$k for most of their early albums (the chapter on them in Michael Azerrad’s “Our Band Could Be Your Life” is almost unbelievable.


You left off the last line of the intro!

Also, no reggae allowed.

Which, given the qualities outlined immediately before, struck me as funny and kind of sideways complimentary.

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