Psychedelic – psyche (the human soul or spirit) + dēlos (to manifest or make evident) meaning soul-manifesting.
Psychedelic music definitely speaks to my soul, and one of the all-time great psychedelic pop songs in rock ‘n’ roll history was written by a folk singer from Massachusetts.
On Feb. 28, 1970, Norman Greenbaum’s “Spirit in the Sky” entered the Billboard Hot 100 at #64. It rode the charts for about fourteen weeks, and peaked at #3. The song was kept out of the top two positions by the Jackson Five’s “ABC” and the Beatles’ “Let It Be” (both songs took turns holding the #1 and #2 positions throughout April and into May of 1970).
Psychedelic-gospel grooves don’t get any better than this song.
Greenbaum, who is Jewish, said “Spirit in the Sky” was influenced by watching The Grand Ole Opry and country-western singer Porter Wagoner on television. Within 15 minutes he had the lyrics, but it took another six months to perfect the music. Greenbaum said he eventually settled upon altering a standard blues riff on a guitar with a built-in fuzzbox … and a milestone in pop history was created.