The Asylum Years (Judee Sill)

Judee Sill はアメリカのシンガーソングライターで、1971年の1stそして1973年の2ndを残して表舞台から消え去り、1979年に交通事故の後遺症を癒やすためのコカインによるオーバードーズで亡くなるという波乱万丈な人生を送った女性。 そもそも生い立ちも決して幸福とは言えず、早くも薬物中毒になったり服役したり、服役中にオルガンを習ったり薬物を克服してデビューしたりと、えらい人生なんですが。



動く Judee Sill というのを初めて見た

アルバムは他にいくつも出ていますけど、オリジナルアルバムは前述の2枚っきりで、それをいわゆる 2in1 にしたのがこの The Asylum Years であります。 Asylum っていうのは所属レーベルね、有名な。

ギターも弾くのね 器用なのね

Judee Sill
Judee Sill was just 35 when she died of a drug overdose in 1979, never having extended what seemed to be an unlimited potential on this, her debut record, released just eight years before. With the wits of a poet and the intonation of an angel, the post-hippie Californian laced her original compositions with astral and religious imagery–and feelings of hopelessness–and then executed them with the pop lavishness of Karen Carpenter. Sill’s contemporaneous acoustic folk is sparely backed, while her multitracked vocals add to the redemptive eeriness of supernatural songs like “Lopin’ Along thru the Cosmos,” “The Phantom Cowboy,” and “Enchanted Sky Machines.” That Graham Nash produced the minor radio hit “Jesus Was a Crossmaker” (and later saw it covered by his former band the Hollies) attests that Sill was running with the right crowd. But despairing lyrics like “Guess reality is not as it seems / So I sit here hoping for truth and a ride to the other side” (“Crayon Angels”) suggest that Judee Sill was conscious that her life could be brief. Thankfully, she left this behind. –Scott Holter

Heart Food
Judee Sill’s follow-up to her 1971 self-titled debut sadly also turned out to be her final album, yet Heart Food stands neck and neck with its wondrous predecessor as a near-flawless slice of 1970s pop-flavored Laurel Canyon folk. The production and arrangements here are much grander then on Judee Sill, with her original piano- and guitar-driven songs enhanced by strings, church organ, harmonica, pedal steel, kettle drums, and even male vocals. But no matter the song–be it the Brian Wilson-influenced “The Vigilante,” the country-flavored “There’s a Rugged Road,” or the piano-solo delight “When the Bridegroom Comes”–it all comes back to Sill’s virginal voice, which twists and teeters in varying octaves and moods, sometimes within the same track. Sadly, her deliberate songwriting style denied her any chance at a third album. Drugs claimed Judee Sill’s life just five years after Heart Food, which can serve as an alluring introduction to this brilliant artist or as a proud bookend to her more-appreciated debut. –Scott Holter

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