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Gliding Bird

Emmy Lou Harris Vinyl
3.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)


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Product Details

  • Vinyl
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Emus
  • ASIN: B000P8RN52
  • Average Customer Review: 3.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #211,287 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Editorial Reviews

The conventional wisdom is that Harris was strictly a folksinger at the time she recorded the Gliding Bird album, having not yet been mentored by Gram Parsons in the ways of country music. But certain tracks on the album (especially the cover songs) do have an old-fashioned country flavor, which possibly was the reason that Parsons took an interest in her as a musical collaborator. The songs that Harris wrote (as well as the title track, which was written by her then-husband Tom Slocum) tend to follow a more straightforward folk direction. At this time, Harris had not yet fully developed her gifts for eloquent phrasing. But the natural loveliness of her voice distinguishes the material. Harris' five self-written compositions are not great examples of songwriting, but the closing track "Waltz Of The Magic Man" is a likably whimsical fairy tale, and her singing effectively sweeps the listener into the song's child-like fantasy world. The album's four cover songs could have been better chosen; Fred Neil's "Everybody's Talkin'" was a hit for Harry Nilsson around the time of this album's release, and Harris' rendition of it here suffers in comparison to Nilsson's better-known version. But, intentionally or not, Harris gives Bob Dylan's "I'll Be Your Baby Tonight" and Hank Williams' "I Saw The Light" a noticeable country feel, anticipating her future as a country star and as a celebrated interpretive singer.

Customer Reviews

3.2 out of 5 stars
(4)
3.2 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Format:Vinyl
The original Lp was on Jubilee 8031, has a gorgeous, just beautiful full color cheesecake photo cover on front and back, on "dimpled" heavy paperstock. The Emus retread is the original recordings and worthwhile for any Emmylou fan, provided you get the Emus junker/bootleg for, well, cheap. If you're an Emmylou fan, the recordings will come off as fairly crude or unfinished, uncomfortable. This album was really loaded into the budget/cutout bins about 1979-80. Think of this as one of those reissue albums on Pickwick--same kind of quality pressing.

Update: U.S. Federal Appeals court, 5/31/84, Judge A. Wallace Tashima, awarded Emmylou Harris a judgement against the reissue on Emus (Roulette Records), $34,000 in attorney fees and $60,000 for copyright infringement.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Interesting... but awful October 15, 2011
Format:Vinyl
I found this LP in a cut-out bin at the local record store about 20 years ago, and since I was a fan of Emmylou's music, I bought it. Her singing wasn't very good at this point (very pitchy) and it is sort of amateurish. I later read a news article that she had sued the company or person who owned the rights to this record to prevent it from being re-released after she had success with her first several albums. It's more of a novelty in my opinion. Not a good performance.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Worth checking out, though still out of print October 23, 2011
Format:Vinyl
--------------------------------------------
Emmylou Harris
"Songbird"
(1969)
--------------------------------------------
This is indeed the very first Emmylou Harris album, recorded in 1969 when she was hanging out in the bustling Washington, DC folk scene. It's a few years before she hooked up with Gram Parsons, and has more of a coffeehouse folkie feel than her later country-trad classics... Many fans might find this underwhelming - the style is different and Emmylou lacks her later confidence and creative vision, but it is an interesting artifact of her early days, and is particularly noteworthy for the number of songs she wrote herself. Features five songs(!) written by Emmylou, including the title track, which was written by her then-husband, Tom Slocum, and a few cover tunes, including Fred Neil's "Everybody's Talkin' At Me," Bob Dylan's "I'll Be Your Baby Tonight" and an okay version of Hank Williams' "I Saw The Light." Worth checking out, though don't get your hopes up too high: word has it Emmylou more or less disavows this album, though it's still neat to hear what she was up to a few years before she really stepped into the spotlight. (DJ Joe Sixpack, Slipcue Guide To Country Music)
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Format:Vinyl
This album from Emmylou Harris iss an interesting intro to how she started her solo career. It does have some more modern songs on it than most of her albums, but I think she does justice to everything on this album. I have the LP version, so the stereo isn't that good, but that's the facts of the recording industry (technology). I gave it a 4-star rating because I feel she didn't have the the right music to pick from and she hadn't quite developed her signature vocal range. Given everything else, it isn't that bad an album. I only wish they hadn't try to infuse the more modern stuff into this album because I don't think that's Emmylou's style, she is definitely more comfortable doing the country-western theme and her other albums show that. As a footnote: I now own most of her albums and will be trying to get the others in a short time. She definitely has one of the sweeter voices in the recording industry, and she also has some exceptional writers, bands and other celebrities helping her on her albums.
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