"This comprises stand-out tracks of country standards Gram Parsons made with the Burritos shortly before he left the band, and three fantastic previously unreleased duets with Emmylou Harris which were inexplicably left off his wonderful second solo album, Grievous Angel, including the definitive version of Sleepless Nights. You need to have these"
Sleepless Nights is Great
Hardy Melville | 02/11/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I wouldn't say Sleepless Nights was my complete introduction to Gram Parsons, but it was the first I bought. I came in through the back door as it were becoming an Emmylou Harris fan first, particularly the great Elite Hotel album, and a friend had gotten Sleepless Nights. Oh yeah, the guy from the Burrito Brothers, a group that I never quite got into!
Then I heard Brand New Heartache, and I was hooked. I have been a huge Gram Parsons fan ever since. While I have gone back and gotten all the rest, this one still holds a special place for me.
This collection of course takes Brand New Heartache and two others with Emmylou and puts them together with nine that Gram did with the Burritos. Some have complained about the quality of the Burrito songs, but I instead prefer to think the real reason they were not originally included in their two albums with Gram was that the Gilded Palace of Sin already had a few covers on it, and the balance of that album might have been put too much over to the covers side with more. Burrito Deluxe from all accounts was quite simply a poorly conceived project they were not sure what they wanted to do with.
The nine covers here from the Burrito Bros. may not have been written by Gram, but they certainly show his approach, his phrasing, his feel, to fine effect.
The three songs with Emmylou are great.
What you will find here are three tunes that should have been included with Gram's efforts with Emmylou with the nine covers from the Burrito days. I find the whole album quite effective and not really disjointed at all in melding these two periods. To the contrary the nine tunes fit quite well with the type of material Gram did in the Emmylou period. Keep an open mind and you will find this to be a five star outing."
The Rosettastone of Country Cool
gramfan | California | 08/08/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Listen to it thrice then you'll be hooked; listen to it 5 times and it may be #1 on your playing list. Gram Parsons bridges the great divide of hard core country ballads for "hip" folks who are in the closet - liking the music & tapping their toes - but unable to admit it in public. Gram's foresight recordings of these legendary artists lends credence to the fact that a large percentage of country artists are cool and their necks aren't necessarily red; their themes can reverberate with all walks of life. These tunes were recorded when Willie, Waylon, Johnny, and Merle were all shorthairs, Gram dared to unlock the Nashville handcuffs and helped to release many artists from that mold; too bad he isn't still around. Check out the slide guitar on the Green Green Grass of Home - one of the best riffs ever recorded."
Dermot | maryland | 03/15/2009
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Don't understand why this collection has been overlooked to such an extent through the years. Because GP wasn't around to approve? The time-space between the 9 Burritos recordings and 3 GP/E.Harris recordings was only a couple of years. The result is that the tracks fuse with no difficulty. One aspect of this album is the perfect sequencing. Somebody put thought into that--for which we should be grateful. Otherwise, as others have said, the three GP-EH are breathtaking. (Opening, closing, and smack in the middle of the album) The Burritos tracks are solid, with better bass parts than the two previous Burritos albums. Serious country. Perhaps one reason that folks don't get more excited by this collection is the absence of a GP original song. No matter...it is what it is...top-shelf country with Gram's genius for singing."