The Evil One
The tragic story of Roky Erickson's life is compounded when one realizes the incredible vocal and songwriting talents he has alongside his psychiatric issues. His work with the Thirteenth Floor Elevators stands on its own as definitive Texas garage–psych–rock, and his splintered solo career gives us moments of equal brilliance, generally known only to hardcore music fans. His 1981 album The Evil One (released in 1980 in the U.K. with a few different tracks) was produced over a period of two years by Creedence Clearwater Revival bassist Stu Cook and reveals Erickson’s fascination with B-movie ideas and imagery. The raw backing band gives Erickson a punkish edge to accompany his emotionally committed vocal delivery. The first five songs here have attained the level of Roky classics and fan favorites, while “White Faces,” “Creature with the Atom Brain,” “Don’t Shake Me Lucifer," and “If You Have Ghosts” rank among his most inspired work. Essential.