Home 400 Miles From L.A. 1955-56
400 Miles From L.A. 1955-56
LITA176 ONLINE BUNDLE
- 2LP pressed at RTI & housed in a deluxe Stoughton “tip-on” jacket
- Tracks mastered from original Viv Records analog tapes
- Featuring many previously unreleased compositions and an early draft of Trouble Is A Lonesome Town
- Liner notes by Hunter Lea with an interview from John Dixon
- Includes archival photos and ephemera
Available September 13, 2019
Phoenix, Arizona 1955…a twenty-five year old disc jockey and fledgling songwriter, Lee Hazlewood, is trying to break into the music industry. He takes Greyhound bus trips to Los Angeles to pitch songs, only to be rejected each time. Undeterred, Lee starts a record label called Viv Records. Running the label out of his house, Lee finds the artists, writes the songs, produces the sessions, arranges the pressings of the records and handles distribution. Recently discovered tapes in the Viv Records archive yielded an unbelievable find, the earliest known recordings of Hazlewood singing his songs…Lee’s first demo! The mysterious and bountiful tapes featured Lee singing early unheard compositions and a complete first draft of his Trouble Is A Lonesome Town song cycle that would become his first official solo album in 1963.
Light in the Attic Records is proud to continue it’s Lee Hazlewood archival series with 400 Miles From L.A. 1955-56, a collection of previously unknown intimate recordings, never intended for release. Lee sings, plays guitar and even presses the record button on the tape machine. These are rural sketches and small town dreams, captured in an innocent time before the path ahead was clear.
These songs rewrite Lee’s recorded history, adding a new first chapter to his saga. For Hazlewood addicts, hearing these early tracks and the embryonic version of Trouble Is A Lonesome Town is akin to finding an early draft of the Old Testament.
“That’s beauty of Lee’s songwriting. It lives on. People will hear it for the first time, even though it’s fifty years old or whatever, if it’s good enough and strong enough, they’ll accept and like it as much as if it was just created. That’s the wonderful legacy that Lee has. It’s wonderful to look back and make all this early work available. To put “Boots” and all those other LHI songs into perspective. That it all started somewhere and this is where.” – Arizona Music Historian and record producer, John Dixon.
Though he’s perhaps best known for his work with Nancy Sinatra (including writing mega-hit These Boots Are Made For Walking), Hazlewood did stunning work away from that particular glamour queen, and found latter day champions in Beck, Sonic Youth, Jarvis Cocker and Spiritualized. Now, Light In The Attic Records have compiled the best of his classic-era output for LHI Records on the compilation Singles, Nudes & Backsides.
A songwriter and producer by trade, Hazlewood sang the songs that no one else wanted to take from him, never quite achieving the success that others had with his compositions and drawing few royalties from them in comparison. These were the tracks released on his own LHI label: Lee Hazlewood Industries.
A natural wanderer, Lee lived a big life, fighting in the Korean War, working as a radio DJ in Phoenix, Arizona, setting up Viv Records in the ‘50s, working as a big-shot LA 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, which saw his move to Sweden. By 2007, Hazlewood was living in Vegas, and begrudgingly enjoying that flurry of latter-day interest in his work. This landmark compilation promises to create many more converts. More gems from the Hazlewood vaults to follow…