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Gram Parsons: The Complete Reprise Sessions (Rhino)

Though only 26 when he died, Gram Parsons had as much influence on contemporary music as morphine and alcohol had on his demise. His infusing traditional country music into the rock & roll of his era inspired a slew of artists from the Eagles to Uncle Tupelo and can still be heard today from upstarts who may not even know who he is. While the legacy of his influence looms large, his body of work consists of just a few LP’s. Great stuff no doubt, but it would have been nice to see where this trailblazer was headed next.

The release of Rhino’s Gram Parsons: The Complete Reprise Sessions offers another glimpse into this innovator. The first two discs of the three CD set contain re-mastered versions of Parsons’ two classic solo albums, GP and Grievous Angel, with rare interviews and bonus tracks featuring Parsons and Emmylou Harris performing “Love Hurts” and “Sin City” live at WBCN in Boston. On the re-mastered Grievous Angel (disc 2) there is a very cool, previously unissued instrumental version of “Return of the Grievous Angel” that sounds like it should be the exit music for a Sergio Leone Western, and Al Perkins pedal steel is so sweet.

The prize in the box may be the final disc containing 15 stripped down versions of classic Gram and his band. ‘Still Feeling Blue’, ‘Ooh Las Vegas’ and ‘Hickory Wind’ among others are a revelation in their unencumbered states.

The CD box set consists of three “mini albums” and a 52 page booklet that includes lyrics, photos, an introduction by Emmylou Harris, and liner notes by Holly George-Warren and Parke Pauterbaugh.




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