Thursday, 7 June 2018

"There's A Dream I've Been Saving: Lee Hazlewood Industries 1966-1971 - STANDARD EDITION" by LEE HAZLEWOOD (November 2013 Light In The Attic 4CD/1DVD1FLEXI Reissue - John Baldwin Remasters) - A Review by Mark Barry...



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"...Pastel Dreams..."


Outside of Lee Hazlewood's alternate chart career with Nancy Sinatra and Reprise Records (dealt with in a now rare and deleted May 2008 American 2CD set called "Strung Out On Something New: The Reprise Recordings" on Rhino Handmade RHM2 07754 - Barcode 603497775422) – one of Pop’s great songwriters, social chroniclers and true musical eccentrics has had sporadic reissues of his own label stuff on LHI (Lee Hazlewood Industries).  Bits and bobs really – and with so-so sound too - that is until now...

Seven years in the making and with no doubt some hair and nerve loss along the way - to say that November 2013's "There's A Dream I've Been Saving..." is a 'nice' retrospective is like saying Michelangelo's frescoes on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel are not bad really (if only he could paint). Whether it’s the STANDARD EDITION of 4CDs/1DVD and 1FLEXI (this review) or the 7-Disc DELUXE EDITION with even more discs and memorabilia - let's be blunt here - this Light In The Attic reissue is a gobsmacking thing to behold and look at - lavish in a way that perhaps only Box Set reissues from Bear Family or Ace or Revenant get near. But even with the fantastic audio - musically it’s a tale of two cities – Lee on Discs 1 and 2 (mostly good) but almost all the peripheral LHI acts on Disc 3 feel like derivative 60ts pap that died for a reason (Disc 4 saves the day). And no matter how pretty the package may be (something LITA are charging you a pretty penny for) – the overall listen can very quickly become a chore instead of a joy. Barely any of this charted and it’s so easy to hear why.

Having said that collectors will eye the guest musicians list with a quickening of the heart - Ry Cooder, Jack Nitzsche, Glen Campbell, James Burton, Sonny Curtis, Donnie Owens, Dr. John, Nicky Hopkins, Big Jim Sullivan, Gram Parson and Chris Ethridge of The Flying Burrito Brothers and The Byrds in the International Submarine Band - not to mention groovy girlies like Ann-Margret, Suzi Jane Hokum and a quartet of beauties in Honey Ltd.. There's a whole lotta striding cowboy on offer here. So once more my hipster boot-walking ladies and sheepskin-coat moustache-hugging men into the saddle of lurve - Swedish style (and that's just the stirrups baby)...

US released 26 November 2013 - "There's A Dream I've Been Saving: Lee Hazlewood Industries 1966-1971 - STANDARD EDITION" by LEE HAZLEWOOD on Light In The Attic LITA 109 (Barcode 826853010993) offers 107 Tracks Remastered onto 4CDs, the "Cowboy In Sweden" Film from 1970 digitally transferred in HD from the master negative onto DVD with Remastered Sound, a coloured 7" single 'flexi' featuring unheard studio chatter, a reproduction of the LHI business card and over 150 rare and unseen photographs, discographies, 27-artist profiles in a 172-page album-sized clothbound hardback book (5 random copies contain a 'Golden Ticket' to Light In The Attic's Lee Hazlewood Archive Series). Discs 1 and 2 contain every Lee Hazlewood recorded for LHI including duets with Suzi Jane Hokum and Ann Margret (all 45s and albums) with some Previously Unreleased - whilst Discs 3 and 4 offer key-songs from the LHI stable of artists which includes 14 Previously Unreleased tracks. It breaks down as follows...

