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'I stood on the mountain, in the night and I watched it burn ...',
This review is from: Pieces Of The Sky (Audio CD)
This official debut album from 1975 is an impressively varied and emotionally stirring collection of quality songs that includes compositions by country legends like Merle Haggard, a Lennon/McCartney composition and a powerful Harris co-composition: her aching, poetic tribute to Gram Parsons titled Boulder to Birmingham. This reissue of Pieces of the Sky has been enhanced by the addition of two previously unreleased tracks.
Of the up-tempo numbers, If I Could Only Win Your Love, Bottle Let Me Down and Queen of the Silver Dollar are the most outstanding. Among the slow songs I love Too Far Gone, Sleepless Nights and the exquisite & tender Before Believing. Even her version of Dolly Parton's Coat of Many Colors, though firmly in the country tradition, sounds fresh. But perhaps the best track is Boulder to Birmingham with its striking imagery and melancholy tune. Emmylou's singing is spot-on, tasteful and sometimes understated, the arrangements are appealing while the virtuoso playing perfectly complements her spiritually resonant voice.
This is the recording of a genius just setting out on her creative path, one that would lead to bluegrass masterpieces like Roses in the Snow (1980), classic country albums like Blue Kentucky Girl (1980) & Cowgirl's Prayer (1993), famous collaborations like Western Wall (1999) & Trio and traditional devotional music in a folk vein on Angel Band (1987), as well as boundary shifting atmospheric rock classics such as Wrecking Ball, Red Dirt Girl & Stumble Into Grace. Pieces of the Sky shows that the mastery of songcraft and the authentic soulful approach were there from the beginning.