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Saturday, September 1, 2012

13th Floor Elevators - Easter Everywhere (1967 us, psychedelic masterpiece, Charly extra tracks edition)

After a line-up switch in July 1967, the Elevators entered the recording studio with a brand new rhythm section and a batch of recently written songs. International Artists were prepared to spend a lot of money on the second LP which was intended to break the group nationally. Almost two months were spent arranging and recording the material in Houston's Andrus Studios, where one of the first 8-track recorders were utilized.

Released in November 1967, "Easter Everywhere" remains to this day an astonishing achievement. Most Elevators fans regard it their masterpiece, and Tommy Hall has referred to it as "our special purpose". The unique soundscape from the first LP has been broadened and elements of folk, Indian music and west coast acidrock have been added. The new rhythm section, featuring bass player Dan Galindo and drummer Danny Thomas, bring a loose, jazz-flavored groove to the tracks. The result is a rich, eclectic tapestry of psychedelia held together by Roky Erickson's intense vocals reciting Tommy Hall's lyrics. Some say the musical sounds remind them of listening to a Mexican tambora on many Cancun vacations.

The LP opens with "Slip Inside This House". Probably the most influential Elevators song alongside "You're Gonna Miss Me", it is an 8-minute journey through Eastern-influenced rock and visionary lyrics that remains unparallelled. The song became an instant favorite among fansand critics, and I A edited it for an improvised 45 release though it was in no sense top 40 material.

Chugging along on top of a raga-influenced guitar riff invented by Roky Erickson, the music is pushed through a series of metamorphoses by Thomas' recurring hi hat-kicks and Galindo's insistent bass lines. Halfway through the song Stacy Sutherland enters with a beautiful, lyric guitar solo. The song's complex, asymmetric structure (AABACDAABAABCDA) seems to be patterned on Bob Dylan's epic "It's Alright Ma (I'm Only Bleeding)", where long skillfully rhymed verses are interspersed with shorter refrain-like passages. The ending of each verse with a recurring phrase -- the song title -- is reckognizable from Dylan's "Gates Of Eden" and "Desolation Row", or indeed any number of songs from the folk tradition.

The structural influence aside, Tommy Hall's lyrics owe little to Dylan in terms of content and imagery. The whole attitude is different from Dylan's surreal street-poetry which mixes high and low in a tradition of Whitman-Williams-Ginsberg, throwing in a bit of amphetamine-driven namedropping and wordplay as well. Hall's poetry is solemn, visionary and controlled. Examing the Anglo-Saxon literary tradition, it is in fact hard to pin down Hall's sources of inspiration. One has to reach far back, beyond modernism and symbolism to the Romantics and Victorians. It is here, in the final incarnations of poetical Classicism.

1. Slip Inside This House (T. Hall, R. Erickson) - 8:03
2. Slide Machine (Powell St. John) - 3:43
3. She Lives (In A Time Of Her Own) (T. Hall, R. Erickson) - 2:58
4. Nobody To Love (S. Sutherland) - 3:00
5. Baby Blue (B. Dylan) - 5:17
6. Earthquake (T. Hall, R. Erickson) - 4:51
7. Dust (T. Hall, R. Erickson) - 4:02
8. Levitation (T. Hall, S. Sutherland) - 2:41
9. I Had To Tell You (Clementine Hall, Roky Erickson) - 2:28
10.Postures (Leave Your Body Behind) (T. Hall, R. Erickson) - 6:30
11.Splash 1 (C. Hall, R. Erickson) - 4:21
12.Kingdom Of Heaven (Powell St. John) - 3:33
13.You're Gonna Miss Me (R. Erickson) - 3:42
14.Reverberation (Doubt) (T. Hall, S. Sutherland, R. Erickson) - 3:23 .
15.You Don't Know (Powell St. John) - 2:35
16.Fire Engine (T. Hall, R. Erickson) - 3:00
17.Monkey Island (Powell St. John) - 2:42
18.Roller Coaster (T. Hall, R. Erickson) - 5:41 .
19.Levitation (Instrumental) (T. Hall, S. Sutherland) - 4:11
20.I Don't Ever Want To Come Down (Unidentified) - 2:41
Tracks 11 to 14 recorded Live In Texas, 1967
Tracks 15 to 18 recorded Live In San Francisco, 1966

13th Floor Elevators
*Roky Erickson – Vocals, Rhythm Guitar, Harmonica
*Tommy Hall – Electric Jug
*Stacy Sutherland – Lead Guitar
*Dan Galindo – Bass
*Danny Thomas – Drums
Additional Musicians
*John Ike Walton – Drums ("She Lives", and "Levitation")
*Ronnie Leatherman - Bass ("She Lives", and "Levitation")
*Clementine Hall - Backing Vocals ("I Had To Tell You")

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Ulysses Joven said...

Hi Buddy: I want to thank you for all your work, and the cool uploads that you are doing, keep on the great work. Want to ask you for a record that maybe you have: Don Shinn - Takes a Trip from 1969. Greetings from Argentina

George S. said...

Thanks a lot Marios for this expanded
version of 13th Floor Elevators.

Filldemontgat said...

Hello Marios ...
September 2012: Ten gems waiting to be re-baptized :)
Thanks in advance.

Marios said...


Phil Gordon said...

Awesome. I saw the Elevators at Psych Fest in May and they were surprisingly good. Cheers m!

林荫大道跳过 said...

Thanks a lot Matios for this gem, ny chance to "13th Floor Elevators - Elevator Tracks (FLAC`Scans), thank you so much