The LHI Years: Singles, Nudes, & Backsides (1968-71)

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With his handlebar mustache and booming baritone, Lee Hazlewood was one of the
defining stars of the late ‘60s. Though he’s perhaps best known for his work with Nancy
Sinatra (including writing mega-hit “These Boots Are Made For Walking”), Hazlewood did
stunning work away from that particular glamour queen and found latter-day champions in
Beck, Sonic Youth, and Jarvis Cocker. Now, for Record Store Day 2012, we are kicking off
our excavation of the Lee Hazlewood archives with this anthology, Singles, Nudes &
Backsides, collecting the best of Lee’s solo songs and duets from his LHI (Lee Hazlewood
Industries) imprint.
As a true legend of the great American songbook and a rebellious pioneer who left behind
a lengthy trail of echo-laden pop masterpieces, Lee’s influence continues to reverberate
today. Between 1968-71, Hazlewood not only released his finest solo work but produced
numerous artists on LHI. From acid-folk and country-rock to pop-psych and soul, LHI
issued dozens of long-forgotten 45s and LPs. This series will include material from LHI (re-
mastered for the first time from the original analog tapes), along with Lee’s output for other
labels, rarities, and unreleased gems.
See the sleeve: surrounded by nude girls, each wearing a fake mustache, Hazlewood
wears a suit, ever-so-slightly awkwardly playing the role of the ‘60s playboy. Just like the
picture, the songs present a man conflicted; he’s the tender-hearted romantic, the broken-
hearted loser and the rugged cowboy, all in one. It’s there in the western swing of “Califia
(Stone Rider)”, the loneliness of ”The Bed” and the bleak beauty of ”If It’s Monday
Morning.” Hazlewood’s tremulous voice was made for duets (indeed, he wrote ”Some
Velvet Morning”, one of the greatest of all time); here, Suzi Jane Hokom, Ann-Margret and
Nina Lizell play counterpart to his manly tones.
In the wonderful liner notes, written by British journalist Wyndham Wallace, the writer
describes his friend Hazlewood as “a curmudgeonly, unpredictable sort at the best of
times, as impatient with his own talent as he is with other people.” The Hazlewood Wallace
knew was puzzled by the growing interest in him in the last two decades of his life, which
was ended by cancer at age 78. That late flurry of interest saw him perform at the Royal
Festival Hall in 1999, his first-ever solo performance in the UK.
A natural wanderer, Lee lived a big life, fighting in the Korean War, working as a radio DJ
in Phoenix, Arizona, setting up Viv Records in the ‘50s, working as a big-shot LA producer
in the ‘60s, signing Phil Spector to his Trey Records label and prematurely announcing
retirement in the wake of the mid-‘60s British invasion. He didn’t: Nancy Sinatra came
along, the hits started flowing and he continued producing characterful solo albums into
the ‘70s, which saw his move to Sweden. By 2007, Hazlewood was living in Vegas, and
begrudgingly enjoying that flurry of latter-day interest in his work. This landmark
compilation promises to create many more converts.

Tracklist

Side A

  1. Califia (Stone Rider) – featuring Suzi Jane Hokom
  2. The Bed
  3. Sleep in the Grass – featuring Ann-Margret
  4. Leather and Lace – featuring Nina Lizell

Side B

  1. If It’s Monday Morning
  2. The Night Before
  3. Bye Babe
  4. Victims of the Night – featuring Ann-Margret

Side C

  1. Chico – featuring Ann- Margret
  2. Hey Cowboy – featuring Nina Lizell
  3. No Train to Stockholm
  4. Won’t You Tell Your Dreams

Side D

  1. No Body Like You – featuring Suzi Jane Hokom
  2. Trouble Maker
  3. What’s More I Don’t Need Her
  4. Come on Home to Me
  5. I Just Learned to Run