Sunday, October 11, 2009

Nancy & Lee

I got this as a download at Amazon the other day. It's one of the 50 albums at $5 for the month.

I've listened to it several times. It's cool.

I'm old enough to remember hearing the big songs on the radio, so I'm not coming to it fresh. But this is the first time I've ever heard the album with everything in context.

For the most part, the big songs, "Jackson" and I believe "Summer Wine," are very much like the other songs. Which is good.

The first song, "You've Lost That Loving Feeling," if you don't know what's coming on, Lee sounds like a frog. But once you get over that, his craggy old voice is very pretty (to me anyway).

Nancy has always been represented in my album collection by her "Boots" album, which I've always liked, except we laugh at a song like "Run For Your Life."

But back to this album. Nancy and Lee's vocals are effortless -- no one's being especially stretched. Still, that's OK. I like the laid back vibe of it. The little bits of banter are cute, like Bing and Rosie.

The silliest song is "Greenwich Village Folk Song Salesman." The first time through didn't appeal to me but I like it OK now. I do remember something about an "Economic Opportunity Program" in the Johnson years... Can't think what they called it exactly. Nancy says she can't even pronounce that!

Most of the songs have a serious tone to them. These are very nice, including "Summer Wine," "Sundown Sundown," and my favorite, "Storybook Children." I could listen to these over and over.

"Jackson" was a big hit and ought to be familiar to everyone who was alive at the time.

"Some Velvet Morning" is also familiar, so it must have been on the radio. It's more of a free ranging, strange poetry, psychedelic song. I'm not sure what Phaedra means. Something to do with goddesses and flowers, I guess. It's Lee's experience in the song, how she gave him life and how she made it end. It's easily the most far out song (and very nice).

"Sand" reminds me of a western song with a Mideastern twist. Maybe his name is Sand because he blows in from somewhere on the western plains or Arabian desert. I said "Some Velvet Morning" was psychedelic, but it's "Sand" that has the strange backwards played instrumental break. Nancy uses "thee" and "thy" language in regards to Sand.

With the song "Lady Bird" I'm expecting something about Mrs. Johnson, but there aren't any references that have to do with her. So that's a relief. It's just a guy who has a "Lady Bird" in his woman, who's always flying high. Maybe Twittering.

The last song is "I've Been Down So Long (It Looks Like Up To Me)." Just a down on my luck song, applied to Lee. Another song on the funny side.

I didn't mention "Elusive Dreams." That's a serious song about a couple who roam from place to place in pursuit of their elusive dreams. Their child died in Alaska (that's the way I take it), so that's sad.

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