Essential New Music: Lee Hazlewood’s “The Very Special World Of Lee Hazlewood,” “Lee Hazlewoodism: Its Cause And Cure” And “Something Special”


There’s something unearthly cool about a Lee Hazlewood record—the “Hillbilly Shakespeare” and his cosmic twang were audio dynamite when coupled with a full orchestra on The Very Special World. It was with this record, at the not-so-tender age of 37, that life changed for Hazlewood in the form of Nancy Sinatra’s version of his song “These Boots Are Made For Walkin’” taking the top of the charts and then some worldwide. Not too bad for “non-singer,” as the man coined himself.

If Sinatra was the steak, Hazlewood was the burger—or something like that. I’d take some Hazlewood to that end any day. These are reissues of the original MGM recordings, including the aforementioned, 1967’s follow-up Lee Hazelwoodism and 1968’s Something Special … and as for the latter title, that they are, tenfold.

—Scott Zuppardo