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The 10 best rock albums to smoke weed to

There’s something about the confounding nature of getting stoned that seemingly elevates all types of rock music. Whether it’s hard, slamming riffs or light and airy melodies, smoking weed can lift in the most basic jams. There are some records, however, that can lift you off right alongside your latest purchase. It would appear for every strain of THC dusted bush, there is the perfect album to accompany it.

It depends on mood too. Some days, when you’re skating around high as a kite, you might feel so on top of the world that you need the swaggering riffs of the aptly named High Desert in California to give that extra spring in your step. On the other hand, rock is also there for you in the bluer, mellower moments when you’re stoned. Be it after a long day’s work when you’re in dire need of some respite, or even after a breakup, when you want to turn your brain off and plug into a stereo-sound cosmos.

There are many fantastic rock bands whose music is perfect to smoke weed to. Whether it be the gigantic bong huffing riffs off Sleep or the ethereal beauty of Slowdive, it’s a vast expanse with a little bit for everybody in it. Duly, we’ve listed the ten best rock albums to smoke up to.

Be prepared to go on a real sonic journey, there are some classics and some lesser-known titles here, but one thing is clear. Each one will make your high experience better and make your music library feel a touch more complete.

The 10 best rock albums to smoke weed to:

Dopesmoker – Sleep (2003)

Where else but to start with San Jose legends Sleep? Everything the stoner metal band have released is specifically written to be enjoyed when high, as the three members, Al Cisneros, Matt Pike and Jason Roeder, are some of the most famous proponents of the sweet leaf out there. In truth, we could have picked any of their records, and I’m sure that purists will be screaming at the screen that I haven’t chosen their 1992 sophomore record, Sleep’s Holy Mountain, but for me, Dopesmoker just pips it. 

The album is so inextricably tied to cannabis that Cisneros has been very open about the influence that smoking the plant had on writing this masterpiece. He said: “I was really dependent on the space I got into when I was using it, and some of the lyrics are about that…The line, ‘Drop out of life [with bong in hand],’ was kind of a creed at that point.”

Dopesmoker is an absolute masterpiece. Be prepared to be blown away by Cisneros’ guttural vocals and Matt Pike’s thunderous riffs. It’s best enjoyed high. You won’t regret it. 

Dopesmoker – Sleep

The Dark Side of the Moon – Pink Floyd (1973)

The inclusion of The Dark Side of the Moon on this list is probably a tad controversial given that it is quite famously a tribute to the band’s old frontman, Syd Barrett, whose life was drastically altered by his experiments with drugs, namely LSD. However, the record is perhaps considered one of the foundational stones of the genre of stoner rock.

One cannot deny that the cerebral, incredibly celestial essence of the record is only heightened when high. Be it the floaty feeling of ‘Us and Them’, the heady vibe of ‘Breathe’ or even the funk of ‘Money’, this concept album is a real voyage, and when stoned, it leaves more of a mark on you than you could have ever imagined. 

The Dark Side of the Moon – Pink Floyd

Master of Reality – Black Sabbath (1971)

First wave stoners who are fans of rock will have expected to see Master of Reality come up at some point. It is one of the definitive stoner albums for anyone, not just for fans of rock. Added to this, it just so happens to be one of the coolest albums ever written, and as soon as track one, ‘Sweet Leaf’ kicks in with its iconic riff, you understand why many believe this to be Sabbath’s best record. 

The band really found their sound on the record, and the numerous studio and technical experiments that they made, created a sonic delight that has captivated stoners for 51 years and will continue to do so for as long as Sabbath’s music and weed are readily available. A stoned affair, it is one of Sabbath’s most complete bodies of work, ‘Into the Void’, ‘Children of the Grave’ and ‘After Forever’ are just some of the hard-rocking highlights of this classic. 

Master of Reality – Black Sabbath

Songs for the Deaf – Queens of the Stone Age (2002)

Queens of the Stone Age’s third album, Songs for the Deaf is another must. As with all of the albums on this list, it operates as a musical odyssey. Featuring a cast of icons including Dave Grohl, Dean Ween and the late Mark Lanegan, Songs for the Deaf is stellar from start to finish and is made so much better when smoking weed. 

It is the narrative of the album that really sets the imagination off when you’re high. Notably, the record is a loose concept album that takes the listener on a drive through the California desert from Los Angeles to Joshua Tree, tuning into a myriad of local radio stations in towns such as Banning and Chino Hills. 

One would argue that this is Queens of the Stone Age mastermind Josh Homme’s magnum opus, as he never matched this artistic verve afterwards. The album opener ‘You Think I Ain’t Worth a Dollar, But I Feel Like a Millionaire’, sets the scene perfectly. It draws you in before shooting you off down the highway, where you come across classic cuts such as ‘No One Knows’, ‘First It Giveth’ and ‘Go with the Flow’.

Songs for the Deaf – Queens of the Stone Age

Dopethrone – Electric Wizard (2000)

Dopethrone is simply a must for anyone wanting to take their weed smoking experience to new heights. Dorset’s Electric Wizard are, without a doubt, the United Kingdom’s premier doom/stoner metal outfit, and many in their dedicated fanbase hail Dopethrone as their ultimate offering to the gods of marijuana. In many ways, they are the English equivalent to Sleep, just way more melodic, and their music is steeped in the ancient mythical traditions of the Southwest of England. 

