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VINE VOICEon 8 January 2004
The second album by the acid-fried Texas quintet, Easter Everywhere still remains one of my favourite albums from the mid sixties. Released in 1967, it was one of the few albums to really deliver in the climate of acid rock and psychedelia from a garage/punk band. The lengthy opening track "Slip Inside This House" is a stoned classic and a call to arms for all the freaked out generation and was later covered by Primal Scream on their Screamadelica album. Half way through the track you get the feeling it is going on too long, but then you just drift with it and finally mourn it's ending when it does come to a close. Elsewhere there are further gems such as "Nobody To Love" which in essence is the flip (in sentiment) of the Airplane's "Somebody To Love". "Dust" tugs at the heart strings like few other songs do and really adds depth of feeling to the album. There is the storming "Levitation" and other standouts too such as "Postures (Leave Your Body Behind)". Although many people think their first album is the best, I disagree, this album was their best outing for me and doesn't sound as dated, despite the lyrics which are pure acidhead visions put to music.
Incidentally, if you don't mind paying a bit more you'd be better going for the Charly box set of 3 cds which has all their three albums plus loads of rarities, "Fire In My Bones" being a lost gem finally uncovered. But if you're on a budget and want to experience the psychedelic sounds of the Elevators this is the best place to start.
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on 11 March 2012
It seems a fair guess from listening to the songs that the writers seem to have some deeper experience of the spirituality of psychedelics. I believe that this album is a true gem of the 60's psychedelic era, and from the early days of what hoped to be a cogent psychedelic movement - even if the lyrics do seem confusing.
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on 6 April 2016
With the recent release of Lightning Hopkins' Free Form Patterns U.K.'s Charly Records have completed their Limited Edition Deluxe Digi-book series of the International Artists album catalog. All have been remastered and housed in hardcover digi-books, some containing two or three CDs if enough bonus or rare material was available, and generous booklets featuring photos and memorabilia. Some of the bonus tracks throughout the releases can also be found on the Epitaph for a Legend compilation as well. There have been grumbles in some circles about the remastering, but for the time being these are the best bet out there. Besides this release, which was IA-5, the rest of the series includes 13th FLOOR ELEVATORS 'The Psychedelic Sounds of (IA-1), RED CRAYOLA 'Parable of Arable Land' (IA-2), LOST AND FOUND 'Everybody's Here' (IA-3), THE GOLDEN DAWN 'Power Plant' (IA-4), 13th FLOOR ELEVATORS 'Easter Everywhere' (IA-5), Lightning Hopkins 'Free Form Patterns' (IA-6), RED KRAYOLA 'God Bless The Red Krayola And All Who Sail With It' (IA-7), 13th FLOOR ELEVATORS 'Live' (the only reissue not released as a digi-book, a remastered version can be found on 'The Albums Collection' set (IA-8), 13th FLOOR ELEVATORS 'Bull of the Woods' (IA-9), BUBBLE PUPPY 'A Gathering Of Promises' (IA-10), Dave Allen 'Color Blind' (IA-11) and ENDLE St. CLOUD 'Thank You All Very Much' (IA-12). I plan to cover each release in this series, use the link to the next entry to follow the reviews.......

'The Psychedelic Sounds Of The 13th FLOOR ELEVATORS,' one of the first true psychedelic albums, introduced listeners' ears to a new sound while their lyrics introduced new thoughts to their mind. The album was fairly successful sale-wise, partially thanks to the popularity of the "You're Gonna Miss Me' single. Teenage boy/girl problems and lyrics about the in's and out's of love may have their place with the record buying public, but main lyricist, LSD guru, spiritual historian and electric jug player Tommy Hall wanted so much more. Now that the band was popular enough to make another record, he wasn't about to let his chance pass by. While the 1960's had it's share of "turned on" poseurs, the 13th FLOOR ELEVATOR's not only walked the walk, they ran the marathon. International Artists was not a major label, and although they hadn't a real clue about the band's music or how to market it, they had a surprise hit on their hands, and like any small label back in those competitive days, they were going to milk their cash cow until it gave no more. They also realized that a band that not only used drugs but proselytized about their benefits were already on a slippery slope. Both camps had their priorities, so it was in this uncertain and complex atmosphere that 'Easter Everywhere,' THE psychedelic album against which all others are judged, was birthed......

