1001 Albums 0071-0072

Published July 03, 2014

My continued journey through the albums featured in the book
1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die.

0071: Simon & Garfunkel: Parsley, Sage, Rosemary & Thyme (1966)
An album I've already heard.

This is a lovely album, so Sixties. Just the opening track, 'Scarborough Fair/Canticle', is worth the price of admission: the beautiful harmonies and the delicate harpsichord playing conjure up images of the scene from The Graduate which I believe was soundtracked by this particular recording. It's a time-machine, that's what it is.

Other well-known tracks on the album include 'Homeward Bound', 'The 59th Street Bridge Song (Feelin' Groovy)' and the extremely beautiful 'For Emily, Whenever I May Find Her', but that's just scraping the surface of the delights here. Maybe the Dylan parody 'A Simple Desultory Philippic (or How I Was Robert McNamara'd into Submission)' is a little silly, and perhaps the lyrics for 'The Dangling Conversation' are a little pretentious (but who cares when the tune itself is so gorgeous), but the only track I really don't like is the album closer '7 O'Clock News/Silent Night', the solemnity of which seems a little student-y.

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0072: The 13th Floor Elevators: The Psychedelic Sounds Of The 13th Floor Elevators (1966)

Prior to listening to this album, I can only recall ever hearing one song by The 13th Floor Elevators, namely the opening track 'You're Gonna Miss Me', through its inclusion on the classic Nuggets compilation album. Their name and that of their front figure Roky Erickson crop up with some regularity in magazines such as Mojo and Uncut. But I've never been tempted to investigate them further.

This was one of the first albums to use the word "psychedelic", so it was groundbreaking in that respect. According to the 1001 Albums book it was also the first acid rock album. "Frontman Roky Erickson yelps and howls like a man possessed while the alien sounds from Tommy Hall's electric jug add to the already gorgeously skewed mood," it says here. As for the sound of that electric jug, I'm more tempted to sympathise with the comment I found on an internet forum: "It's certainly a sound that hasn't aged well. I still LOVE some of their songs, even though the wibblewibblewibblewibble keeps me from ever listening to an album all the way through."

I listened to this album four times in a vain effort to find anything that actually appealed to me, but as you've probably gathered by now the rewards were slim. A track called 'Splash 1' was a nice ballad, not as aggressive and nasal as the other tracks - and none of the wibblewibblewibblewibble - but other than that I found this album a bit tiresome, to be quite honest.

Verdict: Wibblewibblewibblewibble.

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Simon & Garfunkel: Parsley, Sage, Rosemary & Thyme.


The 13th Floor Elevators: The Psychedelic Sounds Of The 13th Floor Elevators.