"I didn't discover this album until about 5 years ago. I heard him on Mad Dogs and Englishmen but had not thought of buying his solo albums. This is his debut solo album and its great. This isn't surprising since the list of guest musicians is a whos who from the 60s and 70s: George Harrison Eric Clapton Steve Winwood Chris Stainton Klaus Voorman Bobby Whitlock etc...
The star though is Leon himself. I've got to honest here, his voice may not be to everybodys taste, but I like it. A Song For you has been covered by many people - this remains the best version. Delta Lady is better known for the Joe Cocker version - but its Leon's song and this is great version. Shoot out on the Plantation features Leon's distinctive Piano work (as indeed a lot of the album does) and is my favourite track. This and Dixie Lullaby are great rock 'n' roll tracks.
Theres also some great Gospel influnced Rock on this album. Such as Give Peace a Chance (this is not the Lennon song). In the same way I Put a Spell on You is not the song Nina Simone made famous. Leon wrote all the material except the bonus track which is a slightly odd Dylan cover.
This is the album I have played the most over the last few years and at the moment I show no signs of getting bored with it! "
Leon Russell and the Shelter people
flashg44 | 02/08/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Not many studio albums ever made make you feel like you are at a live concert. This is a true gem. Great piano!!!!!"
Second Favorite Studio Release
Alright Kid | San Antonio, TX USA | 10/03/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I love this album for the same reasons I rated Shelter People (see my review) my favorite Leon studio release. Buy the CD you will not be dissapointed. Leon is the Master... I remember when the Mad Dogs film was released. We really did not understand Joe's gyrations (loved the music though) and patiently waited for each and every appearance of Leon. Sorry Joe.
If you have a CD burner buy every studio release of Leon's that has songs covered on Leon Live and burn those songs in same order as Leon Live to CD. You do not get all the songs but it is a really cool listening experience and alot easier to keep up with."
CLASSICALLY BRILLIANT -- LEON SHINES!!!
Beverly Praiswater | 09/14/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Leon Russell is and has always been true to his music. Over his career he has played countless instruments including piano, keyboards, organ, harpsichord, trumpet, guitar, bass, synthesizer, and more. He has written a plethora of songs. And there are golden treasures found here.
One of the best known and perhaps most brilliant of his songs is "A Song For You". This was a big hit for the Carpenters in 1972. A big nod to Leon, it was also the name of their LP. Everyone from Bing Crosby to Joe Cocker to Willie Nelson to Nancy Wilson, plus a long list of famous names (I lost count after 70 artists) have recorded this one. Leon sings this one from the heart.
"Delta Lady" was huge on the charts for Joe Cocker in 1969. By that year, Leon Russell was also Joe Cocker's musical director. While not the only singer who has performed this stirring number, Joe performs this one with Leon on the "Mad Dogs & Englishmen" dvd. This song is included on many of Joe's cds and he sings it at every live concert appearance. Leon sings this one with passion.
"Hummingbird" is a rich blues song which blues giant B.B. King recorded a duet with the legendary and gifted Dionne Warwick. Leon sings this one deeply raw from his soul.
"Roll Away The Stone" is a rousing, honky-tonk song. From the opening with Leon on piano you had better fasten your seat belt! Leon sings this one with electrifying energy. (Go, Leon, Go!)
To say that music is Leon Russell's life would be an understatement. He lives, breathes, and feels the music in his very soul. Much more than a singer-songwriter, he has produced, arranged, and played a wide variety of instruments for a wide variety of musical artists.
Yet, sadly, his career has gone unnoticed by the Rock N Roll Hall of Fame. And how can this be? He has worked with so many gifted people in the industry. From Sinatra to Streisand to Spector to Ike & Tina Turner to the Rolling Stones, Leon Russell is a talented man that knows no limits in his lyrics and in his music. Thankfully there is a crusade out there to get him inducted. And the more who join the crusade, the better!
One of his best albums ever recorded, don't leave this out of your collection of pop, rock, and blues. Bless you and thank you, Leon, for sharing your music with the world! (May you be deservedly inducted to the Rock N Roll Hall of Fame soon.)"