Leon Russell ‘Signature Songs’ Gets Reissue: Listen

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A long out-of-print collection of intimate, solo piano and vocal recordings by legendary musician, composer, and performer Leon Russell has been reissued. Signature Songs, originally released in 2001, is once again available on CD and pressed for the very first time on vinyl, via Dark Horse Records on March 17, 2023.

[Russell is the subject of an upcoming biography. Leon Russell: The Master of Space and Time’s Journey Through Rock & Roll History, from author and fellow musician Bill Janovitz, arrived March 14, via Hachette Books.]

From the Feb. 28 album announcement: Signature Songs includes stripped-down and unique takes on songs from across Russell’s remarkable canon, from the GRAMMY® Hall of Fame classic, “A Song For You,” to his own classic hits, “Tight Rope,” “Stranger In a Strange Land,” “This Masquerade” and “Lady Blue.”

With its powerful performances and intimate song reinventions, Signature Songs stands as an ideal entry point and vivid reminder of Leon Russell’s one-of-a-kind musical genius. His career is like a roadmap of American music, though his mark can also be found on the work of British rock royalty like The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, and Elton John, the latter of whom later inducted him into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2011. A genre-defying, multi-talented artist whose wildly diverse body of work has affirmed him as a truly mythical figure, Russell’s long friendship with Dark Horse Records founder George Harrison is well documented, including his profound contribution to 1971’s landmark Concert for Bangladesh.

Leon Russell Signature Songs Tracklist
A Song for You
One More Love Song
Tight Rope
Stranger In a Strange Land
Back To the Island
Out In the Woods
Lady Blue
Delta Lady
Magic Mirror
This Masquerade

Known as “The Master of Space and Time,” Russell appeared on over four hundred albums during his storied 50-year career, spanning his own one-of-a-kind solo work to collaborations with such giants as Elton John (who declared him to be his “biggest influence as a piano player, a singer and a songwriter”), Frank Sinatra, Bob Dylan, The Beach Boys, Phil Spector, Eric Clapton, Delaney and Bonnie, Willie Nelson, Rita Coolidge, Dave Mason, Freddie King, J.J. Cale, Bob Marley, Peter Tosh, Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, Bonnie Raitt, and countless others. Inducted into both the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and the Songwriters’ Hall of Fame in 2011, Russell was as creative on stage as in the studio, filling stadiums on solo tours as well as serving as organizer/performer of Joe Cocker’s revolutionary “Mad Dogs and Englishmen” tour. He died in 2016.

Related: Our interview with Leon Russell

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