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66 from '66 – T-Z

The 66 records that built rock as we know it – all from 1966.

Our 66 of '66, from T-Z.

The 13th Floor Elevators

The Psychedelic Sounds of the 13th Floor Elevators

International Artists, November 18, 1966

Was this the first album to specifically mention the word ‘psychedelic’? Was it The Deep’s Psychedelic Moods, or Blues Magoos’ Psychedelic Lollipop

Whatever, LSD-taking was rampant in America and the Elevators were prime disciples. Lead singer and Texan maniac Roky Erickson inspired a generation of druggy punks a decade later as this cult album, with Tommy Hall’s absurd electric jug playing driving the hit You’re Gonna Miss Me, was passed around like a furtively revered manuscript. Especially so in Liverpool where the Teardrop Explodes were avid converts. R.E.M., Primal Scream, The Jesus And Mary Chain and ZZ Top acknowledged the Elevators’ influence, Robert Plant borrowed Roky’s feral vocal style, and stoner rockers like Queens Of The Stone Age and Wooden Shjips wouldn’t be droning on without them. 

The Troggs

Wild Thing

Fontana single, April 20, 1966

Three chords, two takes and one bizarre wind instrument. That’s all it took for Andover’s Troggs to record one of the best-known rock songs of all time, and become globally recognised after just two singles. 

Under the guidance of Kinks manager Larry Page – who had heard the Chip Taylor original as a demo in New York – Wild Thing was destined to be a throwaway B-side for the group, but they delivered a recording of such brilliant, neanderthal simplicity – and turned around follow-up With A Girl Like You in the same ten-minute window – that all bets were off. The establishment hated it, but the kids adored its unpolished, sexual undercurrent. 

Dozens of cover versions subsequently emerged, most famously Jimi Hendrix’s incendiary performance of it at Monterey in ’67 as he smashed up his Fender Strat and set it alight. Surely Wild Thing is the ultimate garage-punk anthem and the spark for the Stooges, Ramones, White Stripes – and that bunch of long-haired louts currently pulverising guitars and bin lids somewhere in your town right now.


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