Lee Hazlewood: A House Safe for Tigers (Light in the Attic/Southbound)

 |   |  1 min read

Lee Hazlewood: Souls Island
Lee Hazlewood: A House Safe for Tigers (Light in the Attic/Southbound)

Following the release of the collection The LHI Years; Singles, Nudes and Backsides, comes this reissue of a film soundtrack, a film which by every account was pretty bizarre.

Filmed on the Swedish island of Gotland in '74 -- four years after Hazlewood had moved to the country so his son could avoid the US military draft -- it is considered a "semi-documentary" at best and Hazlewood admitted it was "strange, very strange. But we meant it to be strange".

The "we" is American singer-songwriter Hazlewood and Swedish director Torbjorn Axelman with whom Hazlewood made a number of such films. The main town on the island is Visby and the producer and arranger Mats Olsson said "as far as I know, the film didn't reach any further than Visby".

You wanna talk cult movie?

No matter, here is the dramatically orchestrated soundtrack of songs by whisky-barrel Hazlewood being almost whimsical on the title track and in spoken word mode in a couple of places: the kitschy and sentimental Our Little Boy Blue which would be considered a psyched-out oddity if it had come from Syd Barrett or Napoleon XIV; and a mad, shaggy dog tale on Sand Hill Anna and the Russian Mouse.

There's a typical mythological piece (white woman and a "Red Man") on The Nights. Interesting but hardly an essential Hazlewood piece.

There's an emotionally dramatic instrumental (Absent Friends), an instrumental Bond-like theme with percussion and soul funk guitars (Las Vegas) and the title track gets a reprise by a choir. 

So this is not a Hazlewood lost classic (far from it) but one piece does stand out.

On the gorgeous Souls Island opener (which gets reprised with a narration in flat-tack Swedish by Axelman later) Hazlewood -- who often came off like a gunslinger Leonard Cohen or a man who'd spent too much time at the bottom of a bottle reading the Bible or Greek mythology -- sounds at rest and at peace with himself, and the feeling is infectious.

Share It

Your Comments

post a comment

More from this section   Music articles index

Jason Isbell: Something More Than Free (Spunk)

Jason Isbell: Something More Than Free (Spunk)

When he left country-rockers Drive-By Truckers in 07, songwriter Isbell was damaged by alcohol and a painful separation, but since then has steadily built a platform as a literate, heartfelt... > Read more

Various Artists: Late Night Tales; Nils Frahm (latenighttales/Southbound)

Various Artists: Late Night Tales; Nils Frahm (latenighttales/Southbound)

Elsewhere has most often enjoyed these Late Night Tales compilations (and has written about quite a few) where someone famous (or little known) is invited to make a vaguely themed collection, and... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

GUEST WRITER VIKY GARDEN is seduced by the Impressionism, again

GUEST WRITER VIKY GARDEN is seduced by the Impressionism, again

To be honest, I was very sceptical about the forthcoming documentary The Impressionists (Sky Arts Channel, Thur April 19, 8.30) I mean, the Impressionists – what don’t we already... > Read more

NICK CAVE, THE SEEDY MIDDLE YEARS: From Tender Prey to Henry's Dream

NICK CAVE, THE SEEDY MIDDLE YEARS: From Tender Prey to Henry's Dream

In the early Eighties the safe money would have been on Nick Cave -- then battling various demons and his elusive muse -- not making it much further. Yet here is Cave, now in his early 50s,... > Read more