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Lenny Kravitz|Let Love Rule: 20th Anniversary Edition

Let Love Rule: 20th Anniversary Edition

Lenny Kravitz

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The title is a tip-off: Lenny Kravitz is a hippie, something that was commonplace 20 years before his debut, Let Love Rule, and was familiar five years later when he scaled the charts with Are You Gonna Go My Way, but was practically unheard of in 1989 when the Grateful Dead were reaping the benefits of hippies turning into establishment. Kravitz had yet to become a classic rock caricature and he could still surprise on this unformed, endearingly unwieldy first record, where he split the difference between John Lennon, Curtis Mayfield, David Bowie, and Prince, sometimes exhibiting too clear of a debt to his idols but more often getting by on a combination of chutzpah and pastiche, something that winds up as an enormously appealing guilty pleasure. Kravitz has a tendency to overreach lyrically, striving to speak deep truths about big themes from world peace to child abuse, but the winning thing about Let Love Rule is how it plays as sheer sound, evoking memories of the paisley-drenched '60s and the lush sounds of '70s soul, all filtered through the multicultural flowering of the late '80s. Remarkably for an album that's essentially the work of a one-man band, Let Love Rule never feels stiff or insular -- it feels roomy and open, testament to Kravitz's talents as a producer -- but the record remains one of his best because it also has one of his greatest collections of songs, chief among them the stately, psychedelic march of "I Build This Garden for Us," the hippie-funk of "Sittin' on Top of the World," the Hendrixian riffs of "Freedom Train," the urban groove of "Mr. Cab Driver," and the surging "Let Love Rule," songs that created Kravitz's sound and persona and remain among his most engaging work.
© Stephen Thomas Erlewine /TiVo

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Let Love Rule: 20th Anniversary Edition

Lenny Kravitz

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1
Sitting On Top Of The World (Remastered)
00:03:15

Gavin Lurssen, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Lenny Kravitz, Composer, Author, Producer, MainArtist - Mathieu Bitton, Production Coordinator, StudioPersonnel

℗ 2009 Virgin Records America, Inc.

2
Let Love Rule (Remastered)
00:05:42

Gavin Lurssen, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Lenny Kravitz, Producer, MainArtist, ComposerLyricist - Henry Hirsch, Organ, AssociatedPerformer - Mathieu Bitton, Production Coordinator, StudioPersonnel - Karl Denson, Saxophone, AssociatedPerformer

℗ 2009 Virgin Records America, Inc.

3
Freedom Train (Remastered)
00:02:50

Gavin Lurssen, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Lenny Kravitz, Composer, Author, Producer, MainArtist - Mathieu Bitton, Production Coordinator, StudioPersonnel - Karl Denson, Saxophone, AssociatedPerformer

℗ 2009 Virgin Records America, Inc.

4
My Precious Love (Remastered)
00:05:15

Gavin Lurssen, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Lenny Kravitz, Composer, Author, Producer, MainArtist - Henry Hirsch, Organ, Piano, AssociatedPerformer - Mathieu Bitton, Production Coordinator, StudioPersonnel - Karl Denson, Saxophone, AssociatedPerformer

℗ 2009 Virgin Records America, Inc.

5
I Build This Garden For Us (Remastered)
00:06:17

Gavin Lurssen, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Lenny Kravitz, Composer, Author, Producer, MainArtist - Jean MCClain, Background Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer - Henry Hirsch, Keyboards, Organ, AssociatedPerformer, Bass (Vocal) - Mathieu Bitton, Production Coordinator, StudioPersonnel - Yolanda Pittman, Background Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer - Eric Delente, Violin, AssociatedPerformer - Nancy Ives, Cello, AssociatedPerformer - Tisha Campbell, Background Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer

℗ 2009 Virgin Records America, Inc.

6
Fear (Remastered)
00:05:20

Gene Orloff, Violin, AssociatedPerformer - Gavin Lurssen, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Lenny Kravitz, Composer, Producer, MainArtist - Matthew Raimondi, Violin, AssociatedPerformer - Alfred Brown, Viola, AssociatedPerformer - Mark Shuman, Cello, AssociatedPerformer - Henry Hirsch, Keyboards, AssociatedPerformer - Mathieu Bitton, Production Coordinator, StudioPersonnel - Lisa Bonet, Author - Adam Widoff, Guitar, AssociatedPerformer - Winterton Yarvey, Violin, AssociatedPerformer - Lou Ellen, Violin, AssociatedPerformer - John Tintaualle, Violin, AssociatedPerformer - Maxine Roach, Viola, AssociatedPerformer - Kermit Roach, Cello, AssociatedPerformer

℗ 2009 Virgin Records America, Inc.

