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.

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Thursday, September 07, 2006 11:12:00 PM


WALKABOUT is really good. It's a little slower and more existential than you might expect. But worth checking out.    

Friday, September 08, 2006 7:25:00 AM

I second that about Walkabout. It's a fantastic movie, quite lyrical and romantic, sweet almost despite its rather dark & tragic beginning and end. You should certainly check it out. And thank you so much for posting this song. Great site. Big fan!    

Wednesday, October 04, 2006 10:47:00 AM

Nicholas Roeg also directed The Man Who Fell To Earth, Bowie's film debut.
(He also did Insignifigance, which is a terrific and very weird film)    

Wednesday, April 11, 2007 4:34:00 PM

There is a Warren Marley website. Look for http://www.warrenmarley.com/. Warren died
in 1991. The website is an homage to Warren and his music. Hoping also to polish
a raw Christmas diamond. Twelve songs for Christmas. They should find there way
to the best cutter, the best singers, best producers, to make sure to get them
as they are indented ‘ For every Christmas' . The website is new,
made April 2007 and needs improvement. The final gaol is to serve a human task:
helping people as describe in the foundation Allred Music - Warren Marley.    

Wednesday, March 26, 2008 8:32:00 PM

Warren Marley was a major talent. I saw him in Hawaii many times, and he was an amazing vocalist, a great songwriter, and an accomplished pianist. He was very personable and caring fellow who was truly a rare gem in the entertainment world. Warren seemed to sing from the very depths of his soul, and although he was very shy, he had a wacky, marvelously dry sense of humor. I met some of his friends who were totally devoted to Warren and they went night after night to wherever he was performing. The first time I saw him was at the Outrigger Waikiki Showroom where he was playing organ in the orchestra for Tommy Sands, the former husband of Nancy Sinatra. Tommy asked Warren to do a solo and Warren sang "Yesterday." I had never heard it sung so sensitively and meaningfully, and the crowd simply went wild! Warren Marley later performed in many Honolulu night spots. He accompanied himself on the piano, and he had the ability to play classical music as well as pop tunes. One night I hear him sing "Feeling Old Feelings Again" and he did it as well as Dionne Warwick on her album that was produced by Barry Manilow. Warren Marley performed all over the world. I know that he performed at The Penninsula in Hong Kong, Le Ciel Bleu at the New Otani Hotel in Amsterdam, and The Regent in Corfu, Greece. Every time I visited Hawaii, I always found out where Warren was playing, and he always had a crowd of adoring fans around him. His songwriting was first rate, and I do know that one of his friends, a singer in Hawaii named Jay Larrin, recorded two of Warren's beautiful songs, "Morning Star" and "Don't Let the Song Go Out of Your Life." One night when I was in the audience listening to Warren, the man sitting next to me told me that his brother had once called him and told him that he saying "goodbye" because he was about to commit suicide. The man told me that he convinced his brother to listen to Warren's song over the phone before he killed himself, and after hearing the song, "Don't Let the Song Go Out of Your Life," his brother decided to live! Warren Marley was truly a rare talent who deserves to be remembered. I have his album called "Something Better" and it is a treasured collector's item. There was just "something" in Warren Marley's voice!    

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