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Up From The Skies: The Polydor Years

Ellen McIllwaineAudio CD
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (26 customer reviews)

Price: $35.00 & FREE Shipping. Details
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Amazon Price New from Used from
MP3 Music, 21 Songs, 1998 $11.49  
Audio CD, 1998 $35.00  

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Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.

Song Title Time Price
listen  1. Toe Hold 4:33$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  2. Weird Of Hermiston 5:07$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  3. Up From The Skies 3:53$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  4. Losing You 2:22$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  5. It's Growing 3:06$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  6. Ode To Billy Joe 4:13$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  7. Pinebo (My Story) 2:41$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  8. Can't Find My Way Home 3:40$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  9. Wings Of A Horse 4:01$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen10. It Wasn't God Who Made Honky Tonk Angels 2:38$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen11. Wade In The Water 4:55$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen12. Ain't No Two Ways To It (It's Love) 4:26$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen13. All To You 3:06$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen14. Sliding 2:52$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen15. Never Tell Your Mother She's Out Of Tune 2:25$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen16. Farther Along 3:45$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen17. I Don't Want To Play 3:20$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen18. Underground River 3:54$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen19. Everybody Wants To Go To Heaven (But Nobody Wants To Die) 2:25$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen20. Jimmy Jean 2:59$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen21. We The People 3:23$0.99  Buy MP3 

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Frequently Bought Together

Up From The Skies: The Polydor Years + Everybody Needs It
Price for both: $49.59

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  • Everybody Needs It $14.59

Product Details

  • Audio CD (July 7, 1998)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Polydor / Umgd
  • ASIN: B000009CM7
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (26 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #304,081 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Editorial Reviews


Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
23 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Unheralded proto-female rocker with stinging guitar June 29, 1999
Format:Audio CD
I first heard Ellen in 1972-73 when these albums came out (and, yes, my poor LPs are about worn out). She came on stage alone and barefoot, plugged in her electric guitar and proceeded to blow out the back of the small auditorium with her stinging slide guitar and her explosive voice. She commented that the record company liked her but wanted her to - can you believe this - lose the guitar! They apparently wanted to make her into a "chick" singer instead of the stunningly original stylist on vocals AND guitar that she is. Alas, she faded from public sight and never got the fame she deserved (it only took Bonnie Raitt twenty years). This compilation gives the uninitiated both of her first two Polydor albums with almost all of the cuts on the originals. The first album is wonderfully diverse and reflects her affection for country ("Honky Tonk Angels"), what would now be called world music ("Pinebo"), and classic rock in her masterful version of Stevie Winwood's "Can't Find My Way Home." I thought that he broke the mold on that song until I heard Ellen's version. The proof that she was getting better is her overall stronger - in my opinion - second album. As much as I liked the first album, the power of her performance on the songs "Sliding," Father Along" "Everybody Wants To Go To Heaven," "Jimmy Jean" and the incomparable "We the People" makes it a classic. I understand that she now lives in Canada. All I can say is please visit the lower 48 again so that everyone can (re)experience the power and the glory.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars She'll bring it on home to you! February 6, 2005
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
Ellen McIllwaine could just as well be the standard by which others can be judged. Her beautiful yet powerful vocals coupled with her versatile guitar playing is just a pleasure to listen to and her music gives off some unique vibes that you want to feel while listening to music. It's a mixed bag of rock, blues, folk and celtic influences with great lyrics and with her dead-on vocals, she'll bring it on home to you. Being that there were no "hits" to thrust her career into the mainstream eye and the lack of airplay from the radio stations of the day, she never really got as popular as she should have, but those who know of her really enjoy her incredibly unique style. If you can find a copy, listen to her late 60's material with FEAR ITSELF (yes, she was in a heavy blues psych rock band that released one great LP for Dot back in 1969). That's where "Underground River" (included here) came from, she took the song with her. Also, "In my time of dying" just gives me the chills. This collection is highly recommended, so do yourself a favor and purchase this CD! Not a bad song really to be found. From her late 60's material (which is not included in this release) up to her later work included here, I just really dig her. No doubt, one of my favorites - Love ya Ellen!
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Nobody does it better! November 4, 1998
By A Customer
Format:Audio CD
I first heard Ellen way back in 1978, and was fortunate enough to see her on both of her brilliant Australian tours in the early 80s. She remains one of the great musical discoveries of my life. Why she is not a megastar is totally opaque to me.
"Up From The Skies" compiles two of her best LPs, both long out of print and highly prized collector's items. They are a *must* for anyone who loves the blues, slide guitar and great singing. Ellen's playing is superb (although these recordings only hint at what a truly dynamic and powerful player she is). The songs feature live and studio recordings, mixing great original material with some beautifully crafted covers, like the title-track. (Ellen was a occasional jamming partner with Hendrix in Greenwich Village - they must have been a dynamite combination!). Her influences are broad - blues, country, gospel and much more - but her style is unique and no-one I've ever played this music to has failed to be impressed.
Most of all, this CD is essential listening for Ellen's incredible voice - once you hear it you'll never be the same.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Up From Obscurity May 17, 2002
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
Man, I've been searching for this CD for 20 years! I had the vinyl version, lost it in a flood, and only recently tried enough variations of Ms. McIlwaine's last name on the 'net to find her CD's. When a song like "Pinebo" sticks in your head for 20 years, there's either a great artist behind it, or you need to get your head examined. I think it's the former. There's no-one out there like Ellen. Multicultural influences, multi-octave voice, multi-talented percussive fingerstyle guitar. This isn't nostalgia. She didn't have much competition then, and has even less now. So overlooked. So wonderful!
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The 'Real' Ellen McIllwaine January 24, 2005
Format:Audio CD
For many of her fans (and we're not talking stadium numbers)Ellen McIllwaine's slipping from sight in the mid 70s, after two fabulous blues albums was surpassed in sadness only by her re-emergence as a quite different performer flirting with disco for an audience I was not a part of. Whatever, the 'Polydor Years' encapsulates that early, stunning pair (though my Ontario pressings bear the Kot'ai Music stamp). I'm aware that Bonnie Rait was doing similar things on slide guitar, but McIllwaine's vocal range and register is simply awesome. Her choice of material was spot on, her own compositions sitting comfortably with Wonder's,'Higher Ground', some great selections from Jack Bruce and Pete Brown, Hooker and the rest. There is an album done with Jack Bruce that I've only been able to source on vinyl, Everybody Needs It'. Given the company, it's predictably bluesy and a solid workout, but without the high spots of the album under review. And while I enjoy her more recent outings and heard her recently on radio while touring Australia, and there's been no diminishment of her vocal prowess and their Qawwal-like gymnastics, I'm far fonder of these infatuating blues with the sparer production of the Polydor Years.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
If you are a true fan BUY THIS
Published 2 months ago by John Balmforth
5.0 out of 5 stars Great energy
McIlwaine is like no one else. I saw her years ago, when Alex Bevan ("Skinny Little Boy from Cleveland Ohio") had the misfortune of being her warm-up act. Read more
Published 4 months ago by dcpets
5.0 out of 5 stars An Little Known Brilliance
I first heard "Can't find my way home" shortly after it came out, in the middle of the night on my Telefunken radio/turnable/shortwave on one of the L.A. Read more
Published 6 months ago by Cliff Chard
5.0 out of 5 stars Happy to find this album
I had the vinyl album with Jimmy Jean but no longer have a stereo turntable. So thrilled to find this again in digital form. What a treat! Read more
Published 13 months ago by Gail Spake
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Recording
In 1976 a friend of mine found McIlwaine's "Honky Tonk Angel" on his doorstep. As we listened to "Can't Find My Way Home" we were blown away. Read more
Published 14 months ago by William A. Miller
5.0 out of 5 stars This is an awesome album
Up From the Skies, title of the album is a also the name of a Jimi Hendrix tune which she covers magnificently. Read more
Published on March 21, 2012 by Green Manalishi
4.0 out of 5 stars excellent
You can't see here, but open the booklet of Up From The Skies, and Ellen McIlwaine is holding a huge acoustic guitar with those massive black pick guards that you saw so much in... Read more
Published on March 13, 2010 by Bill Your 'Free Form FM Print DJ
5.0 out of 5 stars Up from the Skies.....
I wore out my copy of Up From the Skies when I had it on vinyl. Recently rediscovered this collection which reinforced how good Ellen's music is and surprised me that I had such... Read more
Published on January 30, 2010 by Felice Prager
4.0 out of 5 stars Overlooked
How Ellen McIllwaine has remained so obscure for so long is a mystery. Her guitar playing prowess, earthy delivery and amazing vocal abilities should have garnered the attention... Read more
Published on October 23, 2005 by E. Bortfeld
5.0 out of 5 stars An Incredible Discovery
I heard Ellen on the Norman Cook (aka Fatboy Slim) compilation 'A Break From The Norm' which had 3 or 4 interesting tracks on it. Read more
Published on January 8, 2005 by Mr. K. Sinclair
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