7
Does Anybody Out There Even Care (Remastered)
00:03:42

Gavin Lurssen, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Lenny Kravitz, Composer, Author, Producer, MainArtist - Henry Hirsch, Keyboards, Organ, AssociatedPerformer - Mathieu Bitton, Production Coordinator, StudioPersonnel - Karl Denson, Saxophone, AssociatedPerformer

℗ 2009 Virgin Records America, Inc.

8
Mr. Cab Driver (Remastered)
00:03:50

Gavin Lurssen, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Lenny Kravitz, Composer, Producer, MainArtist - Mathieu Bitton, Production Coordinator, StudioPersonnel - Karl Denson, Saxophone, AssociatedPerformer

℗ 2009 Virgin Records America, Inc.

9
Rosemary (Remastered)
00:05:28

Gavin Lurssen, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Lenny Kravitz, Composer, Author, Producer, MainArtist - Henry Hirsch, Organ, AssociatedPerformer - Mathieu Bitton, Production Coordinator, StudioPersonnel - Lisa Bonet, Author - Lee Jaffe, Harmonica, AssociatedPerformer

℗ 2009 Virgin Records America, Inc.

10
Be (Remastered)
00:03:18

Gavin Lurssen, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Kermit Moore, Cello, AssociatedPerformer - Lenny Kravitz, Composer, Author, Producer, MainArtist - Matthew Raimondi, Violin, AssociatedPerformer - Mark Shuman, Cello, AssociatedPerformer - Henry Hirsch, Piano, AssociatedPerformer - Mathieu Bitton, Production Coordinator, StudioPersonnel - Al Brown, Viola, AssociatedPerformer

℗ 2009 Virgin Records America, Inc.

11
Blues For Sister Someone (Remastered)
00:03:00

Gavin Lurssen, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Lenny Kravitz, Composer, Author, Producer, MainArtist - Mathieu Bitton, Production Coordinator, StudioPersonnel - Karl Denson, Saxophone, AssociatedPerformer

℗ 2009 Virgin Records America, Inc.

12
Empty Hands (Remastered)
00:04:44

Gavin Lurssen, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Lenny Kravitz, Composer, Author, Producer, MainArtist - Henry Hirsch, Harmonium, AssociatedPerformer, Bass (Vocal) - Mathieu Bitton, Production Coordinator, StudioPersonnel - Eric Delente, Violin, AssociatedPerformer - Nancy Ives, Cello, AssociatedPerformer - Lee Jaffe, Harmonica, AssociatedPerformer

℗ 2009 Virgin Records America, Inc.

13
Flower Child (Remastered)
00:02:59

Gavin Lurssen, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Lenny Kravitz, Composer, Author, Producer, MainArtist - Henry Hirsch, Piano, AssociatedPerformer - Mathieu Bitton, Production Coordinator, StudioPersonnel - Karl Denson, Saxophone, AssociatedPerformer

℗ 2009 Virgin Records America, Inc.

14
Let Love Rule (Basic Rough Mix)
00:05:44

Gavin Lurssen, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Lenny Kravitz, Producer, MainArtist, ComposerLyricist - Henry Hirsch, Organ, AssociatedPerformer - Mathieu Bitton, Production Coordinator, StudioPersonnel - Karl Denson, Saxophone, AssociatedPerformer

℗ 2009 Virgin Records America, Inc.

15
Cold Turkey (Live)
00:05:23

John Lennon, ComposerLyricist - Gavin Lurssen, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Lenny Kravitz, Producer, MainArtist - Mathieu Bitton, Production Coordinator, StudioPersonnel

℗ 2009 Virgin Records America, Inc.

16
Light Skin Girl From London
00:02:42

Gavin Lurssen, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Lenny Kravitz, Composer, Producer, MainArtist - Mathieu Bitton, Production Coordinator, StudioPersonnel

℗ 2009 Virgin Records America, Inc.

17
Fear
00:03:43

Gavin Lurssen, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Lenny Kravitz, Composer, Producer, MainArtist - Mathieu Bitton, Production Coordinator, StudioPersonnel - Lisa Bonet, Author

℗ 2009 Virgin Records America, Inc.

