Monday, August 21, 2017

Jesse Colin Young

Origin: Queens, New York (USA)

Jesse Colin Young
Jesse Colin Young

Jesse Colin Young [The perfect stranger - 1982] aor melodic rock music blogspot full albums bands lyricsThe perfect stranger - 1982


- For a period in the mid-70s (until punk/new wave took its cull), the name of singer-songwriter JESSE COLIN YOUNG was on the lips of Americans: from his East Coast roots to his adopted West Coast residence. Almost horizontally cool, this dude was his nation’s answer to VAN MORRISON or GRAHAM NASH, and an artist that was painfully easy-listening on occasion, despite having a CV that was entrenched in 60s psychedelia and folk-rock courtesy of his leadership of “Get Together” outfit, The YOUNGBLOODS.
Born Perry Miller, November 22, 1941, Queens, NY, “Jesse” was a prodigy of-sorts, a teenager subsequently expelled from the prestigious Phillips Academy in Andover, Massachusetts, when honing-in a Greenwich Village coffeehouse-to-bars lifestyle. Not particularly inspirational by any stretch of the imagination, YOUNG’s THE SOUL OF A CITY BOY (1964) {*5} debut was highlighted by `Rye Whiskey’ and Robin Remaily’s `Four In The Morning’, two nice’n’easy country-folk smoothies. Switching from Capitol to Mercury Records for his sophomore YOUNG BLOOD (1965) {*5} disc, YOUNG delivered original songs, alongside MISSISSIPPI JOHN HURT’s `Nobody’s Dirty Business’, the traditional `Cotton Eyed Joe’ and jazz-blues staple `Brother, Can You Spare A Dime?’.
Formed in and around the Boston area, although they duly relocated to the sunnier climes of California, The YOUNGBLOODS were a typical 60s flower-power unit; Jesse taking elements from The LOVIN’ SPOONFUL and The BYRDS, with his likeminded compadres, Joe Bauer, Lowell “Banana” Levinger and Jerry Corbitt, complementing gracefully on a handful of compulsive single and LPs.
As The YOUNGBLOODS were about to sign off for good on 1972’s “High On A Ridge Top”, JESSE COLIN YOUNG was already into his third solo release, TOGETHER (also 1972) {*6}, a record taking in a hotch-potch of styles ranging from country-blues to 50s rock’n’roll. Dipping at least one foot in the past, the singer displayed versatility on cuts once the property of CHUCK BERRY (`Sweet Little Sixteen’), WOODY GUTHRIE (`Pastures Of Plenty’), The BUTTERFIELD BLUES BAND (`Born In Chicago’), MISSISSIPPI JOHN HURT (`Creole Belle’), et al.
Marking his first fully-fledged solo outing, SONG FOR JULI (1973) {*7} brought about a change in YOUNG’s fortunes, its soft-rock philosophy matching his sentimentality (Juli’s his daughter), becoming, in the process, a deserved near-Top 50 breaker. Recorded from his “Ridgetop” hideaway in Marin County, California, the album’s graceful grooves reminded one of summer days listening to VAN MORRISON, albeit with a celebratory twist, via renditions of the bluesy `T-Bone Shuffle’, the Cajun `Lafayette Waltz’ and the country-infused `Jambalaya (On The Bayou)’.
Delivered only a matter of months after his “comeback” fourth set, the Top 40 LIGHT SHINE (1974) {*8} was a tightly-knit record, displaying the jazzy backing-band talents of Scott Lawrence (keyboards), Jeffrey Myer (drums) and, as always, reed-player extraordinaire, Jim Rothermel. Conveying mood swings as changeable as the weather, the 3-minute sunshine song, `Barbados’, was almost eaten up by the prog-ish twist and turns of the 2-part/11-minute, `Grey Day’ – part of the opening `California Suite’. One can almost imagine Old Grey Whistle Test presenter Bob Harris getting all misty-eyed at this piece of beauty, while one’ll never hear another re-imagining of trad-folkie, `The Cuckoo’, as funky as Jesse’s re-vamp.
Finding an audience through his support on CROSBY, STILLS, NASH & YOUNG’s summer 1974 reunion tour, this YOUNG man peaked commercially (Top 30) with the deliciously romantic SONGBIRD (1975) {*7}. Taking the plight of Native Americans in `Before You Came’, and re-treading old footsteps (`Sugar Babe’ and `Josiane’) from his Youngbloods halcyon days, Jesse maintained a mainstream sound equivalent to that of SEALS & CROFT.
Armed with usual suspects, including wife Suzi (on harmonies) and bassist David Hayes, ON THE ROAD (1976) {*6} cherry-picked some of his best tunes, although self-indulgence was the keyword as much of the live grooves were taken up by a 13-minute rendition of `Ridgetop’, and covers of MARVIN GAYE’s `What’s Going On – Mercy Mercy Me (The Ecology)’ and RANDY NEWMAN’s `Have You Seen My Baby?’.
Working again with Youngbloods producer Felix Pappalardi, YOUNG was the antithesis of the emerging punk movement in Britain, but that mattered not to his disciples who bought the countri-fied LOVE ON THE WING (1977) {*5}. From his searching reading of Blue Hazelhurst’s title track to his ill-advised cover of another HANK WILLIAMS dirge, `Hey, Good Lookin’’, decreasing sales meant that YOUNG was transferred to Elektra Records.
Singing from the safe and heavenly Hawaiian State (Maui, one imagines), AMERICAN DREAMS (1978) {*4} was Jesse’s slide into sophisti-disco, although political history was at the heart and soul of his autobiographical 17-minute/side-long title track suite; one should avoid embarrassing covers of BUDDY HOLLY’s `Rave On’ and EDDIE FLOYD’s `Knock On Wood’.
When folk dinosaurs had been hit by the big bang that was new wave, YOUNG found it hard to deliver the needed oomph and character needed to separate him from the ageing pack of singer-songwriters; 1982’s THE PERFECT STRANGER {*3} was a run-of-the-mill, session-friendly work, while AOR collaborations with Wendy Waldman and others (plus a weak cover of The BAND’s `Ophelia’), had little to say in an ever-evolving modern market.
Returning from a brief YOUNGBLOODS reunion tour, 1987’s THE HIGHWAY IS FOR HEROES {*5} (for the short-lived Cypress imprint) showed signs of an improvement, albeit one that reprised patchwork oldies such as `When You Dance’, `T-Bone Shuffle’ and `Before You Came’. Almost cast out from former backers and the likes, Jesse founded his own record company, Ridgetop; the 50-something artist clawing back some respect on subsequent sets, MAKIN’ IT REAL (1993) {*5} and SWEPT AWAY (1994) {*6}. His live SWEET WATER (1996) {*6} revisited some of his finest tunes in an “unplugged” style, turning back time and upping the amps for a gospel-grunge take of `Get Together’ (“Nevermind” that NIRVANA had ripped lines for their “Territorial Pissings” in ‘91). Post-millennium, YOUNG pleased his loyal fanbase with the release of a couple of nice-and-easy sets: WALK THE TALK (2003) {*5}, LIVING IN PARADISE (2004) {*4} and the live STANDING ROOM ONLY (2007) {*5}; the latter featuring his backing band Celtic Mambo. -


