Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Up From The Skies: The Polydor Years
Genres: Country, Blues, Folk, Pop, Rock
Listen to Samples
Similarly Requested CDs
Unheralded proto-female rocker with stinging guitar
Paul J. Morrow, Jr. | Nashville, TN USA | 06/29/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I first heard Ellen in 1972-73 when these albums came out (and, yes, my poor LPs are about worn out). She came on stage alone and barefoot, plugged in her electric guitar and proceeded to blow out the back of the small auditorium with her stinging slide guitar and her explosive voice. She commented that the record company liked her but wanted her to - can you believe this - lose the guitar! They apparently wanted to make her into a "chick" singer instead of the stunningly original stylist on vocals AND guitar that she is. Alas, she faded from public sight and never got the fame she deserved (it only took Bonnie Raitt twenty years). This compilation gives the uninitiated both of her first two Polydor albums with almost all of the cuts on the originals. The first album is wonderfully diverse and reflects her affection for country ("Honky Tonk Angels"), what would now be called world music ("Pinebo"), and classic rock in her masterful version of Stevie Winwood's "Can't Find My Way Home." I thought that he broke the mold on that song until I heard Ellen's version. The proof that she was getting better is her overall stronger - in my opinion - second album. As much as I liked the first album, the power of her performance on the songs "Sliding," Father Along" "Everybody Wants To Go To Heaven," "Jimmy Jean" and the incomparable "We the People" makes it a classic. I understand that she now lives in Canada. All I can say is please visit the lower 48 again so that everyone can (re)experience the power and the glory."
Nobody does it better!
Paul J. Morrow, Jr. | 11/05/1998
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I first heard Ellen way back in 1978, and was fortunate enough to see her on both of her brilliant Australian tours in the early 80s. She remains one of the great musical discoveries of my life. Why she is not a megastar is totally opaque to me."Up From The Skies" compiles two of her best LPs, both long out of print and highly prized collector's items. They are a *must* for anyone who loves the blues, slide guitar and great singing. Ellen's playing is superb (although these recordings only hint at what a truly dynamic and powerful player she is). The songs feature live and studio recordings, mixing great original material with some beautifully crafted covers, like the title-track. (Ellen was a occasional jamming partner with Hendrix in Greenwich Village - they must have been a dynamite combination!). Her influences are broad - blues, country, gospel and much more - but her style is unique and no-one I've ever played this music to has failed to be impressed.Most of all, this CD is essential listening for Ellen's incredible voice - once you hear it you'll never be the same."
She'll bring it on home to you!
Jack B. Nimble | East Coast | 02/07/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Ellen McIllwaine could just as well be the standard by which others can be judged. Her beautiful yet powerful vocals coupled with her versatile guitar playing is just a pleasure to listen to and her music gives off some unique vibes that you want to feel while listening to music. It's a mixed bag of rock, folk, blues and celtic with great lyrics and with her dead-on vocals, she'll bring it on home to you. Being that there were no "hits" to thrust her career into the mainstream eye and the lack of airplay from the radio stations of the day, she never really got as popular as she should have, but those who know of her really enjoy her incredibly unique style. If you can find a copy, listen to her late 60's material with FEAR ITSELF (yes, she was in a heavy blues rock band in the late 60's that released a great LP for Dot back in 69'). That's where "Underground River" (included here) came from, she took the song with her. Also, "In my time of dying" just gives me the chills. This collection is highly recommended, so do yourself a favor and purchase this CD! Not a bad song really to be found. From her late 60's material (which is not included in this release) up to her later work included here, I just really dig her. No doubt, one of my favorites - Love ya Ellen!"