A Must Have Album For All You Psychedelic Kids…The 13th Floor Elevators –

13th

This is for The Tame Impala and Black Angels listeners…

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.{Allmusic}

1. You’re Gonna Miss Me
2. Roller Coaster
3. Splash 1 (Now I;m Home)
4. Reverberation
5. Don’t Fall Down
6. Fire Engine
7. Thru The Rhythm
8. You Don’t Know
9. Kingdom Of Heaven
10. Monkey Island
11. Tried To Hide

 

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Scott

From Pittsburgh, now in Florida, Cool Canadian artist wife , 4 great kids and two granddaughters!! I'm a lucky guy!

2 CommentsLeave a comment

  • Scott: The Byrds’ 5D with Eight Miles High and the Yardbirds’ Roger the Engineer (so-called) with Happenings 10 Years Time Ago both beat the Elevators to market. But apparently Roky & Co. were the first to use the term. Didn’t know that about the earlier Roky band.

    • You could put Jefferson Airplane in there as well, me, I love The Byrds and I have no issue with saying they were the 1st tripped out Band

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