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

Caroline Herring: Golden Apples of the Sun (Ode)

Caroline Herring: Golden Apples of the Sun (Ode)

The previous album by this Atlanta-based singer-songwriter, Lantana of last year, was a revelation: her crystalline vocals conjured up the purity of Joan Baez but her sometimes dark subject matter... > Read more

Dictaphone Blues: Beneath the Crystal Palace (EMI)

Dictaphone Blues: Beneath the Crystal Palace (EMI)

Like Marty McFly at the high school dance in Back to the Future, Ed Castelow of Dictaphone Blues has beamed himself back to crucial touchstones in pop-rock (classic Fifties chords, Beatles era... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

THE FAMOUS ELSEWHERE WORLD MUSIC QUESTIONNAIRE: Oumou Sangare

THE FAMOUS ELSEWHERE WORLD MUSIC QUESTIONNAIRE: Oumou Sangare

One of the most powerful and expressive voices out of her homeland of Mali -- indeed, out of the African continent -- Oumou Sangare has been a longtime Elsewhere favourite . . . although we... > Read more

R.L. BURNSIDE CONSIDERED (2015): Blues from before fame

R.L. BURNSIDE CONSIDERED (2015): Blues from before fame

For many decades before his career was given a high-profile resurrection by the Fat Possum label in Nineties (and he toured with the likes of the Jon Spencer Blues Explosion), R.L. Burnside was... > Read more