Lee Hazlewood fans have seen a bounty of reissues and compilations issued over the past decade with anthologies of his MGM and Reprise singles, and albums appearing with some regularity. Light in the Attic has always gone deeper. It's released comps and catalog items from his LHI label, his work with Duane Eddy, and more. But they've outdone ...
Lee Hazlewood fans have seen a bounty of reissues and compilations issued over the past decade with anthologies of his MGM and Reprise singles, and albums appearing with some regularity. Light in the Attic has always gone deeper. It's released comps and catalog items from his LHI label, his work with Duane Eddy, and more. But they've outdone themselves with There's a Dream I've Been Saving: 1966-1971, a box set seven years in the making documenting the complete history of LHI (Lee Hazlewood Industries). Two of its four audio discs provide Hazlewood's complete recordings for the label, many equal to those he cut earlier in his career. The other two offer highlights from his artist roster: there are tracks by the International Submarine Band (w/ Gram Parsons), Suzi Jane Hokom (while a recording artist, she was also was one of the first notable female record producers; the Beatles wanted to work with her but Hazlewood nixed it), Kitchen Cinq, Honey Ltd., Ann-Margret, Virgil Warner, the Aggregation, Hamilton Streetcar, Lynn Castle, and more. Fans may be familiar with most of his recordings, but there is much that will be new to many. One thing his artists had in common was, no matter how different from one another stylistically, all benefitted from top-flight production -- from Hazlewood, Hokom, or staff producers -- assistance from in-demand arrangers like Jack Nietszche, and session players who included Earl Palmer, Carol Kaye, and other members of the Wrecking Crew. Ninety-five percent of this material was painstakingly remastered from original analog masters, the rest from pristine vinyl sources. Also included is a region-free DVD of director Torbj÷rn Axelman's strange 1970 Hazlewood film, Cowboy in Sweden, transferred from the 16mm negative into HD with remastered sound and available for the first time. The included book is stellar: 172 hardbound pages in a beautiful 12X12 presentation that offers a complete history of LHI, with input from various artists and staff -- not all of it flattering -- interviews with Hazlewood and Hokom, profiles of 27 artists, an album-by-album breakdown, a timeline, and loads of rare color photos. While this is for hardcore Hazlewood fans, it's more than that, too: Hazlewood, a wildly successful producer, songwriter, and recording artist, took his money and became his own boss. That he eventually failed had as much to do with the stakes LHI was competing against as its naive business model. There's a Dream I've Been Saving is a prime cultural artifact documenting a high point in an independent era in pop recording, production, and D.I.Y. aesthetics. It deserves a Grammy for content and design. [The Deluxe Edition includes three bonus DVDs: one with mp3s of all but one album (International Submarine Band's) and singles with cover art. The other two carry .wav files of albums and singles respectively -- also with artwork -- a flexi-disc filled with Hazlewood's studio banter; six glossy promo photos; a 1970 Hazlewood Airlines ticket, and his business card; all of it encased in a glorious cloth-bound clamshell box stamped with gold foil.] ~ Thom Jurek, Rovi