Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Lewis Taylor - The Lost Album

If you would've asked me who Lewis Taylor was last week I wouldn't have had a clue. After listening to this I'm a fan for life.

When he first dropped his self titled debut in the UK back in 1996 I wasn't really trying to check for new R&B (I was too busy looking for old records!). Taylor was signed to Island Records as the next "blue eyed soul" man, but he is much more than that. In response to his label trying to sell him as a pre-Robin Thicke, he turned in demos of what would later become The Lost Album and was met with a giant "WTF?" from Island. Instead of another Neo Soul album, he made what one reviewer called "a mix of mid-‘70s Southern California rock and British symphonic-pop". That's oversimplifying in my opinion. This is definitely pop-rock with obvious influences from the Beach Boys to Todd Rundgren, but it's incredibly layered and lush, with a unique sound all it's own. What makes it all the more incredible is that he played every instrument and sang every note by himself.

Needless to say, Island didn't know how to market him and after turning in Lewis II in place of this album, he was dropped from the label. These demos sat until 2004 when he and writing partner Sabina Smyth re-recorded the songs and released it on Taylor's own Slow Reality label in the UK. Fast fwd 3 years (you still with me?) and it finally sees the light of day in the U.S. via HackTone Records.
Just as it seemed like he was going to breakthrough stateside (his fans include D'Angelo, Darryl Hall, Aaliyah, & David Bowie among others) he retired from music during his first tour. Any info I've been able to find is from past interviews and reviews. All YouTube videos have been taken down (at his request), his website is shut down and he has declined to do interviews.

Now I know this is not my usual kind of thing to post (to be honest, it's not my usual thing), but this record really hit me. Maybe it's because he manages to articulate what I'm striving for in my own music. Or the fact that I've been listening to The Beatles for the last two months. I dunno. Any way it goes, give it a listen and form your own opinion. It won't be for everybody, but it definitely is for me.

Lewis Taylor - Please Help Me..If You Can

Lewis Taylor - Send Me An Angel (only available on original UK release)

Buy it

*shout out to Aser!*


douglas said...

hey. long time reader. i've been a fan of lewis FOREVER. i've listening to him since 2001. you have got to hear "Lewis taylor" his first album, soo amazing and soulful. people say he's a plumber now, so sad. I would give anything to know why he stopped recording.

DeLuca said...

Believe it or not, but Robbie Williams did on his Rudebox album a cover of
Lovelight, this is actually a track by Lewis Taylor, coming from
his third album Stoned Part I.

jay.soul said...

first album is a timeless masterpiece of dark, intense, layered soul music. still as good as when it first dropped. definitely no r&b!


Ross said...

My pal Barney Hoskyns has long raved over Lewis in the music press. The result? Angry emails from Lewis demanding that he stop writing about him, that he remove all online articles he's written etc.

Curiouser and curiouser.

Anonymous said...

Let's get this into perspective mate, I think you'll find it was ONE email and it was to do with Hoskins calling LT an ex-junkie. If you go and read the piece you'll see he has subsequently removed the remark.

The joke is, despite being in the wrong Hoskyns felt the need to leak LT's email onto the net.

I fail to see anything curious about LT's reaction, the real curiosity is actually Hoskyns behaviour.

But then, if he was ‘your pal’ you'd know all this wouldn’t you.

Alan said...

Yeah, I recall seeing that. Barney Hoskyns was a prick to publically post that email. You don't put personal correspondence like that in a public domain; still, a journalist without moral scruples? Whatever next?

There's another prick out there called Mark Ede who's done the same in the past, forwarding emails from Lewis to people on his mailing list of musos that he hangs around, hoping that some modicum of talent might make its way to him (impossible). The thing is, he doesn't realise that he's viewed as a joke by most of them.

Anonymous said...

Fuzz said...

Thanx for the 192. Bought all I can buy. Where can I find a lossless Send Me An Angel 2? Somebody must have it. Lewis ain't selling - not even to Hacktone.

Anonymous said...

It's on the UK Slow Reality version of "The Lost Album". You'll see the odd copy on Amazon UK.

dj day said...

I still consider this one of the best records I have ever heard. Lewis, if you're reading this (and I think you just might be), thank you.

