Long Lost Country Brother of the Darkness on the Edge Of Town Album
Lee Clayton, one of the underrated country stars who started the whole outlaw country “movement” with his song “Ladies Love Outlaws” (made famous by Waylon Jennings). Clayton recorded some of the best music of the late 70’s. Well, that is if you ask me.
Lee Clayton is one of the artists I keep listening regularly. There aren’t many country artists that I listen. Lee Clayton, Johnny Cash, Tom Rush, Waylon Jennings and Shooter Jennings comes to my mind first when asked for my favorites.
Why should a Springsteen fan listen to Lee Clayton?
First of all. Album Border Affair had the Darkness on the Edge Town sound, before the Darkness album was even released. Border Affair was released in early 1978. Months before the Darkness album came out. Album also features ripping guitar solos by Philip Donnelly with a very Springsteenish guitar tone. From the first minute you’ll love the album. Starts like the Greetings from Asbury Park, N.J. album, and shortly transforms into Darkness on the Edge of Town. Lee Clayton has a strong unique voice. It’s not the most versatile, but gets the message delivered. Voice takes a while to get used to it (like with Bob Dylan). 1979 follow up album Naked Child continues with the same type of sound. Maybe a little darker and a harder sound.
I also love the honest and autobiographical lyrics, there nothing fake behind the great music. Great songwriting. Really an artist everyone should check out. Even for those who doesn’t prefer country music.
Sadly none of the albums are not currently available on the major music streaming services, and all the albums are also out-of-print and really hard to get in CD format (unless price is not an issue). Only affordable CD is the The Essential Lee Clayton 1978-1981 Collection
Luckily there is YouTube. So, you don’t have to just believe my word.
Lee Clayton – Border Affair (full album):
Lee Clayton – I Ride Alone (from the album Naked Child)
Lee Clayton’s Latest studio album is from 1994. One can only wish that Lee Clayton’s career would be resurrected by Jack White, Rick Rubin, Quentin Tarantino…or anyone who has notoriously resurrected music careers. I don’t hold my breath while waiting that to happen.
How I first got introduced to Lee Clayton’s Music?
Between the Napster and Torrent era there was this thing called Usenet (it’s still alive and well, but not as popular). I’ve downloaded random songs from various Usenet groups, and one of the songs was Clayton’s “If I Can Do It”, and I was sold the very first minute. Like there was someone talking directly to me. Since that I have purchased every album in a vinyl and CD format (and some singles and promos). Illegal downloading made me purchase huge amount of records. When I got introduced to Spotify music streaming service, my music purchasing days were over. I still miss the experience of finding something new to listen. Times change. Maybe one day I’ll go back to old methods of listening music.
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