March 03, 2021 1 min read

Vinyl-a-Day 35: Elyse Weinberg - “Elyse” (Tetragrammaton Records, 1969)
Elyse Weinberg - “Elyse” (Tetragrammaton Records, 1969)

Elyse is kind of like a psychedelic precursor to Cheryl Crow or a gloomy Melanie. Sadly, she passed away last year after a battle with lung cancer. Ignored upon release amongst the deluge of psych albums of the late-60s, subsequently forgotten, rediscovered and reissued (mine is an original pressing) in the early-2000s by Elf Power's Andrew Rieger, “Elyse” to me is as good as other acclaimed folk rock albums of the era like “Liege and Lief” or “Five Leaves Left.” And Elyse was no mere imitator. She traveled the same canadian folkie/singer-songwriter circles as Neil Young (who later appeared on “Houses,” a bonus track on the cd reissue of this album), Joni Mitchell, Ian and Sylvia, and Gordon Lightfoot. Elyse was introduced by Mama Cass to and then managed by Roy Silver (which would explain Tiny Tim’s random live cover of Elyse’s “Mortuary Bound,” performed once on The David Frost Show), promoted this album on the Tonight Show and headlined at the Troubadour; but by the early 70s, further recordings went unreleased and her desire for mainstream success waned. I’m glad this album got its due, though, before Elyse herself went mortuary bound...

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