Friday, September 19, 2014

let love rule

Lenny Kravitz put his heart in charge and crafted his own blend of funky folk rock with this transcendent retrograde exordium.  As the child of producer Sy Kravitz and actress Roxie Roker, he grew up in New York and Los Angeles, learning to play various instruments and singing in the California Boys Choir and the Metropolitan Opera.  He started recording demos and met engineer Henry Hirsch, who helped him record his debut album over a year and a half.  During that time he met and married actress Lisa Bonet and they had a daughter Zoe.  Kravitz approached family friend Stephen Elvis Smith and asked him to be his manager.  Smith shopped the recordings and got a bidding war going between five record companies (Warner Bros, Elektra, Geffen, Capitol and Virgin).  He signed with Virgin and they released 'Let Love Rule' in September of 1989.  The album features Lenny Kravitz on production, vocals, guitar, organ, bass, drums, and percussion;   Alfred Brown on viola;  Karlly Gould on bass;   Roddy Bottum on organ;   Chad Smith on drums;   Karl Denson on saxophone;   Henry Hirsch on piano and organ;   Adam Widoff on guitar;  Eric Delente on violin;   Nancy Ives on cello;   and Lee Jaffe on harmonica.  
Kravitz would reveal:    "I wanted to play with all this equipment because it was fun. I used to go to - there was a shop in L.A., Guitar Center on Sunset Boulevard, and I used to go in there and spend the day looking at all the new synthesizers and drum machines and all the stuff in it, you know. And I actually got some of it. Got to where I was staying, started playing with it. And it just, for some reason it didn't work with the music that I was trying to make. It just wasn't happening. It was too synthetic. And what I was looking for was something very organic.   I remember speaking to my engineer at the time and saying, I want to make my 'Innervisions'. Stevie Wonder 'Innervisions' with sort of the template, not musically necessarily, but the atmosphere, the organic quality of the recording, the sound of the room, the intimacy. And so that's what I wanted to make. So I sold all this stuff and then got a guitar, bass, drum set and organ and just started making it like that...I make the music that I make, but I'm influenced by everything that I've enjoyed. So it may not show itself in the music, but they're an influence, you know, just by virtue of their amazing artistry, you know?....[The Lenny Kravitz sound]: It found me. I wasn't even really looking for it. At the time, I was Los Angeles, and I was playing for other people...I'd play bass. I'd play drums. I'd play guitar, depending on what the band was. I was just trying to play. I'd be doing recording sessions with people that were trying to make records and get deals. And one day I just woke up and I was just tired of it because there was this sound that I was hearing, but these people weren't doing it. And I kind of just stopped and got quiet. And all of a sudden, this stuff was started coming out of me. I had no record deal. I wasn't looking for a record deal at the time. I was just living. And it just came. And it came in the form of 'Let Love Rule'...When I started taking it around, people were, you know, I think they were not expecting music that had so much rock and roll in it. They were expecting hip-hop...Everybody likes to put things in a box. And in 1988, '89, when I was putting it together, if you were black, that's what you were supposed to be doing, you know?...The interesting thing was that a gentleman, Jeff Ayeroff, who signed me, who, you know, I still thank to this day for giving me a life, you know? He said I believe in your music and - but I don't know if it's going to sell. I can't tell you it's going to sell, but I can tell you that I believe in it.   And what they did was, when the record first came out and they saw this sort of American reaction that was going on, they sent me to Europe. So I got on a plane, went to London for the first time. Went to Germany, went to Hamburg, went to Paris, went to Holland, went to Amsterdam, and started in this area and just played - started playing festivals, small festivals, playing clubs. And that's where it really happened. I think they were still wondering why I wasn't doing hip-hop because I was asked that every day. But at the end of the day, they were open-minded to accept it. And yes, there is a great history of African-American artists going to Paris, and it sounds romantic, you know?...I like that. I've always loved Paris. I fell in love with Paris before I even got there, because I've always been into architecture and I'm partial to Parisian architecture. So I actually lived over there, you know, half the year ... I’ve always had to deal with being biracial, even in music. When I came on the scene, I’d go to these record labels, and they’d say things like, 'Lenny Kravitz. That’s a weird name.' You know, I’m brown-skinned and I’ve got these dreadlocks and I’ve got this Jewish last name. Then I come in with this rock ’n’ roll-oriented music, and it’s not black enough...I’ve always had to deal with this black-white thing."

'Let Love Rule' went to sixty-one in the US, fifty-six in the UK, forty-five in Australia, thirty-five in Canada, twenty-three in the Netherlands, and number twelve in Norway and Switzerland.

"Let Love Rule"

Love is gentle as a rose

And love can conquer any war
It’s time to take a stand
Brothers and sisters join hands

We got to let love rule

Let love rule
We got to let love rule
Let love rule

Love transcends all space and time

And love can make a little child smile
Oh can’t you see
This won’t go wrong
But we got to be strong
We can’t do it alone

We got to let love rule

Let love rule
We got to let love rule
Let love rule

Let love rule

You got to got to got to
Let love rule

You got to got to got to, yeah

Let let let let love rule
Let love rule

Let love rule

You got to got to got to
Use to yeah
You got to yeah
You got to
Got to got to got to yeah
Yeah yeah yeah yeah yeah yeah
Let love rule

"I Build This Garden for Us"


"Mr. Cab Driver"

"Does Anybody Out There Even Care"

'Let Love Rule'
full album:  

All songs written by Lenny Kravitz, 
except "Fear" lyrics by Lisa Bonet, and "Rosemary" lyrics by Kravitz and Bonet.

"Sittin' on Top of the World" – 3:16
"Let Love Rule" – 5:42
"Freedom Train" – 2:50
"My Precious Love" – 5:15
"I Build This Garden for Us" – 6:16
"Fear" – 5:25
"Does Anybody Out There Even Care" – 3:42
"Mr. Cab Driver" – 3:49
"Rosemary" – 5:27
"Be" – 3:16
bonus tracks
"Blues for Sister Someone" – 2:51
"Empty Hands" – 4:42
"Flower Child" – 2:56

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