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Leon Russell (Official Thread)

Discussion in '70's Music' started by deezee, Dec 31, 2006.

  1. Martha Washington

    Martha Washington eat it! it's GOOD for you

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    Re: leon russell fans?

    I'm with Jack in the Box about "mad dogs and englishman" last year I returned to the album and movie after a long absence and I think it's a GREAT artifact of that era and Russell really does shine.

    it's odd that he's so obscure now. most people know Dr. John better. now, maybe that's just but it's easy to forget how HUGE Russell was and a little sobering. I still hear 'tightrope' now and then but little else.

    didn't he have hits and stuff with his wife for a while? seems like he did.
     
  2. Martha Washington

    Martha Washington eat it! it's GOOD for you

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    Re: leon russell fans?

    and another thing...
    I really have a soft spot for a band he was in called "The Asylum Choir". actually, maybe 'band' is a little strong. I think it was really just him and a guy named Marc Benno and maybe some session guys. (Leon knew a little bit about that line of work!)
    [​IMG]
    it's a pretty neat slab of self concious west coast psychedelia and I found Russell and Beno's styles a good match. they released some of the tracks when the much easier to find "Asylum Choir II" album came out on cd. "Welcome to Hollywood" and "Thieves in the Choir" are really good and really have Leon's signature sound!

    He put out a big, hairy Live album that was all over the place after "Carny" hit the big time. man, I used to hear that thing ALL the time.
     
  3. magnoliasteve

    magnoliasteve Member

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    Re: leon russell fans?

    That was an odd story as I recall. Leon and Benno (a pretty solid guitar player) formed a duo called the Asylum Choir and put out one album called Look Inside the Asylum Choir, I believe in 1968 or 1969. It was a pretty mediocre effort in my opinion. Some people really like that psychedelic/eclectic stuff but I was not a big fan. They recorded a follow up that was hung up due to a contractural dispute and not released until 1971, two years after the duo went their separate ways. By then, "Leon Russell and the Shelter People" was doing quite well, he was in the midst of making "Carney" and Leon was on his way.

    By the by, though I was not a particular fan of the Asylum Choir, Benno went on to put out several solo albums, mostly commercial busts. But he did put out an album in 1972 called "Ambush" if anyone remembers that. Ambush was a phenomenal effort in my opinion. I listened to that album more times than I care to remember. Jive Fade Jive is an awesome song. I have no idea if it is out on cd but if anyone ever wants to "discover something new" from the 70's, this was a great album.
     
  4. billtjr51

    billtjr51 Senior Member

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    Re: leon russell fans?

    I still like the Asylum Choir songs. I thought they were outstanding!
     
  5. deezee

    deezee Senior Member

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    Re: leon russell fans?

    i also hadn't seen the movie since it's original release and found it in a video store last november. it's a total trip back in time musically and a time capsule of that era... almost more so then the more well known movies that all the kids have seen and know about these days. made me go back and relisten to some of the old joe cocker and leon things that inspired this post to begin with. i was a bigger fan of asylum choir ll then of the first one (loved "learn how to boogie"). either way i don't think that the albums could ever capture his bigger than life stage presence back then. to me, he's one of those who was always better live.

    i think he did record with his wife mary mc creary(sp?) and that seemed to end what was this phase of his career. but i'm looking forward to seeing what he's doing live now.
     
  6. magnoliasteve

    magnoliasteve Member

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    Re: leon russell fans?

    I think he went in to the "Hank Wilson" era right after that. I actually liked that album a lot thought it was a huge departure. reminds me a little of what Springsteen just did with the Pete Seeger stuff.
     
  7. Kaoz

    Kaoz Senior Member

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    Re: leon russell fans?

    I've always liked Leon Russells' "Stranger In A Strange Land", from the album, Shelter People, 1971.
     
    Last edited: Jan 8, 2007
  8. deezee

    deezee Senior Member

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    Re: leon russell fans?

    i loved this whole album. not a bad song on it as far as i was concerned. talking about leon also got me thinking about merry clayton, his back-up singer. i remember her being THE back-up vocalist of the time after singing with leon, the stones and so many others. does anyone know what happened to her? seems she disappeared after this early period of the 70's.
     
  9. Kaoz

    Kaoz Senior Member

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    Re: leon russell fans?

    [​IMG]

    Yes, I agree. And "Stranger In A Strange Land" is a classic "that 70's kind of song".
    :cheers:
     
  10. magnoliasteve

    magnoliasteve Member

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    Re: leon russell fans?

    Shelter People was a great album to be sure. It contained, among other things, an incredible version of George Harrison's Beware of Darkness. Does anyone remember when he chimed in on that song with george at the Concert for Bangledesh? It was a great moment.

    I still think his solo debut album may have been his best overall effort, though I loved Carney as well.

    Song For You, Delta Lady, Prince of Peace, Roll Away the Stone, Hummingbird - all classics, IMO.
     

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