Rolling Stone (2/17/72, p.52) - "...one of the more interesting things Leon has done....This is a bitter Leon Russell lashing out at a straight world that, seemingly, is only now exposing viciousness to him..."
Musician (3/95, p.90) - "...documents his response to the electric musical climate of the time. The feel is mid-'60s...but Russell pushes against it with his raw Okie articulation. His playing is...contradictory, wavering between session-like discipline and wild gospel thumping..."
Personnel: Leon Russell, Marc Benno (vocals, various instruments).
Producers: Leon Russel, Marc Benno.
Reissue producer: Tom Cartwright.
Recorded at Skyhill Studios, Hollywood, California Between February 1967 and April 1969.
Digitally remastered by Tom Baker (Future Disc Systems, Hollywood, California).
Of all Russell's early work as an artist, this record is perhaps the least essential; in particular, songs like "Tryin' to Stay Live" and "When You Wish Upon a Fag" feel dated. Nevertheless, Asylum Choir II is still a pretty nice record. Especially noteworthy is Russell's own version of "Hello, Little Friend"; Joe Cocker would later record the definitive version of the song. (The 1995 CD reissue features five bonus tracks). ~ Jim Worbois