ARTIST: The 13th Floor Elevators
TITLE: The Psychedelic Sounds of the 13th Floor Elevators
YEAR RELEASED: 1966
CHART ACTION: None
SINGLES: You’re Gonna Miss Me (#55), Reverberation (Doubt) (#129)
OTHER SONGS YOU MAY KNOW: Roller Coaster, Fire Engine
LINEUP: Roky Erickson, Stacy Sutherland, Tommy Hall, Ronnie Leatherman, John Ike Walton
WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT: Crazed Texans use an electric jug and garage rock sounds to create a psychedelic stew of rock and folk.
SOME WORDS, PHRASES AND CLAUSES ABOUT THIS RECORD: First of all, yes that is an electric jug that Tommy Hall plays. Really, Hall used the jug kind of like a kazoo where he vocalized into the jug right next to a microphone.
Second, yes, it’s a shame that “You’re Gonna Miss Me” charted so low, but it was huge in Texas.
Third, while some of the songs on side two aren’t as great as side one, it’s not just hit+filler. There’s some really nice psychedelic stuff going on here. The recording quality isn’t that great on some of it but they were flying by the seat of their pants here.
Fourth, Erickson doesn’t sound as deranged as he would later become. His lyrics ARE a bit mystical and / or acid-drenched, but he’s not a casualty yet. They had it together for the most part.
NOTES & MINUTIAE: It is claimed that this is the first use of the word “psychedelic” as an album title.
IS THERE A DELUXE VERSION: Yes, with some live cuts.
GRADE: B+: Half the album is great, the rest is OK. The great songs you’ll want to hear again and again, maybe with a jug next to you!