Various Artists

Epitaph for a Legend

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The Texas-based International Artists label recorded some intriguing, slightly off-the-wall psychedelic-garage-pop in the 1960s, their most famous act being the 13th Floor Elevators. This is an erratic but extremely interesting double-LP compilation of IA oddities and rarities, much of it previously unreleased. The five Red Krayola demos (some of which would be re-recorded for their first LP) are prime acid folk, especially "Hurricane Fighter Plane," one of the closest American approximations of Syd Barrett-era Pink Floyd. The Chapparrals' "I Tried So Hard" is gutsy punk-pop, Thursday's Children's "A Part of You" is reminiscent of the mid-period Zombies, and the Emperors' "I Want My Woman" is growling garage punk. Side four is devoted entirely to 13th Floor Elevators/Roky Erickson rarities, including a beautiful acoustic version of "Splash I" and the rare single by Roky's pre-Elevators group the Spades. In this company, side three -- which has unexceptional straight blues material, including a song by Lightnin' Hopkins -- is a misfit, but psychedelic collectors will want the record for the rock material.

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