Disc 1 "Woke Up Sunday Morning With My Head Full Of Pain" (76:53 minutes, 27 Tracks):
1. Pray Them Bars Away [Side 1]
2. Leather And Lace (with Nina Lizell)
3. Forget Marie
4. Cool Hard Times
5. The Night Before
6. Hey Cowboy (with Nina Lizell)
7. No Train To Stockholm [Side 2]
8. For A Day Like Today (with Suzi Jane Hokum)
9. Easy And Me
10. What's More I Don't Need Her
11. Vem Kan Segla (Who Can Sail Without The Wind?) (with Nina Lizell)
Tracks 1 to 11 are the Lee Hazlewood album "Cowboy In Sweden" - released 1970 in Sweden on LHI Records LHI 3101
Musicians include Sonny Curtis, Donnie Owens and Carol Hunter on Guitars with Craig Doerge on Keyboards
12. Trouble Maker
Track 12 is the non-album A-side to a November 1969 US 7" single on LHI Records LHI-20 (the B-side "Greyhound Bus Depot" is Track 5 on Disc 2)
13. Califia (Stone Rider)
14. Alone
15. I'll Never Fall In Love Again
16. No Body Like You
17. First Street Blues
Tracks 13 to 17 are all Lee Hazlewood and Suzi Jane Hokum
Tracks 13 and 16 are the non-album A&B-sides of a US 7" single released February 1970 on LHI Records LHI-21
Track 14 is the non-album B-side to the Suzi Hokum single "Same Old Songs" (Track 10 on Disc 4) released October 1969 on LHI Records LHI-19
Track 15 is the non-album B-side to the Suzi Hokum single "Reason To Believe" (Track 11 on Disc 4) released 1969 on LHI Records LHI-14
Track 17 is PREVIOUSLY UNRELEASED (recorded USA, May 1970)
Session musicians for 13 to 15 include Ry Cooder, Russ Titelman and Clarence White on Guitar with Jack Nitzsche on Keyboards
Session musicians for 17 include Carol Hunter on Guitar and Craig Doerge on Keyboards
18. I'm Glad I Never... [Side 1]
19. If It's Monday Morning
20. L.A. Lady
21. Won't You Tell Your Dreams?
22. I'll Live Yesterdays
23. Little Miss Sunshine (Little Miss Rain) [Side 2]
24. Stoned Little Child
25. Come On Home To Me
26. Must Have Been Something I Loved
27. I'd Rather Be Your Enemy
Tracks 18 to 27 are the Lee Hazlewood album "Requiem For An Almost Lady" - released 1971 in Australia on LHI Records SLHI-934, 430  - it was also released 1971 in the UK on Reprise Records K 44161. Session musicians include Joe Cannon on Guitar and Harmonica, Jerry Cole on Bass and Donnie Owens on Guitar

Disc 2 "I Was Born Running Wild The Victim Of A Woman Child" (76:05 minutes, 25 Tracks):
1. Sleep In The Grass
2. Chico
Tracks 1 and 2 are a Lee Hazlewood & Ann-Margret non-album US 7" single from 1969 on LHI Records LHI-2 - arranged by Jimmie Haskell
3. Am I That Easy To Forget? [Side 1]
4. Only Mama That'll Walk The Line
5. Greyhound Bus Depot
6. Walk On Out Of My Mind
7. Hangin' On
8. Victims Of The Night
9. Break My Mind [Side 2]
10. You Can't Imagine
11. Sweet Thing
12. No Regrets
13. Dark End Of The Street
Tracks 3 to 13 are from the Lee Hazlewood and Ann-Margret album "The Cowboy & The Lady" - released 1969 in the USA on LHI Records LHI S-12007. Arrangements by Jimmie Haskell and Charlie McCoy
14. It Was A Very Good Year [Side 1]
15. The Bed
16. Paris Bells
17. Wait Till Next Year [Side 2]
18. September Song
19. Let's Burn Down The Cornfield
20. Bye Baby
21. Mary
Tracks 14 to 21 are the Lee Hazlewood album "Forty" - released 1969 in the USA on LHI Records LHI 12009. NOTE: Side 1 of the original "Forty" LP has 5 tracks and not 3 – the list above is missing two titles. Place "What's More I Don't Need Her" and "The Night Before" (Tracks 10 and 5 on Disc 1) after the first song "It Was A Very Good Year" to get the Side 1 proper running order (Side 2 is as listed above). They are not repeated here for duplication reasons. Musicians included Nicky Hopkins on Piano and Big Jim Sullivan on Guitar - Produced by Shel Talmy
22. For Once In My Life
23. I Just Learned To Run
24. Me And The Wine And The City Lights
25. Nothin's Gonna Blow My Mind
Tracks 22 to 25 are PREVIOUSLY UNRELEASED - the cover of "For Once In My Life" is an outtake from the "Forty” album sessions

