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The Very Best of Emmylou Harris: Heartaches and Highways

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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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Product Details

  • Audio CD (July 19, 2005)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Rhino
  • ASIN: B0009NR7YU
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (118 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,322 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Love Hurts
2. Boulder To Birmingham
3. Making Believe
4. Pancho & Lefty
5. One Of These Days
6. (Lost His Love) On Our Last Date (Live)
7. Born To Run
8. Beneath Still Waters
9. If I Could Only Win Your Love
10. Together Again
11. That Lovin' You Feelin' Again
12. To Know Him Is To Love Him -- with Dolly Parton & Linda Ronstadt
13. Two More Bottles Of Wine
14. Wayfaring Stranger
15. Calling My Children Home
16. Green Pastures
17. Orphan Girl
18. Michaelangelo
19. