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

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Mark Deming
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 ...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Mark Deming
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: 075992642224
  • Catalog Number: 26422

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1 Reverberation (Doubt) - ZZ Top (3:02)
  2. 2 If You Have Ghosts - John Wesley Harding (4:00)
  3. 3 I Had to Tell You - Poi Dog Pondering (2:46)
  4. 4 She Lives (In a Time of Her Own) - The Judybats (4:05)
  5. 5 Slip Inside This House - Primal Scream (5:15)
  6. 6 You Don't Love Me Yet - Bongwater (5:16)
  7. 7 I Have Always Been Here Before - Julian Cope (4:36)
  8. 8 You're Gonna Miss Me - Doug Sahm (3:48)
  9. 9 It's a Cold Night for Alligators - Southern Pacific (3:48)
  10. 10 Fire Engine - Richard Lloyd (3:29)
  11. 11 Bermuda - Vibrating Egg (3:04)
  12. 12 I Walked with a Zombie - R.E.M. (3:10)
  13. 13 Earthquake - Butthole Surfers (4:55)
  14. 14 Don't Slander Me - Lou Ann Barton (1:51)
  15. 15 Red Temple Prayer (Two Headed Dog) - Sister Double Happiness (5:46)
  16. 16 Burn the Flames - Thin White Rope (5:35)
  17. 17 Postures (Leave Your Body Behind) - Rockin' Tabby Thomas (3:46)
  18. 18 Nothing in Return - T Bone Burnett (2:58)
  19. 19 Reverberation (Doubt) - The Jesus and Mary Chain (3:46)
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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
The Jesus and Mary Chain Track Performer
Lyres Track Performer
The 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
The 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
The Jesus and Mary Chain Producer
Poi Dog Pondering Producer
Doug Sahm Producer
Thin White Rope Producer
Chris Thomas Producer
ZZ Top Producer
The 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
John Golden Mastering
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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