Wednesday, 9 April 2008

PINK MOON (feminine musick)

SILL JUDEE
JUDEE SILL


Original Issue: 1971 Asylum (sd-5050)

Reissue: 2005 Water (WATER 158) Buy it here!!!

Margot-meter: 5 moons / 5

Do you think this blog is just a bunch of dark, obscure, oppressive, scary musick? OK, this is for you, then.

Here you have some solar folksinging from the late Judee Sill...

...but do not stop to the appearances; just consider the first song's lyric of this wonderful debut and you'll understand why!

Crayon Angel songs are slightly out of tune
But I'm sure I'm not to blame
Nothing's happened, but I think it will soon
So I sit here waiting for God and a train
To the Astral plane

Magic rings I made have turned my finger green,
And my mystic roses died
Guess reality is not as it seems
So I sit here hoping for truth, and a ride
To the other side

Phony prophets stole the only light I knew
And the darkness softly screamed
Holy visions disappeared from my view,
But the angels come back and laugh in my dreams…
I wonder what it means…

1 CRAYON ANGELS
2 THE PHANTOM COWBOY
3 THE ARCHETYPAL MAN
4 THE LAMB RAN AWAY WITH THE CROWN
5 LADY-O
6 JESUS WAS A CROSS MAKER
7 RIDGE RIDER
8 MY MAN ON LOVE
9 LOPIN' ALONG THRU THE COSMOS
10 ENCHANTED SKY MACHINES
11 ABRACADABRA
12 THE PEARL (Original Version)
13 THE PHOENIX (Original Version)
14 INTRO/THE VIGILANTE
15 LADY-O
16 ENCHANTED SKY MACHINES
17 THE ARCHETYPAL MAN
18 CRAYON ANGELS
19 THE LAMB RAN AWAY WITH THE CROWN
20 JESUS WAS A CROSS MAKER
21 JESUS WAS A CROSS MAKER (Home Demo)

from Amazon

I admit it, when I first added this album to my list of records to check out, I hesitated to buy it since everything I read described it as "Christian rock." I don't have anything against Christians, but Christian rock is a music genre that is usually pretty bad, offering little more than repackaged, bland preaching paired with uninspired and equally bland music. Thankfully, I did pick up this record and found it to be much better than its so-called genre led me to believe.

Judee Sill's take on Christian spirituality is certainly unique--listen to her lyrics, and you'll probably notice a combination of classic Christian concepts and ideals alongside some pretty spacey hippie imagery. For me, this is a pretty novel combo and it really set Sill's music apart from the schlock that gets marketed as Christian rock. Additionally, it's not really that preachy or overbearing. Rather than preaching to her listeners, Sill describes her own personal, introspective spiritual journey, which is a lot more compelling.

Judee Sill is overall a pretty soothing record. Her voice is quite mellow but able to convey some pretty specific emotions, and it sounds good overdubbed too. Most of the main accompaniment is acoustic guitar and piano, along with a fair bit of tasteful orchestration. This folky instrumentation is supported by Sill's surprisingly poppy writing. Her songs are concise and full of hooks (guitar on "Crayon Angels," the entirety of "Jesus Was a Cross Maker," the list goes on). Even after one listen, you'll have something to hum and want to hear again. Unfortunately, it's a pretty short album, so it probably will leave you wanting more.

There really aren't any weak cuts on this album, but some of my favorites are "Crayon Angels," the refrain in "Loping Along Through the Cosmos," and the soulful "Enchanted Sky Machine." I hope you check out and enjoy this lost treasure!

Elliot Knapp

15 comments:

Margot said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
lucieandco said...

I've been meaning to check out Judee Sill forever, thanks ever so much for this!

Helmut said...

Beautiful, more like this, please!

Roger Camden said...

Thank you.

I love that last photo.
She looks awesome, just like all the big folkies- jeans, shirtless, on a bed, acoustic guitar.

TheeBradMiller said...

I wrote Margot this afternoon and said the following;
"This sounds interesting. I am looking forward to hearing it when I get home. Another good example of Christian music that is outstanding is Billy Fay. I had never heard of it till David Tibet covered "Time Of The Last Persecution". It is preachey, but in a manic way. Like a madman on the street corner holding a sign saying "the end is near". And I found it quite endearing. I should post it. True spirituality doesn't always have to be easy to except, just honest."

I can't wait to give it a listen.

arbor said...

thanks for this I've been wanting to hear it

Anonymous said...

"Judee Sill's take on Christian spirituality is certainly unique..."

Yes. A topless Christian folk singer is quite unique!

Margot said...

Yes! I must say that I was quite surprised when, googling Judee Sillm I was presented with that picture.

Anyway I think it's really peculiar and perfectly in line with this unlucky folksinger.

Music_an said...

hi Margot,
Darek of The Big F blog here, sorry for the delayed answer.
thank you very much for finding and linking my blog. i love some of the stuff you put up here (Scott Walker is my all-time hero). however, since you post Aleister Crowley's work here, i would not feel comfortable putting your link at my blog (that's also why i don't link otherwise excellent Dualtrack). sorry. with my blog's reading statistcs, it won't be much of a loss to you.
having said this, i'd love to hear the naked city cd you post here, i never knew it existed! i'd be grateful for the necessary info at zrozummniezle@o2.pl.
cheers, darek

Margot said...

I understand your point, Darek.

Anyway I want to make clear that I'm not into Crowley, too...I'm fascinated by his personality and I think that the record I've posted is charged with historical importance...nothing more than this.

Let's say that, through Crowley, I was able to discover my favorite visual artist of all times...Austin Osman Spare. This is thee man that I really love!!!

Anonymous said...

Thank you for posting this re-issue, I used to have this and the Heart food album, and it will be good to hear this again as my original vinyl is long lost in various re locations, lending etc
I don’t agree with the Amazon critic that Judee was a ‘Christian’ folksinger in any sense of the word apart from most probably having a strong interest in the original philosophy of Christianity. I believe she would have been horrified to be labelled as a ‘Christian artist’ and I for one would have not touched the records with a bargepole if she was being marketed as such at that time. I think if artists MUST be given labels she would fit in with that of ‘Spiritual folk artist’.
She had a very difficult (short) life; apparently she had worked the streets in LA as prostitute and had spent time behind bars. She was addicted to hard drugs both before, and during her professional career and consequently she had difficulty in obtaining gigs although most of her performances did not show her addictions, including the live BBC appearance that I saw at the time.
Unfortunately she died in suspicious circumstances in total obscurity in LA in 1979 in her early 30s despite being one of the greatest of female singer/songwriters of late 60s/early 70s. during that time of great musical creativity.
I consider her 2nd album ‘Heart food’ to be a more rounded follow up to this original album so and it would be good to hear that again also.
PJ

Margot said...

I totally agree with you, PJ!
She was a "Spiritual folk artist" in the purest sense.

And thank you for the biographical note, too.

Rob said...

i wasnt getting emails from you for the longest time and i just found you in my spam folder! wtf? anyway this is great and I'm so glad to get your emails again! :)

Anonymous said...

Thank you very much for this gem you shared with us! Quite strange that it wasn't a hit those days, whes singer-songwriters ruled the world from Laurel Canyon... And isn't it a tragic nonsence that fate dragged JS back in heroin abyss after non success of her two albums???
What a pity...
SteelyDaniel,Moscow.

Anonymous said...

This album touched me in places I didn't even know I had. Thank you!