• The Psychedelic Sounds Of The 13th Floor Elevators review

    The 13th Floor Elevators
    The Psychedelic Sounds Of The 13th Floor Elevators
    International Artists

    Seriously? What am I gonna say about this fucking album that you don't already know? How about me and the Elevators?

    When I was a teenager, I went to a record store in Fort Myers everyday. Silver Platter Records owned by Mr. Bob Jones, Bob turned me onto so much cool stuff like the Knitters, Barry and the Remains, old country, K records, The Velvet Underground and so many others, I bought my copy of Machine Gun Etiquette and nearly all my Stones vinyl from him. One day, shortly after my 19th birthday I'd been there blowing my paycheck from the other record store in town when I was about to split. He stopped me and said "you ever heard the 13th Floor Elevators?" I just blanked out for a second and then to maintain my hipness said "oh yeah, I've got some stuff at home". He just looked at me and handed me a copy of "The Psychedelic Sounds" and said "happy birthday, chad"

    I went home with this cd and didn't know what to think, the cover was totally bizarre and hippie looking so I tossed it in the cd player . The first track started up and I thought "ok, that's a cool riff" then the 5 second mark hit and I heard this totally bizarre sound like a turkey gobbling so I paused it and looked around my room, the sound had stopped so I started it back up and then the sound started again. I thought "fuck, the cd's defective" and then thought "maybe I'm high" but I couldn't remember smoking any grass that day so I just kept listening and really digging this garage rock masterpiece called "You're Gonna Miss Me"...

    That was 11 years ago and I was totally smitten with that album the first time I heard it, that love affair hasn't ended since. I even got used to the electric jug. Roky Erickson wrote some beautiful songs before the demons got him, just listen to "Splash" and tell me it isn't totally heartbreaking. When he played Dallas 2 years ago with the Black Angels, the girl standing next to me started bawling during "Splash", there was so much extra poignancy seeing him perform the song at 61 knowing what all he'd been through in the wilderness years.

    Shit you want an example of a perfect debut album? Spin this bad motherfucker, it's still as terrific today as it was 44 years ago. Without this, there wouldn't have been a Spacemen 3 and who knows if we'd have a ZZ Top?

    What? ZZ Top? Spin "99th Floor" by the Moving Sidewalks sometime, Billy Gibbons is a huge Roky fan and his early stuff carried a heavy Elevators influence. That single got them signed, they played some big tours and then split up so Billy started ZZ Top

    I'd advise you to pick up Sundazed's mono vinyl release of this album, it's a keeper for sure

    and to think, Kenny Rogers' brother produced this
    Comments 3 Comments
    1. Jeremy Wallace's Avatar
      Jeremy Wallace -
      You said "grass".
    1. Jeremy Wallace's Avatar
      Jeremy Wallace -
      I just took a listen to You're Gonna Miss Me. Good tune! I love the "Rawhide" groove at about the 1:10 mark. Groovy.
    1. Roderick's Avatar
      Roderick -
      The current reissue series is rad. Good album but I like Easter Everywhere even better.