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36 of 36 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another slant on a genius talent, 8 July 2009
This review is from: Live in London The BBC Recordings 1972-1973 (Audio CD)
Troubled soul that she was, Judee Sill found - at first - a kind of a safe haven in the UK during brief European tours before she was brutally dropped by David Geffen for an off-colour impromptu public remark. This album chronicles that period, with selections from two 1972 gigs and one in 1973.

This album shines best when Judee turns to the piano... beautiful versions of "the Kiss", "the Phoenix" and a stunning solo version of her masterpiece "the Donor" which, stripped of its intricate choral arrangements nevertheless holds up as Judee finds, as she describes it, a partner to harmonise with - the piano itself. Wierd that her semi-supporters Graham Nash and Daviod Crosby never appear to have deigned to actually harmonise with her, because their voices would have blended so well.

Another gem is the guarded, somewhat sparky interview with none other than whispering Bob Harris... with Bob's gentle, tactful probing provoking the sort of wry, self-deprecating responses which charecterised Judee Sill.

So great, anyway, to hear her get some respect in her lifetime, and so sad to think that that just 7 years later Judee was dead, forgotten, discarded by her former record company and the victim of some dubious lifestyle choices.

If you are new to Judee you might be wondering what you'll get yourself into. Her voice has no tricks at all, it is simple, vibrato-less, a little dusky but never less than honest. It might be best to turn to the Asylum years compilation, as the first step if only to hear "the Donor" in its full glory.

This CD is much more intimate. But her talents as a songwriter and singer shine forth. What a pity that this particular candle burnt at both ends. What luck that someone was around the record her in full flight.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Lost Promise, 7 Jun. 2012
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Mr. Michael LJ Feehan "Mike Feehan" (Isle of Lewis) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Live in London The BBC Recordings 1972-1973 (Audio CD)
So many recording artists, past and present, fail to capture live on stage what they manage to produce in the studio. Take away the box of tricks, the orchestra and a good engineer and what results is near disaster unless the fans are screaming so loud that they wouldn't notice anyway. Not so with Miss Sill her perfect vocals in a distinctive voice that lulls you into the spirituality of the lyrics, simply accampanied by her guitar or piano, never disappoints or fails to impress. It is such a shame that the world lost this lady to 20th Century demons, a car wreck, devestating back pain following myelograms then extensive surgery and a last resort to drugs to try to find some physical peace. The question will always be asked about whether or not that last drug overdose was intentional, I personally think not. At the time of her death Judee was intellectually far ahead of her contemporaries in her lyric writing, always managing to tell a story or create a vision through words that, at first, seemed to make no sense sometimes. Her orchestrations for her songs were note perfect always taking her music to new heights without overembellishments that would have made it difficult to reproduce the intent when reprised live without them. This album proves that point eloquently as she effortlessly produces live versions of her most successful numbers without fault, never losing a note or stumbling over a lyric. It was watching her live on television that drew a much younger version of myself towards her in the first place in the early 1970s it was a joy to hear her sans orchestra once again. If you buy this album and enjoy it you will also have to buy the only two recorded albums, "Judee Sill" and "Heartfood". You will enjoy them just as much salivating over the sounds she coaxes out of classical instruments. In short Judee was a musical prodigy who probably had much more in the tank, somebody who would have given any serious songwriters a view of her tailpipes as she drew away at top speed. The world is short one genius, but I will go on loving what she has done no matter how many times I hear it.
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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars No frills Judee - intimate and great, 19 Jun. 2007
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Ms. Felicia Davis-burden (Staines, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Live in London The BBC Recordings 1972-1973 (Audio CD)
This is a very welcome addition to the Sill collection: Recorded accompanying herself on piano or guitar, giving short introductions to songs and an interview to Whispering Bob Harris.

Without the complex layered arrangements on her two albums, these songs still stand up as masterpieces. We also hear how accomplished Judee had become, very quickly, on her instruments and how fine a singer she was. This is a no-frills, genuine delight.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Kiss, 20 April 2013
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This review is from: Live in London The BBC Recordings 1972-1973 (Audio CD)
When Judee Sill went off my radar in the late 70's I did not know of her addictions or the tragic path her life would take. I was reminded by my friends 'Crucial CD Collection' emails and I decided to look again for her music and found this live recording.
I think The Kiss originally appeared on Heart food and would floor me every time I heard the last lines of the verses, a perfect blend of California and Baroque. Produced at a time when double tracking and chorus effects were wildly applied to all sorts of music her vocals are a little processed. This live recording is just Judee and her piano recorded at the Old Grey Whistle Test studios in London and suffer for nothing at all. A heart wrenching performance worth the price of this CD. Of course there are the other tracks given this stripped down treatment and all yield a special experience.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Listen & enjoy!, 24 Jan. 2008
This review is from: Live in London The BBC Recordings 1972-1973 (Audio CD)
I though the studio albums were good, but this is in a different league!

Treat yourself - you won't regret it.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Simple & Intimate beauty, 11 July 2014
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Sentinel (Essex) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Live in London The BBC Recordings 1972-1973 (Audio CD)
Having discovered Judee's very impressive studio albums recently, I was attracted to her more stripped down recordings for the BBC, which rest wholly on her voice, & her guitar/piano for their effect. These recordings have a simple & intimate beauty, with some of her most affecting pieces, The Kiss & The Donor, having an even more powerful impact as a result. Her interview with Bob Harris, though a little clumsily handled by the interviewer, also gives a valuable insight into the creation & purpose behind the songs, and Judee's sensitivity & intelligence.

The production values of this set are also due praise, with a valuable & detailed booklet giving helpful background, and the artwork of the whole package is very sympathetic. My only reservation is the limited amount of material here, as some songs are repeated three times, and I feel only The Kiss is powerful enough to withstand this over-exposure. An achingly beautiful collection nevertheless.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars an excellent new find, 8 Mar. 2013
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This review is from: Live in London The BBC Recordings 1972-1973 (Audio CD)
I first came across Judee Sill on the BBC Old Grey Whistle Test Vol 2 - I vaguely remember hearing about her in the 1970's but I never actually heard her until I saw her perform 'The Kiss'. Several internet searches later and I was ordering both this and her two released albums through the ever reliable Amazon. I have really enjoyed listening to these recordings with a clear and noise-free playback - the same recordings are on the internet but they are appalling (her songs are still great). This is a worthwhile collection of her songs in a simple setting (guitar and piano) and the songs are amazing (see other reviews). The main reason for posting this review was to confirm the quality of the recordings (something that concerned me before I received the CD)... Next the Abracadabara Years....
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the victims, 1 April 2014
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It would be hard to imagine what Judee might not have been able to achieve had she been able to overcome the traumas and dependencies of your youth. Rising above the cliches of Californian love songs to touch the heart and grip the mind, her songs are captured by this BBC performance in all their wit and elegance.
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4.0 out of 5 stars A lovely album, 5 April 2014
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This review is from: Live in London The BBC Recordings 1972-1973 (Audio CD)
I saw Judee Sill on a BBC rebroadcast of the Old Grey Whistle Test, performing a haunting version of The Kiss. (It's on Youtube) [...]
This CD has 3 versions of that track, which is fine by me. But the other tracks are great, and apart from the pedestrian interview with Bob Harris, it's an easy and very enjoyable listen. Four stars.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Long live Judee Sill, 14 Jan. 2015
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J Dingwall (glasgow, strathclyde United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Live in London The BBC Recordings 1972-1973 (Audio CD)
Bought this entirely for the acoustic solo piano rendition of 'The Kiss' which in my humble opinion is the most emotionally affecting song I've ever heard.
The other recordings also performed in a minimalist vein are also highly recommended.
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Live in London The BBC Recordings 1972-1973
Live in London The BBC Recordings 1972-1973 by Judee Sill (Audio CD - 2007)
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