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Audio CD, July 17, 1990
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Already celebrated as a discoverer and interpreter of other artists’ songs, 12-time Grammy Award–winner Emmylou Harris has, in the last decade, become admired as much for her eloquently straightforward songwriting as for her incomparably expressive singing. On Hard Bargain, her third Nonesuch disc, she offers 11 original songs—three of them co-written with Grammy– and ... Read more in Amazon's Emmylou Harris Store

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Duets + The Very Best of Emmylou Harris: Heartaches and Highways + Trio
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (July 17, 1990)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Reprise / Wea
  • ASIN: B000002LFQ
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (52 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #10,298 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. The Price I Pay
2. Love Hurts
3. That Lovin' You Feelin' Again
4. We Believe In Happy Endings
5. Thing About You
6. Star Of Bethlehem
7. All Fall Down
8. Wild Montana Skies
9. Green Pastures
10. Gulf Coast Highway
11. If I Needed You
12. Evangeline

Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Before raising her profile as a solo artist, Emmylou Harris established herself as the harmony queen of contemporary music, from her partnership with Gram Parsons through sessions with the likes of Bob Dylan. Duets showcases her ability to bring out the best in other singers, though its grab-bag selection doesn't necessarily showcase Harris at her best. Released to capitalize on the success of her initial Trio project with Dolly Parton and Linda Ronstadt, it compiles her collaborations with a variety of artists from the late Parsons (their riveting rendition of "Love Hurts") to Southern Pacific ("Thing About You," a Tom Petty obscurity) to George Jones ("All Fall Down," an album highlight) to Don Williams (their hit duet of Townes Van Zandt's "If I Needed You"). From the sublime (Roy Orbison, Willie Nelson) to the irrelevant (John Denver, Earl T. Conley), the collection is more of a marketplace filler than a cohesive artistic statement. --Don McLeese

Customer Reviews

This might be the best album she's ever made.
D. E. Houstle
DUETS is even more proof that Emmylou Harris is one of the most creative and important talents in American music.
Matt Coker
No Emmylou fan who enjoys hearing her sing country music should be without this album.
Peter Durward Harris

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

90 of 91 people found the following review helpful By Vincent E. Vizachero on December 15, 1999
Format: Audio CD
I consider this album to be one of the most enjoyable Emmylou Harris albums in my collection. Emmylou has a wonderful voice, and I think it works so wonderfully in duets that music fans would be short-changing themselves if they missed out on this masterpiece.
Comprised primarily (perhaps entirely) of previously released material, "Duets" is a tribute to Harris' vocal beauty and skills at interpretation (and her skill at picking singing partners). Each song is strong in its own right,and yet the album is something more than the sum of its parts. The brilliance of Harris' performances and the variety of her partners is truly impressive.
What sets this CD apart from many of Emmylou Harris' solo efforts is that this is a collection of uniformly well-written songs performed by Harris in her vocal prime. With the exception of "Wrecking Ball," none of her solo albums resonate with me as deeply as this one. From the familiar classic cuts ("Love Hurts" and "That Lovin' You Feelin' Again") to the surprises (a great(? ) rousing John Denver song and a definitive version of Townes Van Zandt's "If I Needed You" with Don Williams), Emmylou shines brightly and consistently throughout this album. And here peformance with Willie Nelson on "Gulf Coast Highway" is truly fabulous.
The review notwithstanding, I think this is a fine introduction to Emmylou Harris (it certainly was for me). If you appreciate brilliant vocal harmonies, you'll appreciate this one.
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74 of 75 people found the following review helpful By Matt Coker on September 1, 2000
Format: Audio CD
Few singers, if any, have recorded as many duets as Emmylou Harris. With the most gorgeous voice in Country music, Emmylou Harris is possibly the BEST duet singer in the history of music. Warner Bros. pushed for the release of this album, primarily to capitalize on the success of TRIO (the masterpiece she recorded with Linda Ronstadt and Dolly Parton). Issued in 1990 by Reprise, DUETS is an remarkable collection of extraordinary music. These twelve duets are mainly her classics, recorded with an immpressive array of performers. Harris sounds great with Chris Hillman on the Desert Rose Band's "The Price I Pay". A marvelous uptempo opening track, with some terrific guitar playing. There has yet to be a more perfect sound than the blend on Emmylou Harris & Gram Parsons, especially on the definative version of "Love Hurts". This classic duet was first issued on Parsons' exceptional GRIEVOUS ANGEL album (GP/GRIEVOUS ANGEL is an essential CD). The third song on this collection is recorded by two of the greatest singers of all time, Roy Orbison and Emmylou Harris. "That Lovin' You Feelin' Again" from ROADIE, was a Grammy-winning classic. "We Believe In Happy Endings" is a gorgeous song, and a #1 hit, by Harris & Earl Thomas Conley. "Thing About You" with Southern Pacific, is excellent. Neil Young and Emmylou Harris have collaborated several times, but "Star Of Bethlehem" was one of the first, (so was Harris' Christmas single "Light Of The Stable"). "All Fall Down" is an exquisite duet with George Jones. "Wild Montana Skies" is a stunning song; written, produced, and performed by and with John Denver. "Green Pastures" has been recorded twice by Harris.Read more ›
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41 of 42 people found the following review helpful By Peter Uys HALL OF FAMETOP 1000 REVIEWER on February 12, 2005
Format: Audio CD
This interesting album of collaborations includes tracks that are available elsewhere. By no means amongst Emmylou's best albums, Duets nevertheless contains some real gems and provides a pleasant listening experience.

The uptempo track The Price I Pay sees Harris accompanied by the Desert Rose band, and is followed by the old classic with Gram Parsons, the timeless Love Hurts. Roy Orbison provides the male vocal on That Lovin' You Feelin' Again, a mellow middle of the road number, more pop than country, that works surprisingly well.

We Believe In Happy Endings (with Earl Thomas Conley) is a traditional, slow country ballad, whilst Thing About You (with Southern Pacific) is quite catchy with a lilting beat. Star Of Bethlehem, with Neil Young, is short, sad and lovely, and All Fall Down, with George Jones, is another mournful ballad where Emmylou's voice really stands out in its phrasing and inflection.

Although John Denver's voice dominates Wild Montana Skies, it is one of my favourites here with its uplifting melody and soaring vocals. Next up is the breathtaking Green Pastures, a beautiful bluegrass-gospel number with Rickey Skaggs that I first heard on the album Roses In The Snow. This is definitely a highlight of the album. There is a riveting live version of this song on Emmylou's Spyboy album.

Gulf Coast Highway is a story song in the country tradition, very moving and very beautiful as Willie Nelson's voice blends perfectly with Emmylou's. If I Needed You is a gorgeous yearning love song where Don Williams provides the male vocal, and the album concludes with Evangeline, a brilliant collaboration with The Band.

Like all Emmylou's work, Duets is quality music. I wouldn't rate it up there with her best like Pieces Of The Sky, Roses In The Snow, Wrecking Ball, Red Dirt Girl or Cowgirl's Prayer, but the album is consistently enjoyable and every song is a classic.
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