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Return of the Grievous Angel Compilation

4.3 out of 5 stars 76 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (July 20 1999)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Compilation
  • Label: Universal Music Canada
  • ASIN: B00000JMXD
  • In-Print Editions: Audio CD
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars 76 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #23,995 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
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1. She (Pretenders & Emmylou Harris)
2. Ooh Las Vegas (Cowboy Junkies)
3. Sin City (Beck & Emmylou Harris)
4. $1,000 Wedding (Evan Dando & Julianna Hatfield)
5. Hot Burrito #1 (The Mavericks)
6. High Fashion Queen (Chris Hillman & Steve Earle)
7. Juanita (Sheryl Crow & Emmylou Harris)
8. Sleepless Nights (Elvis Costello)
9. Return Of The Grievous Angel (Lucinda Williams & David Crosby)
10. One Hundred Years From Now (Wilco)
11. A Song For You (Whiskeytown)
12. Hickory Wind (Gillian Welch)
13. In My Hour Of Darkness (The Rolling Creekdippers)

Product Description

The gentle hand of Emmylou Harris guides this tribute to ill-fated country-rock avatar Gram Parsons, which goes a long way toward explaining why this star-studded salute avoids the pitfalls that befall many such projects. Harris got her start harmonizing with the patron saint of alt country, contributing mightily to Parsons's two early 1970s solo albums and reviving selections from his small, but indispensable, oeuvre throughout her career. She has a vested interest in finding a true connection between her former benefactor and this cast of Parsons partisans. Here she bands together a flock of followers who range from obvious offspring (Wilco, Gillian Welch, Whiskeytown) to not-so-evident disciples (Beck, the Pretenders, Sheryl Crow). Parsons's partner in the Flying Burrito Brothers, Chris Hillman, teams with Steve Earle on "High Fashion Queen," and David Crosby (like Parsons and Hillman, an ex-Byrd) joins Lucinda Williams on "Return of the Grievous Angel." Harris harmonizes with Beck on "Sin City" and shares the mic with Crow on "Juanita," one of the collection's highlights. Ultimately, Harris has assembled a homage that would've pleased her old mentor. --Steven Stolder

