Eli and the Thirteenth Confession

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Eli and the Thirteenth Confession
Studio album by Laura Nyro
Released March 3, 1968
Recorded New York City,
January–February 1968
Genre Pop
Length 46:15
Label CBS (UK)
Columbia (US)
Producer Laura Nyro, Charlie Calello
Laura Nyro chronology
More Than a New Discovery
(1967)
Eli and the Thirteenth Confession
(1968)
New York Tendaberry
(1969)
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 4.5/5 stars[1]
Rolling Stone (positive) [2]

Eli and the Thirteenth Confession is the second album by New York-born singer, songwriter, and pianist Laura Nyro, released in 1968.

History[edit]

Nyro premiered some of the songs that were to appear on the album at the 1967 Monterey Pop Festival. The song "Luckie" was derived from an earlier composition Nyro had played at her audition for Verve Records in 1966. Before she signed to Columbia Records, Verve had already planned to release the album, under the title Soul Picnic. The album saw its actual release in 1968 on the Columbia label and became one of the year's underground successes. The album was written entirely by Nyro, arranged by Charlie Calello and produced by both. On Nyro's insistence, the album's lyric sheet (which itself was a rarity for records in 1968) was perfumed, and fans have reported that it still has a pleasant aroma.[3]

The album's themes are of passion, love, romance, death, and drugs, and the songs are delivered in Nyro's distinctive brash neo-operatic vocals. Musically, it is a multi-layered and opulent work, including multi-tracked vocals, jazz instrumentation and strings. The album's loose genre is pop, but it also incorporates elements of jazz, opera, soul, gospel, and rock.

It is generally considered to be Nyro's most accessible and most famous work, although it is arguably not the most commercially successful or critically favored (both honors go to the follow-up, New York Tendaberry). The album was her first chart entry, reaching No. 189 on the Billboard 200, when it was known as "Pop Albums."

The album is second only to its predecessor, 1967's More Than a New Discovery, in producing hit songs for other artists. Three Dog Night took "Eli's Comin'" to US No. 10, while The 5th Dimension went to US No. 3 with "Stoned Soul Picnic" and US No. 13 with "Sweet Blindness".

Legacy[edit]

The legacy of the album is evident on the 1997 compilation Stoned Soul Picnic: The Best of Laura Nyro, which includes 6 songs from the 1968 album.

Six songs from Eli and the Thirteenth Confession are included in the ballet Quintet performed by the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater.

Reissues[edit]

Eli and the Thirteenth Confession was reissued in expanded and re-mastered format during the summer of 2002. The reissue was produced by Al Quaglieri, with Laura Grover as project director.

The reissue featured three previously unreleased demos recorded on November 29, 1967. The 20-year-old Nyro performed the spare, solo demos of "Lu," "Stoned Soul Picnic," and "Emmie" on piano and multi-tracked her own voice to add harmonies.

The accompanying booklet includes photographs and recording details, as well as liner notes by Rick Petreycik and a back-cover recollection by Phoebe Snow. The re-mastered version was issued alongside re-mastered/expanded editions of New York Tendaberry and Gonna Take a Miracle.

In August 2011, the album was re-released in audiophile vinyl by label "Music on Vinyl", using high-resolution audio files at 96 kHz / 24 bit.[4]

Track listing[edit]

All songs written and composed by Laura Nyro. 

Side one
No. Title Length
1. "Luckie"   3:00
2. "Lu"   2:44
3. "Sweet Blindness"   2:37
4. "Poverty Train"   4:16
5. "Lonely Women"   3:32
6. "Eli's Comin'"   3:58
Side two
No. Title Length
7. "Timer"   3:22
8. "Stoned Soul Picnic"   3:47
9. "Emmie"   4:20
10. "Woman's Blues"   3:46
11. "Once It Was Alright Now (Farmer Joe)"   2:58
12. "December's Boudoir"   5:05
13. "The Confession"   2:50

2002 Remastered Track listing[edit]

  1. "Luckie"
  2. "Lu"
  3. "Sweet Blindness"
  4. "Poverty Train"
  5. "Lonely Women"
  6. "Eli's Comin'"
  7. "Timer"
  8. "Stoned Soul Picnic"
  9. "Emmi"
  10. "Woman's Blues"
  11. "Once It Was Alright Now (Farmer Joe)"
  12. "December's Boudoir"
  13. "The Confession"
  14. "Lu" (Demo) (Bonus track)
  15. "Stoned Soul Picnic" (Demo) (Bonus track)
  16. "Emmie" (Demo) (Bonus track)

Personnel[edit]

Samples[edit]

Laura Nyro, Sweet Blindness (Columbia, 1968)

Laura Nyro, Eli's Comin' (Columbia, 1968)

Problems playing these files? See media help.

References[edit]

  • Michele Kort's biography Soul Picnic: The Music and Passion of Laura Nyro (ISBN 0-312-20941-X)
  1. ^ Allmusic review
  2. ^ Landau, Jon (28 September 1968). "Eli and the Thirteenth Confession". Rolling Stone. 
  3. ^ Kort, Michele (2002). "Eli's Comin'". Soul Picnic: The Music and Passion of Laura Nyro. St. Martin's Press. p. 57. ISBN 0-312-20941-X. 
  4. ^ http://www.musiconvinyl.com/releases/Nyro,_Laura/Eli_%26_The_13th_Confession

External links[edit]