Anonymous said...

This is in response to Alans post on the 25th Jan . The more people know about Mark Ede the better and hopefully less young musicians will fall for his bull .
As an aspiring musician the last thing you need is to be affected by this very negative and hateful person .

Being a huge LT fan myself , about 4-5 years ago I got involved with Mark Ede as he claimed to be able to promote me " the way that he promoted Lewis " ( which is a total lie , talk about deluded ).

At first as we both shared an appreciation for LT I thought he seemed like he knew what he was talking about . After a few months of listening to Ede's endless name dropping and seeing that he really knew diddly about the music business , and especially creative people . I tried to gently lever myself away from this toxic prick , but it wasn't quite as simple as I'd hoped .

I discovered through a mutual contact that he was now publicly slagging me off , basically because I'd seen him for what he is .
I decided not to react to his petty attacks on my abilities , but I do hope that more people could be aware of what an idiot and liar this prick is

Mark Ede has almost ruined my appreciation for Lewis now I find it hard to dissasociate LT's music from him .

I've heard through the grapevine that Mark has recently had a nervous breakdown because his 23 year old girlfriend ( he's 58 BTW ! ) is going to america and he's too paranoid to fly . I hope she wakes up soon and realises how much of a twat Ede is .

Mr O

Alan said...

His girlfriend's a singer who he's managing.

Anonymous said...

Jo is it ? 30 years younger than him I heard .
I wonder what she sees in a crusty old wanker
who creeps around musicians like some kind
of hideous succubus attempting to feed off their
genuine talent whilst he has none ...apart from
his big wad of money from his dad...hmmmm

jane lord

Anonymous said...





Anonymous said...

I think she sees an endless supply of money to fuel her pisshead lifestyle.

Anonymous said...

Any news on what he's up to?

Anonymous said...

Mark Ede is boasting again about his Lewis connection. I quote..."It may be a little known fact that the troubled and reclusive genius Lewis Taylor turned down approaches from Joss Stone, Chaka Khan, D'Angelo, Motown Records and others but did - for real - make a record with me. If that doesn't prove the guys was nuts, nothing will!". Twat. The delusion of the bellend.

Anonymous said...

Grow the fuck up, Ede, you twat. She's dumped you, yet you still sniff around her like a rabid dog. The band think that you're a douche. She's an OK singer but nothing more. Her music is boring and she could do with a stylist big time.

Anonymous said...

The best bit is that he is now meant to be teaching music management on a music course, when he has no experience of the music industry business wise whatsoever. What an irresponsible egotistical dickhead.

S Inger said...

Mark Ede? Funny what googling Lewis Taylor brings up! Be very careful of him if you're a young/young-ish female singer. He'll try and shag you. Had some "dealings" with him 3 few years ago. He's a sad old deluded man.

Anyway, what is Lewis Taylor up to these days?

Anonymous said...

Mark Ede is teaching on a music management course? I've heard it all now. His knowledge of the music business is miniscule and he's very unprofessional.

d rue said...

This has been a very interesting read, especially the end of the comments here wow-- torrent of hate or what?

Anonymous said...

A friend of mine who works at Universal tells me that they have a deluxe 2CD version of Lewis' debut in the works, which will include unreleased songs and different versions of tracks on the original release of the album.

Peppe Ruggeri said...

That's a big news man. i really hope Lewis is alright, as a human being first of all.

Anonymous said...

Apparently they realesed it without even telling him. I've just read on another blog that he may be doing a new interview about it, although that's probably a load of crap.

Anonymous said...

Well looks like i was wrong, it's far from crap, here's a link to the interview.

He has some pretty interesting stuff to say and it seems he doing just fine.

Anonymous said...

The comment about Ede being too paranoid to fly does explain why he never goes to Jo Harman's (the artist he manages as well as being his partner) gigs and recording sessions abroad. Get over it, grandad!

Got to say that all of what's been posted really doesn't put him in a good light.

Anonymous said...

Mark Ede was dumped by Jo Harman recently. The woman finally came to her senses...

Anonymous said...

Very revealing interview from 2016

This comes from another blog

Nobody seems to have a good word about Mark Ede on that one either