Although he has become something of legendary figure in lounge music circles, Lee Hazlewood's body of work is sparsely represented in the compact disc format. However, things are changing as hip labels pick up on the enduring popularity of Hazlewood's unique brand of lounge pop. An important gap in the Hazlewood canon has been filled by the release of Lounge Legends, a selection of tracks from three albums that he recorded for MGM Records in the late '60s. The 20 tracks presented on this disc present a one of a kind combination of folk-rock, country, and pure pop, all dished up in a slick style that befits its 1960s Los Angeles studio origins. Standout tracks include "For One Moment," a spooky ballad that backs up the singer's quietly heartbroken vocal delivery with a shivery string section, and "Home," a hymn to the individualist mindset wrapped up in a tasty country-pop melody. Elsewhere, Hazlewood's sly yet oddball sense of humor makes itself felt with "Dark in My Heart," a tongue-in-cheek chronicle of woe set to a jaunty country melody, and "In Our Time," a bemused chronicle of society's advances set to a jangle-rock melody worthy of the Byrds. Fans of Hazlewood's work with Nancy Sinatra will be amused by "Summerwine," a duet with Suzy Jane Hokum that serves as a prototype for the Hazlewood/Sinatra duet style, and Hazlewood's version of "These Boots Are Made for Walking," which he slyly transforms into a commentary on how Sinatra's version was a song that nobody believed until it became a success. However, the album's finest track is "My Autumn's Done Come," a haunting ballad about coming to the end of life that offsets its bitter lyrics with a warm, mellow string arrangement. All in all, Lounge Legends is a fine collection of songs that provides an able testament to Lee Hazlewood's gift for eccentric yet catchy pop music.
AllMusic Review by Donald A. Guarisco