The father of Texas psychedelia and an originator of the garage rock template, Roky Erickson would have deserved a respected place in rock history if only for the ageless tracks he recorded with the 1

The father of Texas psychedelia and an originator of the garage rock template, Roky Erickson would have deserved a respected place in rock history if only for the ageless tracks he recorded with the 13th Floor Elevators circa 1966 and 1967. Erickson's life and career have been haunted by mental illness. But every few years, it seems, the clouds break, and he composes some songs and cuts some tracks. What's amazing about this most comprehensive retrospective—including material from the Elevators, R.E. & the Aliens and other configurations—is the high standard of skill Erickson maintains as a writer, guitarist and immensely soulful singer. Choice cuts among the 43 tracks (spread out on two discs) are acid epic "Slip Inside This House," the surreal vision of "It's a Cold Night for Alligators" and the swampy blues-rock of "Don't Slander Me." Others may sing and write of fire demons, bloody hammers and two-headed dogs as part of a stage act; for the seriously troubled Erickson, they come across as true stories, which gives them their uncommon potency.—WR