Nuggets: Original Artyfacts from the First Psychedelic Era is a compilation album of American psychedelic and garage rock singles released in the mid-to-late 1960s. It was assembled by Lenny Kaye, who at the time was a writer and clerk at the Village Oldies record shop in New York. He would later become the lead guitarist for the Patti Smith Group. Kaye worked on Nuggets under the supervision of Jac Holzman, founder of Elektra Records. Kaye initially conceived the project as series of approximately eight individual LP installments, each focusing on US geographical regions, but Elektra convinced him that one 2-disc LP would be a more commercially viable format. The resulting double album was released on LP by Elektra in 1972 with liner notes by Kaye that contained one of the first uses of the term "punk rock". It was reissued with a new cover design by Sire Records in 1976. In the 1980s Rhino Records issued Nuggets in a series of fifteen installments, and in 1998 as a 4-cd box set.
Jon Savage, in his history of the UK punk rock scene, England's Dreaming, cites Nuggets as a major influence on punk bands and includes it in his essential punk discography, alongside Iggy and the Stooges' Raw Power and The Velvet Underground's "White Light/White Heat".
Many other compilation albums took their cue from Nuggets, including the Pebbles, Rubble - 20 volumes of mainly UK 1960s-era psychedelia released in the 1980s - and Back From the Grave series. Nuggets spawned an entire cottage industry of small record labels dedicated to unearthing and releasing obscure but worthy garage and psychedelic rock music from the 1960s.
In 1998 Rhino brought the original LP to CD, reproducing the original song sequence and liner notes. However, rather than releasing a single-disc release of the original LP, Rhino put the original disc in a box set with three other discs, an extra 91 songs in total that were not on the original LP. Contrary to popular belief, many of the songs were American Top 40 hits: more than a third of the original Nuggets would fall into that category, while Rhino's expanded set featured such smash hits as "Incense and Peppermints" by Strawberry Alarm Clock (#1), "Louie, Louie" by the Kingsmen (#2), "Wooly Bully" by Sam the Sham and the Pharaohs (#2), "Little Bit o' Soul" by the Music Explosion (#2), and "Time Won't Let Me" by the Outsiders (#5).
"Louie, Louie", "Laugh, Laugh", "Farmer John", "Psycho", "The Witch", and The Gestures' "Run, Run, Run" fall outside the set's stated time frame of 1965–1968; "Louie, Louie" having been released in 1963 and the rest in 1964.
In Europe in 2006 Rhino released a remastered version of the album featuring the original 1972 tracklist on a single compact disc in a miniaturized replica of the original gatefold sleeve. However, unlike the original album the tracks were presented using their mono mixes. In 2012 the album was again remastered, this time directly from the same tapes as the original 1972 release, featuring mono and stereo mixes. Available in double LP and digital formats, this version included updated release notes from Kaye and Jac Holzman.
In 2003, the album was ranked number 196 on Rolling Stone's list of the 500 greatest albums of all time.