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5.0 out of 5 stars Early classic with a wealth of beautiful songs,
This review is from: Luxury Liner (Expanded) (Audio CD)Whatever she does, it is impossible for Emmylou Harris to disappoint. Nothing beats her beautiful voice or her exquisite taste in songs. This album, first released in 1976, has been enhanced by the addition of Me And Willie and Night Flyer.
She does a stunning cover of the Towns van Zandt song Pancho And Lefty plus stirring versions of the old country classics Making Believe and When I Stop Dreaming. The title track and She are Gram Parsons compositions, lovingly interpreted by Harris.
My other favorites include the moving country ballad I'll Be Your San Antone Rose, her cover of Chuck Berry's (You Never Can Tell) C'est La Vie, Hello Stranger, the duet with Nicolette Larson, and the lilting Tulsa Queen, a song about a train which equals Arlo Guthrie's City Of New Orleans any day.
Both the previously unissued tracks are great. Me And Willie is a melancholy song about life in a travelling country band, whilst Night Flyer with Delia Bell is a powerful ballad with breathtaking harmony vocals, and moody mandolin.
The CD booklet contains 2 full colour and 5 black & white pics of the graceful songbird, plus extensive liner notes on her career and background on all the songs up to Tulsa Queen. All the lyrics are included, including the two new songs.
Although I like Pieces Of the Sky, Roses In The Snow, Cowgirl's Prayer, Wrecking Ball and Red Dirt Girl a little bit more, this album still deserves five stars! Emmylou's music enriches the mind and emotions in many ways and is always spiritually uplifting.
5.0 out of 5 stars A High Quality Reissue,
This review is from: Luxury Liner (Expanded) (Audio CD)Finally! An audiophile's dream! Every note played on Emmy's Gibson J-200 is as clear and pristine as if the listener were in the studio itself. Listen to her vocals - crisp and clean.
Now, check out the songs. Luxury Liner is what I consider to be the first in Ms. Harris's peak period releases, going through her Ballad of Sally Rose (OK! OK! I know about White Shoes, but that was just a blip. Even so, that album is so much better than what she's been releasing lately!).
My favorite tune on Luxury Liner is Hello Stranger. Giving that classic the Cajun feel was a stroke of genius. And the way the vocalists play off each other throughout the song (especially when she's sung it in concert) is mesmerising. She literally brought an almost forgotten song from the 1930's back to life!
You're Supposed To Be Feeling Good is Emmylou at her prime, with a sort of ethereal sound quality to it. I'll Be Your San Antone Rose is pure country, which Ms. Harris has all but forgotten about in this 21st century.
Every song on this disc is a gem. Listen to Albert Lee's blistering guitar solo in the title tune! And, with loads of help from Ricky Skaggs fiddle playing, she blows away the original Chuck Berry version of (You Never Can Tell) C'est La Vie - no easy task.
At a time when current country music is abysmal at best, thank God these albums are available for us to remember what once was. Yes, I realize she's gained new fans from her more current releases, but her new direction in music leaves me empty. I long for the music that blew away all competition - THIS kind of music!
C'mon, Emmy! Ricky Skaggs (who, for those who don't know, was new to Emmy's group on Luxury Liner), Patty Loveless, Dolly, and numerous others have rediscovered their country roots and have had great success in doing so. This current crop of country cr*p (like Shania, Dixie Chicks, Garth, and a host of others) have done great harm to country music. With albums like Luxury Liner, (and Quarter Moon, Roses, Blue Kentucky Girl) you revitalized it almost single handedly back in the 1980's. Why don't you take up that challenge again?
5.0 out of 5 stars One of her best albums,
5.0 out of 5 stars She sure could sing!,
By A Customer
You can catch Emmylou's youthful voice in its pristine clarity and strength here, and it was a wonderful instrument on her first dozen or so albums before it began to fade in the mid-to-late 80's. There was a period during which Emmylou and the Hot Band made a particular sort of great music, from "Pieces of the Sky" in 1975 to "Last Date" in 1982, with the later "Sally Rose" the last album of her early period to me, the days of being able to buy every one of her albums without worrying about being disappointed. I think her perfect voice was put to better use on "Blue Kentucky Girl", but "Luxury Liner" was certainly one of her best.