- Jesse Colin Young is an American singer and songwriter. He was a founding member and lead singer of the 1960s group the Youngbloods.

Young was born Perry Miller and raised in Queens. He attended the fourth grade with Art Garfunkel. His mother was a violinist, and his father was an accountant with a strong interest in classical music. When he was 15 years old, Young received a scholarship to Phillips Academy in Andover, Massachusetts. He was later expelled from the school.

During the 1960s, while living in the Greenwich Village section of Manhattan, Young released two solo albums, The Soul of a City Boy and Young Blood. He then formed the group the Youngbloods with guitarist Jerry Corbitt, keyboardist and guitarist Lowell "Banana" Levinger, and drummer Joe Bauer. The group's first album contained the song "Get Together", written by Chet Powers, which was re-released as a single in 1969. Young and his band founded Raccoon Records and released four additional albums on that label.

Young left the group in 1972 and released a solo album, Together. His fourth solo album, Song for Juli, released in 1973, produced four singles and remained on the Billboard Top 200 chart for several months. He recorded the albums American Dreams in 1978, The Perfect Stranger in 1982, and The Highway Is for Heroes in 1987.

He continued touring and re-formed the Youngbloods before returning to a solo recording career in 1987. In 1993 he started a recording company, Ridgetop Music.

In September 1979 Young performed in the "No Nukes" concert.

His recording studio and house in Inverness, California, were destroyed in the Mount Vision fire in 1995. Young, his wife and their two children maintained a coffee plantation in Hawaii. -


- Jesse Colin Young got his start as a folksinger in Greenwich Village coffeehouses in the early '60s, releasing two major-label albums, The Soul of a City Boy (April 1964) and Young Blood (March 1965). He met guitarist Jerry Corbitt in Cambridge, MA, and with keyboardist/guitarist Lowell "Banana" Levinger and drummer Joe Bauer, they formed the Youngbloods, initially playing in the jug band, good-time style of the Lovin' Spoonful. Signed to RCA, they released their debut single, Corbitt's "Grizzly Bear," a chart entry, in November 1966, followed by their self-titled debut album in February 1967. The album featured the group's version of Dino Valenti and Bob Cullen's idealistic folk anthem "Get Together," which was released as a single in July and also made the charts. Earth Music (November 1967) followed. By the time of Elephant Mountain (April 1969), they had moved to the San Francisco Bay Area and Corbitt had dropped out. RCA re-released "Get Together" as a single after it was used as in a public-service commercial for the National Council of Christians and Jews, and it became a gold Top Ten hit. The Youngbloods also made the singles charts with Young's songs "Sunlight" (November 1969) and "Darkness, Darkness" (May 1970). Forming their own Raccoon Records label with distribution by Warner Brothers, they released the live albums Rock Festival (October 1970) and Ride the Wind (July 1971), followed by the studio album Good and Dusty (November 1971). Young recorded a solo album, Together (March 1972), and due to its success he disbanded the Youngbloods after their final album, High on a Ridge Top (November 1972). He then made Song for Juli (September 1973), Light Shine (March 1974), Songbird (February 1975), On the Road (April 1976), and Love on the Wing (March 1977), all of which charted in the Top 100. He moved to Elektra Records for the less successful American Dreams (November 1978) and The Perfect Stranger (July 1982). Like most folk-rock singer/songwriters, he was abandoned by the major labels in the '80s, but he continued to tour in an acoustic format, also appearing with a re-formed Youngbloods lineup featuring Corbitt and Banana (Bauer had died) in 1984 and 1985. He returned to recording in 1987 with The Highway Is for Heroes on the short-lived Cypress Records label. He launched his own Ridgetop Music label, releasing Makin' It Real (October 1993), and followed with Swept Away (September 1994), Crazy Boy (1995), a compilation, and Sweetwater (June 1996), a live album. Meanwhile, he had acquired the rights to his Mercury, Warner Brothers, and Elektra albums and began to reissue them. This effort was interrupted by a fire at his home in October 1995 that destroyed some of his album masters. But he pacted with Bean Bag Entertainment, and the reissue program has resumed. -


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