Sunday, March 8, 2015

The Many Shades of Leon Russell: Prince of Peace

Last month, I attempted to feature Leon Russell during the second week of the month. Unfortunately after the first two posts, I contracted a dreaded gastrointestinal virus that put me out of commission for three days and in a state of weakness for the remainder of the week. With Leon Russell being the last thing on my mind, I forfeited our feature and planned to resume it in March. We are at that point and I have planned seven days filled with the “Many Shades of Leon Russell.”

Although Russell had be recording for at least a decade as a session musician and had released several recordings with others and had a few non-charting singles on his own, his solo career didn’t really begin until the release of his debut album in 1970.

The working title of this LP was “Can a Blue Man Sing the Whites?”; however, even though the album was advertised under that name, I do not think that it was released under that title. It was the first release for Shelter Records, which at that time was distributed by Blue Thumb Records. Russell’s album was the only one distributed by Blue Thumb before Capitol took over the manufacture and distribution of Leon and Denny Cordell’s label.

For today’s feature, I’ve selected the song “Prince of Peace.” The idea of the song is that you better treat an individual like you want to be treated, because that person might be “the Prince of Peace returning.” Although not a gospel song per se, it does have a spiritual meaning – and hence, I am categorizing it as a Spiritual Sunday selection as well. It’s a perfect addition to our look at the Many Shades of Leon Russell.

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