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4.4 out of 5 stars
The Gilded Palace Of Sin & Burrito Deluxe
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31 of 32 people found the following review helpful
The Byrds underwent many line-up changes but the line-up that recorded the classic Sweethearts of the rodeo album didn't last long even by Byrds' standards. Two of its key members, Gram Parsons and Chris Hillman, quit and formed the Flying Burrito Brothers. This twofer contains their first two albums.
The first album, Gilded Palace of Sin, is regarded as a landmark album in the evolution of country-rock, almost as important as Sweethearts of the rodeo. Despite the label country rock, this album actually contains a few soulful ballads. On this album, the group comprised Gram Parsons, Chris Hillman, Sneeky Pete Kleinow and Chris Ethridge. Most of the songs are originals, though the album also includes brilliant covers of Dark end of the street and Do right woman.
Even if you haven't heard the Flying Burrito Brothers before, you may be familiar with some of the songs, particularly because Emmylou Harris (a staunch fan of Gram's music) has covered some of these songs - her versions of Wheels and Sin city can be found on her Elite Hotel album. The album begins with the rocking Christine's tune (sometimes titled Devil in disguise, but that confuses it with the Elvis song of that title). Other great tracks here include Juanita and the two Hot Burrito songs.
Burrito Deluxe does not match the exceptional standard of Gilded palace of sin, but it is a far better album than some people would have you believe, and its style is very different. The soulful ballads are gone (apart from Image of me), replaced by rock'n'roll - but that's fine by me. The album was difficult to record, partly because Gram became a bit wayward and partly because of further line-up changes. Chris Ethridge had left, replaced by Bernie Leadon (who went on to greater fame as a member of the Eagles) and Michael Clarke. This album also featured a few guest musicians. Like its predecessor, many of the songs are originals but there are some covers - in this case, the traditional gospel song Farther along, the Rolling Stones' Wild horses and the Bob Dylan classic If you gotta go, which was a huge British hit for Manfred Mann.
Neither of these albums sold well upon original release but their influence has been profound. This collection will appeal to country fans who also enjoy rock music, but will also appeal to many who do not like (or think they do not like) country music, including fans of the Eagles' early work.
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21 of 22 people found the following review helpful
#1 HALL OF FAMEon 9 January 2002
'The Gilded Palace of Sin' is THE album of the 20th century, in a rock'n'roll sense. It is THE album that blended psychedelic-rock with country-soul (though The Byrds were close with 'Sweetheart', as were Buffalo Spirngfield with 'Bluebird'). Every track, from 'Christine's Tune' to 'Hippie Boy' is awesome. Better than 'Let it Bleed'. Each track stands out and gets better with each listen- 'Wheels', 'The Dark End of the street' and the divine 'Hot Burritos' (1&2)- the first is an almost teenage look at love & melancholy, that reminds me of Big Star's 'Thirteen'. The latter is a pulsing piano-led number that reminds me of The Band's 'To Kingdom Come' (from another timeless debut LP).Big shouts to Chris Hillman, Michael Clarke, Sneeky Pete et al- to prove it wasn't all Gram Parsons. Oh, and its got 'Sin City'- a sublime resigned country-lull with apocalyptic lyrics that capture the venal nature of the city of angels (Gene Clark's 'LA' would be a poor rip-off). Reminds me of 'I see a darkness' by Bonnie Prince Billy. This is probably the first song to listen to, if you've never heard any (it was my 1st Burritos song!)...'Burrito Deluxe', on the other hand is a ropey collection- Parsons hanging with Keef and hardly there as a songwriter- opener 'Lazy Days' says it all. 'High Fashion Queen' and 'Farther Along' are probably the best of the bunch. The Stones cover is nowhere near the sublime original. It sounds like leftovers, bonus-cuts, b-sides- and that is how it should be considered. This album has a place in EVERYONE'S record collection- it's that vital (as is the 'GP'/'Return of the Grievous Angel' set). For further great Chris Hillman collaborations, see the Gene Clark double-set and the Stephen Stills double-set, 'Manassas'. Along with John Cale, Hillman seems to have been everywhere with everyone- love to read his autobiography?. At this price this is a great set of one of the greatest albums ever. And don't start saying you don't like country!- this is SOUL MUSIC!!!!!!
