Lee Hazlewood// 8/10 Drowned in Sound Album Review (Posted By Harry)


Lee HazlewoodLee Hazlewood Album Review: 8/10 in Drowned In Sound.

Lee Hazlewood
‘The LHI Years : Singles, Nudes And Backsides (1968-71)’
(Light In The Attic)
Classic Singer Songwriter
2LP/CD

 

8/10 Drowned In Sound Review
Written By Neil Ashman

Lee Hazlewood might just be proof of the fact that in popular music being very good at many things can only make it more difficult to gain recognition amongst the pop pantheon. It’s the curse of the multi-talented, leaving behind a body of work that defies easy summary or pigeon holing.

He was the man who put the twang in Duane Eddy’s legendary guitar sound by using a grain tank as a primitive reverb pedal; just listen to Eddy’s ‘Rebel Rouser’ to hear that distinctive tone and one which prevails in alternative music up to this day, now mainly in the guise of the adjective ‘Lynchian’.

As a pop songwriter he asserted Girl Power a good 30 years before The Spice Girls management team with Nancy Sinatra’s ‘These Boots Were Made For Walking’. Fine, forward thinking pop music all, yet because of his background role in his most famous contributions to the popular music canon he remains, almost five years after his death, quite the enigmatic figure. Where as Jonny Cash left us with his funereal cover version of ‘Hurt’ (with its moving if somewhat self-aggrandizing video), Lee Hazlewood’s final album was poignant, but bore the mischievous, Eddie Izzard inspired title Cake or Death. It’s not the sort of final statement that sells scripts for biopics.

Typically, posthumous reissues and compilations – especially rarities ones – exist to fill in the blanks (to varying degrees of success) or act as timely cash-ins. In contrast The LHI Years gives a surprisingly comprehensive overview of Hazlewood’s talents even while focussing on output from just three years on his own Lee Hazlewood Industries label. There are even compelling reasons to recommend it as an entry point for newcomers for two main reasons. Firstly, it’s hugely accessible whilst touching on different bases of his musical styles and sounds, but also distinctively the work of Hazlewood. Opener ‘Califia (Stone Rider)’ sees him in full cowboy-horseback mode, but the string-drenched passages in which Suzi Jane Hokom taunts “Your rocks and grills, mountains and hills, they won’t last” are as exquisitely smooth as those accompanied by harpsichord and woodwind on the decadently baroque ‘What’s More I Don’t Need Her’…(Read More)

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