Lee Hazlewood's MGM Period Revisited by Light in the Attic
Published Oct 28, 2015Light in the Attic Records is revisiting the prolific career of masterfully mustachioed songwriter Lee Hazlewood with another set of reissues. This time, the label is resuscitating a trio of long-out-of-print albums that were issued through MGM.
The MGM Trilogy will be offered up on CD and LP on December 11. This includes 1966's The Very Special World of Lee Hazlewood, 1967's Lee Hazlewoodism: It's Cause and Cure, and 1968's Something Special. All are being reissued separately, as well as in three-LP and three-CD bundles.
The cycle is described as "eclectic, idiosyncratic and, most of all, unpredictable." This round of reissues preserves the original albums, while also adding bonus cuts, liner notes and period-specific photos from the archives.
It's further explained that Hazlewood had been signed to MGM in the mid-'60s following his success writing material with Nancy Sinatra, though the "These Boots Are Made for Walkin'" singer had been signed to Reprise. Hazlewood would likewise bounce to that imprint for 1968's Love and Other Crimes before starting his Lee Hazlewood Industries imprint.
The Very Special World of Lee Hazlewood had the songwriter exploring country, pop, mariachi and more. Using his half-sung/half-spoken tone, he offered up a mix of songs he had previously prepped for Sinatra, including "These Boots Are Made for Walkin'," and some exclusives. "Hokum Summer Wine," a version of "Summer Wine" featuring a duet between Hazlewood and Suzi Jane Hokom, has been added as a bonus track.
The next year's Lee Hazlewoodism: It's Cause and Cure is described as one of the artist's most "far-out" efforts, having produced "countrified French ye-ye," Spanish guitar pieces, plenty of orchestra work and "a western epic about a Native American tribe." Apparently Hazlewood had been trying to top Phil Spector's "Wall of Sound" approach, which led him to working with arranger Billy Strange. "Frenesi," "Muchacho" and instrumental piece "Batman" have been tacked onto the release.
Something Special from 1968 scaled things back, peeling away the previous two efforts' orchestra sounds in favour of a "a stripped-down nightclub jazz/blues/folk combo" feel. The 10-song album has been expanded to include bonus cuts "Moochie Ladeux" and "The Lone Ranger Ain't My Friend Anymore."
You can pre-order all the latest reissues over here, where you can hear sound snippets of all the tracks.
Light in the Attic last dipped into the Hazlewood back catalogue with its gargantuan There's a Dream I've Been Saving: Lee Hazlewood Industries 1966-1971 box set release. Last year, archival imprint 1972 offered up a series of vinyl reissues preserving material recorded ahead of Hazlewood's time with MGM.