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3.7 out of 5 stars9
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on 12 July 2011
Okay, you ain't getting the big, nice, expensive special editions of the albums in this set, and no doubt many people will complain about how "all" you get is the cardboard slipcases and the discs, however, unlike many sets of this ilk, you also got a biographical wee booklet, which is very interesting, if brief sum up of the bands career, album by slbum. Anyway, let's look at what the set does include - three brilliant 60's rock albums, two absolute classics in their field. Sure there's that passable "live" album (actually recorded in a studio with audience screams put into the mix later), but again - JUST LOOK AT THOSE THREE ALBUMS! You get the classic, garage-like psychedelic milestone that is "The Psychedelic Sounds of...", very ragged, rough, and utterly hypnotic, be it on the more typically 60's r&b tracks, the more spaced out, weird stuff or the more melodic, Splash 1 or Don't fall down: everything on the album, every song, regardless of style, is perfectly done: sure it's ragged, vocals are in the background, but that is sort of the, pretty obvious, point: a weird, "echoey" sort of production that adds an immensely spaced out, cool atmosphere, to allready brilliant 60's rock tracks.

Then we have "Easter Everywhere": I personally prefer this one: not only is it Technically a better album, with more developed songwriting and a technically better production, but I just like it more and whilst the production may not be quite as brilliantly weird and hypnotic, it is still FAIRLY atmospheric and the style of the songs actually benefit from the more polished touch applied to the album (and I say polished, but don't expect modern pop like clarity here!). The songs still have a bit of that rocky, r&b touch typical of the 60's, but the band cleverly, and admirably developed a more melodic sound overall here, which works brilliantly with this guys excellent, multi-faceted, emotional vocals, especially on tracks such as "She lives in a time of her own", "it's all over now, baby blue" and "dust" - which are all my personal picks from the album. As noted, I prefer this album: better variety than even their debut and a more developed sound - perfect album and without a doubt my favourite Psyche rock album to date.

I have less to say about Bull in the Woods, but that's not to say I dont like it, I still rate it an 08/10 - the song quality and overall feel of the album sure ain't as consistent, but it's better and more enjoyable than most band's will ever achieve - There is very little of the bands main man Erickson here, but his "stand in's" do one hell of a job covering for the guy. Great album - not perfect, stylistically or in terms of quality, but damn enjoyable and hardly a legacy ruining instalment for the band: there are MUCH worse final albums to go out on.

Psychedelic Sounds - 09/10
Easter Everywhere - 10/10
Bull - 08/10
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on 3 January 2012
For psychelic music collectors (like me ;-)) who chased the priceless original pressings on Intertional Artists or even the re-issues on Radar Records, seeing a collection like this one at such a price is obviously very attractive.
Sound quality is very good, I re-discovered their masterpiece (Easter Everywhere) and surprisingly, this is their last album (Bull of the woods) that is really a real discovery and is much better than I remembered (even if Roky Erikson's participation is limited, Stacy Sutherland's guitar work is great and benefits from re-mastering).

No need to look for another compilation/best-of, at such a price let's buy all their albums !

My only (small) regret is that this box set doesn't include the original version of "You're gonna miss me" (as the Spades) and extra (pseudo) live tracks (such as the ones present on an EP released in the early 80's and containing crazy and powerful versions of the Beatles (The word) and Chuch Berry (Roll over Beethoven), but I guess this is due to copyright constraints.
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on 2 July 2013
I originally wanted to find just one particualr vinyl recorrding (or CD if I had to) to try out the band but vinyl hard to find and the fantastic price of this collection tempted me into trying out the other albums - fantastic find (love the music!!!)and great value. Still searching for the elusive vinyl though!!
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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. 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), 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 '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 only album of the IA twelve not reissued in this fashion is 13th FLOOR ELEVATORS 'Live,' which was IA-8. This is probably due to the fact that the album was in reality studio tracks with applause added. This was a common practice back in the '60's and '70's so record companies could release more product with minimal expense. What Charly decided was to release 'Live' as part of this reasonably priced set in "a completely new mix, minimizing the fake applause that (was) added to the recordings and removing glitches which blighted previous versions." The set also includes the 2007 stereo remasters of their three studio albums, 'The Psychedelic Sounds Of,' 'Easter Everywhere' and 'Bull Of The Woods' that also appear on the Limited Edition sets listed above. This set comes in a clam-shell box with all four albums in cardboard jackets resembling the original artwork. A booklet is included "with extensive new notes by band expert Paul Drummond," the author of the definitive ELEVATORS biography "Eye Mind: The Saga of Roky Erickson and the 13th Floor Elevators, The Pioneers of Psychedelic Sound." While the booklet is informative, the narrative within is sometimes choppy and confusing. More care should've been taken linking the cut and paste sections from the original biography, it reads like a rush-job......