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
This cd really introduced me to Gram Parsons and I will never look back. I now own ALL of his solo works and his foray into country-rock with the Byrds.
Why this cd? To me, this is truly the best tribute/compilation cd I have ever heard! My husband and I wrestled over our only copy until one day it could not be found for a moment. I think it was the next day that we justified a second copy. We could not be without it!
First though, I will start with the disappointing Cowboy Junkies' rendition of "Oooh Las Vegas"...Why? For me it is really the low spot on this cd. They confusingly trade in their rootsy haunting stylings for a "modern" take on the song which fails, unfortunately.
The rest of the cd more than makes up for it with Emmylou, the Grande Dame of this genre (who sometimes co-wrote with Gram and was and still is his female version musically) taking part in many of the songs. She joins Beck on a fittingly traditional "Sin City," the Pretenders on "She," and Sheryl Crow for the sorrowful "Jaunita."
What I love most on this cd is the artists. Not many are linked to the country sound you might expect and I really think those artists help to breathe fresh life into the songs again, while mostly retaining the original feeling Gram might have had in mind when he wrote them.
Other highlights include alternative radio darlings Evan Dando of the Lemonheads and Julianna Hatfield doing a great version of "$1,000 Wedding", and Chris Hillman (who co-wrote this song and so many others) and Steve Earle channeling Dwight Yoakam's signature sound on "High Fashion Queen."
It is the return of "Cosmic American Music" by the ill fated but brilliant original alternative country boy. If you like critical faves Ryan Adams, Lucinda Williams, and Wilco, then you MUST understand the beauty of Gram Parsons work. This is a fine place to start.
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Format: Audio CD
It was midnight and I stumbled upon a show called West 57th Sessions, from New York and unbeknown to me, what I was watching was a live performance of this tribute CD, "Return of the Grievious Angel." I managed to record the remaining 5 or 6 songs and hope to see it on video one day.
With little familiarity to Gram Parsons, I was so taken by this tribute that was so well done, with fine musicians. Emmylou Harris, who sang with him before he died in the 70s so young, has kept his music alive and introduced him to new generations of music lovers.
On the show, I was introduced to Beck, I thought to myself..."who is this guy who sounds like Parsons?"
A favorite of mine, is Steve Earle and Chris Hillman on "High Fashion Queen. " The group consisted of Lucinda Williams, Gillian Welch, Cowboy Junkies, Elvis Costello, Wilco, David Crosby, Whiskeytown, etc. How wonderfuls the tribute of "In My Hour of Darkness" by the Rolling Creekdrippers.
Emmylou Harris and Sheryl Crow duet to "Juanita", the mixture of solid sweet voice of Crow and that soothing cracking voice of Emmylou blend so perfectly.
If ever there is a presence of Gram Parsons, it is here! This is truly more that a tribute, it is as haunting as Gram Parson was, a young man who died too young, too hard!
If you want to hear Gram Parsons and Emmylou Harris duets, she has a 3 CD box set that features duets with Parsons, probably the best part of her CD collection. ....MzRizz
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Format: Audio CD
The bottom line is if you fancy yourself an alt country/roots rock fan, you simply have to have this CD in your collection. Which is not to say you'll fall in love with it on first listening -- although you well could. Some of the songs blew me away right out of the box ("Return of the Grevious Angel" - Lucinda Williams & David Croby, "She" - Pretenders & Emmylou, "Hickory Wind" - Gillian Welch, "Hot Burrito #1" - The Mavericks), while other renditions required more effort and time ("Ooh Las Vegas" - Cowboy Junkies, "$1000 Wedding" - Evan Dando & Julianna Hatfield). Even after scores of listenings, however, I STILL can't figure out what that Elvis Costello cut is doing in this otherwise flawless compilation. I don't even think "Sleepless Nights" is a Parsons song. And don't be put off that most of the cuts are interpretive versions of the originals. Like all great music, these songs are more than up to the challenge of artistic interpretation. And let's be honest, Gram's strong suit was in his writing, not his singing. This compilation features some of his best songs, interpreted by some of the best alt country singers and musicians around. It is a fitting tribute to the Man Who Started It All.
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Format: Audio CD
When I first heard this albumn, I was dissappointed. When I realized that not every song on the albumn could necessarily be a favorite Gram Parsons song and that if was not Gram Parsons singing Gram Parsons songs, but other artists, with their own voices, interpretations and styles, the album became very satisfying. Some of the artists might have even done better with their songs than Gram did such as the Pretenders with "She" and the Mavericks with "Hot Burrito #1." Artists who I thought did a very good job with versions that were quite different from Gram's originals were The Cowboy Junkies with "Ooh Las Vegas" and Beck with "Sin City. " Other performances were quite solid and sounded almost as if Gram was doing them himself, such as Chris Hillman and Earl's take of "High Fashion Queen" and Whiskeytown's "A Song For You" . Likewise Elvis Costello, whose connection to Gram I don't quite understand, was solid on "Sleepless Nights" and Gillian Welch turned in perhaps the albumn's finest performance on "Hickory Wind." The only real dissappointment of the albumn was Dando and Hatfield's version of 1000 Dollar Wedding. It sounded as though they were in some sort of contest to finish the soung in the quickest time ever. It lacked the sense of pathos and tragedy in Gram's version. I checked back and Gram's version was five minutes long while Dando-Hatfield's was slightly over three. That is too big a gap. I was also less than safisfied with the Wilco version of "One Hundred Years. I n regard to Lucinda Williams version of the "Return..." I feel she did a good job but I was dissappointed that she seemed to drown our David Crosby, another artist whose connection to Gram I do not understand but one that I nevertheless like . I would give this albumn a 4.5 rating.
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