Disc 3 "Ol' Zeus Is Running Loose Again" (77:20 minutes, 28 Tracks):
1. Rose Colored Corner - LYNN CASTLE with LAST FRIDAY'S FIRE
(Non-Album B-side to "The Lady Barber", a February 1967 US 7" single on LHI Records 17003)
2. Need All The Help I Can Get - THE KITCHEN CINQ
(From the 1967 US album "Everything But...The Kitchen Cinq" on LHI Records 12000)
3. You Better Go - RAUL DANKS & JON TAYLOR
(Non-Album A-side, a December 1966 US 7" single on LHI Records 17002 - Glen Campbell on Guitar)
4. I Can't Help The Way I Feel - LAST FRIDAY'S FIRE
(Non-album B-side to "What Is She Thinking", a March 1967 US 7" single on LHI Records 17007)
5. Tomorrow Your Heart - HONEY LTD.
(A March 1968 US 7" single A-side on LHI Records LHI 1208 - also on the US album "Honey Ltd." on LHI Records LHI 120002)
6. Come On Sunshine - SUZI JANE HOKUM - Recorded April 1967 - PREVIOUS UNRELEASED
7. Little War - SUZI JANE HOKUM - Non-album B-side to "Good Tyme Music", a May 1967 US 7" single on LHI Records 17014
8. If You Climb On The Tiger's Back - DANNY MICHAELS
(Non-album B-side to "Angel Of The Morning", a December 1967 US 7" single on LHI Records 1202)
9. The Street Song (New York's My Home) - THE KITCHEN CINQ
(Non-album A-side of a July 1967 US 7" single on LHI Records 17015 - B-side is "When The Rainbow Disappears" - not on this Box Set)
10. I Want You - THE KITCHEN CINQ - Recorded June 1967 - PREVIOUSLY UNRELEASED
11. Puppetry - RAUL DANKS & JON TAYLOR - Recorded June 1967 - PREVIOUSLY UNRELEASED
12. Pastel Dreams - MICHAEL GRAM (Non-album B-side to "Talkin' To You", a June 1968 US 7" single on LHI Records 1212)
13. And They Are Changing - DANNY MICHAELS (Non-album B-side to "Valentine Grey", a March 1969 US 7" single on LHI Records LHI-4)
14. Does Anybody Know - A HANDFUL [The Kitchen Cinq] (Non-album A-side, a December 1967 US 7" single on LHI Records LHI 1201)
15. Wasn't It You - A HANDFUL [The Kitchen Cinq] - Recorded October 1967 - PREVIOUSLY UNRELEASED
16. Silk 'N' Honey - HONEY LTD.
(Track 16 is the B-side of "Eli's Coming", a February 1969 US 7" single on LHI Records LHI-3 - also on the "Honey Ltd." LP)
17. Invisible People - HAMILTON STREETCAR
18. Flash - HAMILTON STREETCAR (Tracks 18 and 17 [note order] are the A&B-sides of an August 1967 US 7" single on LHI Records 17016)
19. Maharishi - THE AGGREGATION (An April 1968 A-side to a US 7" single on LHI Records 1209)
20. Flying Free - THE AGGREGATION (Taken from the 1969 US Stereo LP "Mind Odyssey" on LHI Records S 12008)
21. Something's Happening - LAST FRIDAY'S FIRE (Non-album A-side to a September 1967 US 7" single on LHI Records 17019)
22. You Turned My Head Around - ANN-MARGRET
23. It's A Nice World To Visit (But Not To Live In) - ANN-MARGRET
(Tracks 22 and 23 are the non-album A&B-sides of a November 1968 US 7" single on LHI Records LHI-1)
24. Sam - ANN-MARGET - September 1968 recording - PREVIOUSLY UNRELEASED
25. New Way Home - THE SURPRISE PACKAGE (from the US 1969 Stereo LP "Free Up" on LHI Records S 12005)
26. The Lady Barber - LYNN CASTLE with LAST FRIDAY'S FIRE (see Track 1 on Disc 3)
27. When We're Talked About Tomorrow - COLLEEN LANZA (Non-album A-side to a July 1968 US 7" single on Morph Records M-1001)
28. Sunshine Soldier - ARTHUR (from the 1968 US Stereo LP "Dreams And Images" on LHI Records S-12,000)

