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

Magic Arm: Make Lists Do Something (Switchflicker/Yellow Eye)

Magic Arm: Make Lists Do Something (Switchflicker/Yellow Eye)

This techno-pop, Pro Tools-folktronic album by Manchester's one-man band Marc Rigelsford finally gets belated local release (it appeared in the UK a year ago). But it's timely with the Band on... > Read more

Joe Jackson: Rain (Ryko/Elite)

Joe Jackson: Rain (Ryko/Elite)

By the end of the first, somewhat leaden track Invisible Man, even longtime fans might be gulping hard. But things take off after that clunker (which is much better live as the DVD which comes with... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

MARILYN by ANDRE de DIENES: Little girl heading for the big time

MARILYN by ANDRE de DIENES: Little girl heading for the big time

For those who came of age after her death, Marilyn Monroe belongs to that generation of American males whose idea of cool was smoking a pipe and reading Playboy. That seems pretty tame to those... > Read more

THIS BAND IS SO GORGEOUS a doco by DUNSTAN BRUCE

THIS BAND IS SO GORGEOUS a doco by DUNSTAN BRUCE

There's certainly something about Western bands going to China that makes sense. Wham! going to China? Dance-pop and nice ballads? Yes. The Rolling Stones in China? Okay, legendary... > Read more