The Evil One

Erickson, the bleating voice of psychedelic pilgrims the 13th Floor Elevators, was only a few years past a ruinous stay in a Texas mental hospital when he made this improbably magical 1980 LP, first issued in the U.K. (as Five Symbols) and produced by Creedence Clearwater Revival's Stu Cook. The songs are rife with specters that stayed with Erickson – paranoia, ghouls, bloody retribution – and his third-eye way with syntax and pre-acid roots: the delirious-Buddy Holly bop "Mine Mine Mind"; Erickson's boogie with the devil, "Don't Shake Me Lucifer." His band, the Aliens, had the Elevators' surging glow, too – a most welcome spirit.

From The Archives Issue 1192: September 26, 2013