Friday, 2 January 2009

Judee Sill - Fleet Foxes - Turtles

Getting some stuff together for a number of posts on up n coming solo female singers, I got to thinking about ones from the past, and particularly the joy they must have brought to many people discovering them for the first time. One such, and a favourite of mine, is Judee Sill .

Her song-writing skills reached a wide audience well before her voice, after she sold a song to the Turtles in 1969 - 'Lady O', which also featured on Judee's first album. Only a modest success as a single for the Turtles, Judee later recounted the thrill of hearing it on the radio, and of being paid the sizeable sum ( for the time ) of $65 a week to write for their production company. A tour as support for Graham Nash & David Crosby finally got both her unique voice & song-writing skills in the ears of many more people. Judee could certainly deliver the goods live,as you'll hear below.

Sadly, sales weren't huge, despite critical praise & radio-play; and although a second lp - 'Heart Food' was released in '73, it too found acclaim, but not many buyers. No longer able to get big gigs, and perhaps uncomfortable with supporting slots, her public profile faded, and after a false report of her death in '74, she pretty much went off the radar until dying at her Hollywood apartment in November 1979.

You can read much more about Judee Sill at Music that Means Something, which has a huge archive of interesting articles, personal recollections & reviews; also links to live recordings.

Anyhow, the music eh?

Lady O - Judee Sill
from 'Judee Sill' - 1971
myspace | buy

Lady O - Judee Sill
live for the BBC in Concert - 1972
including Judee recounting how the Turtles released it - quite charming, and an excellent recording.
myspace | buy

More recently, Fleet Foxes have made Judee's 'Crayon Angels' a popular song at their live shows, picking it for their Black Cab Session.

Crayon Angels - Fleet Foxes
live in London - 2008, not great sound, from youtube
myspace | buy

Crayon Angels - Judee Sill
live - not sure of venue - available on this CD
myspace | buy

I do think The Turtles did a fine version of Lady O - which do you prefer?
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