Once A Day

Nick West's reviews for Bucketfull Of Brains and Rock'N'Reel

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Location: London, United Kingdom

Co-editor and publisher of Bucketfull Of Brains since 1996.

Friday, December 05, 2008


JUDEE SILL

Live In London: The BBC Recordings 1972-1973

(TROUBADOUR)
www.easyaction.co.uk

Judee Sill was one of David Geffen’s Asylum also-rans; that’s no put-down as Gene Clark and Bobby Neuwirth are numbered in the same cohort. A troubled soul whose brief interlude between spells of addiction, the last fatal, spawned two fine albums of mystic grace.

As a songwriter she first tasted success with The Turtles’ recording of ‘Lady-O’ and this was followed up by the Judee Sill album of 1971. A certain kinship with the Joni Mitchell school was apparent but Sill had more of a religiously transcendent turn to her writing. Her concerns, though patently not her style, mirror those of latter-day, Blake-influenced Patti Smith.

These recordings come from her two trips to the UK in 1972 and 1973. They’re solo performances for three separate radio shows and feature exquisite readings of her most memorable songs; ‘Jesus Was A Cross Maker’, ‘The Lamb Ran Away With The Crown’, and ‘The Donor’ among them.

It’s a welcome addition to her small oeuvre, but not however the place to start. The studio albums are cheaply available on Rhino’s Abracadabra and essential. Come to Live In London after exploring those.

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