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Lee Robinson Machine Family Album Lee Robinson Machine Family Album Lee Robinson Machine Family Album
  • Family Album (lp)-1 Family Album (lp)-2 Family Album (lp)-3
    LP MR 356
    15,00€ NOT AVAILABLE
  • Family Album (mp3)-1 Family Album (mp3)-2 Family Album (mp3)-3
    MP3 MR DG 356
    7,99€ buy


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Any attempt to reconstruct the kaLEEdoscopic life of Lee Kenneth Robinson (Birmingham, England 22/09/1957 – Madrid, Spain 27/12/2001) would spawn enough material to fill a book. As well as an endless source of anecdotes, Lee was a member of several bands such as Fortunate Sons (perhaps the most well known, featuring members of The Barracudas and Flamin' Groovies), The A-10, The Great Outdoors, Yage, C’mon Babies and Sin City Six. This reissue of his only solo album as Lee Robinson Machine not only collects photographic documents retrieved from the past, but also examines that period of self-determination, fulfilment and brilliance in Lee’s life that was 1997-1999. Many friends have racked their brains and searched their drawers in vain for unreleased material – not much has survived, but we all agreed that it was worth a try! So, a heartfelt thanks to all of you. Just to quote his friend Barnaby Bowles (Mercury Wheels, Sin City Six, Pleasure Fuckers): "No one who knew him will ever forget him."

A big question mark surrounds the year when Lee Robinson Machine was actually formed, but it’s a fact that Family Album was recorded and released only as a CD in 1997 on Madrid-based label Por Caridad Producciones, bearing the reference number 21 of the label’s catalogue. Run by Ajo, Javier Colis and Javier Piñango, Por Caridad always showed a complete disregard for trends and commercial concerns, instead devoting itself to quality and uniqueness with a string of bold, experimental releases.

Family Album was reviewed by most relevant music magazines (Ruta 66, Rockdelux) and there were also a few live shows – at the Festival Serie B in La Rioja, in Madrid, Getxo (with Cat Power) and Bilbao (with June of 44). It didn’t really transcend beyond the underground circuit, but it was warmly received by Lee’s milieu. Now, through the help of Matt Sullivan (Light In The Attic, Modern Classics Recordings), this very group of long-time fans has undertaken the task of rescuing this truly great record.

Thanks to his personal experience and work career (he did stage production for the Revolver venue and worked in record distribution companies Caroline, Comforte, Running Circle, Surco and Munster), Lee was very knowledgeable about 20th century music. Family Album includes personal readings of blues classics such as Willie Dixon’s ‘Spoonful’ (not as much a version as a nod to the original) and Elmore James’s ‘It Hurts Me Too’, the rocksteady tune ‘Johnny Too Bad’, made famous by the soundtrack of the film The Harder They Come (Perry Henzell, 1972), and ‘...And I Bid You Goodnight’, a traditional slave song from the Bahamas. Then there’s ‘Raider’, a song by Judy Henske & Jerry Yester (although Lee modelled his version on British band Plainsong’s), which veers closer to electronic/experimental sounds, while ‘Sparkbrook’, the third track, includes a reference to Donovan’s ‘Sunshine Superman’. Lee was also a huge fan of Hawkwind – rumour has it that he was the founder of their Spanish fanclub (unconfirmed at the time of writing!). The Grateful Dead were another major inspiration – indeed, three of the cover versions included in Family Album (the aforementioned ‘It Hurts Me Too’, ‘...And I Bid You Goodnight’ and ‘Spoonful’) were staples in the repertoire of the Dead.

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