In late 1966, after a successful West Coast tour where the band proved extremely popular, and with their single "Your're Gonna Miss Me" selling over 60,000 copies, the band's label International Artists literally forced the band back to Texas to record their debut album "The Psychedelic Sounds Of" by threatening to release older tapes if they didn't cooperate. The group also began to promote their own concerts, and were surprised at the increasing number of people at each show. Unfortunately, all good things have to come to an end as the label, hoping to cash-in on the gravy train, decided to stage a huge concert at the just opened Houston Music Center and record the concert for a live album release. IA went all out for the first time and spent a lot of cash promoting the show, even taking the step of hiring off-duty police officers to "guard" the band, ensuring that they wouldn't get busted before the concert. The pressure upon the band was intense and lead guitarist Stacy Sutherland was the one who broke under it. He took a large dose of LSD and had such a bad trip he could hardly play (A 2CD release of this legendary concert is scheduled for June 2014 as 'Live Evolution Lost,' the only known complete recording of the band in concert). The band, depressed and disillusioned, was still performing live but couldn't come to consensus on a future direction. An unproductive recording session in early 1967 was representative of their collective ennui. Singer/guitarist Roky Erickson and Tommy Hall began working on a new project, but drummer John Ike Walton and bassist Ronnie Leatherman had their fill of the constant delays and quit, planning a move to San Francisco. Stacy Sutherland had almost decided to join them when he was busted for the second time. With his probation revoked he couldn't leave the state, so he threw his lot in with Roky and Tommy. The duo had been holed up for the summer in an old hunting cabin attempting to write Hall's masterwork with new recruits, bassist Danny Galindo and drummer Danny Thomas. After rehearsing with Stacy for a few weeks the band headed to Houston to record their magnum opus on IA's new 8-track console......

'Easter Everywhere' was envisioned by Hall to be a guide to spiritual enlightenment, with the different paths thereof encoded within the songs. Unfortunately, or maybe not, the band didn't have the time and money to spend a whole month recording the album as originally envisioned. The result however is a glorious snapshot of The Summer Of Love's hopes and fears, possibilities and ideals, sometimes brilliant, other times naive. Album opener "Slip Inside This House," the first of of the five Erickson/Hall cabin compositions, is one of the band's greatest achievements, condensing all of Tommy's philosophies into a melodic undulating eight-minute serpentine musical journey. The drone-like verse and chorus repetitions build to occasional mini-bridges with Roky's vocals double-tracked. The electric jug works here like the tampura in classical Indian music, providing an almost hypnotic effect. Throughout the song Sutherland veers from riff to power-chord to spiky accents, his solo a textbook of melodic restraint. There just ain't anything else like it. Next is "Slide Machine" a fine contribution from the pen of their friend Powell St. John. The production on this track is amazing, instruments seem to fade away and reappear like spirits in the wind. Roky and Stacy's guitar work is stellar, with subtle call and response riffs woven throughout, while drummer Thomas keeps an underlying throbbing beat with incessant high-hat accents. The psychedelic jangle of "She Lives (In A Time Of Her Own)" sounds as timeless as the song's eternal muse. Released as a single, with better promotion there's no doubt it would've charted. Following is Stacy Sutherland's only solo contribution, "Nobody To Love," a mid-tempo rocker with a decided West Coast flavor harkening to their California experience, the vocals and intricate interlocking guitars reminiscent of the best MOBY GRAPE. Ending the original Side One is probably the best cover of Bob Dylan's "(It's All Over Now) Baby Blue" ...ever. The band's haunting interpretation seems to eminate directly form the song's lyrics, which are sung with a deep sympathetic understanding by Roky, as if he were peering into your soul. The track also features an outstanding two-minute dual guitar showcase at the end, Stacy and Roky riffing as in deep conversation. Outstanding......

