Earth Mother by Leslie Duncan

Tuesday 25th September

Maybe I dismissed the myriad D’s too swiftly.  I almost forgot the remarkable Lesley Duncan, a backing singer who became a singer, songwriter in her own right.  Elton John recorded her song ‘Love Song’ for his ‘Tumbleweed Connection’ album where she duetted with him.  At the time she had her own album out ‘Sing Children Sing’, which barely caused a ripple with the record-buying public but it was with the LP ‘Earth Mother’ that she really found her voice and style.  The title song is a warning about the dangers of environmental destruction, a common theme now, but back in the early seventies this was almost unheard of.  Chris Spedding played guitar and gave her songs a sharp edginess which her voice managed to smooth out beautifully.   There is also a song about how the record business works – ‘Fortieth Floor’, plus a few lovely love songs.  The album has an honesty which is quite typical of early seventies albums, which you don’t tend to hear so much today.   Back then artists weren’t so aware of their careers, most simply loved making music.

Lesley never achieved fame or even much critical acclaim in her lifetome and she died in 2010.  But though a few of her albums were re-released on CD in the early years of this century they have suddenly become much sought after and on Amazon are selling for over a hundred pounds.  So there must be some demand out there.  Maybe she is one of those rare artists that though no-one has heard of them and they never really made it in their lifetime, they have a strange after-life.

I simply know that Earth Mother is one of my very favourite albums of all time, and if I were ever to lose my CD copy I would happily pay the Amazon price for a new copy.

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