I Heart L.A.
:: Los Angeles ::
:: Faces of You ::
A firmly implanted middle of the road '70s songsmith, Warren Marley came and went in the blink of an eye, as far as I can tell. His mark was left in the world of early '70s film, with these two numbers included (somehow) in a couple of acid tinged celluloid time capsules I've never seen, but I'll be damned if I don't want to see them now.
Aided and abetted by such luminaries as Bob James and Phil Ramone, Warren Marley gave us this saccharine slab via an indie label (A&R, named after the New York studio in which it was recorded) and then apparently just went away. There's something significant about getting a couple of your self-penned songs into feature length films that get seen by people in theaters and maybe even via some video format or another decades down the line though.
These two songs are notable for those reasons alone, if not on their own merits. "Los Angeles" is included in a Nicolas Roeg film called Walkabout from 1971. Now from what I can gather, Walkabout takes place almost entirely in the Australian outback, and concerns itself with a couple of English youths stranded there who must rely on an Aborigine to survive. Did I say this was a Nicolas Roeg film? What this song has to do with the plot only makes me want to see this film more. "Faces of You" is from a film called Pigeon (aka Sidelong Glances of a Pigeon Kicker), a 1971 obscurity about a New York cabby who basically takes it out on "rats with wings". Charming.
I have to figure these songs were used as a way to have let the audience know that everything was going to be ok in the face of such bleakness, but I can only assume. Taken on it's own, "Los Angeles" is an overlooked gem. This is the song they were looking for but could not find nor commission for use during the '84 Olympics. "Faces of You" simply blends right in with the rest of the album, which includes such covers as Golden Slumbers and Born Free. Good pigeon kicking material.
The unfortunately named Marley is a good singer and songwriter, and I can't help but wonder why he didn't find further success in this realm. Then again, I wonder about a lot of things.