Disc 4 "Whistling For A Dog Named Kindness That You'll Never Find" (76:58 minutes, 27 Tracks):
1. The Black Widow Spider - SANFORD CLARK
(Non-album B-side to "The Song Of Hickory Holler's Tramp", a December 1967 US 7" single on LHI Records 1203 - and on the 1968 US Stereo Album "Return Of The Fool" on LHI Records S 12003)
2. Dying Daffodil Incident - A HANDFUL [The Kitchen Cinq]
(Non-album B-side to "Does Anybody Know", a December 1967 US 7" single on LHI Records 1201)
3. Lady Bird - VIRGIL WARNER & SUZI JANE HOKUM - Recorded October 1967 - PREVIOUSLY UNRELEASED VERSION
4. Summer Wine - VIRGIL WARNER & SUZI JANE HOKUM (from the US 1969 Stereo Album "Virgil Warner & Suzi Jane Hokum" on LHI Records S 12004)
5. Emmy - RAY CHAFIN (From the Promo-Only US 45 released August 1969 on LHI Records LHI-18 - was also to be on the unreleased LP "Home Grown West Virginia Soul")
6. Luxury Liner - INTERNATIONAL SUBMARINE BAND
(A-side of the February 1968 US 7" single on LHI Records 1205 - also on the July 1968 US Stereo LP "Safe At Home" on LHI Records S 12001 - featured Gram Parsons on Guitar and Chris Ethridge on Bass both later with The Flying Burrito Brothers)
7. California Sunshine Girl - THE SHACKELFORDS
(Non-album A-side to an April 1967 US 7" single on LHI Records 17008 - James Burton, Donnie Owens and Al Casey on Guitars)
8. It's My Time - THE SHACKELFORDS
(Non-album A-side to a May 1968 US 7" single on LHI Records 1211 - James Burton, Al Casey, David Cohen on Guitars, Dr. John on Keyboards)
9. Hands - DANNY MICHAELS (Non-album B-side to a July 1969 US 7" single on LHI Records LHI-16)
10. Same Old Songs - SUZI JANE HOKUM
11. Reason To Believe - SUZI JANE HOKUM
Track 10 is the non-album A-side to an October 1969 US 7" single on LHI Records LHI-19 - the B-side is "Alone" (Track 14 on Disc 1)
Track 11 is the non-album A-side to July 1969 US 7" single on LHI Records LHI-14 - the B-side is "I'll Never Fall In Love Again" (Track 15 on Disc 1)
12. The Man I Was Yesterday - VIRGIL WARNER - Recorded June 1968 - PREVIOUSLY UNRELEASED
13. Dusty Roads - EVE (Non-album B-side to "Anyone Who Had A Heart", a May 1970 US 7" single on LHI Records LHI-25)
14. Hello L.A., Bye Bye Birmingham - EVE (from the 1970 US LP "Take It And Smile" on LHI Records 3100, Track 13 also on this album - James Burton on Guitar)
15. Warm Miami Sunshine - JOE CANNON
16. Lonesome Wheels - JOE CANNON
17. Cold Hard Times - JOE CANNON (Tracks 15 to 17 taken from the 1970 US LP "Cold Hard Times" on LHI Records/Bell Records 6056)
18. Peppermint Morning - RABBITT (from the 1970 US LP "Rabbitt" on LHI Records/Bell Records 6057 - Donnie Owens and Jerry Cole on Guitars)
19. Goin' On - PHOENIX-70 (Non-album Jimmie Haskell written and Arranged B-side to "I Heard It Through The Grapevine", a May 1969 US 7" single on LHI Records LHI-6)
20. Friday's Child - BILLY DEARBORN (Non-album A-side to an April 1968 US 7" single on LHI Records 1210)
21. I Feel Love Comin' On - JON CHRISTIAN (Non-album A-side to a March 1970 US 7" single on LHI Records LHI-24)
22. Ten Or Eleven Towns Ago - BARBARA RANDOLPH
23. Miracle On 19th Street - BARBARA RANDOLPH (Tracks 23 and 22 [note order] are the non-album A&B-sides of a July 1970 US 7" single on LHI Records LHI-30)
24. Cheap Lovin' - BARBARA RANDOLPH (Non-album B-side to "Woman To That Man", a December 1969 US Promo 7" single on LHI Records LH-22)
25. Chain Of Fools - DON RANDI - Recorded January 1968 - PREVIOUSLY UNRELEASED
26. Angry Generation - THE WOODCHUCKS (Non-album B-side to "Bo-Dacious", a Reissue 45 from 1970 on LHI Records LHI 1001. Originally issued in 1964 on Prince Records PR-6514)
27. The Start - LARRY MARKS - Recorded September 1970 - PREVIOUSLY UNRELEASED

