For 30 years, whenever I heard the name Lee Hazlewood, all I could think of were the duets he did with Nancy Sinatra back in the sixties. I was a young teen then and considered them impossibly cheesy.
Over the years, my musical tastes have broadened considerably, so that when I read in a Nick Cave biography that he looked on Lee Hazlewood as one of his musical heroes, I decided to have a listen and hear what I've been missing. While searching the racks for Hazlewood CDs, I stumbled on this and decided to give it a shot.
I really had no idea what to expect as I was vaguely familiar with only two of the songs, but after three listens I was hooked. My favorite is the splendid interpretation of Summer Wine by Evan Dando and Sabrina Brooke, but I also really enjoyed The Webb Brothers on Some Velvet Morning, St Thomas on The Railroad, Erlend Oye on No Train To Stockholm, The Amazing Pilots' rendition of Soul's Island, and Kid Loco's take on If Its Monday Morning. Other songs are good too, and overall this recording features a smorgasbord of styles that give it broad appeal.
The songs selected were not all hits by any means, but are representative of the breadth of Hazlewood's writing. The CD comes with an informative booklet that features Hazlewood's commentary on each of the songs and is sprinkled with goofy pictures of him in various poses.
If you are at all musically adventurous, buy Total Lee! It is truly a worthy compilation.