Ace Records 2010
This is the latest addition to our high profile Songwriter series. Comprising familiar Lee Hazlewood fan favourites and scarcer titles in equal measure, the set spans Sanford Clark’s Top 10 hit of 1956 ‘The Fool’ (built on a memorable contribution from guitar wizard Al Casey) to 1970’s German language interpretation of ‘And I Loved You Then’ by transcontinental pop princess Peggy March (a song familiar to buffs via Lee's recording on his “13” LP).
No such compilation would be complete without Nancy Sinatra and axe-meisters Duane Eddy and Al Casey, with each of whom Lee was inextricably linked. They’re all here. Hazlewood mavens should lap up the titles by the Darlenes, the Hondas, Rose & the Heavenly Tones (produced by Sly Stone, no less) and Lee’s frequent collaborator Suzi Jane Hokom (who gets two collectable cuts, including a duet with him), each of which is new to CD.
One of pop’s genuine originals, Hazlewood is lionised by luminaries such as Primal Scream, Beck, the Jesus & Mary Chain, Pulp, Lydia Lunch and Sonic Youth. In 1999 he performed at the Nick Cave-curated Meltdown Festival on London’s South Bank backed by members of the High Llamas and Stereolab, while the “Total Lee!” tribute album of 2002 had the indie cognoscenti tripping over each other to record his compositions.
Hazlewood was a uniquely versatile songwriter, equally capable of turning his hand to pop, country, psychedelia, R&B, folk, easy listening, burlesque, blues or twangin’ rock’n’roll – dig Don Cole’s wild ‘Snake Eyed Mama’ and Al Casey & the Bats’ reverb-drenched ‘(Got The) Teenage Blues’. His songs are truly beyond categorisation.
He was also a pioneer in the mysterious art of record production and taught a thing or two to the teenaged Phil Spector, who hung around paying close attention while Hazlewood crafted magnificently cavernous guitar instrumentals for Duane Eddy. Of the 25 tracks on “Califia”, Lee wrote each one and produced all but four.
As a performer, Hazlewood possessed an instantly recognisable bass drawl perfectly suited to his lyrical tales of low-rent heartache, self-deprecating comedy, picturesque nostalgia and mystical cowboy psychedelia. He sings on four cuts on this collection, including the folksy Shacklefords’ recording of ‘The City Never Sleeps At Night’, a song written specifically for Nancy Sinatra.
As Dionne Warwick was to Burt Bacharach and Petula Clark to Tony Hatch, Nancy was Lee’s perfect muse. Theirs was a partnership created one velvet morning in pop heaven. The expansively orchestrated opening duet ‘Lady Bird’ – just one of the many masterpieces they made together – was personally selected for this compilation by the lady herself.
A companion volume of Lee Hazlewood-penned instrumentals is also in the Ace pipeline, so watch this space. Meanwhile, check out the others in our Songwriter series, which include compilations based on the works of Randy Newman, Jackie DeShannon, Neil Diamond, Goffin & King, Bo Diddley, Burt Bacharach and many more.
By Mick Patrick (Ace Records)
1 LADY BIRD
Nancy Sinatra & Lee Hazlewood
2 NEED ALL THE HELP I CAN GET
Suzi Jane Hokom
3 SWEET RIDE
4 THE REBEL KIND
Dino, Desi & Billy
5 THE FOOL
Sanford Clark with Al Casey
6 HAVE LOVE, WILL TRAVEL
7 SNAKE EYED MAMA
8 THE GIRL ON DEATH ROW
Lee Hazlewood with Duane Eddy & His Orchestra
09 THE DIP
Hal Blaine & The Young Cougars
11 YOU TURNED MY HEAD AROUND
12 THE CITY NEVER SLEEPS AT NIGHT
13 GUITAR ON MY MIND
Duane & Miriam Eddy
14 CALIFIA (STONE RIDER)
Lee Hazlewood & Suzi Jane Hokom
15 MY BABY PLAYS THAT SAME OLD SONG ON HIS GUITAR ALL NIGHT LONG
Duane Eddy & The Rebelettes
16 TWELVE FEET HIGH
17 (I'M AFRAID) YOU'LL HURT ME
18 THESE BOOTS ARE MADE FOR WALKIN'
Rose & The Heavenly Tones
19 WHAT ARE WE GONNA DO IN '64?
20 YOU CAN'T STAY HERE
The Barker Brothers
21 NOT THE LOVIN' KIND
Dino, Desi & Billy
22 (GOT THE) TEEN-AGE BLUES
Al Casey & The Bats
23 DON'T LOOK NOW, BUT I'VE GOT THE BLUES
24 GUITARS, GUITARS, GUITARS
Al Casey with The K-C-Ettes
25 DAS IST ZAUBEREI (AND I LOVED YOU THEN)