Eli and the Thirteenth Confession is an album by New York-born singer, songwriter, and pianist Laura Nyro, released in 1968 (see 1968 in music).
Nyro premiered some of the songs at the 1967 Monterey Pop Festival. The song "Luckie" was derived from an earlier composition Nyro had played at her audition for Verve Records in 1966. Before she signed to Columbia Records, Verve had already planned to release the album, under the title Soul Picnic. The new title is a play on two songs from the album: The name Eli is from "Eli's Comin'"; while the "thirteenth confession" is derived from "The Confession", being the thirteenth track on the album.
The album saw its actual release in 1968 on the Columbia label and became one of the year's underground successes. One critic noted, "the hottest sounds of that summer were Sgt. Pepper and the Laura Nyro record." The album was written entirely by Nyro, arranged by Charlie Calello and produced by both. On Nyro's insistence, the album's lyric sheet (which itself was a rarity for records in 1968) was perfumed, and fans have reported that it still has a pleasant aroma.
The album's themes are of passion, love, romance, death, and drugs, and the songs are