Psychedelic Sounds of the 13th Floor Elevators [US Bonus Tracks]

Psychedelic Sounds of the 13th Floor Elevators [US Bonus Tracks]

by The 13th Floor Elevators
     
 

Did the 13th Floor Elevators invent psychedelic rock? Aficionados will be debating that point for decades, but if Roky Erickson and his fellow travelers into inner space weren't there first, they were certainly close to the front of the line, and there are few albums from the early stages of the psych movement that sound asSee more details below

Overview

Did the 13th Floor Elevators invent psychedelic rock? Aficionados will be debating that point for decades, but if Roky Erickson and his fellow travelers into inner space weren't there first, they were certainly close to the front of the line, and there are few albums from the early stages of the psych movement that sound as distinctively trippy -- and remain as pleasing -- as the group's groundbreaking debut, The Psychedelic Sounds of the 13th Floor Elevators. In 1966, psychedelia hadn't been around long enough for its clichés to be set in stone, and Psychedelic Sounds thankfully avoids most of them; while the sensuous twists of the melodies and the charming psychobabble of the lyrics make it sound like these folks were indulging in something stronger than Pearl Beer, at this point the Elevators sounded like a smarter-than-average folk-rock band with a truly uncommon level of intensity. Roky Erickson's vocals are strong and compelling throughout, whether he's wailing like some lysergic James Brown or murmuring quietly, and Stacy Sutherland's guitar leads -- long on melodic invention without a lot of pointless heroics -- are a real treat to hear. And nobody played electric jug quite like Tommy Hall...actually, nobody played it at all besides him, but his oddball noises gave the band a truly unique sonic texture. If you want to argue that psychedelia was as much a frame of mind as a musical style, it's instructive to compare the recording of "You're Gonna Miss Me" by Erickson's earlier band, the Spades, to the version on this album -- the difference is more attitudinal than anything else, but it's enough to make all the difference in the world. (The division is even clearer between the Spades' "We Sell Soul" and the rewrite on Psychedelic Sounds, "Don't Fall Down"). The 13th Floor Elevators were trailblazers in the psychedelic rock scene, and in time they'd pay a heavy price for exploring the outer edges of musical and psychological possibility, but along the way they left behind a few fine albums, and The Psychedelic Sounds of the 13th Floor Elevators remains a potent delight. (Fuel 2000's re-issue from 2003 is a pretty slipshod effort. They made no effort to improve the original record's somewhat low fidelity, spelled the title wrong (psychadelic!) and added four tinny, pointless live songs. Someday maybe someone will re-issue this seminal album and give it the respect it deserves. Until then this is the best one can hope for.)

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Product Details

Release Date:
07/22/2003
Label:
Varese Sarabande
UPC:
0030206132021
catalogNumber:
061320

Tracks

  1. You're Gonna Miss Me  -  13th Floor Elevators
  2. Roller Coaster  -  13th Floor Elevators
  3. Splash 1  -  13th Floor Elevators
  4. Reverberation  -  13th Floor Elevators
  5. Don't Fall Down  -  13th Floor Elevators
  6. Fire Engine  -  13th Floor Elevators
  7. Thru the Rhythm  -  13th Floor Elevators
  8. You Don't Know (How Young You Are)  -  13th Floor Elevators
  9. Kingdom of Heaven  -  13th Floor Elevators
  10. Monkey Island  -  13th Floor Elevators
  11. Tried to Hide  -  13th Floor Elevators
  12. Everybody Needs Somebody to Love  -  13th Floor Elevators
  13. You Really Got Me  -  13th Floor Elevators
  14. Gloria  -  13th Floor Elevators
  15. You're Gonna Miss Me  -  13th Floor Elevators

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