326. Gram Parsons - Grievous Angel (1974)
1. Return of the Grievous Angel
2. Hearts on Fire
3. I Can't Dance
4. Brass Buttons
5. $1000 Wedding
6. Cash on the Barrelhead
7. Hickory Wind
8. Love Hurts
9. Ooh Las Vegas
10. In My Hour of Darkness
Gram Parsons is so usually lauded as a genius that I sometimes think there is something wrong with me for not agreeing. This is a perfectly good album, it's good country and sounds quite modern because of Gram's good use of rock elements which helped create the modern country music sound. Still this is far removed from genius, surely some people have the same opinion of Brian Eno, but I probably just don't get Gram Parsons.
That said, this is a pretty good country-rock album, the songs are catchy and soon you will be singing along to it. The arrangements are great but more importantly you have Emmylou Harris here which really brings the album together, in fact the tracks where she is featured are by far the best tracks in the album, when it is just Gram it seems to lose something.
Really there is not much to say about this album, except that if it wasn't for the fact that Gram died young no one would be talking about him today... possibly. Secondly he opened the door to some really crappy music, but it wasn't his fault, he was good, just not spectacular. So get this album from Amazon UK or US.
1. Love Hurts
2. $1000 Wedding
3. Ooh Las Vegas
4. Return Of The Grievous Angel
The released album almost certainly deviates from the intended track listing Parsons had. Parsons' widow, Gretchen, who never cared for Harris' relationship with her husband, moved her originally prominent presence on the original front cover of the album (the album being credited on that cover to "Gram Parsons with Emmylou Harris" and featuring a photograph of the two of them) and relegated her to a simple credit on the back cover. Additionally, the widow Parsons removed the original title track, "Sleepless Nights" and replaced the cover she despised with a simple image of Parsons in a sea of blue. The rearranged album was released in January 1974.
The three tracks recorded during the sessions that had gone unreleased, "Sleepless Nights", "The Angels Rejoiced in Heaven Last Night" and "Brand New Heartache", were released on the posthumous 1976 Parsons/Flying Burrito Brothers album Sleepless Nights.
Emmylou tries to explain to us why Gram was such a great bloke: