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Jackie Leven recommendations?

Discussion in 'music' started by DAVEDWACK, Nov 18, 2013.


    DAVEDWACK pfm Member

    I've only recently discovered him and all I have is "Night Lillies" which is IMO quite superb.
    Trouble is I've no idea if this is when he's at the top of his game or not?

    There is a lot of stuff on Spotify so an indication of what to look for would be great, so thanks in anticipation.


    PS Did he do much on vinyl, I can't see owt on Amazon other than CD/MP3.
  2. Mescalito

    Mescalito pfm Member

    If you haven't already done so, check out the stuff he did when a member of Doll By Doll. They were one of the most criminally overllooked bands.

    As a taster, have a listen to "Palace of Love" from their "Remember" album. Here's an excerpt from the AMG listing:

    "The album closes with ""Palace of Love,"" a seven-minute treatise that rages out of the gate with thudding tom-toms and dueling out-of-tune guitar riffs, only to explode into a hard-driving, theatrical treatise on the skeletal remains of love's tainted possibilities. This is pop with teeth and with razor-bladed words drenched in hope, knowing it will extinguish itself in disaster, but insisting in its wheels-over-the-cliff guitar and drum excess (and it is indulgent as hell) that the risk for redemption by the impossible is everything. "

    Music to make your eyelids sweat! And dont let the fact that you can't get hold of a vinyl copy stop you. This is music you owe it to yourself to get to know.


    DAVEDWACK pfm Member


    Cheers, just listened to Revenge of Memory, the only DBD album on spotify, but it does include "Palace of Love". Really great stuff, so thanks for the recommend.

    I'm now onto "Heroes can be any size" by Jackie Leven which is perhaps a compilation?

    Dunno but what a voice;)

  4. Darmok

    Darmok "They're going to need a much bigger dock"

    Chris, you soar in my estimation.

    Doll by Doll were snubbed by the music press.

    I met Jackie at a couple of his solo gigs.

    A right on Lefty imv.

    See his legacy to the world of drug and alcohol addictions below...

    I recommend anything and everything he had a voice in, "The Guardian" newspaper loved him and his awesome vocals.

    "Come Back Early or Never Come" lyrics > "My Father made the Walls Resound, He wore his Collar The Wrong way Round"

    A sad but true song, taken from his solo album, "Forbidden Songs of the Dying West." listen and weep.

    Thanks for that lyric Jackie, it got me a MEGA laugh when my, "Adopted father retired from the cloth." at his church hall last ever church service after party.

    That got me some stern looks and comments from his biological grown up kids!! :(

    I admit it, I am a dratsab, albeit a nice one in the right company.

    RIP Jackie Leven.
  5. Spiderous

    Spiderous pfm Member

    I've only got "the mystery of love.......", so I've no idea where it sits in the cannon of work. Good voice, but I struggle with the music and lyrics, although I've admittedly not sat down to an extended listen.
  6. sadcafe

    sadcafe pfm Member

    All the Doll By Doll albums are sublime. I also like the Argyle Suite and Forbidden songs of the dying West, mysteries of love are also favourites of mine.
  7. Nickargenta

    Nickargenta pfm Member

    Agreed on the "Anything he ever released" comment. Forbidden Songs..., Creatures Of Light And Darkness and Lovers At The Gun Club all get regular outings here, but it's definitely worth tracking down one of his live solo CDs like For Peace Comes Dropping Slow.

    Sadly, despite living just down the road, I never got to see the great man live.
  8. Doogal

    Doogal pfm Member

    Forbidden Songs of the Dying West gets a thumbs-up here.
  9. Mescalito

    Mescalito pfm Member

    I never let an artist's politics, sexual orientation or favourite food interfere with my enjoyment & appreciation of their output. If Stalin or Hitler had produced good music, I'd have bought it:)

  10. Nickargenta

    Nickargenta pfm Member

    On the question of vinyl, I don't think anything after Fairy Tales (another great album) came out on vinyl. I've certainly never seen any of the later releases. The Mystery Of Love, Forbidden Songs, and Fairy Tales are all available if you're patient. You may have to wait a while.
  11. Mescalito

    Mescalito pfm Member

    Zig Zag magazine used to really love them. It was reading about them in there that made me investigate them.

    Basically, it was 1979, punk was morphing into New Wave or Power Pop, & Doll By Doll were essentially a band who's time would not really come until the late 80s/early nineties. Or possibly whose time had come in 1966:)

  12. foxwelljsly

    foxwelljsly Hawkwind and Fire

    Wow. A Jackie Leven Thread!

    As previously mentioned, anything with 'Doll by Doll' written on the front of it is essential. He became a hugely prodigious writer and performer after he'd recovered from his various habits and a particularly nasty beating that destroyed his trademark vibrato - loads of which is on Spotify. I think he even collaborated with ian Rankin.

    But, my particular favourite of all his recordings is his first. 'Control', recorded under the name John St Field and the influence of LSD in 1971, is a lost classic. A mix of psychedelia, English Rock, Celtic fire and a peculiarly windswept wintry ruralness.

    One of my favourite ever LPs.

    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 21, 2018
  13. Dave Cattlin

    Dave Cattlin pfm Member

    I was happy and honoured to call him friend

    Start at The Mystery of Life and work forward

    RIP Big Man
  14. Cav

    Cav pfm Member

    He never produced a dud - get everything.
  15. Mescalito

    Mescalito pfm Member

    We don't agree on much, Cav, but I am with you 100% on this one.


    DAVEDWACK pfm Member

    Well I just want to say thanks to everyone for their input.

    I'm just listening to "My Spanish Dad"…..bloody cracking stuff.

    I just can't believe I've missed this bloke, nothing I've listened to on Spotify have I not liked so far…..looks like Amazon next then for a few cds then.

  17. Darmok

    Darmok "They're going to need a much bigger dock"

  18. Mescalito

    Mescalito pfm Member

  19. DIB

    DIB pfm Member

    Another big JL fan here, though I was never totally bowled over by the DBD output.

    As has been stated previously, buy the lot, you wont be disappointed.

    My particular favourite track is A Little Voice In Space off the Shining Brother Shining Sister album.

    Also, I've got a live CD called The Wanderer, which I think I bought from the Haunted Valley fan club many years ago. Well worth a listen, it gives you a good idea of just how great the Jackie Leven live experience was.

  20. Darmok

    Darmok "They're going to need a much bigger dock"

    On a par I would say, Paul R has a wonderful voice imho.

    He also did all the LP's sleeve art.

    Quite a few bands were overshadowed by the commercial success of Dire Straits and the resurgent Genesis with Phil Collins.

    One of my fav bands from the London circuit was "Live Wire."

    Not much footage found on youtube. :(

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