Sunday, November 27, 2011

Roky Erickson - The Evil One

Counting down to my 500th post and perusing the archives lately has brought to light some glaring oversights, albums I haven't posted yet that form the backbone of my musical taste.  Many of these (this one included) have remained un-posted because I listen to them so much that I can't imagine life without them.

The first one that came to mind was The Evil One, the most well known and arguably the best album by Roky Erickson.  I have posted many Roky albums here before and casually assumed that anyone perusing my little Swamp would at least have a passing familiarity with the man.  A huge percentage of albums on here are directly influenced by him, and many others have a spiritual kinship in their themes of paranormal phenomena, struggles with madness, and weird gibberish.

Lyrically, Roky draws from vintage horror movies and urban legends as much as he uses early rock n' roll's predilection for mantra-like refrains and cribbed blues motifs.  Musically, it's basically Buddy Holly and Bo Diddley squeezed through a proto-punk meat grinder.  Creedence Clearwater Revival's Stu Cook played bass on and produced much of this album, lending a layer of cosmic hillbilly mystique to a record already doomed to obscurity.

Of course now Roky is known as an essential part of any rock fan's collection and he continues to produce new material, against all odds, but this is the pinnacle.

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