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Saturday, April 27, 2013

Eclectic Life Orchestra

Leon Russell, soup to nuts.


Leon Russell was a member of a loose agglomeration of musicians in Los Angeles in the sixties and seventies dubbed The Wrecking Crew. They played on an enormous number of hit pop songs, usually anonymously. More about The Wrecking Crew here.

12 comments:

Anonymous said...

Aaaaaugh! That Leon Russell fills me with despair. Witnessing the derailment of American culture. Went from Moonlight Serenade to THAT in twenty years.

Sam L. said...

Well, me, I LIKE Leon Russell, especially his version of The Mighty Quinn. And It's not his fault or responsibility, though we might consider him an accomplice. And his song done got cut off!

I'd never seen Cocker until he was on SNL with Belushi doing Cocker, too.

Sixty Grit said...

Three drummer, for those times when two drummers are just not enough.

I am pretty sure I saw that crew up in NY state in August of '69, but at this remove, can one really be certain?

Ol' Leon was the man - with hair for all seasons and every passing fancy. I saw him play in '72, I think it was, and his opening act was ZZ Top - they were as clean shaven as he was in that first clip. Once again, time has slipped away.

Tom Hyland said...

Leon Russell could do anything and he did it with everybody. The only time I saw him was at the Telluride Bluegrass Festival in the early 80's. His entire set was bluegrass and I especially remember "Jumpin' Jack Flash" harmonized with fiddles and mandolin. Say, Greg... who is this creep at "golden retriever" who can't spell and has been stalking you lately?

Sam L. said...

Anon set his Babelfish English translator about 5 clicks off. Gives me concern for them golden retrievers he claims to have, so I've forwarded his link to the ASPCA and AKC for investigation.

Johnny Glendale said...

Re: Leon Russell - Clearly the devil's music conjuring impure thoughts in the minds of innocent young women, which is not, strictly speaking, such a bad thing.

Bilejones said...

That Cocker and Keith Richards are still alive is a testimony to the resilience of the human body.

Tom Hyland said...

wow.... Leon Russell made me cry today. These old Russell clips inspired me to go over to youtube and I watched Elton John induct Leon into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame back in 2011. When Elton reads from a list of stars Leon has helped on their own recordings, it is absolutely mind-numbing. When Leon says a few words about how low he was when Elton helped him back up, it left not a dry eye in the house. Check it out.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pT5aYRgmgyM

Anonymous said...

The leon song itself was uninspired, uninsightful, and taught us nothing about truth or beauty. He DID however sell the song like it wasn't total dreck, for which he deserves an oscar for excellence in acting. The kids in the audience were just being fed into a consumerist machine, and it's no surprise they vote the way they do today.
The song adopted the forms of real music without its content. Like eating a sawdust cake imitates food. His playing was wasted on such a horrible travesty.
I must be clear I was referring to the song, not to him.

Sam L. said...

Well, anon, there's world enough for Bach, Beethoven, Verdi, and Wagner, as well as Elvis, Little Richard, Cole Porter, and all the people I don't like. And for you, and all of us. Liking the same things is nor required, mandatory, or even suggested.

Dan D said...

Leon Russell between 1968 and 1974 was on a roll, just incredibly productive and creative. Putting together the Mad Dogs and Englishmen tour for Joe Cocker - imagine, Jim Gordon AND Jim Keltner! - his own stuff, producing, Bangla Desh concert, working with Dylan, Jesse Ed Davis, JJ Cale, Delaney and Bonnie, Clapton, etc etc etc Has it ever been equaled? Plus, he wrote a number of American standards, and recorded them himself. Just a stunning period of work.

Anonymous said...

I wasn't clear that my beef was with the first song, not the artist.
Write down the lyrics in the first video and study them deeply. Much is there to be learned and great wisdom to be gained.
Haha I see the problem: LR's in BOTH videos... I was just referring to the first one. Mah bad homies-
"Song for You" was one of the greats ever... sorry for the confusion.
D