The reviews suggesting this album is faster or rocks harder than the two previous recordings seem misleading. There was a lot more speed on "Pieces of the Sky" and "Elite Hotel". Someone below was right that you'll tap your feet to this music, but they won't be tapping quickly. I liked that, though - I could relax better to this album than to the earlier ones even though there were better songs on those first two albums. Despite its popularity, "Pancho and Lefty" isn't one of my favorite Townes Van Zandt songs, maybe because I don't care about old gunslinger stories, as much as I loved and miss Townes. And despite the reviews below, "Tulsa Queen" has never struck me as being a remarkably moving composition. I think the Gram Parsons songs here are fine, with "She" being especially gorgeous, that Susanna Clark's "I'll Be Your San Antone Rose" is rendered perfectly here, and that the old country songs like "Making Believe" and "When I Stop Dreaming" are particularly beautiful. But none are great songs; they're just consistently pretty good songs.
What makes this recording special to me is that steadiness, along with the feel of an extraordinarily competent band and singer who had finally found an extremely sure footing after a few years together and were remarkably comfortable and confident in themselves. The sound is consistent throughout, and it's as if Emmylou and her band finally had everything down perfectly. The lyrics range from passable to good, but the sound here is as good as it gets for the early Emmylou. Which says a lot.
5.0 out of 5 stars A country rock masterpiece,
The album yielded two top ten country hits. Making believe is a country classic, which had been a huge country hit for Kitty Wells in the fifties. You never can tell (C'Est la vie) is a cover of a Chuck Berry song. Much though I enjoy Chuck's music, I think Emmylou's version of this song is superior to the original.
Emmylou included two contrasting Gram Parsons, the title track (an up-tempo rocker) and She (a sad ballad). Rodney Crowell, then a member of Emmylou's band, wrote the catchy You're supposed to be feeling good. He also co-wrote Tulsa queen with Emmylou. Pancho and Lefty became better known after Willie Nelson and Merle Haggard recorded it in the early eighties but I prefer Emmylou's version of this Townes Van Zandt classic. I'll be your San Antone rose had been a country hit for Dottsy, a singer who (sadly) has long since faded into obscurity. When I stop dreaming is a Louvin Brothers song, which feature Dolly Parton lending vocal support. Hello stranger is a great cover of a Carter family song.
This is one of the finest albums in Emmylou's long and distinguished career.
5.0 out of 5 stars Luxury Liner (Emmylou Harris CD),
Poncho and Lefty, the best song. "The dust that Poncho bit down south ended up in Lefty's mouth." Gotta love it
5.0 out of 5 stars Magnificent Album,
5.0 out of 5 stars My First Emmylou Album - Magnificent!,
5.0 out of 5 stars A genuine masterpiece,
5.0 out of 5 stars One of Emmy's Masterpieces,
LUXURY LINER is magnificent. There's not a weak song or a misguided performance here. The best song (I believe) is the last, Emmy's gorgeous and heartbreaking "Tulsa Queen," co-written with Rodney Crowell. I confess (this is difficult, being the man that I am) to crying many times (only when I'm alone, of course) at the beauty of this song. I'm a total believer in the genius of Bob Dylan, John Lennon, Van Morrison, Neil Young, and Joni Mitchell, but I doubt that all of them together have written more than a handful of songs better than this about a train that doesn't care that someone beloved is gone. Sadly, by the end of the song the Tulsa Queen itself is gone, and maybe that's part of the answer to the question Emmy asks in her song: "tell me how a train from Tulsa has got a right to know."
The song preceding "Tulsa Queen" is the beautiful, bluesy, and lyrically surprising "She", written by Gram Parsons and Chris Ethridge; I'm sure the song ordering is no accident.
There are too many perfect performances here to do justice to them all. But no review of this album could ignore Townes Van Zandt's story in song, "Poncho and Lefty". I treasure the performance recorded here because nowhere else (except on "Tulsa Queen" and "Boulder to Birmingham") have I heard the angelic beauty of Emmylou Harris' young voice better displayed. Every note is perfectly sung, perfectly phrased, and perfectly true. Her soprano here is pure and untouched by age--not to say that it's more beautiful than some of her performances on albums like WRECKING BALL and RED DIRT GIRL--but it's a different voice, and beautiful in a different way, and LUXURY LINER is the album that, in my view, best displays that voice.
Lastly, the album cover pictures the young Emmylou at a point in time when her outer beauty (she'll always be at least that beautiful inside) was perfect. In a strange way, the beautiful face depicted there totally corresponds to the georgous voice recorded on this album; there never was and never will be anything artificial about Emmy: LUXURY LINER is honest music at its very best.
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Luxury Liner (Expanded) by Emmylou Harris (Audio CD - 2004)