Best of Leon Russell - (Import CD)

Leon Russell

R 249

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  1. Performer
  2. Rock & Pop
  3. Country Rock
Mono / Stereo
Michael Murphy (Compilation); Dennis Wolfe (Compilation)
The Best of Leon Russell *

Photographers: Jim McCrary; Tyler Hubby.
Its release precipitated by the success of 2010's highly touted Elton John collaboration The Union, Capitol's 2011 The Best of Leon Russell is a necessary addition to Russell's catalog in a number of way. Not only is it designed to hook in those listeners who discovered or rediscovered the eccentric pianist via The Union -- "If It Wasn't for Bad," a selection from that 2010 LP, is placed right up front among the 16 songs -- but Russell hasn't had a compilation since 1997, when the Right Stuff released the single-disc Retrospective, a distillation of the previous year's double-disc Gimme Shelter, so it's time for a new disc. The Best of Leon Russell does its job very well, hitting all the obvious high points -- "A Song for You," "Hummingbird," "Tight Rope," and "Delta Lady" all follow in succession -- downplaying his Hank Wilson records a little but stopping for a duet with Willie Nelson on "Heartbreak Hotel" and finding space for his "Jumpin' Jack Flash/Youngblood" medley from The Concert for Bangladesh. Perhaps there are certain eccentricities that could have been included but this best-of provides the basics in a thoroughly entertaining fashion. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine

EMI Catalogue
66m 35s
Leon Russell
Songs / Tracks
  1. [ Disc 01 Track 01 ] Tryin' to Stay 'Live
  2. [ Disc 01 Track 02 ] Shoot Out on the Plantation
  3. [ Disc 01 Track 03 ] If It Wasn't for Bad
  4. [ Disc 01 Track 04 ] Song for You, A
  5. [ Disc 01 Track 05 ] Hummingbird
  6. [ Disc 01 Track 06 ] Tight Rope
  7. [ Disc 01 Track 07 ] Delta Lady
  8. [ Disc 01 Track 08 ] Stranger in a Strange Land
  9. [ Disc 01 Track 09 ] It's a Hard Rain's A-Gonna Fall
  10. [ Disc 01 Track 10 ] This Masquerade
  11. [ Disc 01 Track 11 ] Out in the Woods
  12. [ Disc 01 Track 12 ] If I Were a Carpenter
  13. [ Disc 01 Track 13 ] Heartbreak Hotel
  14. [ Disc 01 Track 14 ] Lady Blue
  15. [ Disc 01 Track 15 ] Back to the Island
  16. [ Disc 01 Track 16 ] Jumpin Jack Flash/Youngblood - (remix)
  1. Leon Russell

Spin (p.106) - "His best '70s solo work, most of which is included here, brought an eccentric glamminess to Southern roots music."
Record Collector (magazine) (p.100) - 4 stars out of 5 -- "Russell's exemplary musicianship shines through....A maverick, a mystic, and all to often overlooked cornerstone of Americana."
Uncut (magazine) (p.101) - 4 stars out of 5 -- "This musicians' musician was revered on both sides of the pond for his status as a living, breathing embodiment of neon-lit American roadhouse music..."

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