18 April 2024
Entertainment Music

The Legend of Gram Parsons, in 12 Songs

Parsons was an enormous inspiration for Elvis Costello’s 1981 nation covers album, “Nearly Blue,” and on it Costello provided his personal renditions of two Parsons songs, together with this arresting tackle the Flying Burrito Brothers’ goofily titled traditional “Hot Burrito #1.” Costello, although, determined to alter the tune’s title to reference a memorable lyric within the chorus: “I’m your toy, I’m your outdated boy/However I don’t need nobody however you to like me.” (Listen on YouTube)

We’re speaking Los Angeles right here, not Vegas. Maybe the best instance of the briefly simpatico songwriting partnership of Parsons and the previous Byrd Chris Hillman, this twangy ballad captures the temper of late-60s Southern California burnout within the fiery spirit of the Louvin Brothers. (Listen on YouTube)

For higher and for worse, Parsons spent quite a lot of time within the late ’60s and early ’70s hanging out with the Rolling Stones, significantly Keith Richards (who admitted to Fong-Torres, “sure, possibly hanging across the Rolling Stones didn’t assist him in his perspective in direction of medicine”). Parsons taught Richards loads about American nation music, although, and many individuals declare his affect will be heard on “Exile on Most important St.” songs like “Candy Virginia” and “Torn and Frayed.” That trade is also reciprocal, although, like when Richards let the Flying Burrito Brothers report his band’s new tune “Wild Horses” earlier than the Stones did. (Listen on YouTube)

For “GP,” his 1973 debut solo album, Parsons recruited a lot of his hero Elvis Presley’s red-hot outdated backing band: the guitarist James Burton, pianist Glen D. Hardin and drummer Ronnie Tutt. They lend an air of expertise and polish to Parsons’s personal compositions, just like the vigorous nation throwback “Nonetheless Feeling Blue.” (Listen on YouTube)

Ostensibly — if considerably inscrutably — in regards to the auto pioneer E.L. Wire, “The New Gentle Shoe,” one other spotlight from “GP,” boasts one of many loveliest and most wistful melodies Parsons ever wrote. (Listen on YouTube)

At a tour cease in Boston, a younger poet named Tom Brown handed Parsons a sheet of vivid lyrics he’d written with Parsons in thoughts. They turned the premise of the laid-back, lived-in “The Return of the Grievous Angel” — destined to develop into considered one of Parsons’s signature songs. (Listen on YouTube)