Sam Phillips, born Leslie Ann Phillips is an American singer-songwriter. She began her career in the Contemporary Christian genre in the early 1980s, singing background vocals for Christian artists Mark Heard and Randy Stonehill and subsequently was signed as a solo act with Myrrh Records. She recorded four Christian pop albums. The final album in the deal, "The Turning," teamed her with future husband and producer, T Bone Burnett. She had several top 10 singles on Christian radio during this period and Myrrh was promoting her as "the Christian Cyndi Lauper." Uncomfortable with this image and a bone of contention between Phillips and Myrrh, she left the label, began using the name "Sam" and signed with Virgin in 1988 to distance herself from her prior persona. She recorded four albums with Virgin, from 1988 to 1996. With the album "The Indescribable Wow," Phillips moved into the mainstream. The album features the orchestrations of Van Dyke Parks. "Cruel Intentions" was released in 1991 and included a guest performance by Elvis Costello. 1994's "Martinis and Bikinis" was widely praised by music critics and was nominated for a Grammy.
Phillips also began writing music for and scoring the television series Gilmore Girls, and appeared in the final episode of season six, performing "Taking Pictures" from "Fan Dance."
Sam has received two Grammy Award nominations, one as Leslie Phillips and one as Sam Phillips. She has appeared as a guest artist on albums by Bruce Cockburn, The Wallflowers, Rodney Crowell and many others.
As with all of the critically acclaimed music singer-songwriter Sam Phillips has composed and performed over the course of fifteen years, her 2001 Nonesuch debut, Fan Dance, takes us to an intriguing place somewhere other than the here and now. Her songs continue to echo the smart psychedelia of mid-sixties Beatles and the Sunset Strip folk-rock jangle of the Byrds, but there are now hints of other, earlier times: Tin Pan Alley musical touches, lyrics that mirror hardboiled detective novels and black-and-white, B-movie film noir. As Sam puts it, "It's like sleepwalking through a Los Angeles that doesn't exist." If Raymond Chandler had collaborated with Bob Dylan on "Bringing It All Back Home", perhaps it might sound like this.
In contrast to the highly-stylized sound of the 1996 Omnipop album by the Grammy-nominated artist, Fan Dance is conceived on an intimate scale, with the feeling of an intense, look-you-in-the-eye, late-night conversation. Phillips says of the album, "This is a dry, thirsty, disconnected record that was performed rather than produced. No hi-gloss, no big splash intended. We're all wet from big splashes these days. I just want to whisper in a few people's ears."
Fan Dance is produced by T-Bone Burnett and features a small group of noteworthy musicians including guitarist Marc Ribot and drummer Carla Azar, with Gillian Welch contributing vocals on two tracks, and Van Dyke Parks as both arranger ("Wasting My Time") and harpsichord player ("Taking Pictures").
"... a rarity, an artist who seduces and disturbs."
"Superbly crafted, melodically compelling, and lyrically challenging."
- Strict One Time Pressing based on preorders received
- Numbered, Limited Edition
- 180g Vinyl LP
- Produced by T Bone Burnett
- Lacquers cut at Sam Phillips Recording Studio (the other Sam Phillips!)
- Deluxe Tip-on style jacket
- Fan Dance
- Edge Of The World
- Five Colors
- Wasting My Time
- Taking Pictures
- How To Dream
- Soul Eclipse
- Love Is Everywhere I Go
- Below Surface
- Is That Your Zebra?
- Say What You Mean