Get this crazy baby off my head!


Laura Nyro


Laura Nyro - Stoned Soul Picnic: The Best of Laura Nyro - 1997 - Columbia

A double-CD, career-spanning retrospective that offers little in the way of surprises: it's a tastefully selected overview of her career highlights, heaviest (and justifiably so) on her late '60s albums. There's the inevitable feeling of letdown as disc two progresses; her post-early '70s material is far less interesting than her earliest work, even if it's inoffensive. All of the first five albums (through 1971's Gonna Take a Miracle) are now on CD, so this is most suitable for the fan who isn't passionate enough to be a completist. Includes a couple of previously unreleased live tracks from the 1990s; the version of "Sweet Blindness," unfortunately, is not the original late-'60s recording, but from a late-'70s live album. © Richie Unterberger, All Music Guide © 2010 Answers Corporation http://www.answers.com/topic/stoned-soul-picnic-the-best-of-laura-nyro

Stoned Soul Picnic: The Best of Laura Nyro is the second retrospective album by Bronx-born musician Laura Nyro and the most comprehensive overview of her work to date. It was the last album Nyro released during her lifetime, and she died from ovarian cancer less than two months after its release. The two-disc set combines highlights from all of her studio albums, as well as some rarities and previously unreleased live songs recorded in 1993 and 1994. Music journalist Paul Zollo's interview with Nyro makes up the liner notes, along with a Nyro biography and song details. Stoned Soul Picnic: The Best of Laura Nyro came about in 1996 when the Legacy imprint of Columbia Records requested a single-disc overview of Nyro's work. However, that would have concentrated on her earlier material, and Nyro was adamant that a full career overview should be achieved. Nyro oversaw the production of the album, and made the track selection her final artistic project. The first disc collects some of her finest and most well-known material from 1966 to 1970, while the second disc concentrates on her later career. [from Wikipedia]

Entertainment Weekly (3/21/97, p.74) - "Fans of today's visionary female popsters would profit from a good listen to Nyro, the shamefully overlooked singer-songwriter who paved the way for them 30 years ago. Nyro's passion still cuts like a glistening blade on this well-stocked two-CD set..."
- Rating: A

"Stoned Soul Picnic" is a fabulous collection of the late, great Laura Nyro's songs. This lady was an incredible vocalist and songwriter. She encompassed all styles of music including jazz, blues, and soul. She was Carole King, Joni Mitchell, Maria Muldaur and many more great artists all rolled into one. Her lyrics and melodies are wonderful. This is the first Laura Nyro post on this blog, and thanks to DJ Mike Pell for reminding me about Laura, and just how great and influential this incredibly talented Bronxite was and still is. "Stoned Soul Picnic: The Best of Laura Nyro" is VHR by A.O.O.F.C. Listen to her brilliant "More Than a New Discovery","New York Tendaberry", "Eli and the Thirteenth Confession", and "Laura: Laura Nyro Live at the Bottom Line" albums

"Give me my freedom for as long as I be. All I ask of livin' is to have no chains on me. All I ask of livin' is to have no chains on me, and all I ask of dyin' is to go naturally. And when I die, and when I'm gone, there'll be one child born and a world to carry on" - Laura Nyro from her song "And When I Die"


1."Wedding Bell Blues"
2."Blowin' Away"
3."Billy's Blues"
4."Stoney End"
5."And When I Die"
7."Eli's Comin'"
8."Stoned Soul Picnic"
11."The Confession"
12."Captain Saint Lucifer"
13."Gibsom Street"
14."New York Tendaberry"
15."Save the Country" [mono single version]
17."Upstairs By A Chinese Lamp"
18."Beads of Sweat"
19."When I Was a Freeport and You Were the Main Drag"

All songs composed by Laura Nyro


1."I Met Him on a Sunday" (Doris Coley, Addie Harris, Beverly Lee, Shirley Owens)
2."The Bells" (Marvin Gaye, Anna Gordy Gaye, Iris Gordy, Elgie Stover)
4."Sweet Blindness" [live version]
5."Money" [live version]
6."Mr. Blue"
7."A Wilderness"
8."Mother's Spiritual"
9."A Woman of the World"
10."Louise's Church"
11."Broken Rainbow"
12."To a Child"
13."Lite a Flame (The Animal Rights Song)"
14."And When I Die" [live version]
15."Save the Country" [live version]

All songs composed by Laura Nyro except where stated


Chet Amsterdam Bass
Wayne Andre Trombone
Ron Baker Bass
Barry Beckett Vibraphone
Jay Berliner Guitar
Hal Blaine Drums, Tambourine
Randy Brecker Percussion
John Bristo Guitar (Electric)
Bob Bushwell Bass
Pat Calello Trumpet
Dave Carey Percussion
Ralph Casale Guitar (Acoustic)
Roland Chambers Guitar
Gary Chester Drums
Jimmy Cleveland Trombone
Carter Collins Conga
Sarah Dash Vocals
Mike Deasy Sr. Guitar
Ray DeSio Trombone
Cornell Dupree Guitar (Electric)
Joe Farrell Saxophone
Lawrence Feldman Horn
Stan Free Piano
David Friedman Guitar
Ashad Garabedian Oud
Bernie Glow Trumpet
Norman Harris Guitar
Roger Hawkins Drums
Jim Helmer Drums
Nona Hendryx Vocals
Eddie Hinton Guitar (Electric)
David Hood Bass
Jack Jennings Percussion
Bashiri Johnson Percussion
Patti LaBelle Vocals
Bill Lavorgna Drums
Charles Loper Trombone
Buddy Lucas Harmonica
Julie Lyonn-Lieberman Violin
Lou Marini Flute, Percussion
Nydia Mata Percussion
Lou Mauro Bass
Hugh McCracken Guitar (Electric)
Mike Melvoin Piano
Vince Montana Percussion
Laura Nyro Piano, Vocals, Vocal Harmony
Joe Osborn Bass
Lenny Pakula Organ
Ray Pohlman Guitar
Chuck Rainey Bass
Don Randi Piano
Roger Rosenberg Percussion
Todd Rundgren Synthesizer
Buddy Saltzman Drums
Artie Schroeck Drums, Vibraphone
James Sedlar Flugelhorn, Horn
Stuart Sharf Guitar (Acoustic)
Tommy Tedesco Guitar
John Tropea Guitar
Freddie "Ready Freddie" Washington Bass
Larry Washington Conga
Nisako Yoshida Koto
George Young Saxophone
Jimmy Zito Trumpet
Gary Katz, Milt Okun, Charlie Calello, Laura Nyro, Roy Halee, Bones Howe, Arif Mardin, Felix Cavaliere, Gamble and Huff, Roscoe Harring - Producers


Laura Nyro was one of pop music's true originals: A brilliant and innovative composer, her songs found greater commercial success in the hands of other performers, but her own records — intricate, haunting works highlighting her singularly powerful vocal phrasing, evocative lyrics, and alchemical fusion of gospel, soul, folk, and jazz structures — remain her definitive artistic legacy. The daughter of a jazz trumpeter, she was born Laura Nigro on October 18, 1947, and composed her first songs at the age of eight. After attending Manhattan's famed High School of Music and Art, she began performing in area clubs, drawing on influences as diverse as Bob Dylan and John Coltrane. In 1967, Nyro issued her first LP, More Than a New Discovery; though commercially unsuccessful, the album was a treasure trove of material for other artists — the Fifth Dimension scored with "Wedding Bell Blues" and "Blowin' Away," Barbra Streisand covered "Stoney End," and Blood, Sweat & Tears tackled "And When I Die." In 1967, Nyro made just her second major live appearance to date at the Monterey Pop Festival, where her idiosyncratic performance baffled the crowd. However, David Geffen — a music agent at the time — caught her set and was so impressed that he quit his current position to become her manager. He also won Nyro a contract with Columbia, and in 1968 she returned with the extraordinary Eli and the Thirteenth Confession. While the album earned vast critical acclaim, she again found commercial success not with her own recordings, but with covers of Eli's songs, as the Fifth Dimension reached the charts with renditions of "Stoned Soul Picnic" and "Sweet Blindness," while "Eli's Comin'" became a major hit for Three Dog Night. New York Tendaberry, released in 1969, fared better thanks to the strong word of mouth now trailing her work; the record's "Time and Love" and "Save the Country" soon emerged as two of her most well-regarded and popular songs. With 1970's Christmas and the Beads of Sweat, she continued her exploration of soul music, enlisting Muscle Shoals staples like Barry Beckett, Roger Hawkins, and Eddie Hinton; "Beads of Sweat" also featured guitar work from Duane Allman. Gonna Take a Miracle, recorded with Labelle and the production team of Gamble & Huff, marked a dramatic left turn in 1971; Nyro's lone album of non-original material, it featured her tributes to Motown ("Jimmy Mack," "Nowhere to Run"), doo wop ("The Bells," "Spanish Harlem"), and the girl group era ("I Met Him on a Sunday"). At the age of 24, Nyro announced her retirement; she married, severed her industry connections, and moved to a small community in New England. However, the marriage ended in divorce, and in 1976 she resurfaced with Smile; a subsequent tour yielded the 1977 live set Season of Lights. However, the long layoff derailed whatever chart momentum her music had accrued, and after the dismal sales of 1978's Nested, she again retreated from the music business. When Nyro finally returned from her self-imposed exile in 1984 with Mother's Spiritual, her music had grown more reserved and introspective; as the title indicated, her own motherhood provided considerable inspiration for her new work, as did her rustic New England lifestyle. While she did not make any overt declarations of retirement, Nyro waited another five years before issuing her next LP, Live at the Bottom Line, recorded at the legendary New York club; Walk the Dog & Light the Light, her first collection of new material in nearly a decade, followed in 1993. Four years later, Nyro died of ovarian cancer, on April 8, 1997. A posthumous album, Angel in the Dark, was issued in 2001, and several additional live recordings also surfaced. © Jason Ankeny © 2010 Rovi Corporation. All Rights Reserved http://www.allmusic.com/cg/amg.dll?p=amg&sql=11:fiftxqr5ld6e~T1


ratso said...

I'm really interested in hearing the live version of "Money" which I think her best song, even if it sounds rather like Joni Mitchell. The original was on her '75 album Smile. Check it out!
Thanks again for sharing, you little icon!

A.O.O.F.C said...

Hi,ratso. Great to hear from a Laura Nyro fan. By the way, I con a lot of people!!

gouldee said...

Morning, Paul. I've been looking for this in 320 for years. Any chance of freshening the link. Her songs are great. I like her renditions often better than the ones that hit the charts. thanks, Gouldee

A.O.O.F.C said...

Hi,gouldee. Try http://www.mediafire.com/download/ebwzrckpbntwzy5/Laura+Nyro+-+Stoned+Soul+Picnic+%281997%29.rar

& Thanks...Paul