The songs of Lee Hazlewood performed by a panoply of international artists from the 1950s to the present day.
Lee Hazlewood – songwriter, singer, producer, independent record label entrepreneur, DJ, raconteur and self-proclaimed “ol’ grey-haired sonofabitch” – is a key figure in the history of modern popular music. Laced with lashings of dark wit, wrong-side-of-the-tracks heartbreak and esoteric imagery, his compositions have been recorded by everyone from Frank Sinatra to German industrialists Einstürzende Neubauten.
“Son-Of-A-Gun” is the third volume of Hazlewood’s compositions to be released in Ace’s renowned Songwriter series. The first, “Califia”, comprised recordings made in the 1950s and 60s, and the second, “Shazam!”, focused exclusively on instrumentals. While “Son-Of-Gun” features some performers whose recordings Hazlewood produced in his glory years, the collection consists primarily of interpretations by a diverse array of contemporary international artists who were inspired by his work from afar.
Consequently, Sanford Clark’s title track shares disc space with Jarvis Cocker and Richard Hawley’s menacing revival of ‘A Cheat’ from 2002, a song first recorded by Clark 46 years earlier; Waylon Jennings’ ‘She Comes Running’, from his Hazlewood-produced “Singer Of Sad Songs” album, rubs shoulders with ‘These Boots Are Made For Walking’ by Australian punks the Boys Next Door (Nick Cave’s first band); and Ville Valo and Natalia Avelon’s sumptuous 2007 version of ‘Summer Wine’ appears alongside Loy Clingman’s sinister ‘The Man Who Made An Angel Cry’, a Lee Hazlewood production from 1957. All in all, a dynamic and eclectic listen, held together by Hazlewood’s skill as a songwriter.
The booklet, a fully illustrated 24-pager, features exclusive interviews with many of the featured artists, including Richard Hawley, Primal Scream’s Bobby Gillespie, Jim Reid of the Jesus & Mary Chain and Mick Harvey.
Ian Johnston and Mick Patrick