Search - Leon Russell :: Face In The Crowd

Face In The Crowd
Leon Russell
Face In The Crowd
Genres: Blues, Folk, Pop, Rock
  •  Track Listings (12) - Disc #1

The good news concerning A Face in the Crowd is that Leon Russell in his late 50s sounds a lot like Leon Russell in his early-30s commercial prime--old. Or perhaps seasoned is a more appropriate word, since the veteran roc...  more »


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CD Details

All Artists: Leon Russell
Title: Face In The Crowd
Members Wishing: 3
Total Copies: 0
Label: Saga
Release Date: 1/26/1999
Genres: Blues, Folk, Pop, Rock
Styles: Singer-Songwriters, Blues Rock, Country Rock
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaCD Credits: 1
UPC: 664370500326

The good news concerning A Face in the Crowd is that Leon Russell in his late 50s sounds a lot like Leon Russell in his early-30s commercial prime--old. Or perhaps seasoned is a more appropriate word, since the veteran rocker's appeal has always centered around his mushy, been-around-the-block vocals and sophisticated R&B- and gospel-flavored songs. This 12-track collection finds the Oklahoma original playing more lead guitar than one might expect from a man best known as one of rock & roll's premium pianists. The album's opener, a pummeling blues original called "Love in a Battlefield," lays the groundwork with Russell's Albert King-inspired guitar in the fore. "Down in the Flood" finds Leon pumping away back at the keys. "Blues Eyes & a Black Heart," "Mean and Evil," and "Don't Bring the Blues to Bed" indicate his mind is suitably in the mire. Is Face in the Crowd up to standards set in the early 1970s with And the Shelter People? Not quite. But it does demonstrate that the Russell of the late '90s isn't far removed from the natural-born musician who once rubbed shoulders with Phil Spector and George Harrison and was a linchpin for The Concert for Bangla Desh and Joe Cocker's Mad Dogs & Englishmen. --Steven Stolder

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CD Reviews

An Outstand Musical Effort !!!
(5 out of 5 stars)

"I strongly disagree with the critic! It makes me wonder if he or she actually devoted any time to really listen to this compilation. I would classify it as anything but "uninspired" and "derivative"? Derivative of what...great music? I don't have a problem with it being "derivative" of great music. A couple of the tunes bear some aspects of "commercial likeness" to previous Russell releases of the early days, in a very good way. They are each very unique though. So, it not as if you are hearing the same songs with different words. Russell has been criticized in the past for not making songs that are more derivative of his commercial early successes.This album is a good mix of blues, rock, and softer selections. It also contains some very different style songs. An example that comes to mind is "Blue Eyes And A Black Hart". A softer but very well put together tune. Not really like anything done in past, perhaps more along the line of "Dark Carousel" from the private label "Blues" only sold at performances. "Betty Ann" is also a very unique styled song. The closest match to anything done in the past to compare it to would be "Delta Lady" but again very different and very good! If you like the style of the song "Tightrope" then you will fall in love with "Down In The Flood".Several "get down and dirty blues" numbers are on here such as: "Love Is A Battlefield", "So Hard To Say Goodbye", "Message From My Baby", "Dr. Love", "What Will I Do Without You", and "Don't Bring The Blues To Bed". The blues tunes have a very similar sound to those done on the "Blues" CD. I like the style and production better on this effort though I believe.Two very new and unique cuts are "Mean and Evil" and "The Devil Starting Talking". I like these very much. On the softer side is "This Hart Of Mine". Not my favorite but a still a good song!The actual tracks listed at Amazon are not complete. Here is list of the actual tracks of the CD1. Love Is A Battlefield 2. Dr. Love 3. Down In The Flood 4. So Hard To Say Goodbye 5. Betty Ann 6. This Hart Of Mine 7. Message From My Baby 8. Blue Eyes & A Black Hart 9. What Will I Do Without You 10. Mean And Evil 11. The Devil Started Talking 12. Don't Bring The Blues To BedDo yourself a favor and BUY THIS CD! If you ever liked any of Leon's music, you will love yourself for it!"
Finally, Leon's playing something we can listen to!
(4 out of 5 stars)

"Leon was a real musical hero for me back in the early 70's, but after Will 'O The Wisp and a stray track or two off of the second Hank Wilson album he sort of got lost in the shuffle. Then came the atrocious Anything Can Happen in 1992 and I thought he was a goner. What a blast to hear him twice in one year with some great music. First came Legend In My Time, with its mix of raspy, barroom bluegrass and sweet ballads, and now comes Face in the Crowd. Down in the Flood is good, Blue Eyes, Black Heart is even better. I didn't even like Love Is a Battlefield when I first heard it, but man, check out when the horns come in to back him up! Leon's got a one-of-a-kind sound and he's been around long enough to fill his songs with more than just puffery. I hope I can kick a__ as well when I'm pushing 60!!"
Worst of my Leon Russell CDs
John D. Greer | Albuquerque, NM United States | 05/27/2003
(2 out of 5 stars)

"This is by far the worst of the CDs I have of L.R. Get Shelter People, Live, or Carney first they are much better. This CD lacks any real feeling or enthusiasm on Leon's part. He just doesn't sound like he's really into his music on the album. To me he is just cranking out some songs to make some bucks. Bought this CD used and wasn't even worth the price I paid. Pass on this one for sure."