Sunday, March 2, 2008
Leon Russell - Leon Russell and the Shelter People 1971
KILLER ALBUM, BROS. CAN SOMEONE HOOK ME UP WITH THE FIRST SELF TITLED ONE?
Leon Russell and the Shelter People
Released: May 1971
Chart Peak: #17
Weeks Charted: 29
Certified Gold: 2/3/72
Leon Russell didn't get to be the World's Champion Hip Okie by accident. He earned it on Stones sessions, by writing "Give Peace a Chance," by teaming up with Joe Cocker -- and he's just paid more dues with Leon Russell and the Shelter People, one of the best rock albums so far this year. Russell practically invented what might as well be called Okie rock -- with that shit-kicker Gospel sound, heavy on Baptist-revival piano and chorus -- and it gets as good on this album as you'll ever hear. He works wonders on Dylan's "It's a Hard Rain Gonna Fall," wails through a lovingly ironic piano-pounding tribute to Little Richard on "Crystal Closet Queen" and lopes through "She Smiles like a River," a rolling hill-folky ballad apparently inspired by "Life Is like a Mountain Railway." And there's more -- much more.
- Playboy, 9/71.