Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Paisley Underground Series, #20: The 13th Floor Elevators- The Psychedelic Sounds of The 13th Floor Elevators (1966) / Easter Everywhere (1967) / Bull of the Woods (1968) MP3 & FLAC

"If you fear I'll lose my spirit like a drunkard's wasted wine. Don't you even think about it;
I'm feeling fine."

Exhaustively documented in Nuggets: Original Artyfacts from the First Psychedelic Era 1965-1968, the mid-sixties saw the rise of countless local D.I.Y. Garage-Rock music scenes throughout the U.S. that, in many ways, laid the groundwork for the psychedelic movement later in the decade and also the Punk movement that first cropped up in NYC in the mid-to-late seventies. While most of the bands comprising these local scenes were short-lived and destined for permanent obscurity, The 13th Floor Elevators, from Austin, TX., transcended their provincial origins by being one of the first bands to openly advocate the use of psychotropic drugs as a form of mind expansion as well as allowing the effects of this practice to overtly influence their music. Another characteristic that set The 13th Floor Elevators apart from their Garage-Rock contemporaries was their musical sophistication, which manifested itself not only in their playing, but also in their tendency to draw from multiple genres to create their distinctive brand of psych-rock. Led by one of the most tragic figures of the rock-era, Roky Erickson, arguably rock 'n' roll's first real counter-culture "wildman" figure and electric jug player Tommy Hall, who claimed to have participated in LSD experiments at UT Austin in 1964, The 13th Floor Elevators led a dangerously precarious (in a legal sense) bohemian existence in amidst the ultra-conservative culture of their home state, something that eventually necessitated an extended stay in San Francisco in 1966-1967, where they helped foment the quickly developing Bay Area psychedelic scene and reconnected with fellow Austin native Janis Joplin (Joplin is rumored to have been influenced by Erickson's distinctive vocal style). Just before their visit to the Bay Area, the band had released their classic debut album, The Psychedelic Sounds of The 13th Floor Elevators, which was something of a clarion call for an impending revolution in rock music. Aided by a breakthrough single, "You're Gonna Miss Me," which landed Erickson, Hall & co. on, of all things, American Bandstand, The 13th Floor Elevators' debut album was a minor commercial success despite their humble Garage-Rock origins; however, what truly set the album apart was its palpable sense of its own pioneering status. In 1966, there were a number of bands toying with adding psychedelic elements to their songs, but in the case of The 13th Floor Elevators, they were pretty much inventing psych-rock from scratch by investing their songs with a manic sense of emotional urgency and broadening their musical palette to include sonic textures falling far outside the purview of conventional pop music (not the least of which were Hall's simply bizarre contributions on the electric jug). After returning to Austin in early 1967, the band began recording what would become their masterpiece, Easter Everywhere, an unparallelled piece of late-sixties psychedelia that features a more polished and confident sound than its precursor matched with a cohesive set of consistently fine songs. From the acid-drenched slow-burner "Slip Inside This House," to the beautifully mournful folk ballad "I Had to Tell You," Roky Erickson's vocals are simply stunning in their ability to convey everything from unhinged passion to wistful melancholia, and Stacy Sutherland's lead guitar work is an exercise in understated melodic brilliance. Sadly, a year after the release of Easter Everywhere, Erickson was arrested for the possession of a single marijuana joint, which, in Texas at the time, was prosecuted in outlandishly harsh ways. In order to avoid a 10 year prison term, Erickson pleaded insanity; consequently, he was institutionalized and repeatedly subjected to electroshock therapy until his release in 1972.  As a result of Erickson's fate, The 13th Floor Elevators slowly fell apart, finally disbanding in 1969 after releasing Bull of the Woods; however, few if any bands were as instrumental in the rise of psychedelia and the unprecedented revolution that rock music underwent during the late 1960s.

The Psychedelic Sounds of The 13th Floor Elevators  
(Charly ~ 2010/1966 ~ Deluxe Remastered 2 CD Edition)

Disc I: Original Mono Album

 1. You're Gonna Miss Me  (2:31)
 2. Roller Coaster  (5:05)
 3. Splash 1  (3:53)
 4. Reverberation  (2:47)
 5. Don't Fall Down  (3:01)
 6. Fire Engine  (3:20)
 7. Thru the Rhythm  (3:08)
 8. You Don't Know  (2:56)
 9. Kingdom of Heaven  (3:09)
10. Monkey Island  (2:41)
11. Tried to Hide  (2:48)

Disc II: Original 1966 Stereo Mix

 1. You Don't Know (How Young You Are)  (2:58)
 2. Through the Rhythm  (3:08)
 3. Monkey Island  (2:39)
 4. Roller Coaster  (5:06)
 5. Fire Engine  (3:20)
 6. Reverberation  (2:49)
 7. Tried to Hide  (2:48)
 8. You're Gonna Miss Me  (2:31)
 9. Splash 1  (3:54)
10. Don't Fall Down  (3:01)
11. Kingdom of Heaven  (3:09)
-Bob Sullivan's Original Stereo Desk Mix-
12. Fire Engine  (3:21)
13. Monkey Island  (2:44)
14. Roller Coaster  (5:05)
15. Thru the Rhythm  (3:04)
16. Tried to Hide  (2:53)

