I have had this album and sub­se­quent­ly the CD for a long time. It has always been my favorite Leon music. I love the first song, “Stranger in a Strange Land” through the last. Leon has always been quite a con­trib­u­tor: he par­tic­i­pat­ed in the Concert for Bangladesh and Joe Cocker’s Mad Dogs and Englishmen con­cert album/film. He pret­ty much arranged Joe’s whole con­cert series at that time.

I saw Leon and the Shelter People dur­ing their “Out in the Woods” tour back in the ear­ly 1970s at the Nashville Speedway, in Clarksville Tennessee in the 1980s with his wife Mary, and at the Kentucky Theater in the 1990s with his son. He was great back then and also in the ’90s and ’00s. Unfortunately, he died in 2016.

Album Information

All tracks com­posed by Leon Russell except where indicated

“Stranger in a Strange Land” (Russell, Don Preston) – 4:01
“Of Thee I Sing” (Russell, Don Preston) – 4:22
“A Hard Rain’s a‑Gonna Fall” (Bob Dylan) – 5:08
“Crystal Closet Queen” – 2:59
“Home Sweet Oklahoma” – 3:26
“Alcatraz” – 3:51
“The Ballad of Mad Dogs and Englishmen” – 3:51
“It Takes a Lot to Laugh, It Takes a Train to Cry” (Dylan) – 4:00
“She Smiles Like a River” – 2:58
“Sweet Emily” – 3:20
“Beware of Darkness” (George Harrison) – 4:40
“It’s All Over Now, Baby Blue” (Dylan) – 3:38
“Love Minus Zero/No Limit” (Dylan) – 3:19
“She Belongs to Me” (Dylan) – 3:26

Leon Russell – lead vocals, gui­tar (1, 2, 4–6, 8, 10, 11), piano, Hammond organ (1, 2, 4, 8, 10)
Jim Price – Hammond organ (5, 6, 11)
John Gallie – Hammond organ (1, 2, 4, 8, 10)
Barry Beckett – Hammond organ (9)
Jim Keltner – drums (3, 12–14)
Chuck Blackwell – drums (1, 2, 4, 8, 10)
Jim Gordon – drums (5, 6, 11)
Roger Hawkins – drums (9)
David Hood – bass gui­tar (9)
Carl Radle – bass gui­tar (1−7, 10–14)
Don Preston – gui­tar (1−4, 8, 10, 12–14), back­ing vocals (1, 2, 4, 8, 10)
Joey Cooper – gui­tar (1, 2, 4, 8, 10), vocals (1, 2, 4, 8, 10)
Claudia Lennear – back­ing vocals (1, 2, 4 ‚8, 10)
Kathi McDonald – back­ing vocals (1, 2, 4 ‚8, 10)
Jesse Ed Davis – gui­tar (3, 12–14)
Chris Stainton – gui­tar (5, 6, 11)
Jimmy Johnson – gui­tar (9)
Leon Russell – pro­duc­er
Denny Cordell – pro­duc­er
Terry Manning – Moog pro­gram­mer, engi­neer
Glyn Johns – engi­neer (7)
Andy Johns – engi­neer (5, 6, 11)
Nick DeCaro – string arrange­ments (7)

Released  May 3, 1971
Recorded  August 23–26, September, December 23, 1970, and January 1971
Studio        Island, London A&M, Hollywood Skyhill/Shelter Studios, Hollywood Muscle Shoals, Sheffield, Alabama
Label         Shelter
Producer   Leon Russell, Denny Cordell

  • Jeff Brandt

    Jeff has been a music fan since the age of 7 when the album Meet the Beatles hit the streets. He grew up in Hoptown and went to col­lege at UK a cou­ple of times. He retired in 2016 and is cur­rent­ly amass­ing his music col­lec­tion. Jeff says he loves being retired but is tired of quarantining.