Don Zerilli Mooradian
There was madness to Laura Nyro’s music. Some songs tip-toed gently as fairy’s feet on flower petals; others stomped like a ghetto gang charging down an alley—and any one of her song’s could do both. Her lyrics could be glints of sparkling sunlight bouncing off flowing melodies or heavy hail pounding a tin roof or mournful tears washing away dreams. Upbeat as a picnic in Central Park. Dark as Satan’s heart. Jazzy. Folksy. Broadway. Soul. Funk. Rock. Gospel. Soaring. Crashing. A poetic muse. A alluring siren. A gutter cussing waif. Her creations were the ultimate synthesis of mind-soul-hand. They should have named a new genre of music just for her: Stream of Consciousness music.
If you have never listened to this woman and enjoy musical surprises, explore songs on You Tube.
Here are two of my favorite examples of her versatility. They go up down over and round just about every mood you can think of. Floating violins. Crashing drums. That’s Laura.
Women’s Blues from Eli and the Thirteenth Confession (Nyro’s)
December’s Boudoir from Eli and the Thirteenth Confession (Nyro’s)
Cover of classic pop/rock. This is the kind of music that is running through the veins of some of us urban boomers. It’s just there. Can’t help it.
Gonna Take a Miracle
Laura Nyro /ˈnɪəroʊ/ near-oh (October 18, 1947 – April 8, 1997) was an American songwriter, singer, and pianist. She achieved critical acclaim with her own recordings, particularly the albums Eli and the Thirteenth Confession (1968) and New York Tendaberry (1969), and had commercial success with artists such as Barbra Streisand and The 5th Dimension recording her songs. Her style was a hybrid of Brill Building-style New York pop, jazz, gospel, rhythm and blues, show tunes, rock, and soul.
Between 1968 and 1970, a number of artists had hits with her songs: The 5th Dimension with “Blowing Away“, “Wedding Bell Blues“, “Stoned Soul Picnic“, “Sweet Blindness“, “Save the Country“, and “Black Patch”;Blood, Sweat & Tears and Peter, Paul & Mary with “And When I Die“; Three Dog Night and Maynard Ferguson with “Eli’s Comin’“; and Barbra Streisand with “Stoney End“, “Time and Love”, and “Hands off the Man (Flim Flam Man)”. Nyro’s best-selling single was her recording of Carole King and Gerry Goffin‘s “Up on the Roof“.
Eli and the Thirteenth Confession
(All music written and composed [and sang] by Laura Nyro)
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