18
Mr. Cab Driver
00:03:01

Gavin Lurssen, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Lenny Kravitz, Composer, Producer, MainArtist - Mathieu Bitton, Production Coordinator, StudioPersonnel

℗ 2009 Virgin Records America, Inc.

19
Let Love Rule
00:02:49

Gavin Lurssen, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Lenny Kravitz, Producer, MainArtist, ComposerLyricist - Mathieu Bitton, Production Coordinator, StudioPersonnel

℗ 2009 Virgin Records America, Inc.

DISC 2

1
Flower Child (Live/Remastered)
00:05:02

Gavin Lurssen, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Lenny Kravitz, Composer, Author, Producer, MainArtist

℗ 2009 Virgin Records America, Inc.

2
Blues For Sister Someone (Live)
00:05:27

Gavin Lurssen, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Lenny Kravitz, Composer, Author, Producer, MainArtist

℗ 2009 Virgin Records America, Inc.

3
Mr. Cab Driver (Live)
00:04:26

Gavin Lurssen, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Lenny Kravitz, Composer, Producer, MainArtist

℗ 2009 Virgin Records America, Inc.

4
Freedom Train (Live)
00:05:25

Gavin Lurssen, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Lenny Kravitz, Composer, Author, Producer, MainArtist

℗ 2009 Virgin Records America, Inc.

5
Be (Live)
00:05:11

Gavin Lurssen, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Lenny Kravitz, Composer, Author, Producer, MainArtist

℗ 2009 Virgin Records America, Inc.

6
My Precious Love (Live)
00:07:15

Gavin Lurssen, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Lenny Kravitz, Composer, Author, Producer, MainArtist

℗ 2009 Virgin Records America, Inc.

7
Does Anybody Out There Even Care (Live)
00:04:21

Gavin Lurssen, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Lenny Kravitz, Composer, Author, Producer, MainArtist

℗ 2009 Virgin Records America, Inc.

8
Let Love Rule (Live)
00:11:07

Gavin Lurssen, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Lenny Kravitz, Producer, MainArtist, ComposerLyricist

℗ 2009 Virgin Records America, Inc.

9
Rosemary (Live)
00:06:48

Gavin Lurssen, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Lenny Kravitz, Composer, Author, Producer, MainArtist - Lisa Bonet, Author

℗ 2009 Virgin Records America, Inc.

10
Fear (Live)
00:13:49

Gavin Lurssen, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Lenny Kravitz, Composer, Producer, MainArtist - Lisa Bonet, Author

℗ 2009 Virgin Records America, Inc.

11
My Flash On You (Live)
00:03:36

Gavin Lurssen, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Lenny Kravitz, Producer, MainArtist - Arthur Lee, ComposerLyricist

℗ 2009 Virgin Records America, Inc.

12
If 6 Were 9 (Live)
00:07:21

Gavin Lurssen, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Lenny Kravitz, Producer, MainArtist - Jimi Hendrix, ComposerLyricist

℗ 1989 Virgin Records America, Inc.

Album Description

The title is a tip-off: Lenny Kravitz is a hippie, something that was commonplace 20 years before his debut, Let Love Rule, and was familiar five years later when he scaled the charts with Are You Gonna Go My Way, but was practically unheard of in 1989 when the Grateful Dead were reaping the benefits of hippies turning into establishment. Kravitz had yet to become a classic rock caricature and he could still surprise on this unformed, endearingly unwieldy first record, where he split the difference between John Lennon, Curtis Mayfield, David Bowie, and Prince, sometimes exhibiting too clear of a debt to his idols but more often getting by on a combination of chutzpah and pastiche, something that winds up as an enormously appealing guilty pleasure. Kravitz has a tendency to overreach lyrically, striving to speak deep truths about big themes from world peace to child abuse, but the winning thing about Let Love Rule is how it plays as sheer sound, evoking memories of the paisley-drenched '60s and the lush sounds of '70s soul, all filtered through the multicultural flowering of the late '80s. Remarkably for an album that's essentially the work of a one-man band, Let Love Rule never feels stiff or insular -- it feels roomy and open, testament to Kravitz's talents as a producer -- but the record remains one of his best because it also has one of his greatest collections of songs, chief among them the stately, psychedelic march of "I Build This Garden for Us," the hippie-funk of "Sittin' on Top of the World," the Hendrixian riffs of "Freedom Train," the urban groove of "Mr. Cab Driver," and the surging "Let Love Rule," songs that created Kravitz's sound and persona and remain among his most engaging work.
© Stephen Thomas Erlewine /TiVo

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