Friday, June 23, 2023

Leon Russell - Live in Japan (Live at Budokan -73 + Bonus Concert -71) (@320)

Size: 201 MB
Bitrate: 320
Ripped by: ChrisGoesRock
Source: Japan SHM-CD Remaster
Artwork Included

Released roughly a year after Leon Russell performed an unlikely mainstream comeback with the assistance of Elton John, the 2011 disc Live in Japan contains a wealth of live performances from Russell at his peak. The first section of the record was indeed recorded at Budokan in Japan while Leon was on tour in 1973, running through hits like “Tight Rope,” folding “A Song for You” into a medley, and generally rocking like a madman. 

The second section is taken from a 1971 show from Houston, recordings that are rowdier and rougher, both in performance and audio. Even if this is a bit of a ragged, woolly comp, it has plenty to offer: despite the presence of 1973’s Leon Live, there aren’t many live records of Russell in full flight, so this taste of him rocking ferociously is indeed welcome.

Live in Japan is an live album by singer and songwriter Leon Russell. The album was recorded two live tour sessions. The first record section is a 1973 tour show at Budokan in Japan on November 8, 1973. The second recorded section is from a 1971 tour show in Sam Houston Coliseum. While the album had some of Leon's new hits, like "Tight Rope" and "A Song for You," the album did not chart in the top 200. His early live album Leon Live peaked at #9 on the U.S. charts. 

The album was first released as a vinyl LP by Shelter Records. Live in Japan was re-released on CD by Omnivore Recordings in 2011 and again in 2013 with bonus tracks. The album was by produced by Leon Russell, Nobuya Itoh, Peter Nicholls and Denny Cordell. The new CD releases were after Leon recordings earned six gold records. He received two Grammy awards from seven nominations. In 2011, he was inducted into both the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and the Songwriters Hall of Fame. One of his biggest early fans, Elton John, said Russell was a "mentor" and an "inspiration". They recorded their album The Union in 2010, which earned them a Grammy nomination.

Live at Nippon Budokan Hall, November 8 1973 Japan
01. Heaven  04:57
02. Over the Rainbow / God Put a Rainbow  05:39
03. Queen of the Roller Derby  01:49
04. Roll Away the Stone  04:04
05. Tight Rope  02:59
06. Sweet Emily  03:24
07. Alcatraz  04:05
08. You Don't Have to Go  02:35
09. A Song for You, Of Thee I Sing, Roll in My Sweet Baby's Arms  07:10

Bonus Tracks:
Live at San Houston Colisseum April 22 1971
10. Alcatraz  04.49
11. Stranger in A Strange Land  04:51
12. Groupie (Superstar)  03.54
13. Roll Over Beethoven  03.52
14. Medley; Blues Power, Shoot Out on The Plantation, As The Years Go Passing By,
    The Woman I Love  11.08
15. Jumpin' Jack Flash  04.54
16. Of Thee I Sing / Yes I Am  09.35 

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Leon Russell - And The Shelter People (US 1971)

Size: 130 MB
Bitrate: 320
Ripped By: ChrisGoesRock
Artwork Included

Leon Russell's accolades are monumental in a number of categories, from songwriting (he wrote Joe Cocker's "Delta Lady") to session playing (with the Rolling Stones and Bob Dylan, just to name a few) to his solo work. Unfortunately, it's the last category that never really attracted as much attention as it should have, despite a multitude of blues-based gospel recordings and piano-led, Southern-styled rock albums released throughout the 1970s. 

Leon Russell and the Shelter People is a prime example of Russell's instrumental dexterity and ability to produce some energetic rock & roll. Poignant and expressive tracks such as "Of Thee I Sing," "Home Sweet Oklahoma," and "She Smiles Like a River" all lay claim to Russell's soulful style and are clear-cut examples of the power that he musters through his spirited piano playing and his voice. 

His Dylan covers are just as strong, especially "It's All Over Now, Baby Blue" and "It Takes a Lot to Laugh," while "Love Minus Zero/No Limit" and "It's a Hard Rain Gonna Fall" have him sounding so forceful, they could have been Russell's own. A hearty, full-flavored gospel sound is amassed thanks to both the Shelter People and the Tulsa Tops, who back Russell up on most of the tracks, but it's Russell alone that makes "The Ballad of Mad Dogs and Englishmen" such an expressive piece and the highlight of the album. 

On the whole, Leon Russell and the Shelter People is an entertaining and more importantly, revealing exposition of Russell's music when he was in his prime. The album that followed, 1972's Carney, is an introspective piece which holds up a little better from a songwriting standpoint, but this album does a better job at bearing his proficiency as a well-rounded musician.

01. Stranger in a Strange Land  03:58
02. Of Thee I Sing  04:21
03. It's a Hard Rain Gonna Fall  05:10
04. Crystal Closet Queen  02:57
05. Home Sweet Oklahoma  03:25
06. Alcatraz  03:50
07. The Ballad of Mad Dogs and Englishmen  03:55
08. It Takes a Lot to Laugh, It Takes a Train to Cry  03:47
09. She Smiles Like a River  02:56
10. Sweet Emily  03:19
11. Beware of Darkness  04:34
Bonus Tracks
12. It's All Over Now, Baby Blue
13. Love Minus Zero / No Mimit
14. She Belongs to Me


Leon Russell - Leon Russell (Leons första solo Album US 1970

Leon Russell never quite hit all the right notes the way he did on his eponymous debut. He never again seemed as convincing in his grasp of Americana music and themes, never again seemed as individual, and never again did his limited, slurred bluesy voice seem as ingratiating. 

He never again topped his triptych of "A Song for You," "Hummingbird," and "Delta Lady," nor did his albums contain such fine tracks as "Dixie Lullaby." Throughout it all, what comes across is Russell's idiosyncratic vision, not only in his approach but in his very construction -- none of the songs quite play out as expected, turning country, blues, and rock inside out, not only musically but lyrically. 

Yes, his voice is a bit of an acquired taste, but it's only appropriate for a songwriter with enough chutzpah to write songs of his own called "I Put a Spell on You" and "Give Peace a Chance." And if there ever was a place to acquire a taste for Russell, it's here.

01. A Song for You  04:08
02. Dixie Lullaby  02:30
03. I Put a Spell on You4:10
04. Shoot Out on the Plantation  03:10
05. Hummingbird  03:57
06. Delta Lady  04:00
07. Prince of Peace  03:05
08. Old Masters  01:20
09. Give Peace a Chance  02:15
10. Hurtsome Body  03:35
11. Pisces Apple Lady  02:50
12. Roll Away the Stone  03:06

13. Hummingbird (Original Version)
14. Roll Away The Stone

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