Soldier Of The Heart – Judee Sill – Heart Food

Sill was heavily influenced by Bach, especially his suites, while lyrically her work drew substantially on Christian themes of rapture and redemption. Judith Lynne Sill was born in Studio City, California, on October 7, 1944, and spent her early childhood in the Oakland area. When he died of pneumonia in 1952, Sill’s mother Oneta moved with Judee and her older brother Dennis soldier Of The Heart – Judee Sill – Heart Food Los Angeles, where Oneta soon met and married Tom and Jerry animator Kenneth Muse. In a 1972 Rolling Stone magazine interview, Sill described her home life after her mother’s remarriage as unhappy and frequently violent due to physical fights between Sill and her parents.

She transferred from a public high school to a private school, where she met other rebellious teenagers, some of whom were allegedly involved in crime. After being released, Sill briefly attended San Fernando Valley Junior College as an art major. She also played piano in the school orchestra and worked in a piano bar. In April 1966, Sill married pianist Robert Maurice “Bob” Harris. The couple lived in Las Vegas for a time, but both developed crippling heroin addictions within months. Sill encountered Graham Nash and David Crosby and toured with them for a time as their opening act.

Graham Nash produced her first album’s first single, “Jesus was a Cross Maker”, which was released to radio on October 1, 1971. The album, Judee Sill, was released on September 15, 1971. It featured Sill’s voice in multiple overdubs, often in a four-part chorale or fugue. Sill took over the orchestration and arrangements on her second album, Heart Food, which included “The Donor”.

Heart Food was released in March 1973 and was critically acclaimed, but sold poorly, leading to the end of her association with Geffen and Asylum Records. She continued to write songs, and in 1974 began to record new material for a planned third album. By this time, Sill was once again suffering from drug abuse and other health problems, and her music was not regarded as marketable. She also was beginning to lose interest in music and focus on other pursuits, including theosophy and animals. Sill’s personal life was turbulent, and she was affected by the early deaths of her father, mother and brother. Sill claimed to have been married twice, saying in interviews that she was briefly married either during or just after high school to a classmate, that her parents had the marriage annulled, and that he later died in a rafting accident.

Sill was openly bisexual and had relationships with both men and women. After a series of car accidents and failed surgery for a painful back injury, Sill struggled with drug addiction and dropped out of the music scene. She died of a drug overdose, or “acute cocaine and codeine intoxication,” on November 23, 1979, at her apartment on Morrison Street in North Hollywood. Although Sill’s music was not commercially successful, a number of later songwriters have been fans of her work, including Andy Partridge, Liz Phair, Warren Zevon, and Shawn Colvin. A BBC Radio 4 program titled The Lost Genius of Judee Sill was broadcast on September 9, 2014. In an interview with CBC music, Veirs said of the track, “We weren’t sure we were going to track this one because not everyone in the band loved it.

We recorded it on a whim and all fell in love with it. Terry Hounsome’s 1981 book New Rock Record lists a Sill album titled Tulips From Amsterdam. Unsure of the information’s source, Hounsome later removed the listing from his database. 1970s but not released until 2005 on the Black Beauty label. She contributed guitar, organ and backing vocals to six tracks on the album and is pictured with Peltier on the cover. In 2007, an album of Sill’s live performance tracks performed for the BBC was released as Live in London: The BBC Recordings 1972-1973.

In 2017 independent record label Intervention Records released a 180-gram double 45rpm LP reissue of Sill’s self-titled album. A reissue of Heart Food on 180-gram double 45rpm LP is expected from the label in the autumn of 2017. Shawn Colvin performed “There’s a Rugged Road” on her 1994 collection of covers, Cover Girl. Jane Siberry contributed vocals to a cover of “The Kiss” for Ghostland’s album Interview With The Angel.

This version was also released on Siberry’s 2001 compilation City. In November 2016, in conjunction with Record Store Day, the Fruit Bats released The Glory of the Fruit Bats, a limited edition LP comprising previously unreleased originals, select covers, and cinematic instrumentals, including a cover of “My Man on Love” from Sill’s 1971 debut album. Includes eight studio demos for a prospective third album, various home demos and a video clip of five songs live at USC in 1973. Contains the original album plus original versions of two songs, seven live versions and a home demo.

Contains the original album plus an outtake and eight demo versions. Combines Judee Sill and Heart Food with bonus tracks. Contains solo live songs performed for the BBC, and an interview with Bob Harris. Archived from the original on 27 September 2011.

March 11th, 2018
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