DVD - "Cowboy In Sweden" - A Film Directed by Torbjorn Axelman (LITA 109, All Regions) :
1970 Movie, 60 Minutes, New Digital Transfer From The Original 16mm Master Negative at The Swedish Broadcasting Co.
Fully Restored in HD with Re-Mastered Sound - Region Free

1-Sided FLEXI DISC (LITA 45-030, plays at 33 1/3rd)
"LHI In Session 1966-1970" – Unheard Studio Chatter from “Play It Like A Cowboy” Song

All four of Lee's period albums are here - "The Cowboy & The Lady" and "Forty" (both 1969) with "Cowboy In Sweden" and "Requiem For An Almost Lady" (both 1971) - along with the guts of twelve non-album 45s. Eagle-eyed collectors will know that his debut album "Trouble Is A Lonesome Town" (originally issued in 1963 on Mercury Records) was also reissued in 1969 on LHI Records - but it is outside the remit of this Box Set so therefore not included. The Hardback Clothbound Book is a wonder to behold not just for the gorgeous full-page colour plates but for the impossibly rare info – bands like Texas’s The Kitchen Cinq or Phoenix’s Last Friday’s Fire, Hairdresser Lynn Castle or Scotland/England’s dropout duo Raul Danks and Jon Taylor – get whole pages of discography (27 Profiles in all). And there are pages of repro American 45s in full colour (must be over 100 of them) – everything you could imagine.

There’s a timeline at the bottom of the pages, discussions on the making of all four albums and interviews with all the key players especially Suzi Jane Hokum (artist and partner), movie Director Torbjorn Axelman and of course discussion of his relationship with one-time Elvis Presley squeeze and film starlet Ann-Margret. There are trade adverts, photos of billboards, in-the-studio black and whites and wads of colour photos from LH’s archives. I’m not sure who will enjoy (or even giggle at) Pages 10 and 11 where Lee in full-page colour splendour is surrounded by 10 naked women all adorned with moustaches in some sort of Electric Ladyland pastiche that feels ludicrously silly, pervy and uncomfortable - all at the same time (yikes). There’s even a perfect repro of the LHI Records embossed business card (actual size) centred in a die-cut groove on Page 3 opposite the four titled CDs over on Page 2 (the DVD film is centred on the back inner flap, the flexi is randomly found inbetween the pages). It’s beautifully done and reeks of pride, affection and staggering amounts of prep and work...