Having already released the 13th FLOOR ELEVATORS seminal first two albums, International Artists wanted to keep whatever momentum they had with a third album. Unfortunately the band was in turmoil, Lead singer and guitarist Roky Erickson had been in hospital after a mental breakdown but, beginning a pattern that would persist for years, was "broken out" by lyricist/electric jug player Tommy Hall, escaping to San Francisco. Guitarist Stacy Sutherland had been busted, put on probation, and busted again, unable to leave Texas. He held off the label by tinkering with already recorded tracks and overdubbing as long as he could, but the label was champing at the bit for product. You have to remember that during those times, artists' contracts could call for two or even three new albums a year. IA finally decided to go the fake live album route. The resulting album was a combination of tracks from their first recorded but unreleased album for Contact Records (the originals can be found on the terrific 'Headstone: The Contact Sessions'), outtakes and a few already released tracks "fiddled" with. To make sure buyers got the point, the label overdubbed ridiculously loud and inappropriate applause weaving through and between the tracks. IA got their product, but the result did no favors to the band or the label's bottom line......

The "re-imagined" 'Live' is a major improvement. Although Paul Drummond and engineer Andrew Thompson were able to remove most of the applause some of it was impossible to excise without damaging the integrity of the master, such as the opening "introduction" of the band the segues right into "concert" opener, a great version of Bo Diddley's "Before You Accuse Me." Although Drummond says in his notes that an un-dubbed mono master of the album was found, it was decided to use the stereo master and clean up the applause the best they could to preserve some of the unique (fake) stereo mixes. Here's the rundown of where each track originated according to the notes:

1. "Introduction"
2. Before You Accuse Me (January 1967 pre-'Easter Everywhere' recording session)
3. She Lives (In a Time of Her Own) (January 1967 pre-'Easter Everywhere' recording session, no electric jug overdub)
4. Tried to Hide (1966 'Psychedelic Sounds' recording sessions)
5. Take That Girl (1966 Contact sessions, mistakenly titled "You Gotta Take That Girl" on the original sleeve)
6. I'm Gonna Love You Too (1966 Contact sessions)
7. Everybody Needs Somebody to Love (1966 Contact sessions)
8. (I've Got) Levitation (January 1967 pre-'Easter Everywhere' recording session, no electric jug overdub)
9. You Can't Hurt Me Anymore (1966 Contact sessions)
10. Roller Coaster (stereo remix of 'Psychedelic Sounds' version)
11. You're Gonna Miss Me (1966 Contact sessions)

Obviously 'Live' is not a must have, but a fascinating arty-fact from the 13th FLOOR ELEVATORS career. My three star award is for 'Live,' the set definitely rates five stars. Rabid fans will end up purchasing this anyway! As for true live 13thFE recordings, the only known complete recording of the band in concert is scheduled to be released June 2014. Titled 'Live Evolution Lost,' the 2CD set documents the band's legendary (and semi-disastrous) February 1967 Houston Music Center concert. This set however, is the perfect introduction for the listener curious about their music and what the fuss is all about, all at a reasonable price. Beware though, after listening to this you may begin a never ending mind-expanding trip, of the most pleasant kind......
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on 17 August 2013
Three great albums from the elevators and a live album which to me just does not make the grade in my opinion. But this does not take away anything as the other three albums more than make up for that hence my five star rating.
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on 19 January 2016
Ok, It's cheap, but the sound quality is AWFUL!! "The psychedelic Sounds of The 13th Floor Elevators" comes with the bass sound totally saturated.
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on 15 July 2012
Maybe you think that this 'The Albums Collection' is a bargain boxset because it includes all The 13th Floor Elevators's albums. But that isn't the case here. Let me tell you..
A) The mastering of 'The Psychedelic Sounds of the 13th Floor Elevators' is terrible, loud and harsh. The sound quality of that record itself maybe poor but bad mastering isn't helping.
B) 'Live' isn't live, it's a fake live - it's just a compilation of some unreleased studio takes and album cuts overdubbed with audience noises

Also, four CDs are actually quite unnecessary because the albums are short and there is only one bonus track. Without it these four albums would have fitted in two CDs. But it's the record companies.. this way they can keep the price higher!
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on 23 September 2014
just great
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on 15 February 2014
The star is not for the music but for the packaging. I opened the box and all the slipcases were not glued together and just thrown into the box. Was not impressed.

Have decided to return to amazon and purchase the first two albums only. I'd recommend doing this than buying the box cos the live album and last album are not essential by all means. The first two, however, are classics and I am going to get repurchase these. This box is a bit too cheap looking for my taste and the fault hasn't helped.
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