THE 13th FLOOR ELEVATORS - The Complete Singles Collection (2009)
Rock & roll history is full of casualties, but the story of the 1960s Texas psychedelic folk-rock group the 13th Floor Elevators, led by guitarist and singer Roky Erickson and lyricist and electric jug player (and sometimes Svengali) Tommy Hall, reads like a slow motion cultural train wreck as the band battled record labels, local police, various inner demons, and several judges and courts while gobbling LSD like so many tic-tacs -- all of which culminated in Erickson proclaiming he was a Martian in order to avoid prison on drug charges, a move that landed him in an asylum for the criminally insane until 1972. It’s a wonder any music was made at all. But it did get made, and this was a very unique band, if never a commercially successful one -- maybe because their often unhinged recordings sounded like Captain Beefheart playing folk-rock while insanely drunk and pissed off in the basement. The 13th Floor Elevators released seven singles in all between January of 1966 and December of 1968, each of which, along with the B-sides, is preserved in this set in its original mono 45 rpm version, and hearing them back to back is a glorious piece of garage band heaven. Sides like the group’s signature “You’re Gonna Miss Me,” the queasy but perfect cover of Bob Dylan’s “Baby Blue,” the LSD treatise “Slip Inside This House,” and the beautiful and eerie “May the Circle Remain Unbroken” could only have been created by this singular band of sneering and evaporating Texas musicians -- they did sound at times like they came from Mars. Also here are the stereo mixes of four tracks the band recorded for a limited-edition French EP, which just spreads the wonderful chaos that was the 13th Floor Elevators across two channels.
TRACKS: 01. You're Gonna Miss Me 02. Tried To Hide 03. Reverbaration 04. Fire Engine 05. (I've Got) Levitation 06. Before You Accuse Me 07. She Lives (In A Time Of Her Own) 08. Baby Blue 09. Slip Inside This House 10. Splash 1 11. May The Circle Remain Unbroken 12. I'm Gonna Love You Too 13. Livin' On 14. Scarlet And Gold 15. Reverbaration 16. You're Gonna Miss Me 17. Fire Engine 18. Tried To Hide
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