Friday, January 21, 2011

Julie Felix "Heaven Is Here" b/w "Soon" - UK/USA 1970

It's exciting how much music is out there.  No matter how much I think I know, there are always new artists and even whole genres to dig into of which I was previously unaware.

This is yet another one of the 7" discs I picked up in Rome at a used bookshop 4 per 10 euro.  Like the Chris Spedding single I opened the blog with, I picked this up in part because it was a Mickie Most/Rak label production.  This is the second post on the blog already of an Italian pressing of a single I assumed was a British artist, but is an American who had been working in Britain for a substantial period, becoming better known there than here.

I'm too young to have caught the '60s, but I have a pretty massive collection of '60s recordings, and you would think that I would be familiar with Julie Felix for one of any number of reasons.  The cover art plus the year gave me a pretty good idea of what this was going to sound like while I was still in the store, not knowing the name.

She played the Isle of Wight Festival in 1969, recorded several (mostly folk) albums in the UK beginning in 1964, was the resident singer for David Frost's BBC show, had her own TV show where she hosted performances of The Kinks, Jimmy Page (check out this video!) and Leonard Cohen.  This was the second Top 40 hit (#22) of hers in the UK for 1970.

Yet I'd never heard of her!  Ms. Felix is American but has lived in Britain for about 50 years.  She has an extensive website with info about her ongoing performances, ways to order CDs that cover a lot of her material spread over some years, and even join her fan club.

"Heaven Is Here" is an excellent pop-folk-rocker that Americans should hear.  The B-side is an OK typical B-side, providing a more introspective, slower song.  At times when Felix is really belting it out her voice reminds me of Joan Baez, but that's a starting point of reference and she has her own sound.

Give it a listen.

1 comment:

  1. As one who first saw Julie in the early years of her career, I was delighted tonight as she bounced onto the stage at the historic Bridgwater Arts Centre, still a slim figure in black, her youthful energy intact, and her smooth, rich, deep voice as heartwarming and in as perfect pitch as ever it was.