David Blue - Stories LP
Edition of 999.
"David Blue was the peer of any singer in this country, and he knew it, and he coveted their audiences and their power, he claimed them as his rightful due. And when he could not have them, his disappointment became so dazzling, his greed assumed such purity, his appetite such honesty, and he stretched his arms so wide, that we were all able to recognize ourselves, and we fell in love with him." (Leonard Cohen). David Blue is the "Blue" in Bob Dylan's "Baby Blue", the voluble chain-smoking pinball loner in Renaldo and Clara, a companion of Joni Mitchell's during the time she made Blue, the "blue's not right" art collector in Wim Wender's The American Friend. The second artist signed to David Geffen's fledgling Asylum records (after Judee Sill), Blue's 1971 Asylum debut Stories sold a woeful 2,000 copies. Perhaps a factor in the album's spectacular failure to achieve traction is the almost harrowing emotional vulnerability of Blue's songs and performances. About Stories Blue himself said "if you listen to the record and say, 'god, what a downer,' then i've succeeded in doing exactly what i wanted to do." Recorded with Blue's foil, guitarist Bob Rafkin, and an A-list ensemble of LA session musicians that includes among others Ry Cooder, Rita Coolidge, Chris Ethridge, and Russ Kunkel, engineered by Henry Lewy (Blue, Gilded Palace of Sin) with string arrangements by Jack Nitzsche, Stories is the one true masterpiece of David Blue's short life (Blue died age 42 from a heart-attack while jogging in Washington Square Park).
Aficionados of the "stonersandloners" genre have slept on Stories. In the estimation of those long involved in the activities of eremite records, Stories finest moments (and there are many) foreshadow dark classics from later in the decade such as Gene Clark's No Other, Neil Young's 'Ditch Trilogy' and Dennis Wilson's Pacific Ocean Blue, spirit albums in which the artists' torments are transfigured into high art through bummer song. As an expression of appreciation and love to David Blue, eremite's edition of Stories surpasses all previously available versions in both audio reproduction and presentation. Kevin Gray at Cohearent Audio gently remastered the music from the original tapes and cut the lacquers. Pressed on premium audiophile 120 gram vinyl at RTI, Stories is presented in a retro flipback jacket with a 12x12 hand screenprinted (in peacock blue ink) insert by Alan Sherry / Siwa that reproduces in-full Leonard Cohen's 1982 eulogy for David Blue. Stories is the only release on eremite records' subsidiary label Sister Rose (titled after the second song on side 1 of Stories). Edition 999 copies. In the words of Gil Scott Heron, "all the dreams you show up in are not your own."