Despite having The Wrecking Crew as his basic backing band for most sessions and tight control over input (Drummers Earl Palmer and Hal Blaine, Guitarist Donnie Owens, Bassist Carol Kaye and Phil Spector’s arranger Jack Nitzsche) - musically the crass might say the words ‘unsuccessful vanity project’ jumps to mind. Because looking at Lee’s signings - very little catches the eye by way of Hitsville or success. Sure he roped in the hugely influential International Submarine Band with Gram Parsons and Chris Ethridge on the cusp of starting Country Rock – and the Ann-Margret stuff of course by virtue of her fame - but the rest? Most are footnotes now and even in knowledgeable circles not very well known ones at that. Still the upside is that the overall listen feels like everything is new to your ears. And loads of it is good, genre-diverse and even brilliant at times...

The AUDIO is fabulous – Analogue transfers remastered at 24-bit/96-kHz by JOHN BALDWIN at John Baldwin Mastering - 95% from original tapes – the rest mastered from mint vinyl. Meticulous the blurb tells us and they’d be right. Let's get to the music...

As the cello strings, clear bass and pinged glass smacks hit you on the opening ""Pray Them Bars Away" - the AUDIO is glorious - clean, airy and full of gorgeous presence. Then of course his caustic persona and clever lyrics hammer you - the Pop part schmaltz, part comedy, but so very 60ts in its yeah baby imagery. The "Cowboy In Sweden" album is a greyhound bus travelling in the sunshine smooch of an album - languid strums as Nina Lizell sexily duets with Lee on "Leather And Lace", "Hey Cowboy" and "Vem Kan Segla..." while Suzi Jane Hokum drops in for "For A Day Like Today". Lee is either pining for a woman, trying to forget one or wishing he could get a free ticket into her jodhpurs. Yet for all the fun and those Burt Bacharach/Mama’s and Papa’s happy-wappy jaunty melodies that fool you into thinking they’re lightweight musical soufflés - when he sings 'selling yesterdays dreams in tomorrow's papers' in the Fred Neil Bleecker and MacDougall acoustic vibe in "Cold Hard Times" where his brother has died back home from a needle in his veins - you know LH has lived life and is not just ambiguously commenting on it from the songwriter sidelines.

Fans will love stuff like "Trouble Maker" – a non-album B-side about a longhaired, establishment-rejecting, army-avoiding, sandal-wearing hippy that eventually gets nailed to an actual cross by the man. It’s just a throwaway song on the flipside of "Greyhound Bus Depot" – but it’s also utterly brilliant social commentary wrapped up in truth-telling lyrics few had the guts to say. "Califia", "Alone" and "I'll Never Fall In Love Again" feature guitarists Ry Cooder, Russ Titelman, Clarence White and Spector’s arranger Jack Nitzsche. The first Previously Unreleased cut "First Street Blues" features Suzi Jane Hokum croaking through a piano song about booze and hate on the streets recorded May 1970 in the USA – quality and not a throwaway. Disc 1 ends with the whole of the "Requiem For An Almost Lady" album from 1971 – initially issued in Australia – the falling-apart relationship LP was also released by Reprise UK in late 1971. He talks like a ponderous Neil Diamond as he begins each song – times that were fun – times that were no fun – days that were all "...Monday Morning" (gorgeous Acoustic audio).

