ROKY ERICKSON I Have Always Been Here Before: The Roky Erickson Anthology (2005) &
VARIOUS ARTISTS Where The Pyramid Meets The Eye: A Tribute To Roky Erickson (1990)

I Have Always Been Here Before: The Roky Erickson Anthology (2005)
Where The Pyramid Meets The Eye: A Tribute To Roky Erickson (1990)
Two Views Of Roky Erickson & The 13th Floor Elevators’ Mental Music

Where The Pyramid Meets The Eye might be my all-time favorite tribute album. Being previously pretty clueless about Roky Erickson and his 13th Floor Elevators’ catalog (prior to the 80s), I’m forced to assume that my lack of expectations may have played a role in appreciating his work, as interpreted by others. In recent years, Erickson’s profile has exploded, via re-issues, a box set, film documentary and his own return to preforming – all of this after he was counted out as a lost cause, a life-long victim of mental illness exacerbated by 60s drug use, coupled with possible medical malpractice. Various artists tributes are typically watered down by too many makeshift interpretations or, more often than not, just too much… variety. Pyramid, on the other hand, seems to benefit from the rich cross-section of talent and viewpoints. Perhaps it’s simply the spotlight given Erickson’s largely unknown songs or maybe it’s all the various colors that push the rocker’s basic, 4/4 back beat into three dimensions. Sister Double Happiness, for instance, rips the bejesus out of Roky’s bizarre, “Red Temple Prayer (Two Headed Dog),” while Poi Dog Pondering’s acoustic version of “I Had To Tell You” is simply gorgeous, spotlighting fragile, endearing lyrics that are even more potent if you’re aware of Roky’s rocky mental history. We’ve now combined Pyramid with the outstanding 2CD set, I Have Always Been Here Before. As fans know, those ancient 13th Floor Elevators & Roky solo albums were typically plagued with awful sonics, mastered by tiny labels without budgets to do anything about it. This remastered set corrects most of those issues, making Erickson’s vision clear and audible, like they’ve never been before.


I HAVE ALWAYS BEEN HERE BEFORE: THE ROKY ERICKSON ANTHOLOGY
ONE
We Sell Soul (3:20
)
You’re Gonna Miss Me (2:30)
Reverberation (Doubt) (2:51)
Tried To Hide (2:49)
Fire Engine (3:23)
She Lives (In A Time Of Her Own) (2:59)
Slip Inside This House (8:04)
Splash 1 (3:58)
Dust (4:01)
I Had To Tell You (2:29)
Postures (Leave Your Body Behind) (6:32)
Right Track Now (3:03)
Red Temple Prayer (Two Headed Dog) (3:32)
Starry Eyes (3:35)
Bermuda (3:17)
The Interpreter (2:43)
Mine Mine Mind (2:37)
I Have Always Been Here Before (2:59)
Click Your Fingers Applauding The Play (3:18)
I Think Up Demons (2:48)
Don’t Shake Me Lucifer (2:54)
White Faces (2:34)
TWO
It’s A Cold Night For Alligators
(3:04)
Creature With The Atom Brain (4:14)
Stand For The Fire Demon (5:25)
Bloody Hammer (4:21)
The Wind And More (4:01)
If You Have Ghosts (3:12)
Song To Abe Lincoln (2:25)
Anthem (I Promise) (4:25)
Warning (Social and Social-Political Injustices) (2:11)
The Beast (5:46)
You Don’t Love Me Yet (4:23)
Clear Night For Love (2:48)
Don’t Slander Me (3:28)
Nothing In Return (2:51)
Burn The Flames (6:09)
When You Get Delighted (3:08)
True Love Cast Out All Evil (3:36)
For You (I’d Do Anything) (2:18)
Please Judge (4:29)
We Are Never Talking (3:49)
I’m Gonna Free Her (3:04)

