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Various - Son-Of-A-Gun and More from The Lee Hazlewood Songbook (CD)€18,00
Lee Hazlewood songwriter, singer, producer, independent record label entrepreneur, DJ, raconteur and self-proclaimed ”Ol’ grey-haired sonofabitch” is a key figure in the history of popular music. Laced with lashings of dark wit, wrong-side-of-the-tracks heartbreak and esoteric imagery, his compositions have been recorded by everyone from Frank Sinatra to German industrialists Einstürzende Neubauten.
Son-Of-A-Gun is the third volume of Hazlewood’s compositions to be released in Ace s renowned Songwriter series. The first, Califia, comprised recordings made in the 1950s and the 60s, while the second, Shazam! , focused exclusively on instrumentals.
Although Son-Of-Gun features some performers whose recordings Hazlewood produced in his glory years, it consists primarily of interpretations by a diverse array of contemporary international artists who were inspired by his work from afar. Consequently, Sanford Clark’s title track shares disc space with Jarvis Cocker and Richard Hawley’s menacing revival of A Cheat from 2002, a song first recorded by Clark 46 years earlier; Waylon Jennings She Comes Running, from his Hazlewood-produced Singer Of Sad Songs album, rubs shoulders with These Boots Are Made For Walking by Australia’s Boys Next Door (Nick Cave’s first band); and Ville Valo and Natalia Avelon’s sumptuous 2007 version of Some Velvet Morning appears alongside Loy Clingman’s sinister The Man Who Made An Angel Cry, a Lee Hazlewood production from 1957.
All in all, a dynamic and eclectic listen, held together by Hazlewood’s skill as a songwriter. The booklet, a 24-pager featuring notes by Ian Johnston (who happens to sing lead on one track), features exclusive interviews with many of the featured artists, including Richard Hawley, Primal Scream’s Bobby Gillespie, Jim Reid of the Jesus & Mary Chain and Mick Harvey.