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Lee Hazlewood – Photo courtesy of Light in the Attic Records
Light in the Attic Records continues its Lee Hazlewood archival series with 400 Miles From L.A. 1955-56, a collection of previously unknown demo recordings that reveal the talents of the late songwriter, producer, and artist from a very early stage in his career.
Lost for over 60 years, these recently unearthed recordings find Hazlewood in Phoenix, AZ, honing his songwriting skills as he shuttled himself back and forth on a Greyhound bus to Los Angeles in hopes of landing a hit song. These early sketches and unheard gems further expand on Hazlewood’s influential recorded history, adding a new first chapter to his legacy that comes a full decade before his song “These Boots Are Made For Walking” became a smash hit for Nancy Sinatra.
Available September 13th and to commemorate what would be Hazlewood’s 90th birthday, the LP and CD packages contain new liner notes by Hazlewood guru Hunter Lea and features an interview with Arizona music historian John Dixon.
The Light In The Attic Online Exclusive Bundle is pressed on colored vinyl and includes a treasure trove of Hazlewood collectibles created especially for this release: a travel journal, 18”x 24” silkscreen print, shot glass, and a set of “Labels of Lee” drink coasters, all crafted in cooperation with the Hazlewood estate.
Hazlewood was a true triple-threat, making a name for himself as a go-to writer, producer, and formidable artist in his own right. A songwriter by trade, Hazlewood kept for himself the songs that weren’t snatched up by larger-profile artists (such as “Houston” by Dean Martin and “This Town” by Frank Sinatra), yet never quite achieved the success in his own time that others had with his compositions.
Hazlewood would go on to be discovered and recognized by latter-day champions in Beck, Sonic Youth, Jarvis Cocker, and Spiritualized, who appreciated Hazlewood for his unique sonic gifts as a producer and writer.
A natural wanderer, Hazlewood lived a full life, serving for the U.S. Army in the Korean War, working as a radio DJ in Phoenix, Arizona, setting up Viv Records in the ‘50s, producing hits for Duane Eddy and Sanford Clark, working as a big-shot L.A. producer in the ‘60s, signing Phil Spector to his Trey Records label, and prematurely announcing retirement in the wake of the mid-‘60s British invasion. He didn’t: Nancy Sinatra came along, the hits started flowing and he continued producing characterful solo albums into the ‘70s.
Starting in 2012, Light In The Attic became the official custodians of the Lee Hazlewood musical legacy, launching their archival series with The LHI Years: Singles, Nudes & Backsides (1968-71). In 2015, they garnered a Grammy nomination for Best Historical Album with their release of There’s A Dream I’ve Been Saving: Lee Hazlewood Industries 1966 – 1971 (2014). The label has re-released nearly two dozen Lee Hazlewood records in their Archival series to date.
The Big Takeover is thrilled to host the premiere of an early demo of Hazlewood’s lyrically impactful “Run Boy Run”. This demo is more intimate and warm than the polished-up version found on the album Trouble is A Lonesome Town.
The sound on the demo is spare and up-close, with no bells and whistles; just nimble, mellifluous guitar strum and a lightly sing-song and embracing vocal delivery from Hazlewood. The potent storytelling lyrics about being born on the “wrong side of the tracks” is kept intact from this demo to the official version that came out in 1963.
Pre-Order 400 Miles From L.A. 1955-56