Home Romantic Times
- First ever LP reissue, first time on CD & Digital
- All tracks newly re-mastered
- LP housed in deluxe Stoughton “Tip-On” gatefold jacket
- Liner notes by Jack D. Fleischer
- All CD & LP Pre-orders include immediate MP3 download of the full album
- LP includes download card for MP3 of the full album
Earlier this year, we released the mysterious, bewitching L’Amour, a 1983 private press record thought to be the only release by one of music’s true lost talents: Lewis. Romantic Times is the 1985 follow-up to L’Amour – and it’s released as Lewis Baloue. The name may be slightly different, but this is absolutely our man: a familiar blond posing on the sleeve, a familiar, tortured voice pouring his heart out over languid synths and synthetic waltz beats.
Earlier this year, we released the mysterious, bewitching L’Amour, a 1983 private press record thought to be the only release by one of music’s true lost talents: Lewis.
So lost, in fact, was Lewis, he eluded every effort to track him down. Scant details were known: just a series of possibly apocryphal stories about a sports car-driving Canadian with a model on his arm and a habit of skipping town when there were bills to be paid.
Deciding that Lewis’ spider web-delicate songs demanded to be heard, we put the album out anyway, offering to present the due royalties to anyone who could prove they were Lewis.
One sure thing was this: Lewis was a man of many names: Randall A. Wulff among them. Now we have either found another alias – or perhaps even his real name – on the sleeve of a completely unknown album.
Sourced soon after the re-release of L’Amour, Romantic Times is the 1985 follow-up to L’Amour – and it’s released as Lewis Baloue. The name may be slightly different, but this is absolutely our man: a familiar blond posing on the sleeve, a familiar, tortured voice pouring his heart out over languid synths and synthetic waltz beats.
Remastered from a sealed, vinyl copy of the ultra-rare album, the album was discovered in the vaults of DJ and collector Kevin “Sipreano” Howes in Vancouver, BC. It’s so rare that what is, at present, the only other known copy – found in the same Calgary store where Aaron Levin discovered a batch of sealed copies of L’Amour – is presently soaring into quadruple digits on eBay.
Even engineer Dan Lowe, credited for working on the album at Calgary’s Thunder Road Studios, remembered little about the session other than that Lewis seemed to be “under the influence”. Yet the music is utterly captivating.
The album further fleshes out the Lewis myth – we see him pictured in that white suit with his famous white Mercedes and a private jet too; we hear him focussing more intently on matters of the heart, and appearing to unravel in the process. “I felt like I was witnessing a full-blown exorcism of a phantom clad in the finest linen,” writes filmmaker and historian Jack D. Fleischer in his brand new liner notes. “This record went further [than L’Amour ]. It was a personal plea, of sorts. Something had gone wrong. Nerves were clearly exposed.”
It paints Lewis, then, as being more like a David Lynch character than even his debut did, exposing the darkness beneath the sheen. The album is presently being readied for release to the throng of new fans Lewis has found, willingly or not. The man himself remains a total enigma.
In 1983, a man named Lewis recorded an album named L’Amour, which was released on the unknown label R.A.W. And that’s about all we know. The record itself is a delicate, whispered album, reflecting the way the artist himself – spectral, movie star-like – almost disappears into the grey of the cover. It should come as no surprise that it failed to shout loudly enough to be noticed, another private press album that sank without trace.
There’s almost no information about Lewis or the album on the internet. There’s precious little on the sleeve: a dedication to Sports Illustrated supermodel Christie Brinkley, a photo credit for Ed Colver, the noted L.A. punk rock photographer, and credits for engineer Bob Kinsey and synth player Philip Lees. All that was known of Lewis is conjecture: a rumour that he was a con artist who fled after not paying for L’Amour’s photo-shoot and a dubious theory that he was not actually of this earth.
When Light In The Attic looked to release the album, they set out to investigate the mystery. They found some answers, but more intrigue too. Colver was able to fill in some blanks. Firstly, Lewis is a pseudonym. The man the photographer met was named Randall Wulff. He stayed in the Beverley Hills Hilton, drove a white convertible Mercedes and dated a girl who looked like a model. He paid for his photo session with Colver with a $250 check, which bounced.
Eventually, the trail led to Alberta, Canada, where that first LP had been found. Liner notes writer Jack Fleischer along with master detective Markus Armstrong found Randall’s nephew, who remembered Randall as a stockbroker. His vague recollections include a visit to Randall’s apartment, with all-white furniture and that beautiful girlfriend in situ. Crucially, he offered another name – another of Randall’s pseudonyms – which led to a Vancouver studio and the revelation that Lewis had recorded three or four albums of “soft religious music” there. Alas, even the new nom de plume led only to dead ends.
Lewis remains a ghost, a total mystery, but the music will be heard. The album is being pressed for the first time in more than 30 years, and widely distributed for the first time ever. Lewis’s royalties will be placed in escrow until he makes himself known. Perhaps you know Lewis. Perhaps Lewis is you. The only certainty is this: Lewis is about to find a whole bunch of new fans.