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Laura Nyro – Eli and the Thirteenth Confession (1968)

April 25, 2019

[Album 644/1001]

Have you heard the new Morrissey track, Wedding Bell Blues?

I reckon that even those who suffer from life threatening allergies to his voice on/off stage would have to concede: it’s simply irresistible!

The seemingly effortless vocals (featuring Billie Joe from Green Day), the bop-along piano chords, a tremendous tune originally written & recorded in 1966.

As originally written & recorded by which songwriter/singer/pianist?

An 18-year old named Laura Nyro.

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While none of the songs on Eli and the Thirteenth Confession may be as instantly sing-a-long-able, that’s far from a criticism.

If this is ‘pop’ music, it’s my favourite kind.220px-Laura_nyro_eli

Toe-tapping, sure.

But of equal, if not greater importance, Eli also features a baker’s dozen of sophisticated arrangements.

Her vocals are all over the map (in the best of ways) and new instrumental layers are revealed upon each listen.

Overall, Eli is the sound of the ideal triple threat (singer/songwriter/pianist) balance.

Rather than accusing Laura of ‘wearing too many hats’ or having one skill outshine the others, her compositions & vocal/piano performances never feel like they’re competing for listener attention or respect.

Perhaps it doesn’t hurt that her skills in all three areas are top notch.

…..

.

.

Verbalize the Positive

I enjoyed my several listens via Apple Music & I’ll now be on the lookout for this record in the wild.

From what I understand, like Reese Witherspoon’s resume in Legally Blonde, the lyric sheet included in this LP was scented.

How fantastic would it be to find a copy with the scented lyric sheet?

A little something extra indeed!

 

 

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From → 1960s

12 Comments
  1. She’s great. Next two albums are almost as good too. My wife hates her voice.

    • II could see how her voice might be polarizing – I quite like how it feels “all in” and not too perfect. Though the voices & styles are different, I’m reminded of how I felt after listening to Carole King’s Tapestry, lots of quality writing & performances!

  2. I DO NOT CONCEDE THAT!

    • I had a feeling you wouldn’t – but I thought with your increasing immunity, there was at least a chance!

  3. jprobichaud permalink

    I’m not sure the scent would be quite so sweet anymore.

    • Perhaps it might have passed its best before date!
      Or it’s like the gum in unopened old packs of baseball cards, neat that it was there at the time, but no interest in consuming it now

      • jprobichaud permalink

        Haha. Both are likely accurate

  4. Laura Nyro is one of my most all time favourite singers ever, and this album is a Top 5 for me (up with ‘Low’ and ‘Blue’!)!!! She was a Carole King- and Lennon/McCartney-level songwriting genius in my opinion…so underrated. ‘Wedding Bell Blues’ is one of the most beautifully catchy and uplifting songs of all time, and the cuts on ‘Eli’ are equally as painstakingly and masterfully crafted! I love her so much, it’s so nice to see some appreciation of her!

    • Fabulous choice for an all time favourite!
      She’s brand new to me & I’m excited to finally be introduced to her. Well said about the song craft too – I got a Carole King vibe when listening too. Not that the songs were similar, more so that both the composition & performance both mattered and were both terrific.
      I’m delighted to hear she’s in your Top 5!

  5. Can I just listen to the original instead of ever hearing that Morrissey version again?

    Anyway, I have this one on my list to revisit, as I didn’t really connect with it first time around and haven’t heard it in a while.

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