13th Floor Elevators — The Psychedelic Sounds of the 13th Floor Elevators


2 LP re-issue (stereo & mono) on 180-gram vinyl

The capital of psychedelic rock in 1966 was without a doubt Austin, Texas – stomping grounds of one of the wildest, rawest, hands-down trippiest bands of the era. The 13th Floor Elevators were the trailblazers – the first band to refer to their music as “psychedelic rock.”

They were also literally out of their freakin’ minds on high-grade LSD (it was legal through the late ’60s). And it shows on this manic, all-out psychedelic assault. A true classic.

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A lot of albums from the psychedelic era don’t hold up well. They’re just a little too, well … trippy for today’s ears.

Not this one.

Yes, there’s some psychobabble in the lyrics, and the liner notes are a manifesto for mind-altering substances. But the Elevators’ 1966 debut rages with a garage-band intensity — Stacy Sutherland's reverb-drenched guitars, Roky Erikson’s wild-man vocals and the crazy burbling of Tommy Hall's electric jug — literally an amplified crock he uses to create echo and distortion of his voice (like an early guitar voice box). The sound is unmistakable, and unforgettable.

Side 1 (mono):

  1. You’re Gonna Miss Me
  2. Roller Coaster
  3. Splash 1 (Now I’m Home)
  4. Reverberation
  5. Don’t Fall Down
Side 2 (mono):
  1. Fire Engine
  2. Thru The Rhythm
  3. You Don’t Know
  4. Kingdom Of Heaven
  5. Monkey Island
  6. Tried To Hide
Side 1 (stereo):
  1. You Don’t Know (How Young You Are)
  2. Through The Rhythm
  3. Monkey Island
  4. Roller Coaster
  5. Fire Engine
Side 2 (stereo):
  1. Reverberation
  2. Tried To Hide
  3. You’re Gonna Miss Me
  4. I’ve Seen Your Face Before (Splash 1)
  5. Don’t Fall Down
  6. The Kingdom Of Heaven (Is Within You)

Sadly, the Elevators crashed and burned before the ‘60s were over, due to an increasingly unstable line-up. Already mentally fragile, Roky Erickson came out a broken man after copping an insanity plea (and a stint in the state hospital) in lieu of prison for a felony marijuana possession charge.

Roky continued to make well-regarded - if sporadic - music well into the new millineum (check out this video of Two Headed Dog from 1980 with his band the Aliens). But he was always dogged by mental illness.

The ‘90s saw a newfound appreciation of his music, and Roky played an incredible series of comeback shows in the 2000s. When he died in 2019 at the age of 71, Rocky Erickson was rightfully honored as a psychedelic rock icon.





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