Laura Nyro - singer, songwriter.
June 19, 2011 4:03 PM   Subscribe

 
She was a fine songwriter, indeed. Hard to believe, too, that it's already been 14 years since she died.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 4:12 PM on June 19, 2011


Im just going to favorite this on general princaple.
posted by The Whelk at 4:25 PM on June 19, 2011 [1 favorite]


Fantastic songwriter. Here's her original recording of Stoned Stoul Picnic. And here's Stoney End, later a hit for Barbra Streisand.
posted by evilcolonel at 4:26 PM on June 19, 2011 [1 favorite]


Another cover: Barbra Streisand had a big hit with Stoney End in 1971; the album of the same name had two other Nyro songs, Hands Off the Man and Time and Love.
posted by OneMonkeysUncle at 4:27 PM on June 19, 2011


(Um, yeah, what evilcolonel said...)
posted by OneMonkeysUncle at 4:27 PM on June 19, 2011


What these links all show is the poor condition that is Laura Nyro's video legacy.
posted by Ardiril at 4:36 PM on June 19, 2011


What these links all show is the poor condition that is Laura Nyro's video legacy.

Well, she was always kind of invisible, wasn't she? Or, at least, very hard to see. So it's kind of a metaphor, I guess.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 4:39 PM on June 19, 2011


I saw her in concert once with Patti LaBelle.
posted by Obscure Reference at 4:44 PM on June 19, 2011 [1 favorite]


She became quite the unwilling performer, that's true. All the more reason to preserve what we can.
posted by Ardiril at 5:00 PM on June 19, 2011 [1 favorite]


Laura Nyro
posted by philip-random at 5:08 PM on June 19, 2011


This is like the big chug and spit of Scope, after you just finished puking from the Diane Warren post. All I need is a small sip of water now.

You are godlike 81684.
posted by timsteil at 5:19 PM on June 19, 2011


I remember going to see the Alvin Ailey dance company when I was in college and desperately trying to grow my artistic boundaries. I was blown away by the power and intensity of the vocals in one of the songs they danced to, called "Been On A Train". I went up to one of the Ailey staff immediately after the performance to ask about the performer, and was told that it was a woman named Laura Nyro. Months later, while doing an internship in DC, I finally tracked down the song, on an album called Christmas and the Beads of Sweat. Revelatory album, at least to me at that time (late '80s). Still one of the most satisfying musical quests I've been on.

But I do remember looking at the album illustration and thinking to my (oh-so-young) self, "Damn, that girl looks white!"
posted by Shotgun Shakespeare at 8:06 PM on June 19, 2011


she did some great stuff later in life, too -

to a child

american dreamer

angel in the dark

crazy love

midnight blue

and some covers -

the bells (with labelle)

walk on by/ooh baby baby

will you still love me tomorrow

and there's lots more ...

upstairs by a chinese lamp

timer

gibsom street

been on a train
posted by pyramid termite at 8:28 PM on June 19, 2011 [1 favorite]


Every time someone mentions Laura Nyro I always need to bring up another great singer songwriter who was probably even more obscure than Nyro but no less awesome - Judee Sill
posted by any major dude at 6:21 AM on June 20, 2011 [1 favorite]


One of my favorites of hers, naughtily sexy: California Shoeshine Boys
posted by nickyskye at 7:44 AM on June 20, 2011 [1 favorite]




Laura Nyro Reconsidered
posted by y2karl at 8:12 AM on June 20, 2011


I saw Laura Nyro in 1970 at the Opera House in a solo concert. The most notable event at that concert, however, was when walking through the lobby and looking back over my shoulder, I collided full on with Bette Midler*, who was also walking through the lobby and looking back over her shoulder.

*Bette Midler was in town playing the role of the Acid Queen in Seattle Opera's staging of Tommy. As far as collisions go, it was not at all unpleasant. A soft impact, the shock of recognition from me--having seen her on Johnny Carson not long before, mutual apologies, a winsome smile from her in return. One of my most memorable celebrity encounters.

I still remember opening the cellophane on Eli and the 13th Confession way back in 1967 -- it had a perfumed lyric sheet inside, redolent of jasmine and lilacs, which was folded over the front cover. That was a very nice touch.
posted by y2karl at 8:37 AM on June 20, 2011 [2 favorites]


Upon reflection, I liked her first albums best. Which are the ones from which nearly all of her songs universally recognized as classics come. The later albums were more experimental and, as in science, not all the experiments worked. Still, when they did, they were often a revelation. All the same, I liked what followed less and less in succession. I lost track of her after Gonna Take A Miracle came out -- when someone did an album of oldies covers in the 70s, it was a sign that the artists were treading water and their careers were in trouble or on hiatus, as with John Lennon and the Band, for instance.
posted by y2karl at 3:24 PM on June 20, 2011


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