Label: Intervention – IR-017
AAA Mastered from the Original Analog Master Tapes by Kevin Gray at Cohearent Audio!
Pressed at RTI on Dead Quiet 180g Vinyl!
Double 45rpm LPs for Extreme Sound Quality!
Prepare To Be Blown Away By The Increased Inner Detail & Three-Dimensionality Of These Achingly Gorgeous Recordings!
With strings, a wide range of instruments, and vocal overdubs, Heart Food has several layers, so it runs the risk of becomming congested, but the Intervention LP, mastered by Kevin Gray at Cohearant Audio and pressed at RTI, sounds remarkably open and spacious, the warm sonics a perfect match for such heartfelt music.” – Jeff Wilson, The Absolute Sound, 4/5 Music, 4.5/5 Sonics!
Intervention Records’ treatment of Sill’s best work sets a high bar for anyone working in the reissue business. Buettner and his team which includes Kevin Gray of Coherent Audio, who provides the all-analog mastering, and RTI, which handles the plating and pressing — demonstrate that there is far more to this than mere nostalgia. These reissues set the musical record straight and are a chance for a whole new generation to appreciate fully the genius of an important artist The Audio Beat.
The brevity of Judee’s musical legacy is outweighed by the emotional power and weight of her first two extraordinary albums, Judee Sill & Heart Food. AAA mastered directly from the original analog master tapes by Kevin Gray at Cohearent Audio, the master tapes are in beautiful shape, and listeners will be blown away by the revelatory inner detail and three-dimensionality retrieved from these achingly gorgeous recordings. This Intervention reissue represents THE definitive listening experience for this classic album! The original LP art has been beautifully restored by IR’s Tom Vadakan and the old-style, “tip-on, brown-in” gatefold jackets are printed by Stoughton.
“This sequel to her eponymous debut would be the last released in her lifetime. If you fell in love with her music because of it, Heart Food will increase your sadness at her demise. Released in 1973, it enhanced her reputation with material left over from the first album, but re-recorded for this set, while stand-out tracks from this eloquent, elegiac singer-songwriter include “The Kiss” and “There’s A Rugged Road”, both oft-covered. Behind her were stellar musicians including Chris Etheridge on bass, drummer Jim Gordon, bluegrass deity Doug Dillard on banjo, and Buddy Emmons on pedal stell guitar. Yes, this is another masterpiece.” – Hi-Fi News, Sound Quality: 90%
The astonishing Judee Sill was the first artist signed to David Geffen’s Asylum Records, and ‘Judee Sill’ the first album released on the label. Sill’s music is intensely spiritual, redolent of both mysticism and divine imagery, yet grounded by great songwriting and a pure but powerful singing talent. Her songs impart incredible intimacy that is enhanced and not diminished by her sometimes complex string/orchestral arrangements (remarkably Sill arranged and conducted the strings/orchestra on her albums!).
Sill’s life was tragic personally and professionally. Her father and brother were killed when Sill was young, and her tempestuous relationship with her alcoholic (and remarried) mother resulted in her leaving home at 15. She committed robberies and began a battle she was destined to lose against drug addiction. When stardom didn’t follow the critical acclaim of these two albums her career never recovered. Sill was dead in 1979 at just 35. The brevity of Judee’s musical legacy is vastly outweighed by the emotional power in these two extraordinary albums.
The second album Judee Sill made proved to be her last. This brief though enjoyable outing took its toll on Sill – a notoriously slow songwriter – during its making, turning her back to her recently kicked heroin addiction and away from the desire to create more music. Instead of using an outside arranger for the strings (as she did on her previous album), Sill did all of the work herself. Her lack of formal training and the immense amount of orchestral overdubs certainly would have made such an outing a hardship for anyone. The album doesn’t suffer much from its sometimes syrupy exterior, though – the songs are almost as strong as any of those from her debut. To wit, Heart Food suffers only in comparison to its predecessor; otherwise, it’s a stellar example of the kind of singer/songwriter fare the music industry was mining in the early ’70s. The supporting cast of top L.A. studio musicians solidifies Sill’s unique brand of country-flavored pop, which moves from introspective meanderings to loping rock, often within a single song.
-Alex Stimmel, AllMusic
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