Over on Disc 2 there's almost a whole page's worth of discussion on the almost total sales failure of the stand-alone 45 for Lee and Ann - "Sleep In The Grass" b/w "Chico" (the opening lyrics from "Chico" title the CD). Apparently big things were expected of "Sleep In The Grass", it received wads of one-the-hour Radio Play on both major stations and independents - but the public refused to buy it no matter what (they keep talking of maybe seven copies sold). Frankly on hearing it now - I can hear why - the cheese-factor way too high. Better is the 1969 LH album with Ann-Margret "The Cowboy & The Lady" featuring Jimmie Haskell and Charlie McCoy arrangements. Very much like a Nancy Sinatra album of the period - harmonica strollers come in the shape of the four-in-the-morning "Greyhound Bus Depot" where time passes slow (she's with him, bet they ain't passing slow) - or the echoes of her cheatin' footsteps that he wishes would "Walk On Out Of My Mind" (awesome audio) while Ann reassures Lee that they were only "Victims Of The Night" in a pool of acoustic guitars and foot-tapping high-hats. Ann then starts to have second thoughts – can’t stand to hear those jet engines whine in "Break My Mind" (oddly Lee is feeling the same and urges sexy Ann to take her suitcase off those weighing scales). Ann gets 60ts coquettish on "You Can't Imagine" - talking and luring - eyelashes a-blinkin' - lipstick a-smackin' (you get the picture). Lee ponders the consequences of messing around on "Sweet Thing" - but Ann puts him right by telling Lee he'd better have something in his eye and not be squinting at that cute little waitress down at the cafe (watch out waitress cuties). His cover of the Tom Rush classic "No Regrets" is superb - a very cool Fred Neil-ish take on the song - but it would of course be The Walker Brothers who would make it a global smash in November 1975.

"It Was A Very Good Year" opens the "Forty" album but not in a good way. It's a Lee-melodrama too far - a huge orchestra and brass section making a dog's dinner of Ervin Drake's song (mostly made famous by Frank Sinatra). Randy Newman gets two songs covered - "Wait Till Next Year" and the hard-hitting guitar heavy "Let's Burn Down The Cornfield" - their sarcastic lilt suiting LH. Who Producer and owner of the UK-based Mod record label Planet Records Shel Talmy gets a rare co-writing credit on "Bye Baby" with Jon Mark who would later form the bands Mark-Almond and Sweet Thursday. Danny Kortchmar (who would form The City with Carole King and become an integral part of James Taylor's sound and band) gets a cover on "Mary" - a very Jimmy Webb melody ending a strange album that only half works in my opinion. As if to hammer home the directionless mess that the "Forty" album was - the previously unreleased season outtake turns out to be a truly dire cover of Stevie Wonder's "For Once In My Life" - better is the Johnny Cash strum and humour in "I Just Learned To Run" where he's glad he's an exit from her sick and twisted heart-breaking ways. Another goody amongst the unreleased is the genuinely witty "Nothin's Gonna Blow My Mind" where our hero is protected by his baby's love from 1969 social turmoil.

Disc 3 begins the other artists on LHI. The problem is that so much of it is so dreadfully ordinary and you can hear why little of it stuck on any chart wall. Glen Campbell fans will appreciate the very-Monkees vibe of  "You Better Go" by the obscure Raul Danks and Jon Taylor (from Scotland and England). 60ts Pop continues with "I Can't Help The Way I Feel" while the fabulous four-way harmonies of Honey Ltd. (they continued later as Eve when Alex Sliwin left) clearly goes after The Mama's & Papa's market with "Tomorrow Your Heart" - the four gorgeous gals getting some serious full-page shows including a newspaper report of their trip to the Far East to tour soldier camps (Pages 118 to 122). Californian Sunshine Pop comes in the form of the first Suzi Jane Hokum unreleased track "Come On Sunshine" while her "Little War" gets a bit more serious about love and relationships and 'the game'.  The unreleased "Puppetry" from Danks and Taylor is awful while Michael Gram's weedy "Pastel Dreams" isn't much better. Regulars on the Sunset Strip - Hamilton Streetcar had backed The Doors, Buffalo Springfield and Love - so had the Psych-Rock credentials (there's is one of the few pictures in the book where an artist is shown on an actual stage giving it some). Their two singles here show why Lee signed them - the wild fuzzed-up guitars of "Invisible People" and the keyboard-trippy "Flash" – great stuff.