Easter Everywhere 
(Charly ~ 2010/1967 ~ Deluxe Remastered 2 CD Edition)

Disc I: Mono Version

 1. Slip Inside This House  (7:55)
 2. Slide Machine  (3:39)
 3. She Lives (In a Time of Her Own)  (2:57)
 4. Nobody to Love  (2:57)
 5. (It's All Over Now) Baby Blue  (5:09)
 6. Earthquake  (4:44)
 7. Dust  (3:58)
 8. I've Got Levitation  (2:40)
 9. I Had to Tell You  (2:26)
10. Postures (Leave Your Body Behind)  (6:20)

 Disc II: Stereo Version

 1. Slip Inside This House  (8:06)
 2. Slide Machine  (3:41)
 3. She Lives (In a Time of Her Own)  (2:56)
 4. Nobody to Love  (3:00)
 5. (It's All Over Now) Baby Blue  (5:18)
 6. Earthquake  (4:50)
 7. Dust  (3:59)
 8. Levitation  (2:38)
 9. I Had to Tell You  (2:30)
10. Postures (Leave Your Body Behind)  (6:33)
-Bonus Track-
11. Fire in My Bones (Outtake)  (3:05)

Bull of the Woods  
(Charly ~ 2004/1968 ~ Remastered & Expanded Edition)

 1. Livin' On  (3:23)
 2. Barnyard Blues  (2:52)
 3. Till Then  (3:18)
 4. Never Another  (2:27)
 5. Rose and the Thorn  (3:37)
 6. Down by the River  (1:50)
 7. Scarlet and Gold  (5:00)
 8. Street Song  (4:57)
 9. Doctor Doom  (3:18)
10. With You  (2:11)
11. May the Circle Remain Unbroken  (2:42)
-Bonus Tracks-
12. Fire in My Bones  (2:04)
13. Wait for My Love  (3:27)
14. Splash 1  (3:06)
15. Right Track Now  (3:03)
16. Before You Accuse Me (Live)  (3:59)
17. You Gotta Take That Girl (Live)  (3:18)
18. I'm Gonna Love You Too (Live)  (2:10)
19. Everybody Needs Somebody to Love (Live)  (4:10)
20. You Can't Hurt Me Anymore (Live)  (4:04)
21. Original Radio Spot for "Bull of the Woods" Album  (1:00)


  1. Thanks for the trip down memory road.

  2. scurfie, preparing for this post has sent me on a major Roky jag. There may be more trips coming in the near future. Doesn't he kind of look like a kooky young Nick Cave bottom right of the image above?

  3. Nice post... thx... but to name the 13th Floor Elevators part of the Paisley Underground... hmm. They were one of the forerunners of the scene. As far as I always thought, Paisley Underground was a scene in the early and mid 80's, the 13th Floor Elevators were almost 20 years earlier active. Regardless, these 3 albums are a must have for any 60's garage and psychedelic rock lovers.

  4. peter, once again, the series is comprehensive, meaning it includes influences on the Paisley scene and bands from music scenes that were contemporary to the Paisley scene. Of course the Elevators were not part of the paisley scene; however, they were a big influence on the scene, hence, the post. This is the same reason I posted "Piper at the Gates of Dawn."

  5. sunday, well, I'm thinking of posting some of Roky Erickson's solo stuff, so there might be more

  6. It's a good series... don't get me wrong here and the influence is obvious. Keep going mate.

  7. peter, thank you. And thanks also for being a loyal reader who leaves comments. I can't adequately express how much I appreciate it :)

  8. When it comes to Easter Everywhere, which is better, in your opinion, voixautre: Stereo or Mono? Maybe I should compare both myself, but I'm mostly downloading that album because of "She Lives (In a Time of Her Own)".

  9. summer freeze, great question. Often with albums from the early-to-mid sixties, mono is the way to go if you want to hear an album the way it was originally intended. However, many late-sixties albums were recorded in both mono & stereo, so it becomes a matter of taste as to which is superior (I'm a stereo guy myself). "Easter Everywhere" was indeed recorded in both mono and stereo, but the mono version was never released to the public (only a few AM radio stations), so this means the stereo version is definitive. Hope this helps :)

  10. Great albums, but can you re-upload the files in rapidshare or mediafire?? Megaupload is not an option now.

  11. You are using my 13th Floor Elevator photos without permission ... and worse, without credit. I hope you will take them down. I don't want to have to resort to legal remedies, and I'm sure you don't either.
    Many thanks,

    Bob Simmons

  12. You are using my 13th Floor Elevator photos without permission ... and worse, without credit. I hope you will take them down. I don't want to have to resort to legal remedies, and I'm sure you don't either.
    Many thanks,

    Bob Simmons


Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.