Speaking to Kerrang! in 2009, frontman Jus Oborn explained how the album came to fruition, and it’s safe to say that drugs, not just weed, had a significant impact on it. He said: “Most of us were stuck in some drug addiction or alcoholism at the time, and it was just pure hate. It was us against the world, and we just wanted to make the most disgusting, foul, putrid record that anyone has ever recorded. We camped out at the studio, so it was literally just wake up, consume as much fucking drugs as possible, and then just start jamming.”

‘Funeralopolis’ is a personal favourite, but in truth, the record is without a downside. The only thing is, it’s impossible to listen to Dopethrone when not stoned. So be prepared to light up, and dive headfirst into the period when Electric Wizard were at their darkest. 

October Rust – Type O Negative

October Rust – Type O Negative (1996)

Type O Negative were another band that would not have existed without Black Sabbath’s game-changing record Master of Reality. The goth metal pioneers made music like no one else. They took the heavy, sludgy elements of Black Sabbath and made them even more affecting by covering them in chorus, delay and reverb. At the same time, frontman Peter Steele had a bass sound like no other, and it was the muscle of the band, pulling them along at every point on October Rust.

What the Brooklyn band always excelled at was providing a foil to their heavier side with floral melodies and almost shoegazing textures, creating an atmosphere that is unmatched. It is on October Rust where they really hit take it to new levels, hitting their creative peak. It has elements of a concept album, and the band even break the fourth wall at the exposition and finish, where they directly address you, which is a genius piece of craftsmanship. 

At the start, after they trick you with the buzzing sound, they reveal that they spent a couple of months getting high and making the record, and as soon as, ‘Love You to Death’ comes in, you know you’re in for a treat. This is goth metal at its absolute finest. 

October Rust – Type O Negative

Loveless – My Bloody Valentine (1991)

Loveless, the 1991 record by Anglo-Irish shoegaze pioneers, My Bloody Valentine is a must-have for any record collector, let alone a smoker. It’s a record steeped in notoriety. The band’s mastermind, Kevin Shields, took a year and a half to make the album between February 1989 and September 1991, and nearly bankrupted their label, Creation Records, in the process. 

It has been regarded as something of his version of a Pet Sounds moment, and his meticulous attention to detail, and drug use made this one of the most protracted album recording sessions in history. Famously, the band used 19 different studios and several engineers for the record, with its final cost rumouring to be equivalent to £480,000 in 2021.

Even though Shields’ actions are said to have turned a Creation staffer’s hair grey, I’d argue that it was worth it. It is a flawless record and the headiest ever produced. A convergence of the guitar with electronic instruments, the first time you hear this record high, it will change your life for the better. A highlight is the album closer ‘Soon’; there is nothing better than the visceral whirlwind that Shields’ guitar creates as it cuts through the mix.

Loveless – My Bloody Valentine

Souvlaki – Slowdive (1993)

Souvlaki by Reading’s Slowdive, is a cornerstone of the shoegaze genre, and is a sonic treat when smoking weed. It’s a perfect album to get high to in the sense that you can listen to it anywhere, in any weather, from the picturesque beach in the Mediterranean to the auburn covered parks of England. It’s both a Summer and a Winter album, and one you can listen to in any mood, be it elated or depressed, a testament to the skill of Rachel Goswell, Neil Halstead and Co.

Whether it be ‘Alison’, ‘Machine Gun’, ’40 Days’, or the utterly enchanting ‘When The Sun Hits’, Souvlaki has the capacity to transport you anywhere you want to go, and will never get boring. There’s a reason why stoners love it, it has a beauty that you cannot quite put your finger on, and as the smoke slowly draws away from your spliff, you feel like you’re floating on it, up into the ether. 

Souvlaki – Slowdive

Mutilator Defeated At Last – Thee Oh Sees (2015)

Maybe Mutilator Defeated at Last is a bit of a rogue entry for those of you not familiar with West Coast garage/psych-rock legends, Thee Oh Sees. The band’s mastermind, John Dwyer is a legend, and here, he delivers some of the best cuts of his long and eminent career. 

It’s erratic and in your face at points, but is also languid and jazz-inspired, replicating neatly the dizzying effect of smoking a joint. It’s a mesh of every human emotion, and Dwyer instantly draws you into his own surreal universe that’s full of planets, masters and palace doctors. 

Mutilator Defeated at Last also saw the return of Brigid Dawson to the line-up, who provides the album with its haunting, almost Arthurian sounding backing vocals, something that she and Dwyer would build on across OCS’s 2017 more downbeat record, Memory of a Cut Off Head

Mutilator Defeated At Last – Thee Oh Sees

Electric Ladyland – Jimi Hendrix (1968)

No list of best rock albums to smoke weed to would be complete without The Jimi Hendrix Experience’s third and final studio album, Electric Ladyland. Whilst all of Hendrix’s records made a strong claim to be included, it was Electric Ladyland that surpassed them. This is primarily because the production is fuller on the record, and the songs are just that little bit more stoner. 

From the timeless cover of Bob Dylan’s ‘All Along the Watchtower’ to ‘Crosstown Traffic’ and ‘Voodoo Chile’, Electric Ladyland was made so stoners everywhere could temporarily check out of the mundanity of everyday existence and be thrilled by the work of Hendrix, Noel Redding and Mitch Mitchell.

It was a perfect swansong from the trio and remains one of the finest records ever released. If utopia had sound, it would be very similar to this. 

Electric Ladyland – Jimi Hendrix Experience

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