Search - Judee Sill :: Heart Food

Heart Food
Judee Sill
Heart Food
Genres: Country, Folk, Pop, Rock
  •  Track Listings (9) - Disc #1

Judee Sill was a true original. A singer-songwriter with a wealth of influences and a fascination with religion, she referred to her work as "country-cult-baroque." She was the first artist signed to David Geffen's Asylum ...  more »


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CD Details

All Artists: Judee Sill
Title: Heart Food
Members Wishing: 6
Total Copies: 0
Label: Water
Original Release Date: 1/1/2005
Re-Release Date: 10/31/2005
Genres: Country, Folk, Pop, Rock
Styles: Contemporary Folk, Singer-Songwriters, Folk Rock, Country Rock
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaCD Credits: 1
UPC: 646315715927


Album Description
Judee Sill was a true original. A singer-songwriter with a wealth of influences and a fascination with religion, she referred to her work as "country-cult-baroque." She was the first artist signed to David Geffen's Asylum label, and, along with Joni Mitchell and Carole King, exemplified the breezy "Laurel Canyon Sound" of the early '70s. Sill scored moderate hits with "Lady-O" (originally written for the Turtles) and "Jesus Was A Cross Maker" and released two albums--1971's Judee Sill and 1973's Heart Food--before suffering chronic pain and eventually dying of a drug overdose at age 35.Sill grew up in Oakland, California, and began playing piano at age three. A troubled family life and brushes with the law landed her in reform school, where, as church organist, she developed the gospel style that would characterize her future recordings. After a stint in college and three down-and-out years of addiction, she cleaned up and began work on her dream of becoming a songwriter. She spent a short time penning songs for the Turtles' production company before signing her own deal with Asylum.Pleased with the creative direction of Judee Sill, the singer-songwriter again teamed with engineer/producer Henry Lewy (Joni Mitchell, Neil Young) for her follow-up. On Heart Food, Sill's voice is stronger and Lewy's production more resonant. Built around the singer's guitar or piano, the songs are arranged with similar ambition. "There's a Rugged Road," a meditation on Christ's humanity, features country violins, pedal steel, multi-tracked vocals, and a hoofbeat rhythm. The gospel-influenced "Down Where the Valleys Are Low" burns with electric guitar, church organ, vibes, and doo-wop harmonies. The album's closing opus, "The Donor," uses male voices and tympani to build an intense medieval round.This Rhino Handmade release of Heart Food has been remastered from original source materials and expanded with nine bonus tracks, including the studio outtake "The Desperado" and eight solo demo versions of album tracks.

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CD Reviews

Still gorgeous after all these years!
Mike Mandel | Toronto, Canada | 05/12/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)

"I found Judee Sill by accident, when an acquaintance put it on the turntable. My wife and I immediately asked "What's that?!" and managed to find it on cd.
It's a little hard to define, but truly beautiful. I'm an AC/DC, Zeppelin, Black Sabbath kind of guy, but I love this recording! We actually bought an extra 3 copies to give as gifts. It's one of those rare recordings that almost anyone will like and then quickly fall in love with.

Buy it! You'll thank me."
The purest, most mystical of beauty
mianfei | 09/28/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Before this Rhino Handmade reissue of her two original studio albums, Judee Sill was an unknown except to those who had heard her first two albums when they came out - several years before I was even born.

Recommended Sill's work by Michele Kort, who authored the Laura Nyro biography Soul Picnic and commented on a Laura Nyro site, I paid a huge outlay for this - and was rewarded.

Compared to the free, expressive quality of Tendaberry or even Hejira, Judee Sill's work is extremely stately, yet even darker and more mysterious. Even on simple folk songs like "Heart Food"'s opener "There's A Rugged Road", Sill sings with a melodic, mysterious tone that draws a listener completely in. On more orchestrated piece like the amazing closer "The Donor" and "Down Where The Valleys Are Low", she really does sound like a truly mysterious church service. The depth from such simple, yet orchetral, music is quite remarkable even if it is not so stark as on Sill's live appearance. Even on the guitar-based "The Kiss", the gospel influence upon her voice predates Jane Siberry by well over a decade, as well as matching Siberry's beauty note for note with her voice in a way she did not on her first album. The poppy "Soldier of the Heart", epitomises the touching beauty of high quality folk music, and her voice does not lose the mystical quality for all the song's catchiness. The degree of loging for redemption is actually striking, especially on "When The Bridegroom Comes".

Her lyrics, even if less explicit than those of Siberry or Kate Bush in later years, show the characteristic quest for redemption that is so much a part of so much of the best singer/songwriter work. "The Kiss", in particular, refers to the communion of mystical love, but the whole of her output focuses on some form of religious redemption and the difficulty each person has in achieving it, though in a manner much less personal than, say, on The Ninth Wave.

After "Heart Food" Sill did not release another work and died of a cocaine overdose in 1979. Yet, with this album Sill surpassed her impressive debut to produce a work whose mystery would prove an unknown landmark for many later masterpieces."
P. A. Malone | Parma,OH USA | 07/31/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)

"While looking for Ester Satterfield, I came across Judee Sill and was instantly transported back in time ~~ a time of reflection and optimism. Believe me, I am not disappointed with my selection. Talk about the circle of life....!"