Side Two begins with the third and fourth Hall/Erickson cabin co-writes. "Earthquake," is a psychedelic love song likening an intense love connection to the deep feelings caused by the titular ground-mover, with some nice stinging ELECTRIC PRUNE-like guitar throughout. "Dust" is an acoustic-based treatise on the power of love, with another great vocal performance from Roky. The next cut "Levitation" (aka "I've Got Levitation") was recorded during the troubled January 1967 sessions along with "She Lives (In A Time Of Her Own)" and a cover of Bo Diddley's "Before You Accuse Me," which was released as the B-side of the pre-'Easter' single release of "I Got Levitation." These were the last recordings featuring the departed rhythm section of Walton and Leatherman, but they were not credited on the finished album. "Levitation," one of the ELEVATORS most BEATLE-esque numbers (think "She's A Woman"), was a rare Hall/Sutherland composition. "I Had To Tell You" the penultimate track was written by Roky and Tommy Hall's wife Clementine. A pleasant acoustic diversion with a plaintive harmonica throughout, you can feel their friendship through the sometimes slightly off-kilter duet. The finale "Postures (Leave Your Body Behind)" brings the whole shebang full circle. The last of Tommy and Roky's mini-epics, the laid-back glide of an almost funky incessant riff support's Hall's dense lyrical musings on the best way to leave you human shell, the yang to the invitational "Slip Inside This House's" yin. Although not a musician per-se, Tommy Hall had an instinctive feel, his plan for the track sequencing, ignored by IA on the first album (rectified on the 2CD reissue) was brought to fruition here. he wanted each side to be a self-contained map, so if it was left playing over and over it would have a enjoyable unified feel. Listening to 'Easter Everywhere' from beginning to end, the whole album feels perfectly composed, the track order conceptually perfect. When you're familiar with the album and hear the songs out of order, something doesn't feel just right. Considering the stress the band was under, especially poor Roky who was developing the mental issues that would dog him for years, 'Easter Everywhere' is a triumphant achievement. Although ALL the musicians do a fine job, it definitely displays the inherent musical talent of Roky Erickson. His excellent vocals, guitar work and songwriting on the album are the foundation of an artist who's withstood the test of time, amongst more heartache and misfortune than few can say they've lived through, let alone conquered. The album is also a testament to the talents of the late Stacy Sutherland, who would soon find himself in the unenviable position of holding the group together, but that's a story best left for the next album......

Since many of the original International Artists masters are long gone, the set features the album in mono, remastered from an original vinyl pressing on CD#1. The stereo CD#2 has the album in stereo "remastered from (a) transfer of the original 2-track master" along with a bonus remastered outtake, "Fire In My Bones." The hardcover digi-book packaging is beautiful and the discs resemble two different IA label variations. The 16-pg. bound-in booklet is made of heavy stock and has eight pages of liner notes packed full of information about the album's strenuous birth by Paul Drummond, author of the excellent band biography Eye Mind: The Saga of Roky Erickson and the 13th Floor Elevators, The Pioneers of Psychedelic Sound, along with copious discographical minutiae and reproductions of the original album art, posters, rare photos, charts, etc. Like their first album, 'The Psychedelic Sounds of the 13th FLOOR ELEVATORS,' 'Easter Everywhere' is an even more so rare example of a classic album that actually lives up to it's hype and reputation. Both should be cornerstones to any music collection, psychedelic or otherwise......

CD#1 MONO:
1. Slip Inside This House
2. Slide Machine
3. She Lives (In A Time Of Her Own)
4. Nobody To Love
5. (It's All Over Now) Baby Blue
6. Earthquake
7. Dust
8. I've Got Levitation
9.. I Had To Tell You
10. Postures (Leave Your Body Behind
CD#2 STEREO:
1. Slip Inside This House
2. Slide Machine
3. She Lives (In A Time Of Her Own)
4. Nobody To Love
5. (It's All Over Now) Baby Blue
6. Earthquake
7. Dust
8. I've Got Levitation
9.. I Had To Tell You
10. Postures (Leave Your Body Behind
Bonus Track:
11. Fire In My Bones (Out-take)
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on 11 March 2001
Deep psychedelia from the middle sixties. Roky Erikson took his Texas jugband roots and blasted them with acid. The result is hypnotic, complex and something of an acquired taste. Each track jitters and jangles along with gusto but behind it all Roky's cracked voice hints at darker depths.
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on 30 December 2014
Great album
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on 17 July 2015
Possibly the best Elevators album due to the inclusion of the eternal classic Slip Inside My House. A slightly different sound than ‘Sounds Of’, more laid back but still awesome all the same. Perhaps the only weak spot is the Dylan cover, It’s All Over Now Baby Blue
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on 15 March 2011
Only love matters, sings Mr Eriksson and he's right. One of the lesser known 60's classic albums but it is accessible, with an open mind as there are strong melodies amongst the trippyness.Buy this rather than any Stones Psych for example.
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on 20 July 2015
Very typical for the time, requires some listening
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on 16 October 2010
SOUL MUSIC MEETS LSD MEETS THE NEW TESTAMENT (THE KINGDOM OF GOD IS WITHIN YOU) RESULTS IN A TIMELESS TREASURE TROVE OF PSYCHEDELIA.BUY IT AND TREAT YOURSELF.
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