The Second Disc

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“Trouble is a Lonesome Town” For Lee Hazlewood and Light in the Attic

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Lee Hazlewood - Trouble is a Lonesome TownThe catalogue of the Cowboy in Sweden, Lee Hazlewood, continues its upgrade from the folks at Light in the Attic Records with the March 19 reissue of 1963’s Trouble is a Lonesome Town.  The Mercury LP is the earliest of Hazlewood’s works to be rediscovered by the LITA team, and in fact, was Hazlewood’s solo debut.  It follows the label’s acclaimed 2012 releases from Hazlewood’s own LHI label including an introductory compilation, a rare soundtrack, and a vinyl singles box set.

Trouble is a Lonesome Town predated Hazlewood’s Reprise Records debut The N.S.V.I.P.s, released the very next year.  The colorful liner notes to that LP boasted that Lee was “impossible to explain.  Basically a writer, Lee has created a number of great rock-and-roll smashes of the past decade.  But at heart, Lee’s still a country-type fella.  He chews straw a lot, stuff like that.  He’s also one of the funniest guys ever.”  All of those sides of Lee Hazlewood were fully formed by the release of Trouble on the Mercury Records label.  The LP was loose concept album about that fictional town: “You won’t find it on any map, but take a step in any direction, and you’re in Trouble.”  As he would on his future LPs for Reprise and LHI, Hazlewood blended his singular spoken-word passages with story-songs rendered in his laconic drawl.  As confirmed by Light in the Attic, Hazlewood initially didn’t plan on a concept album.  He commented in 2000, “That was a demo.  I didn’t know it was a concept album.  I wrote a complete story of a make-believe town.”  Trouble haunted Hazlewood, though.  Years later, in 1968, he proposed a half-hour television program also called Trouble is a Lonesome Town.  Unfortunately, the series wasn’t picked up for production.  The album was reissued on the LHI imprint in 1969 with new cover artwork, but LITA’s CD reissue (its first in nearly fifteen years) restores the original cover with Hazlewood sans his famous moustache.

What extras will you find on the generously expanded Trouble is a Lonesome Town?  Hit the jump!  Plus: a pre-order link and more!

The deluxe reissue touches on all facets of Trouble.  The original 10-song LP has been bolstered by fifteen bonus tracks, including a couple of songs credited to Duane Eddy and His Orchestra but sung by guitar legend Eddy’s pal Hazlewood, as well as four rare sides recorded by Lee under the pseudonym of Mark Robinson.  The entirety of the 1963 curiosity The Lee Hazlewood Autobiography, originally a Mercury EP, has also been included.  John Dixon has written a new essay, and the liner notes also contain a previously unpublished 1998 interview with the late Hazlewood.

Trouble has been remastered from the original mono tapes.  It will be available in numerous formats.  A CD and digital album will be released, along with a 2-LP vinyl edition containing the same complete program of 25 tracks.  As a special bonus, LITA will bundle both the LP and CD editions with a replica of Hazlewood’s original script for the television version of Trouble is a Lonesome Town, though the script bundles are very limited.  You can order the bundles here at Light in the Attic.

LITA promises that the rest of the Hazlewood story will be unveiled throughout 2013 and 2014.  In the meantime, Trouble is available in shops everywhere on March 19 and can be pre-ordered below!

Lee Hazlewood, Trouble is a Lonesome Town (Mercury LP MG 20860, 1963 – reissued Light in the Attic LITA 096, 2013) (CD / 2-LP / Digital)

  1. Long Black Train
  2. Ugly Brown
  3. Son of a Gun
  4. We All Make the Flowers Grow
  5. Run Boy Run
  6. Six Feet of Chain
  7. The Railroad
  8. Look at That Woman
  9. Peculiar Guy
  10. Trouble is a Lonesome Town
  11. It’s an Actuality
  12. I Guess It’s Love
  13. Fort Worth (Alternate Version)
  14. Pretty Jane – Mark Robinson a.k.a. Lee Hazlewood
  15. Want Me – Mark Robinson a.k.a. Lee Hazlewood
  16. The Girl on Death Row – Duane Eddy and His Orchestra feat. Lee Hazlewood
  17. Words Mean Nothing – Duane Eddy and His Orchestra feat. Lee Hazlewood
  18. Can’t Let Her See Me Cry – Mark Robinson a.k.a. Lee Hazlewood
  19. I’ve Made Enough Mistakes Today – Mark Robinson a.k.a. Lee Hazlewood
  20. Who is Lee Hazlewood
  21. Moved from Place of Birth
  22. His Girl in High School
  23. In the Army
  24. Disc Jockey
  25. Record Biz

Tracks 1-10 from Trouble is a Lonesome Town, Mercury LP MG 20860, 1963
Tracks 11-13 TBD; possibly previously unreleased
Tracks 14-15 from Jamie single 1103, 1958
Tracks 16-17 from Jamie single 1158, 1960
Tracks 18-19 from Sylvester single 10000, 1962
Tracks 20-25 from The Lee Hazlewood Autobiography, Mercury EP MEP-87, 1963

Written by Joe Marchese

March 1, 2013 at 10:33

3 Responses

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  1. Also due out soon is a cover version of the whole Trouble album featuring Frank Black, Larry Norman, members of Modest Mouse and Guards of the Metropolis among others.

    Dougie Adam

    March 1, 2013 at 19:00

  2. Still keeping my fingers crossed for the rumored reissue of “Nancy and Lee Again” from Real Gone and Dusty Groove. Of course, a “Complete Nancy & Lee” would be even better! 🙂


    March 4, 2013 at 09:53

  3. I have not heard of the Trouble project or NaLA. Hope to find them if and when they are out!


    November 16, 2013 at 01:39

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