141. The Flying Burrito Brothers - Gilded Palace Of Sin (1969)
1. Christine's Tune
2. Sin City
3. Do Right Woman Do Right Man
4. Dark End Of The Street
5. My Uncle
8. Hot Burrito No 1
9. Hot Burrito No 2
10. Do You Know How It Feels
11. Hippie Boy
Hillman and Parsons had already been behind The Byrd's Sweetheart Of The Rodeo, and now they come back with the country-rock with their new project, The Flying Burrito Brothers. Aside from having a great name and album cover (notice the hemp leaves on the rodeo suits) the music is also not too shabby.
Again the trend of moving away from psychadelia is very much present here, as it was in the previous Byrds album. But even more than Sweetheart, this is a country-rock album, and not a country album. There are some elements here which would never be in a straight up country affair, as for example, distorted guitars. And it's countryness is pretty good as well.
Obviously this album bombed when it came out, not really what hippies were looking for, and not what the country audience wanted. But it has since become extremely influential, and today Gram Parsons is worshiped as the country god that he is. The album is a bit hit and miss however, and it is particularly good when Parsons mixes styles more openly. Like a country cover of Do Right Woman, or the Hot Burrito tracks. So if you want to get into some good country music, this is definitely the place to start. You can stream it from Napster, or buy it from Amazon UK or US.
1. Hot Burrito #1
2. Christine's Tune
3. Hot Burrito #2
4. Do Right Woman, Do Right Man
At its core, The Gilded Palace of Sin is a refinement of the blueprint established by Parsons and Hillman on Sweetheart of the Rodeo, eschewing the fiddle-dominated sound of the latter for a grittier, rockier approach. "My Uncle" and "Hippie Boy" address then-contemporary countercultural concerns: the draft and 1968 Democratic National Convention riots. Rather than playing in an orthodox fashion, visual effects artist-turned-pedal steel guitarist "Sneaky" Pete Kleinow often utilized a fuzzbox and/or played the instrument through a rotating Hammond Leslie amplifier, adding a psychedelic touch to several songs.
Like Sweetheart of the Rodeo, The Gilded Palace of Sin was not a commercial success - to date, the RIAA has not even certified it gold. However, its impact on popular music has grown exponentially over the years. The most visible example of this is perhaps The Eagles, who took the innovations of Sweetheart of the Rodeo and The Gilded Palace of Sin into MOR territory, yielding financially lucrative results. During the 1980s, the New Traditionalist movement in mainstream country music was clearly influenced by Parsons and The Gilded Palace of Sin, with artists like Travis Tritt, Vince Gill, Alan Jackson, Clint Black, and Randy Travis steering country music back away from easy-listening pop and closer to Parsons' vision of "Cosmic American Music."
Even today, with Nashville moving further away from its country roots, the influence of Parsons and The Gilded Palace of Sin looms large over the alternative-country movement, often referred to as 'alt-country.' Bands like Wilco, Son Volt, Whiskeytown, and the Jayhawks as well as individuals as disparate as Dwight Yoakam, Lucinda Williams, Emmylou Harris (Parsons' one-time singing partner), and Steve Earle all have recorded music that bears traces of The Gilded Palace of Sin. Even non-country artists like Elvis Costello have cited the album as a particular favorite, with Costello covering several cuts during his career.