Wednesday, 15 October 2008
A Lewis Taylor Miscellany
I'm pretty sure not everyone will agree with me on this, but, for my money Lewis Taylor is as close as the UK has got to a Jeff Buckley type of polymath muso-genius in recent times (Taylor covered Buckley's 'Everybody Here Wants You, on Lewis II). I'm surprised to find myself sharing a position - oo-er - occupied by Elton John (he tried to hype Taylor some time back). Anyhoo, my biggest gripe with Lewis is that he's such a control freak and perfectionist he can't work with anyone else. At least, that's what I've heard, and what I surmise from his music mostly being written, arranged, sung and played all by his bad self. It's also a massive indictment of the industry that it doesn't cultivate, nurture and facilitate a talent like Taylor's. It seems he's one of those mavericks who seem unable to get himself across. Perhaps he should've just been put in a gilded cage, fed through some kind of tube, and allowed to create, perhaps even being cloned, so he could have a band?
These tunes are numbers that (as far as I know) didn't make it onto any official album releases. Some appeared on b-sides and the like. I actually think that some of this stuff is his absolute tip-top best. 'Cherry Blossom', 'Lewis III' and 'Waves' are all, in my perhaps less than humble opinion, the work of someone cursed with a gift of singular fantabulousness ... if you get my drift. My only real criticism of any of this music - far outweighed by the merits it has in abundance - is the rhythm programming: should've had real drums Lewis! Such deliciously organic music, with guitar, bass, keys, vocals and everything all being so fluid and real... real drums would've been the best bedrock. But hey, I'm a drummer, whaddya think I'd say!
Most of the world has missed out on this precious gorgeousness, don't you be a schmuck too!
Tracklisting: A Little Bit Tasty / Cherry Blossom / Got Me Thinking / I Dream The Better DreamI / Lewis III / Pie In Electric Sky / Trip So Heavy / Waves
I was also contemplating posting Taylor's homage to Captain Beefheart: a reworking (it's perhaps a partial or incomplete project ... don't really know much about it) of the legendary Trout Mask Replica album. Just like Lewis to do something most people wouldn't even consider, or, having thought of it, would dismiss as not 'viable product', but Lewis, like Beefheart before him, marches to a different (and sadly in Lewis' case, synthesized) beat! But, as the link above will show, jinkzmusings has already uploaded it. If his link ain't working shout me and I'll post the tracks. Not for the faint hearted! I will however be posting Beefheart's next album - the phenomenal Lick My Decals Off, Baby - when I get the time.