VARIOUS ARTISTS: WHERE THE PYRAMID MEETS THE EYE
ZZ TOP Reverberation (Doubt) (3:02)
JOHN WESLEY HARDING & THE GOOD LIARS If You Have Ghosts
(4:00)
POI DOG PONDERING I Had To Tell You (2:47)
THE JUDYBATS She Lives (In a Time of Her Own) (4:06)
PRIMAL SCREAM Slip Inside This House (5:16)
BONGWATER You Don’t Love Me Yet (5:17)
JULIAN COPE I Have Always Been Here Before (4:36)
DOUG SAHM & SONS You’re Gonna Miss Me (3:48)
SOUTHERN PACIFIC It’s A Cold Night For Alligators (3:49)
RICHARD LLOYD Fire Engine (3:30)
VIBRATING EGG Bermuda (3:04)
R.E.M. I Walked With A Zombie (3:10)
BUTTHOLE SURFERS Earthquake (4:56)
LOU ANN BARTON Don’t Slander Me (1:52)
SISTER DOUBLE HAPPINESS Red Temple Prayer (Two Headed Dog) (5:46)
THE WHITE ROPE Burn The Flames (5:36)
CHRIS THOMAS Postures (Leave Your Body Behind) (3:46)
T-BONE BURNETT Nothing In Return (2:58)
THE JESUS AND MARY CHAIN Reverberation (Doubt) (3:47)

13 Comments

  • 1
    Anonymous
    January 7, 2010 - 15:59 | Permalink

    have both in my cd collection. great stuff, really !! the tribute is one of the best tributes ever.
    don't miss the haloween live cd.
    —-i have always been here before…..

  • 2
    Johnny B
    January 7, 2010 - 16:44 | Permalink

    I've had that tribute CD since it came out, got it via the radio station where I worked at the time. I, too, think it's as good as it gets when it comes to that sort of thing. The one cut that always comes to mind for me is Bongwater's lovely take on "You Don't Love Me Yet", but I'm also very fond of Richard Lloyd's hard-rocking contribution, and even warhorses like ZZ Top and R.E.M. impress.

  • 3
    drfeelgoed
    January 7, 2010 - 23:16 | Permalink

    I actually received the tribute BEFORE I'd heard any of Roky's own!
    Great compliation, which by the way, was also released as a cassette with 3 bonus tracks:
    The Mighty Lemon Drops – Splash 1
    Lyres – We Sell Soul
    Angry Samoans – White Faces
    Anyone got those?

    Some great recent photos here: http://liveon35mm.wordpress.com/2009/09/12/roky-erickson/

  • 4
    Capt. Willard
    January 7, 2010 - 23:24 | Permalink

    Same with me. Since I didn't know the guy's music (outside of a song or two), I think the lack of comparison contributed to my appreciation of these covers. Didn't know about the cassette tracks, though. Thanks for the tip Doc.

  • 5
    Art Ducko
    January 8, 2010 - 09:36 | Permalink

    Thanks again, amigo, for reminding us of the forgotten goodies out there in digital land. Pyramid is indeed a terrific tribute album, & I needed the Best of to round out my collection. There's some really neat 13th Floor compilations floating around.Any chance of a post or two?

  • 6
    Jonny Too Bad
    January 8, 2010 - 17:22 | Permalink

    One of the great things about Roky is that he's one of the very, very few rock musicians to make important music in two different eras. Not many others made the transition from psychedelia to punk, but he did.

    He's one of the great screamers in rock 'n roll. He sounds like Little Richard on acid watching a scary movie.

  • 7
    zigzagwanderer
    January 21, 2010 - 23:30 | Permalink

    Great tribute to the great Roky,many thanksfor posting.

  • 8
    alan
    February 12, 2010 - 12:17 | Permalink

    I agree about the tribute, it is one of my favorite also. But have you heard Fela's tribute Red Hot + Riot ?
    For me it tops Roky's.
    By the way, Roky should be releasing a new album "True Love Cast Out All Evil" very soon.
    Oh, and congrats for a great blog with lots a nice ups :)))
    take care

  • 9
    Capt. Willard
    April 16, 2010 - 00:22 | Permalink

    .
    .
    .
    Search HERE
    .
    .

  • 10
    Art Ducko
    April 16, 2010 - 06:08 | Permalink

    Bwana makes juju! It's nice to be back even though we've always been here before. Cool stuff follows with Roky.

  • 11
    Private Beach
    April 16, 2010 - 13:02 | Permalink

    The shirt Roky is wearing in those pictures looks like he's had it since the Sixties!

  • 12
    zappahead
    November 14, 2013 - 11:10 | Permalink

    Thanks for the compilation…only heard him in small doses before and didn’t get him first time around….but now I have a trained ear so I’m sure I’ll enjoy it a lot more….thanks for the share…cheers.

  • 13
    gregs1ofus
    February 20, 2014 - 17:07 | Permalink

    Fantastic!

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