Sunday, October 25, 2009

Lovecraftian Cover Art!
The Evil One - Roky Erickson

The Evil One
With Halloween still coming up, let's have another horrorific album cover. Here we have Roky Erickson's all-time great The Evil One (1980)! That's the original record cover up there, with the rune of unpronounceability title (in pink, lower right). Down below is the re-named one with legible title and band credit on the cover.

Perfect cover art, with some monster of the id shattering Roky's psyche to escape beyond. Sending all-seeing eyes everywhere, splattering terror and chaos from within. There's a little of the action madness of Jackson Pollock, a little of the 3-color comic books in the dot patterns, a little of the incipient '80s in the color scheme. And Roky fully in control amidst the maelstrom, just as with the music on the album.

Produced by CCR bassist Stu Cook, The Evil One crackles from start to finish. I believe this kicked off Roky's third way for solo efforts: screamin' and wailin' over pretty straightforward hard rockin'. (The other two being weirdo-consciousness or love-pop acoustic freak-folk, and Buddy Holly homage.) Amazingly, his voice has held up over all these years! Here you get B-movie-horror anthems-for-the-ages about Two Headed Dogs, Creatures with the Atom Brain, Demons he Thinks Of, Bloody Hammers, and others.

I got this on cassette from a record store in The Galleria after hearing "Burn the Flames" in Return of the Living Dead (1985). Eventually, I dug into the 13th Floor Elevators, but just saw Roky live for the first time earlier this year. Great show! Back-up band was good but not The Black Angels, who played with Roky late last year. Regardless, having been a fan for 20+ years, it was great to see him on stage, in good health and great spirits!

The Evil One

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