Thursday, March 12, 2015

The Many Shades of Leon Russell: The Ballad of Mad Dogs & Englishmen

One of several things that increased the visibility of Leon Russell was his impetus in being the music director for Joe Cocker’s “Mad Dogs & Englishmen” tour. Russell assembled the band, which were a veritable who’s who of session and backing musicians. Recorded in March 1970, the corresponding double album was released in August of that same year. Russell played piano and guitar and provided vocals.

A documentary of the tour was filmed in October 1970 and was later released during March 1971. “The Ballad of Mad Dogs & Englishmen,” a somber remembrance of that year’s tour, was recorded by Leon Russell in 1970 for the movie’s closing credits. It is an autobiographical treatment of Leon’s memories of the tour.

The song was issued twice by two different labels. It was released first as a single on A&M and later as an album cut on the album “Leon Russell and The Shelter People” on Shelter Records. Outside of piano and vocal by Russell, the only other instrumentation is the moving string arrangement scored by Nick De Caro.

No comments:

Post a Comment