Grievous Angel album cover

Gram Parsons, Grievous Angel

Reprise, 1974, country, rock

B, 1966: A record very much of its time. A cross-over country record full of hippy sensibility and hard living. Full of great duets with Emmylou Harris. “Ooh Las Vegas” is a great track, and the cover of “Love Hurts” is just beautiful, but have to go with “In My Hour of Darkness” which features backup from Harris and Linda Ronstadt.

C, 2002: Loved this album. Great music. “$1000 wedding” and “I can’t dance” are my picks.

H, 1951: Rock music is essentially about personal liberation. Country music, on the other hand, is about the tragedy of human existence, and the importance of community. There were several artists who mixed these two together in the late sixties and early seventies, but none were more influential and none more iconic than Gram Parsons and those who accompanied him, known collectively as the Fallen Angels. This is Parsons’ last album, before he died at Joshua Tree National Monument of substance abuse, and it is not, truth be told, an entirely great album. But there are undeniably great moments here. “Return of the Grievous Angel” is certainly an essential track. But Parsons’ distinctive voice and musical sensibility are evident throughout, and that is probably enough to justify its inclusion on this list.

Published 20 Jan 2020

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