Where the Pyramid Meets the Eye: A Tribute to Roky Erickson

Where the Pyramid Meets the Eye: A Tribute to Roky Erickson

     
 

Roky Erickson often seems to be better known in rock circles for his well publicized psychological maladies and his less-than-gentle treatment at the hands of Texas' judicial system than for his music -- and that's a shame. While Roky's habit of informing anyone who asks that he's a Martian or is in contact with Satan makes for good fanzine copy, the best reason to be…  See more details below

Overview

Roky Erickson often seems to be better known in rock circles for his well publicized psychological maladies and his less-than-gentle treatment at the hands of Texas' judicial system than for his music -- and that's a shame. While Roky's habit of informing anyone who asks that he's a Martian or is in contact with Satan makes for good fanzine copy, the best reason to be interested in Erickson is his songwriting -- there's a graceful, vivid surrealism to his lyrical style that's endured far better than most of the noodlers who came out of the psychedelic rock movement, and his later bursts of horror film fancy conjure up a troubling tension that's laughed at only by the shallow or ignorant. When Erickson's legal problems came to a head in the late 1980s, longtime fan and Sire Records executive Bill Bentley assembled Where the Pyramid Meets the Eye: A Tribute to Roky Erickson to raise money for Erickson, as well as drawing attention to the unique beauty of his music. Like most multi-artist tribute albums, the results are a bit uneven; some of these artists seem to have appeared out of convenience rather than any great love of Roky's music, and a few of the interpretations are simple miscalculations (Thin White Rope's Guy Kyser really goes overboard on his version of "Burn the Flames"). But there are a several moments of very real beauty and power here, especially from the artists who share Erickson's Texas heritage -- Doug Sahm and ZZ Top rock out on their contributions, the Butthole Surfers' version of "Earthquake" is one of their finest moments on wax, and T-Bone Burnett's take on "Nothing in Return" is a heart-tugging gem. The 13th Floor Elevators' first two albums are still the best place to sample Erickson's music (and the latter-day All That May Do My Rhyme is a fine album, for which Erickson actually receives royalties -- hint, hint), but Where the Pyramid Meets the Eye is a sincere if inconsistent tribute to his work, and shows how well his songs can translate to the styles of other artists.

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Product Details

Release Date:
10/19/1990
Label:
Sire / London/Rhino
UPC:
0075992642224
catalogNumber:
26422

Tracks

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Album Credits

Performance Credits

Southern Pacific   Track Performer
Angry Samoans   Track Performer
Lou Ann Barton   Vocals,Track Performer
Bongwater   Track Performer
Butthole Surfers   Track Performer
Julian Cope   Synthesizer,Guitar,Vocals,Track Performer
John Wesley Harding   Acoustic Guitar,Vocals,Track Performer
Jesus and Mary Chain   Track Performer
Lyres   Track Performer
Mighty Lemon Drops   Track Performer
Poi Dog Pondering   Track Performer
Doug Sahm   Vocals,Track Performer
Thin White Rope   Track Performer
Chris Thomas   Vocals,Track Performer
ZZ Top   Track Performer
Judybats   Track Performer
Primal Scream   Track Performer
Sister Double Happiness   Track Performer
Richard Lloyd   Guitar,Vocals,Track Performer
Rockin' Tabby Thomas   Vocals,Track Performer
Ben Cohen   Guitar
Matthew Abourezk   Drums
Peter Buck   Guitar
T Bone Burnett   Acoustic Guitar,Vocals,Track Performer,Metronome
Ken Craddock   Organ
Dave Crawford   Melodica
Gary Floyd   Percussion,Vocals,Background Vocals
Jeff Heiskell   Vocals
Bruce Hughes   Guitar,Vocals
John Keane   Guitar
Roger Kunkel   Bass,Guitar
Guy Kyser   Guitar,Vocals
David Leonard   Background Vocals
James MacMillan   Bass
Mike Mills   Bass
Bill Noland   Keyboards
O'Brien   Guitar
Frank Orrall   Guitar
Andy Paley   Background Vocals,Alto Clarinet
R.E.M.   Track Performer
Shandon Sahm   Drums,Vocals
Shawn Sahm   Guitar,Vocals
Donald Ross Skinner   Bass,Vocals
Speedy Sparks   Bass
Michael Stipe   Vocals
Johnny Sughrue   Acoustic Guitar,Vocals
Bruce Thomas   Drums
Pete Thomas   Drums
Kevin White   Vocals,Background Vocals
Ed Winters   Electric Guitar
Vibrating Egg   Track Performer
Glenn Fukunaga   Bass
Steve Donnelly   Guitar
Roddy Colonna   Drums
Gary Gold   Drums
Bill Berry   Drums
Slye Fuller   Background Vocals
Aston Martin & The Moon Discs   Drums
Ted Cho   Mandolin
Lynn Perko   Percussion,Drums
Peggy Hambright   Organ,Vocals
Rob Grenoble   Background Vocals
Jah Beethoven   Organ
Raoul Duplott   Vocals
Tim Stutz   Electric Bass,Vocals
Herculon Velveteen   Guitar
Susan Voeltz   Violin
Johnnie Marshall   Organ,Timpani
Hector Watt   Guitar
Jeff Palmer   Bass,Background Vocals
Tony Martin   Recorder

Technical Credits

Southern Pacific   Producer
Bongwater   Producer
Butthole Surfers   Producer
Julian Cope   Producer
John Wesley Harding   Contributor
Jesus and Mary Chain   Producer
Poi Dog Pondering   Producer
Doug Sahm   Producer
Thin White Rope   Producer
Chris Thomas   Producer
ZZ Top   Producer
Judybats   Contributor
Kramer   Producer
Primal Scream   Contributor
Sister Double Happiness   Contributor
Richard Lloyd   Producer
Kurt Howell   Producer
Frank Beard   Producer
T Bone Burnett   Producer,Contributor
Stu Cook   Producer
Billy Gibbons   Producer
Richard Gottehrer   Producer
Bill Ham   Producer
Gibby Haynes   Producer
Gary Hickinbotham   Producer
Dusty Hill   Producer
Bruce Hughes   Producer
Andrew Innes   Programming,Producer,Engineer
Jeff   Producer
John Keane   Producer
Keith Knudsen   Producer
Paul Leary   Producer
Jeffrey Lesser   Producer
James MacMillan   Producer
John McFee   Producer
Bill Noland   Producer
Andy Paley   Producer
R.E.M.   Producer
Jim Reid   Producer
William Reid   Producer
Andrew Weatherall   Producer
Vibrating Egg   Contributor
Jim Franklin   Illustrations
Bill Bentley   Liner Notes,Executive Producer
Kevin Laffey   Producer
Dave Rick   Producer
Ann Magnuson   Producer
Tom Recchion   Art Direction
Raoul Duplott   Producer
King Coffey   Producer
Mike Stewart   Producer
Tony Martin   Programming,Producer

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