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 at Elsewhere articles index

Superturtle: Wait For It (Sarang Bang/digital outlets)

Superturtle: Wait For It (Sarang Bang/digital outlets)

There's always something appealingly quirky and almost quaint about Auckland's Superturtle helmed by Darren McShane. As with their previous albums, Wait For It comes on vinyl with a striking... > Read more

Hedvig Mollestad Trio: Smells Funny (Rune Grammofon/Southbound)

Hedvig Mollestad Trio: Smells Funny (Rune Grammofon/Southbound)

But first we draw your attention to previous releases on Rune Grammofon, an interesting label out of Norway which ran from mainstream but innovative jazz to odd and interesting electronic sounds.... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

Samoa: A stranger in paradise (2001)

Samoa: A stranger in paradise (2001)

As a tourist carrying stress into Samoa you notice things by their absence. Ordinary, boring stuff like clocks and timetables, cellphones and power-dressers in black, graffiti and rubbish, and... > Read more

ELECTRONIC ART ENSEMBLE: INQUIETUDE, CONSIDERED (1982): Electric music for the mind and boredom

ELECTRONIC ART ENSEMBLE: INQUIETUDE, CONSIDERED (1982): Electric music for the mind and boredom

In the early Eighties the great American jazz labels like Columbia/CBS and Verve were struggling: at CBS Miles Davis wasn't selling and Wynton Marsalis was only just starting his career; Verve was... > Read more