Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Judee Sill Dreams Com True / hi – I love you right heartily here double CD/book (Water)

For a few years now, maniacal Judee Sill fans have known that there were lo-fi demos available online of about eight tracks from her unfinished final album Dreams Come True. But the songs were just nice, not stunning, and the mixes rough enough to render them merely an interesting oddity on the way back to spinning Heart Food for the hundredth time. Now Jim O’Rourke has polished those rough mixes (plus additional unheard tracks, among them home demos from a variety of sources) to create the sonic half of a rather lovely tribute to the lady. Also included is a fascinating little book of interviews and photos compiled by Patrick Roques, who tracked down many of Sill’s lovers, friends, fellow performers and partners in literal crime to produce an oral history of her unusual life and work. Add to this what seems to be Sill’s only extant live performance video (sadly deteriorated visually, though the audio isn’t bad), and it’s a respectful concordance to the official albums and their expando Rhino Handmade editions. The best most and revealing material is the home demos, among them the exquisite “Emerald River Dance.” While she’s laughing as the take falls apart, the perfectionist Sill would probably be horrified that “Sunny Side Up” has been put on disc, but it’s still one of the catchiest things she ever did, and suggests she might have been aiming for a hit single. If only…

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