Wednesday, 31 January 2018

Aussie Jeannie Lewis: Free Fall through Featherless Flight (1973) and Tears of Steel (1976)











I love that 2nd cover, just so wildly different.  And the upside down foot on the verso of her first!  Great concept.  Oh the creativity of those long ago days!

The first album which is really just SSW pop-rock with relatively little in the way of progressive moves, can be zoomed through relatively quickly, though a heartbreakingly titled track called Fasten Your Wings with Love stands out:





Listen to how she ascends to the summit of that high C in the course of the chorus a la Bianca Castafiore, high enough to shatter the uppermost glass windows of the burj khalifa.  Quite awe-inspiring vocal cords there.

There is nothing here to prepare you for her 1976 double album, which doesn't just dip its toes into progressive rock, it takes a long bath in it, though unfortunately not consistently throughout.
When I first heard the song called "Face" I really almost fell off my chair, this time, hearing its abrupt changes from one minute to the next:





Almost like a cubist version of a crooner's song.  This was written by another Aussie called Peter Boothman.  I thought for sure the artist herself had written the lyrics:

If we peeled off the layers 
would you be afraid to appear
with a mask made of clay

You can see that the songs are selected from a very wide range of sources, including Graham Lowndes (note that he made two highly recommended folk albums in those days), Jimmy Webb (our old favourite the Moon is a Harsh Mistress, not as good as Radka Toneff's however), Paul Williams, David Bowie, etc., but I'll let you discover these riches for yourself.

Suffice it to say you can look forward to hitting the title track: Tears of Steel - 14 minutes long, with "lyrics" by Pablo Neruda.

Album is dedicated to her father.  Thanks Jeannie...
More to come from  her.





4 comments:

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  2. Thanks for introducing her. How lovely she is. What a voice, and everything. I DL'd both albums. Now I don't necessarily mean you should remove these but apparently they're available on CD http://mmusic.com.au/index.php?

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  3. Oh, the first album *is* out of stock. Also, I tried to link to a J. Lewis page but I see that didn't stick. Trying to link to the Tears album this time, but maybe it'll change into the Mmusic front page again... http://mmusic.com.au/index.php?route=product/product&search=jeannie%20lewis&product_id=304

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