Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Genres: Country, Pop, Rock
Before raising her profile as a solo artist, Emmylou Harris established herself as the harmony queen of contemporary music, from her partnership with Gram Parsons through sessions with the likes of Bob Dylan. Duets showcas... more »
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Before raising her profile as a solo artist, Emmylou Harris established herself as the harmony queen of contemporary music, from her partnership with Gram Parsons through sessions with the likes of Bob Dylan. Duets showcases her ability to bring out the best in other singers, though its grab-bag selection doesn't necessarily showcase Harris at her best. Released to capitalize on the success of her initial Trio project with Dolly Parton and Linda Ronstadt, it compiles her collaborations with a variety of artists from the late Parsons (their riveting rendition of "Love Hurts") to Southern Pacific ("Thing About You," a Tom Petty obscurity) to George Jones ("All Fall Down," an album highlight) to Don Williams (their hit duet of Townes Van Zandt's "If I Needed You"). From the sublime (Roy Orbison, Willie Nelson) to the irrelevant (John Denver, Earl T. Conley), the collection is more of a marketplace filler than a cohesive artistic statement. --Don McLeese
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The Best Duet Singer In The History Of Music
Matt Coker | Davis, CA, USA | 09/02/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Few singers, if any, have recorded as many duets as Emmylou Harris. With the most gorgeous voice in Country music, Emmylou Harris is possibly the BEST duet singer in the history of music. Warner Bros. pushed for the release of this album, primarily to capitalize on the success of TRIO (the masterpiece she recorded with Linda Ronstadt and Dolly Parton). Issued in 1990 by Reprise, DUETS is an remarkable collection of extraordinary music. These twelve duets are mainly her classics, recorded with an immpressive array of performers. Harris sounds great with Chris Hillman on the Desert Rose Band's "The Price I Pay". A marvelous uptempo opening track, with some terrific guitar playing. There has yet to be a more perfect sound than the blend on Emmylou Harris & Gram Parsons, especially on the definative version of "Love Hurts". This classic duet was first issued on Parsons' exceptional GRIEVOUS ANGEL album (GP/GRIEVOUS ANGEL is an essential CD). The third song on this collection is recorded by two of the greatest singers of all time, Roy Orbison and Emmylou Harris. "That Lovin' You Feelin' Again" from ROADIE, was a Grammy-winning classic. "We Believe In Happy Endings" is a gorgeous song, and a #1 hit, by Harris & Earl Thomas Conley. "Thing About You" with Southern Pacific, is excellent. Neil Young and Emmylou Harris have collaborated several times, but "Star Of Bethlehem" was one of the first, (so was Harris' Christmas single "Light Of The Stable"). "All Fall Down" is an exquisite duet with George Jones. "Wild Montana Skies" is a stunning song; written, produced, and performed by and with John Denver. "Green Pastures" has been recorded twice by Harris. Eight years later it would appear on her incredible SPYBOY album, I prefer that version. This recording is the classic, from her 1980 masterwork ROSES IN THE SNOW, with Ricky Skaggs. Skaggs was a member of the Hot Band, and he was an important talent in the recording of that album. The emotional centerpiece is the inspirational "Gulf Coast Highway". Willie Nelson is another top duet singer, and this song is one of their best together. Two of their many duets would later appear on Harris compilations: "One Paper Kid" on 1994's SONGS OF THE WEST, and "Angel Eyes" on 2000's SINGIN' WITH EMMYLOU VOL. 1. "If I Needed You" with Don Williams was a highlight on 1981's CIMARRON album. The collection closes with "Evangeline", a stunning song from The Band's THE LAST WALTZ. This version is different from the title track to her eight album of new material. Unfortunately, that marvelous album has never been issued on CD. This collection is superior to SINGIN' WITH EMMYLOU, because this album is made up entirely of duets (meaning I can hear more of Emmylou Harris on this album). I'm hoping Reprise will issue a DUETS II. There's certainly enough material to support a third volume; especially her duet(s) with Linda Ronstadt, Bob Dylan, Willie Nelson, and many more. If you've never heard an Emmylou Harris album this is a great place to start. For long-time fans, this is an incredible listening experience. DUETS is even more proof that Emmylou Harris is one of the most creative and important talents in American music."
Many voices in harmony with Emmylou
Pieter | Johannesburg | 02/12/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This interesting album of collaborations includes tracks that are available elsewhere. By no means amongst Emmylou's best albums, Duets nevertheless contains some real gems and provides a pleasant listening experience.
The uptempo track The Price I Pay sees Harris accompanied by the Desert Rose band, and is followed by the old classic with Gram Parsons, the timeless Love Hurts. Roy Orbison provides the male vocal on That Lovin' You Feelin' Again, a mellow middle of the road number, more pop than country, that works surprisingly well.
We Believe In Happy Endings (with Earl Thomas Conley) is a traditional, slow country ballad, whilst Thing About You (with Southern Pacific) is quite catchy with a lilting beat. Star Of Bethlehem, with Neil Young, is short, sad and lovely, and All Fall Down, with George Jones, is another mournful ballad where Emmylou's voice really stands out in its phrasing and inflection.
Although John Denver's voice dominates Wild Montana Skies, it is one of my favourites here with its uplifting melody and soaring vocals. Next up is the breathtaking Green Pastures, a beautiful bluegrass-gospel number with Rickey Skaggs that I first heard on the album Roses In The Snow. This is definitely a highlight of the album. There is a riveting live version of this song on Emmylou's Spyboy album.
Gulf Coast Highway is a story song in the country tradition, very moving and very beautiful as Willie Nelson's voice blends perfectly with Emmylou's. If I Needed You is a gorgeous yearning love song where Don Williams provides the male vocal, and the album concludes with Evangeline, a brilliant collaboration with The Band.
Like all Emmylou's work, Duets is quality music. I wouldn't rate it up there with her best like Pieces Of The Sky, Roses In The Snow, Wrecking Ball, Red Dirt Girl or Cowgirl's Prayer, but the album is consistently enjoyable and every song is a classic.
Nary a loser in the set
Neal C. Reynolds | Indianapolis, Indiana | 02/27/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I don't always appreciate a favorite singer combining voice and talents with other voices, but this collection is a notable exception. Part of it is that Emmy Lou is a talented duet singer, in that her voice does not overpower her partner's nor is it overpowered. There's a sense of blending. The other talents featured on the album are greats in the musical scene. My favorites:"Love Hurts" with Gram Parsons, Emmy Lou at her heart breaking best."We Believe in Happy Endings" with Earl Thomas Conly, a most enjoyable performance of the beauty and the integrity Emmy Lou is known for."Star of Bethlehem" with Neil Young, a song which I did need to hear several times before it truly grew into a favorite, but a song good for any time of year."All Fall Down", with George Jones, an instant favorite in which the two great voices combine perfectly, a cut I can not hear often enough.I feel guilty not spotlighting all the duets, guilty that I do find some better than others. The beauty of the CD is that everybody will have outstanding favorites, maybe similar to mine, and maybe not. With such singers as Roy Orbison, John Denver, Ricky Scaggs, Willie Nelson, and Don Williams, how could you possibly lose?And the final cut, "Evangeline", really wraps up the entire most pleasant package of music. As others have said, this is a good introduction to Emmy Lou, and a must for those who already know and love her."