The Aggregation was the house band at Disneyland's 'Tomorrowland' theme park - and signed by an intrigued LH - got to make a whole concept album their way (not surprisingly called) "Mind Odyssey". If only the instrumental and subsequent tune were discoveries. Generously described in the book as one of LHI’s most fascinating acts – it's a shame the voice-of-the-universe twiddle music doesn't live up to the premise. With the multi-talented Mike Condello at their core however - way better is Last Friday's Fire and their cool "Something's Happening" track – a keyboard driven discovery groove that smacks of West Coast summers and helpful tablets. Surprisingly good too is the Previously Unreleased Ann-Margret outtake "Sam" followed by "New Way Home" from The Surprise Package - a funky little guitar/organ number with an early Steppenwolf feel. Daughter of Mario Lanza - a 19-year old Colleen Lanza gives it some girly suggestive on the very Bacharach derivative "When We're Talked About Tomorrow" and like the insipid "Sunshine Soldier" by Arthur - ends Disc 3 in a way that apart from some brief moments of respite in the middle - makes you think you'll rarely return to this CD.

After the disappointment of Disc 3 – thankfully Disc 4 steps up to the plate more often than not. Amidst the initial tunes we’re offered a cool unreleased version in Virgil Warner & Suzi Jane Hokum's take on "Lady Bird". Keeping with rarities - Ray Chafin's delicate story of a 35-year old "Emmy" is a genuinely collector's piece. Speaking of missed opportunities - it's bizarre to say the least that in a book so lavish - LHI's most famous sons (The International Submarine Band don't actually get a picture on their discography page. Fans of TISB and the mercurial Gram Parsons would see Emmylou Harris name her December 1976 album after his TISB song "Luxury Liner" - her second number 1 album on the Country LP charts. Of the two Shackelfords songs - "It's My Time" is the better - an upbeat tune that features both James Burton on Guitar and Dr. John on piano. Suzi Jane Hokum takes a jaunty Country-ish stab at the Tim Hardin classic "Reason To Believe" - but Rod Stewart's version has real soul. Virgil Warner's a-shell-of "The Man I Was Yesterday" is a worthy unreleased track - Virgil channelling his inner Roy Orbison. A genuine bonus on Disc 4 is a rare flipside by Eve (the three remaining ladies of Honey Ltd.) and their take on "Dusty Roads" - not just pretty faces but beautiful harmonisers when given a Soulful melody (their version of "Hello L.A., Bye Bye Birmingham" by Mac Davis is cool Pop too). Joe Cannon's "Warm Miami Sunshine" sounds like a hit that should have been - the gambling loser song "Lonesome Wheels" is good too (lyrics from "Cold Hard Morning" title Disc 4 - a tune written by LH for Joe Cannon). Rabbitt (with Larry Marks on Lead Vocals) get a perfectly good Guitar-Pop moment in "Peppermint Morning" - another tune you can't help thinking should have seen chart action. Soul lovers will big-time dig the seriously good sway-ballad "Friday's Child" with the wonderful voice of African American Billy Dearborn. After a saccharine turkey from Jon Christian - that Lady Soul vibe of Billy Dearborn continues with a threesome of social-commentary corkers from Barbara Randolph. And it all comes to an end with a slightly muffled demo from Larry Marks where he wonders why he’s getting high so much...

Sure it's beautiful to look at - but docked a star for some of the depressingly so-so music presented on Discs 3 and 4. Still, the care, the attention to detail, the spectacular audio and the eye-popping presentation will mean that Lee Hazlewood fans will be in seventh heaven and newcomers understand why he engenders such hero worship.

"...Tomorrow your heart will be lighter and your eyes will be brighter my darling..." – the gorgeous harmonising ladies in Honey Ltd. croon seductively in the sweetpae of a tune "Tomorrow Your Heart".

Time to get lost in those pastel dreams maybe...

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Spines of Exceptional CD Remasters

Spines of Exceptional CD Remasters

INDEX - Artists, Albums, Record Labels, CD Remaster Engineers, Liner Notes Authors, Links etc