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
on 3 January 2001
For those just discovering Gram Parsons due to tributes from artists such as Beck and Evan Dando, this is without doubt the essential buy from an unfortunately short catalogue. Past offerings from the International Submarine Band are probably easier for the more country orientated listener but Guilded Palace and Burrito Delux are the perfect country rock companion.
From the first track Christine's Tune through to Wild Horses the quality of this album is quite overwellming. Artists such as Teenage Fanclub, Beck, Evan Dando and the Maverics have covered songs like Older Guys, Hot Burrito and Lazy Days, and any stones fan will love the version of Wild Horses.
When you fall in love with songs such as Hot Burrito, Sin City and Do Right Woman do Risht Man and your hungry for more I'd suggest GP / Grevious Angel which is another brilliantly priced double LP.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on 13 March 2003
Two contrasting albums on one cd. Great value and some great music. The Gilded Palace is a country rock album with the slant being down on a rather bitter bayou. Parsons and Hillman are at their best with predominantly slow, reflective numbers. Deluxe takes us to rockabilly country - not as memorable but a fine disc from the end of 1969.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Gram Parsons is a bit of a cult figure and, to be honest, something of an acquired taste - but one I have and enjoy. Here, together on one CD, are both of the albums he collaborated on while he was with The Flying Burrito Brothers. There are no extras, no out-takes, just the original albums gloriously remastered. I already had these on vinyl and do make digital transfers, but priced as low as this CD buying this is quicker and easier - excellent!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 19 January 2013
This is an amazing double album. Gram Parsons vocals are brilliant as usual.This is an essential country/rock album . Even although it sounds more like traditional country than the country music of today.
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on 12 July 2015
As expected its just a CD version of an old vinyl from my past.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
TOP 100 REVIEWERon 21 February 2015
To my mind - and I do realise I'm in a minority among country-rock lovers - Gram Parsons is one of the most overrated singers of the past fifty years. A great songwriter but as a singer, though he had his moments, particularly on tortured ballads or in duet with Emmylou Harris, he consistently sang slightly flat, and too often on these admittedly classic tracks (well, some of them, anyway) sounds disengaged - which, by all accounts he was, at least by the time of the second of the two LPs presented on this useful disc.
There are still some essential tracks, mainly on the first record, The Gilded Palace of Sin. However, even here I think Gram & the Burritos' versions of the Penn/Oldham songs Do Right Woman and Dark End of the Street aren't a patch on other attempts by singers such as James Carr, Percy Sledge, Aretha, Etta James or Ry Cooder.
Hot Burrito #1 (aka I'm Your Toy) is a beautiful number, and Gram's voice does his own song justice, though it's a close thing: what others hear as a vulnerable, broken baritone I hear as a fallible, barely-in-tune vocal instrument missing a string or two. Sorry to Gram's devoted fans, but I really have tried. His two albums under his own name are much better and more cohesive, with Emmylou adding to the overall musicality.
There are to my mind better records from the period, for example by the Dillards, Poco, NRPS, and of course GP's onetime cohorts The Byrds. These tracks too often sound shoddy, with GP's haunted, lonesome voice over-indulged by both the band and the man himself. He was a great and influential talent, and a much missed one, but this Burrito compilation doesn't show him at his best.
You may not agree with me, and many won't, but know that I write 'more in sorrow than in anger'.
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on 5 March 2015
Country music at its finest.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 6 July 2014
This is a bargain twofer containing Gilded Palace Of Sin and Burrito Deluxe . There is not a dud track and you can safely give the remote to the dog while you listen . Chris Hillman is one of the unsung heroes of modern music and must have considerable diplomatic skills to have kept a band going over two albums while in partnership with the brilliant but erratically crazy Gram Parsons . Much has been made of the soul to country conversions of Do Right Woman and Dark End Of The Street but there is nothing strange in this - after all both were written by Muscle Shoals men and they are good ole boys . I suspect it was the soul singers who did the converting . Sin City is a great song and the more I listen , I feel it in my water that Gilded Palace is better than Sweethearts Of The Rodeo . Great stuff . Put on your stetson , crack open the Rebel Yell and enjoy . Yahear ?
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