11 best Chicago stoner albums
Including solely because of "Magic," an old-school hip-hop joint about joints built atop a sample of Bootsy Collins's "Munchies for Your Love."
Straight outta Aurora, Trouble were not merely proto Wayne-and-Garths, but pioneers of doom metal. This 1987 platter injects trippy keyboards and sticky riffs into the shredding of the era.
Look, it's called "Dinosaur Swamps." This nugget of the early '70s fused jazz with psychedelic roots rock in some brain-melting ways. Check out the flutes, fuzz and bong harmonies of "Uranian Sircus".
Most local British-inspired beat bands of the 1960s were pretty garage-y and square. The Cryan' Shames dabbled the most with the candy-pop psychedelia of the era. This cult obscurity sits nicely alongside the Zombie and Electric Prunes.
The headfuck comes in "I'm Always In Love," wherein backing vocals chant "Smoke pot" in a haze…or maybe it's an organ. Man, it's hard to tell, but Wilco's most '60s-inspired album swims in a cloud of reverb.
Though filled with rather sobering lyrical content, in which Curtis decries social injustice, this funky 1975 highlight is dripping with wet wah-wah. Cuts like "Billy Jack" are so sticky, they practically sprouts purple hairs.
It's hard to even say the album title without punctuating it with a "…Maaaaan." The post-rockers' dubbiest, druggiest record opens with the 21-minute slow-motion swan dive of "Djed."
The Oak Park brother-sister duo crafted the great stoner album of the Aughties and never came out of the rabbit hole. The epic opening cut, "Quay Cur," sounds like melting skin, until the scratchy paranoia sets in.
Though the man from Saturn would get much more cosmic in later years, after leaving Chicago, his early period takes some trips into the solar system. Recorded live around town toward the end of his local era, this jazz masterpiece featured touches like the sound of a toy robot.
Do we even need to explain this? The MC's lyrics drift out of his mouth like the smoke on the cover, while producer Young Chop layers synthesizers upon synthesizers into a hotbox of rhythm. Case in point: "Hate Being Sober."
Though reviled at the time, Muddy's attempt to meld the blues with psychedelic rock was just genius that arrived decades too early. The heavy drum breaks are enough to make DJ Shadow's eyes water, while the swirls of organ and fuzz guitar make the Black Keys rather redundant. Screw the purists. This is so rad.