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One of the Greats

Somebody check the temperature in Hell. Rolling Stone has actually published something worth reading:

For a brief moment in the early Seventies, Judee Sill was one of L.A.’s most promising artists. She was one of the first musicians signed to Asylum Records, a label David Geffen started with Elliot Roberts that became famous for its roster of the Eagles, Linda Ronstadt, Jackson Browne, and others. Sill was produced by Graham Nash, and her songs were covered by the Turtles, the Hollies, and Cass Elliot. But unlike her labelmates, she never found fame and success. When the decade of the singer-songwriter ended, she ended with it, dying on November 23rd, 1979, of a drug overdose.

I only just discovered Sill last year, courtesy of The Album Yearsthe podcast from Steven Wilson and Tim Bowness, now in its second season.

But man, when I first heard “The Kiss,” from Sill’s second and final album Heart Food, I was gobsmacked. XTC’s Andy Partridge says it best: “Unfortunately, I can’t listen to ‘The Kiss’ anymore because it just presses the ‘sob your heart out’ button. I’m just destroyed for the next hour. I actually think it’s the most beautiful song ever written by anybody.”

Amen, Brother Andy. Here it is, in one of the few known videos of Sill performing live:

Kudos to Angie Martoccio for a sympathetic, well-written portrayal of an artist who deserves to be known. “More than 40 years after her death,” asks the article’s subhead, “could the world finally be ready to appreciate her?”

I dunno. But it damn sure ought to be.



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