It would be kind of nice to throw tracks like the ones I mentioned yesterday out to the world in a radio show. But I don’t think there are any Internet radio stations that allow you to do that anymore without paying. I see that live365 would charge me $9 a month for the privilege, and that they would allow only 25 simultaneous listeners, as well as inserting a ton of ads. Somehow this doesn’t appeal! Hopefully some day I will sort out an outlet for at least a bi-weekly radio hour; in the meantime I hope these ‘recent digs’ playlists are of some interest…
Lee Hazlewood: 'Poet, Fool or Bum/Back on the Street Again' (CD; EMI; 1973-1977)
After the rash of superb reissues back in 1999 on the Smells Like Records label, things had gone quiet in terms of Lee Hazlewood reissues. Then last year came the 2CD compilation of Lee's 1960s MGM work. And now EMI in the UK have reissued two more LPs. I had heard a few tracks from 'Poet...' on a bootleg, but it's nice to have the proper album.
That said, these recordings aren't as immediate as the other reissues I mentioned. The instrumentation is similar to classic Lee - guitars with a slightly country feel, jerky basslines, strings, and occasional backing vocals. But somehow it's not all that magical this time. I think perhaps the compositions aren't quite as good as his earlier work. There are also cover versions of songs by both Leonard Cohen and Tom Waits. The latter makes him sound very much like mid-90s Nick Cave.
Back on the Street Again has a slightly different production. The vocals sound icy and cool, but the backings are pretty wacky. 'Your thunder and your lightning' is mildly disco influenced and bit cheesy. Synthesizers and Lee just don't go together in my head. The rest of the album has a country feel most of the time.
I'm glad to have these albums, and they might grow on me, but right now they're not really up there with Cowboy in Sweden, The NSVIPs and his MGM albums. Apologies for this rather simplistic review, which I will revisit later.