Roky Erickson

I Have Always Been Here Before:The Roky Erickson Anthology (Shout! Factory)

SXSW Records

ROKY ERICKSON

I Have Always Been Here Before: The Roky Erickson Anthology (Shout! Factory)

The 13th Floor Elevators' jug-pumping garage classic "You're Gonna Miss Me" may have been Roky Erickson's only national hit, but he's no one-hit wonder. I Have Always Been Here Before handsomely cements what music historians the world over have known for decades: Austin's Erickson is both a psychedelic music pioneer and gifted songwriter whose voice transcends genre. Starting with the Spades' 1965 single "We Sell Soul" and concluding with "I'm Gonna Free Her," the lead-off cut from Erickson's 1995 Trance Syndicate album, All That May Do My Rhyme, this 2-CD, 42-song set gathers it all. Eleven of the 'Vators' key tracks from 1966's The Psychedelic Sounds of the 13th Floor Elevators and 1967's Easter Everywhere are here, including the mind-bending "Slip Inside This House" and poignant "Splash 1." With both of these LPs being confirmed Texan and beyond touchstones, "Roller Coaster" and "Earthquake" are missed, but the sonic clarity of what's included is noticeably improved from the slapdash Fuel 2000 reissues. Following a three-year stay in the state mental institution to avoid a prison sentence for pot possession, Erickson returned to music with his 1975 Doug Sahm-produced solo debut single. Pitting the hard rock horror of "Red Temple Prayer (Two Headed Dog)" against the wistful "Starry Eyes," this amazing single cut against the grain of prevailing tastes then, and it stands up today. Erickson's Eighties output continued in this vein, contrasting monster chillers like "Stand for the Fire Demon" with Buddy Holly-style sweet longings such as "You Don't Love Me Yet." The emphasis on Erickson's solo work drives home the point that he continued making vital music long after the 13th Floor Elevators. Best of all, his trust fund will be compensated appropriately this time. I Have Always Been Here Before is the long-overdue anthology Erickson deserves. (Roky Erickson is a panelist on "Holy Fire: The 13th Floor Elevators' Quest for Enlightenment," Thursday, March 17, 4:15pm @ the Convention Center)

****

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for almost 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

READ MORE
Friday Picks & Sleepers
Friday Picks & Sleepers
Obvious Picks and loads of not-so-obvious Sleepers!

March 20, 2015

Thursday Showcases
Thursday Showcases
International hip-hop, or domestic, Modern Outsider sounds?

March 20, 2015

More Music Reviews
Texas Platters
Spray Paint
Into the Country (Record Review)

Raoul Hernandez, Dec. 13, 2019

Texas Platters
Graham Reynolds
Marfa: A Country & Western Big Band Suite (Record Review)

Rick Weaver, Nov. 22, 2019

More by Greg Beets
Our Music Critics Pick Their Top 10 Austin Albums of 2018
Our Music Critics Pick Their Top 10 Austin Albums of 2018
80 local picks from Molly Burch to Brownout

Dec. 28, 2018

Our Music Critics Pick Their Top 10 Austin Albums of 2018
Our Music Critics Pick Their Top 10 Austin Albums of 2018
80 local picks from Molly Burch to Brownout

Dec. 28, 2018

MORE IN THE ARCHIVES
NEWSLETTERS
One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Can't keep up with happenings around town? We can help.

Austin's queerest news and events

New recipes and food news delivered Mondays

Eric Goodman's Austin FC column, other soccer news

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle