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If you ever wanted a perfect example of a band actually being destroyed through the suffocating oppression of The System (and not because the band members themselves were just a bunch of assholes or just shot heroin through the nose or something like that), 13th Floor Elevators would be your perfect bet: a band whose creativity was cut smack dab in two, ground into dust and scattered to the four winds because they happened to go one step further than they should have, and in the wrong place, too.A perfect anomaly, this: the Elevators formed in Texas in 1965, and instead of recording bluegrass covers or at least simply cutting one garage single and then going back to their McDonalds counters, decided to do nothing less than heralding the psychedelic revolution. Wearing long hair, smoking pot, and devouring illegal substances in the corner wasn't enough for them; the band's music was intent on fixing the changes to come, and their frontman, Roky Erickson (although the band members themselves never admitted to having one frontman), probably entered history as the first real Wildman with a capital W, way before the world heard of Jim Morrison or Iggy Pop - not that the world heard a lot about Roky Erickson, of course, but that is a shame and I egotistically hope these reviews will help correct that silly mistake. The Elevators played music that was atmosphere-based rather than melody-based, although, since they grew out of worshipping the British Invasion as well as their rock'n'roll and blues roots, they weren't nearly as bold as, say, the Velvet Underground, in their attempts to eliminate catchiness and hooks from their tunes (even if for the most part, they did succeed at that). Their guitars were sloppy, ecstatic, and echoey; they had a weird gimmick called the "electric jug", which essentially meant band member Tommy Hall blowing into a jug with a microphone in one hand to amplify the resulting sounds; and they had Roky Erickson, who thrashed around the stage, wailed like a madman, and still had enough energy left to play professional rhythm guitar at the same time. The Elevators took themselves seriously - very seriously; too seriously, in fact, adding isolated and controversial bits of mystical philosophy to their lyrics and even justifying their unhealthy attraction to illegal substances in witted expressions in the liner notes to the first album (which just might be some of the biggest bullshit I've ever read on a rock record - so dreadfully dated I find myself forced to use the word "dated" which I normally hate). Unfortunately, Texas Rangers aren't the biggest fans of mystical philosophy. As long as the Elevators stuck around San Francisco, they found themselves welcome, and were quite successful. For some reason, they opted to return to Texas, where, as you may know, you could serve twenty years in jail for being caught with one joint - and had the misfortune to become the "whipping boys" for the entire disease. After the recording of their second, and arguably best, album, Roky was tried for possession and got off with five years, which later were substituted for a three and a half year term at a mental institution. Needless to say, without the leader (or, if we're not speaking in 'leader' terms, at least, without the "main personality"), the band soon crumbled into dust, only releasing a third album from scraps and leftovers. Too bad. The Elevators were indeed a force to be reckoned with, even if they never really reached universal recognition. Obviously, their San Franciscan stay made an impression on the acid rock scene - even if they didn't directly influence bands like the Airplane, they were in the same melting pot and they came earlier, so in a way they passed them the baton anyway. It's also been rumoured that Roky's singing style made a great impression on Janis Joplin (also a Texan), and I'm sure you can pick out more of these tidbits if you happen to read the right stuff. It is also obvious that the band wasn't spent; there's a lot of development and progression when you compare their first and second albums, and I'm pretty sure Roky could still have led them into further uncharted territory. Of course, there's also the case that Erickson was somewhat burnt out when he stood trial - he was drugged out in a way not unsimilar to Syd Barrett and/or Skip Spence, and his madhouse experiences probably weren't wholly undeserved, although it's been noted that stay didn't help him much anyway. So. as usual, any predictions would be ungrateful; but the fact remains, the Elevators got busted, and ceased to exist because of that. The small amount of music that's been left to us isn't altogether consistent, for reasons I've already indicated (the band's immense ambitions coupled with the lack of care for melodicity and memorability), but nevertheless includes a handful of undoubted highs and very few real lows. Still, what is interesting to note is that the Elevators function as a sort of "bridge" between the whacked-out spaced-out acid rock of Friscan bands, on one side, and the sarcastic deconstructivist avantgarde of the early Velvet Underground, and could appeal to fans of both styles, even if usually there's little love between those who dig the Velvets and those who idolize the Airplane. Not being a "great" band in the general sense of the word (well, in the sense I use it, 'kay?), they were still a unique band, and an unjustly overlooked one. So do the world a favour and go buy one more dated unlistenable album by one more dated unlistenable band in order to impress people (but hardly make any friends). Signed: "Richie Unterberger". Well, not really. Lineup: Tommy Hall - electric jug; Roky Erickson - vocals, rhythm guitar; Stacy Sutherland - lead guitar; Benny Thurman - bass; John Ike Walton - drums. Thurman and Walton left, late '66 or early '67, replaced respectively by Ronnie Leatherman and Danny Thomas; Leatherman left, July '67, replaced by Danny Galindo. Band collapsed with Roky's conviction sometime in 1968. There had been several attempts at reunion after Roky's release, but apparently none since 1978, when Sutherland was killed (apparently, by his own wife - sic!).
Listenability: 2/5. One
point SPECIALLY taken off because of the electric jug - THAT's what I think
of abusing your gimmick, Mr Hall!
Resonance: 2/5. Well, feel free to add a couple points if you're on pot or anything.
Originality: 3/5. They were at the forefront of the psychedelic revolution, weren't they? But they never really got BEHIND it.
Adequacy: 3/5. More or less, but I HAD to lower points because of the debut album liner notes, you know. :)
Diversity: 2/5. Not really.
Overall: 2.4 = D on the rating scale.
READER COMMENTS SECTION
Year Of Release: 1966
Record rating = 9
Overall rating = 11
Weird, intriguing sound - too bad there's precious little substance to go along with it.Best song: YOU'RE GONNA MISS ME
Track listing: 1) You're Gonna Miss Me; 2) Roller Coaster; 3) Splash 1 (Now I'm Home); 4) Reverberation; 5) Don't Fall Down; 6) Fire Engine; 7) Thru The Rhythm; 8) You Don't Know; 9) Kingdom Of Heaven; 10) Monkey Island; 11) Tried To Hide.
One of those legendary albums that everybody should give a listen to - I seriously doubt, though, if you'd wanna put it under your pillow or something. For one thing, the CD transfer on here is horrible: the sound is awfully muddy, with everything floating into one entangled mass as soon as every single song actually starts. It badly needs a remix, which would definitely help, as proven by the remixed, crystal clear version of the lead-in track, 'You're Gonna Miss Me', which you can find on the Nuggets boxset. Or maybe it has been remixed already, I dunno.But in the long run, the Elevators' problems don't end right there with the sound quality. Roky Erickson and his buddies were pioneers, no doubt about it; but this is the kind of pioneering album which would be unquestionably improved upon by future artists. It is a massive, full-blown, tremendously sincere (and tremendously naive) psychedelic experiment, the likes of which the year 1966 never saw done by anybody else. It's definitely not a bunch of poppy songs "psychedelized" with LSD-praising lyrics and trippy instrumentation; it's a whole new kind of music on here. It's so self-consciously revolutionary, in fact, that they even go into great deal in the liner notes about how "recently, it has become possible for man to chemically alter his mental state and thus alter his point of view... he can then restructure his thinking and change his language so that his thoughts bear more relation to his life and his problems, therefore approaching them more sanely...". Prime balderdash par excellence, but these guys believed it in a BIG way, and so did many bands after them. I don't really know if these particular songs were written or performed while the band members were "chemically altering their mental states"; quite possibly so. What I do know is that the actual music is... weird. A couple guitars that combine elements of folk, blues, and boogie; a crazyass "electric jug" reserved for a separate band member, buzzing around every single melody like an insistent bumble-bee; and a ferocious lead vocalist - Roky himself - whose delivery ranges from incomprehensible mumbling to wild inhumane screaming, done in an extremely high-pitched, piercing voice. They're obviously influenced by the Stones, but even more obviously by the Byrds, whose jangle and hypnotic atmosphere they're often trying to suit to their own acid needs. This could actually be the recipe for a great collection of groundbreaking tunes, but unfortunately, it's not that great. Few of the tunes are memorable at all; the major exception, of course, is 'You're Gonna Miss Me', but, if you neglect the constant electric jug, it actually sounds like it belongs on a different album: obviously, it was written specially as a single, and thus given more commercial potential than the rest of this stuff. It's a classy wild rocker that certainly deserves its Nuggets spot. But nothing else on here rocks with the same power, and the emphasis is certainly on "mind altering" rather than "rocking". It's one mysterious, occasionally creepy dirge after another, with Roky's voice climbing out of the guitars/electric jug mire to utter something you couldn't possibly understand. And speaking of the electric jug, it gets really annoying really fast - because the only thing you can do with it is make that stupid bubbling noise over and over again. You can't exactly tune an electric jug, I guess. And when every song is accompanied by this endless bubbling, it pretty much destroys its value once and for all. After a while, certain songs start coming to life, but only if you're really interested. Thus, 'Splash 1 (Now I'm Home)' is a fine Byrdsey ballad, with that pretty 'and now I'm ho-o-o-o-o-me' refrain that will melt the heart of anybody who's ever had it melted by anything the early Byrds had ever done. 'Reverberation' is mean and lean, with Roky giving it his all when he spells 'reverberaaation' in that sleazy, sly, and yet deadly serious tone. The song must have been sensational in its day - a slab of hard, edgy psychedelia to knock you right off your feet. Too bad it was already dated by the standards of 1967, I guess. So was the werewolf howling on 'Fire Engine', based on a primitive Chuck Berry/Stones pattern but lacking the grit of both - it's still fun to listen to nowadays as a period piece. 'You Don't Know' is 'Now I'm Home Vol. 2', and thus salvageable. The rest is... uh... ...well, you know what I'm going to say anyway - it's goddamn hard to separate the songs from each other. I mean, every single one of them has the double guitar interplay, the electric jug, and the muddy vocals, so it's understandable, isn't it? These guys were so intent on pushing forward their druggy formula they forgot to give the songs individual identities; not an uncommon travesty for second-rate Summer of Love bands, but still a painful blow for those who'd like to see the 13th Floor Elevators as not just forefathers of the psychedelic genre, but also its best representatives. I DO have to say, though, that maybe it's all because of the godawful CD mix. Trust me - I'm far from an audiophile, but the sound here is horrible, as if they mastered this from a tape that spent a year in nitric acid or something. Add the goddamn electric jug which still keeps reverberating in my ears after all this time, and you understand how this can be a terrible sonic experience. That doesn't mean I'm not recommending the album, though, not at all! Whatever I might say, the sound the Elevators get on here is unique, and while most of the stylistic elements on here were later done better by anyone from Cream to Jim Morrison (the influence of this band on the Doors is pretty obvious, too), nobody really sounded quite like that.
READER COMMENTS SECTION
Year Of Release: 1967
Record rating = 10
Overall rating = 12
Hey, I know, this is what happens when you take 1964-era Dylan, throw him in a time machine, and command him to do an album in 1967!Best song: EARTHQUAKE
Track listing: 1) Slip Inside This House; 2) Slide Machine; 3) She Lives (In A Time Of Her Own); 4) Nobody To Love; 5) Baby Blue; 6) Earthquake; 7) Dust; 8) I've Got Levitation; 9) I Had To Tell You; 10) Postures (Leave Your Body Behind).
Now, this is the kind of album that I don't exactly see contributing a song to the Nuggets box. The boys are getting much more mellow and even folksy on here - no more unchecked aggression and garage-style chops. Instead, these are firmly replaced by a melancholic, occasionally hypnotic guitar drone, and if it sounds like a transition between early era Bob Dylan and classic Velvet Underground, that's more or less because it is. The two guitarists trade lines in a way that's very similar to the Reed/Morrison interplay, not to mention how often they neutralize any possible distinction between the chorus and the verse melody... in other words, a potential terminal bore hadn't it been for the atmosphere and - sometimes - for the memorable vocal melodies. Oh, and they are still rocking out on a couple of tracks at least, just to let you have a breather in between the different stages of the, well, er, hmm, like, whatchamacallit... oh, yeah, "mind-blowing experience". "Trip". "Ride". "Fuckin' hippie bullshit".One thing only makes me consider this a weak 12, not a strong one: GET. RID. OF. THE. BLOODY. ELECTRIC. JUG. For Chrissake people, I know there's the unemployment problem and all, but couldn't you just have Tommy Hall on tambourine, sort of like a Gene Clark and all? Yeah, and I know he writes a lot of the material, and he does it well, but why, oh why does he insist on shoving that "glug-glug-glug" into all these songs where it just doesn't belong? Imagine if the Beatles had a fifth member, I dunno, Keith Pipsqueak, credited for "Electric Fart" - looping his toilet sounds and then overdubbing them onto EVERY friggin' Beatles song. As funny as that may sound, it's not far removed from Tommy Hall and his dratted gimmick. Fortunately, I managed to bring myself to ignore it finally, but I'd give a lot to hear a "jugless" version of these songs all the same. Erickson's personality still comes shining on strong through the jug-leland, though, most notably on the two lengthy workouts that open and close the album. Dylan is obviously a huge influence here - no-one but Dylan ever dared recording lengthy monotonous monologs before; and both 'Slip Inside This House' and 'Postures (Leave Your Body Behind)' are solid homages to that principle, even if the Elevators can hardly hope to make them as entertaining or involving as Bobby used to. But then again, 'Slip Inside This House' has an urgency, an immediacy, an ominous kind of sound that you can't find on Dylan records - whatever the lyrics are (and I don't pay much attention to decyphering Roky's lyrics, although they can be curious as one of those proverbial period pieces), it tends to make you shiver the same way that 'Gimmie Shelter' would two years later. As for 'Postures', it's slightly catchier and slightly more optimistic and for some reason reminds me of Jimi Hendrix's 'Remember' - maybe it's because Roky keeps repeating 'remember', but I guess the chord progressions are also similar - hey, could Jimi be listening to the Elevators by any chance? And since we're dwelling on that, by the way, maybe I'm hallucinating, but I was dead sure I've heard the riff to the Stones' 'Bitch' played - only one time, though - at the tail end of 'Earthquake'. It's little bits like that that make you wonder just how much unnoticed did all those "unnoticed" semi-classics really go. Of course, it's probable I'm just seeing things, but even so, it's still fun to notice these similarities - how people reach the same musical ideas in different ways, and how some use them as mere prop-ups or don't notice them at all as they just spring out in a flash during some improvisation or other, while others can build an entire great song around them. Anyway, where was I? The two big numbers, yes. They're repetitive and overlong, but the basic theme to each one is good, and thankfully they don't run nearly long enough so as not to leave any space for anything else. The psychedelic folk of 'Slide Machine' has Roky at his most grating, but the "trying to, trying to get back to you" verse resolution is sufficiently convincing; Sutherland's 'Nobody To Love' has a particularly vicious guitar part, even if I must warn you that all the guitar parts are "drugged out" to the extreme, in other words, have much more to do with the acid workouts of the Jefferson Airplane and the Grateful Dead than with the distorted rock'n'roll of garage bands. Even the cover of Dylan's 'It's All Over Now Baby Blue' ends with this lengthy twin-guitar-workout that's oh so San Franciscan in style, if you know what I mean. That said, in the context of such a fine song it actually sounds nice fitting and non-annoying, unlike quite a few Dead/Airplane drones I could name. (Which is not to say it's a very good cover, though). My personal favourites, however, are the songs that rock the most - above all, the distorted rumble of the aptly titled 'Earthquake', which actually kicks more ass than anything they'd done previously; not even the electric jug (which disappears almost completely behind the mighty axework) can spoil the feeling, baby. And then there's the blues-rockin' 'I've Got Levitation', which - don't be surprised - does bear a little bit of resemblance to Hawkwind's 'Levitation', a song released twelve years later. Well, only slightly as far as melody goes (it's just that the way Roky and company go 'I've got levitation...' is pretty similar to the way Hawkwind go 'it's called levitation...'), but then I've been a-thinkin' and actually it looks like the classic Hawkwind sound isn't at all unlike what the Elevators achieve here: a hard-rockin' repetitive riff, spacey sound effects (hey, even the electric jug can come in handy for once), and "mind-opening" lyrics and crap. Influence upon influence, in short, even if they all deny it. Not that I really know. There's also some balladeering here, rather pretty ('I Had To Tell You') or rather cosmological ('Dust'), but mostly unmemorable; definitely not the best material that the Elevators can offer. But the fact is, while song-by-song Easter Everywhere may not be a huge improvement over Sounds, at least there's a bit more stylistic variation (or, well, at least, there ain't any less) and it sounds much, much better, too. Look, I mean, I can at least distinguish between the two guitars this time around. Maybe I just got a better CD edition, though.
READER COMMENTS SECTION
Year Of Release: 1968
Record rating = 8
Overall rating = 10
Confused and bluesy, but still very much listenable.Best song: MAY THE CIRCLE REMAIN UNBROKEN
Track listing: 1) Livin' On; 2) Barnyard Blues; 3) Til Then; 4) Never Another; 5) Rose And The Thorn; 6) Down By The River; 7) Scarlet And Gold; 8) Street Song; 9) Dear Dr Doom; 10) With You; 11) May The Circle Remain Unbroken.
By 1968, the Elevators were pretty much disfunctional, what with the continuous drug busts and Erickson's prison terms (and later, mental hospital term where he's said to have almost underwent Jack Nicholson's Cuckoo fate). However, they still made one last strain and, considering that Erickson was far from the band's main songwriter - more of a Morrison-type guru instead - released a third album, on which most songs were written by guitarist Stacy Sutherland. Actually, a lot of the stuff here is said to be outtakes from the former sessions; and Erickson's compositions are limited to two, while his vocals are only present on two more; overall, this is a Sutherland/Tommy Hall show all the way.And indeed, the Doors comparison does not end here - Bull Of The Woods does give the same impression that the Doors' two post-Jim albums seem to convey: far less idiosyncratic, nowhere near as innovative or creative, somewhat devoid of personality, but overall quite listenable, even if there's no real big reason to listen to it unless you're a big fan of the previous two albums. If the debut was the Elevators' take on sloppy garage, while Easter Everywhere incorporated folksy influences, then Bull is their bluesy album, milking minor chords to death and featuring standard bluesy progressions on quite a few of these numbers. With Roky almost not there, there's much less weirdness to be found, but overall they're still going psychedelic and they expressly say it by running one simple gimmick throughout - delaying each and every guitar so that in the end you're, like, so overwhelmed by the echo and the "reverberation" and all that you're ready to scream: "Yeah enough already! Stop being artsy with me!". The big problem is, I can never remember how these songs go. The sound they're getting on here is nice, with the trebly drums and the delayed guitars almost wiping out any negative effects of the electric jugging, but somehow the melodies totally escape me. Well, it's sort of all right with the slower bluesier numbers like 'Livin' On', because when you're slow and bluesy you're obviously going for mood instead of hook, but even when the band throws a fast-paced "angelic" ballad in the fray, something like 'Til Then', I can't discern one really interesting thing about it. I remember being impressed by 'Rose And The Thorn', though, with its very slow, very creepy pacing and vocals that sound amazingly like Mick Jagger's scowling on the more out-there Satanic Majesties numbers. Apart from that, well... See, I've always suspected that Hall and Sutherland were the main musical backbone of the band, while Erickson just gave their material additional pizzazz, but the truth was that this backbone never presented anything special. They were competent songwriters, unlike some of their contemporaries (Seeds?), but without Roky, this material just doesn't really cut it. There's a lot of cool sonic stuff going on, but it all gets the same in the end. The heavily overdubbed, heavily delayed and echoed guitar buzz on 'Street Song' is pretty cool upon first listen, but I don't hear any real conviction here without Erickson's mighty wail; and these guys' singing is just your average stereotypical acid rock singing - guys who can hit the right notes but cannot convey any real emotional power with their voices. No surprise, then, that the two Erickson-written and Erickson-sung numbers on here stick out as major highlights, even if in the context of the two previous albums they would have looked like minor ones. 'Never Another' starts as an overdriven folk-rocker propelled by the jug, additional electronic noises (or so it seems) and even a little horn section, but then the horns take a left turn and start going totally berserk in a near-avantgarde mood, after which the song picks up steam, adds wild lead guitar and has Erickson throwing a fit right in the studio - in short, a song that begins normally and then goes into all-out madness. And the final number, 'May The Circle Remain Unbroken', is just three minutes of reverberated guitar droning going in circles indeed as Roky chants the title - in the process inventing the blueprint for Neil Young's Dead Man soundtrack twenty-five years too early. As simple and repetitive as the song is, it might just be the most authentic psychedelic recording of theirs. It's also quite moving in a strange way - maybe because it was the last track on the last album of the "original" Elevators and could be seen as sort of a musical testament. So don't get me wrong: it's not a bad/offensive record, but it predictably suffers from all the predictable consequences of the predictable loss of the most unpredictable member. I rate it an overall 10 because I'm sorta partial towards Sutherland's guitar tones, but if you're not, feel free to avoid it altogether. After this release, Hall soon left the band, and that was the end of the Elevators - not that the Elevators would really fit in the rapidly changing musical world even if they did stay together, of course. Their brand of psychedelia might have been amazing for 1966, but it was already outdated by 1968, and that's a sad grinding fact.
READER COMMENTS SECTION
Year Of Release: 1994
Record rating = 9
Overall rating = 11
Amazing sound quality for such an early live recording, but few surprises otherwise.Best song: REVERBERATION
Track listing: 1) Levitation; 2) Roller Coaster; 3) Fire Engine; 4) Reverberation; 5) Don't Fall Down; 6) Tried To Hide; 7) Splash 1; 8) You're Gonna Miss Me; 9) Monkey Island; 10) Kingdom Of Heaven; 11) She Lives In A Time Of Her Own.
There's quite a few live Elevators recordings floating in and out of thin air, most of them unofficial, I guess, and most of them with awful sound quality, I presume (although I've been known to be wrong in my presumptions, too). Since the earliest "live" recording, the 1968 Live album, is actually a fake, consisting of mainly studio outtakes with overdubbed applause from non-existing audiences, I guess Levitation is currently your best bet if you're looking for the real thing; originally released in 1994, it is now available together with the first three studio albums from... uh... Magnum Records is it? (My copy is not exactly "authorized", if you know what I be a-meanin').For one thing, I'm truly amazed at the sound quality. Not even the editors are quite sure whether the concert took place in 1965 or 1966, although they're pretty sure it was recorded at the La Maison Club in Houston. Yet whoever and for whatever purposes recorded the stuff made sure it was a real good recording, one where you can hear the singer and the guitar player and the bass and even the electric jug (and maybe it's just a perverse sonic distortion, but I'm dang sure the jug actually sounds better in a live context than in the studio - primarily because Tommy makes more than one sound with that instrument!). And since the Elevators were a few loaves short of the Beatles' popularity, to put it mildly, you won't get the audience in your way, although it's nice to hear some people actually clapping during the breaks. I'll take the editors' word for it and believe this is real audience. Real cool, hard workin', tobacco chewin', Texas guys. Maybe a Ranger or two in the audience just waiting to cuff the lead singer, too? Er, well, whatever. The song selection won't surprise you: this is pretty much Psychedelic Sounds Live, with a couple weaker tracks omitted in favour of two Easter Everywhere rockers, 'Levitation' and 'She Lives In A Time Of Her Own'. This actually explains a few things - namely, why these songs, with their poppy hooks and rockin' energy, are so unlike the folksy, meditative bulk of the material on the Elevators' second album. Answer? They were written and were forming part of the band's live act way before the actual recording. Another thing is that apparently the Elevators weren't too productive, committing everything they wrote onto record. On the other hand, you won't find me complaining about the selections. Actually, the sound quality is much better here than on my copy of the debut, so I - imagine that - get to hear some minor details that I simply could not by any means discern with the awful quality of the studio originals. 'Reverberation', in particular, kicks tremendous ass, with such a sharp and vicious guitar attack that apparently the band's recording studio just couldn't tolerate. It's interesting, too, that they manage to get all the necessary echoes on their guitars; I guess the club must have had excellent acoustics, too. And, finally, Roky is in superb form - obviously, the cold iron fist of the law hadn't landed on him yet, and he sounds inspired and, indeed, elevated as he makes his way through 'Levitation' and all that follows. And the wild hysteria of 'You're Gonna Miss Me' hits as hard as it does when you're listening to the song in the context of all those other "nuggets" on the boxset, too! Of the songs I didn't notice particularly on the band's debut, I have found new respect for 'Roller Coaster' and 'Fire Engine' here, especially the impressive spontaneous tempo changes of the former and the Stonesy sneer of Roky's vocals on the latter. On the other hand, the few ballads like 'Don't Fall Down' and 'Splash 1' maybe don't work that well in a sloppy live context, but then again, you can't do a concert and have no ballads to it unless you're AC/DC, and that type of conscience never existed in the Sixties anyway. Bo Svensson's liner notes actually state that the Elevators' shows were "half rock concert and half religious sermon", but, unlike the Doors' live albums, this Elevators album doesn't quite support this hypothesis as there's zero stage banter and the songs are never interrupted by anything, well, "non-song"-like. Needless to say, even if any 'sermon' elements were edited out, count me happy, as the 'religious' aspect of the Elevators reflects their bullshit side (of course, you could argue that the one is impossible without the other, and hey, you would be right, but we sure can do without sticking the religious stuff out in yer face, can we?). What remains is simply the fact that the band played well live, and that they miraculously happened to have a relatively high quality recording from an era in which live albums weren't much thought of. In fact, the only other live non-screamin'-girl-infested album from before 1967 that I can think of is Five Live Yardbirds, and the Elevators sure could give the Yardbirds a good run for their money, even with the mighty Clapton competition.
READER COMMENTS SECTION