28 May 2011

At the Top of the World

Lee Hazlewood's last recording was a spoken word piece set to the music of the Icelandic band Amiina. It's a melancholy little song and Lee's grandfatherly, road-weary vocals are perfect. Not found on an official album, the song was released only as a single after Hazlewood's death and has subsequently gone out of print. Apparently, it was played in public for the first time at Lee Hazlewood's memorial service.

The video for the song is the real treat. It's beautifully filmed and mountain-y and snowy enough to be a permanent fixture at Home Is Where Your Skis Is.

The connection between the band and the man isn't quite clear. The original version of the song "Hilli" was recorded for Amiina's first album, Kurr. Hazlewood's lyrics to "At the Top of the World" somehow made it back to them where they re-recorded "Hilli" and added the vocals. In addition, Amiina recorded a version of Hazlewood's "Leather & Lace" from his 1970 album Cowboy in Sweden. All of it good, all of it deserves to be downloaded and put into constant rotation. Have at it and long live Lee Hazlewood!


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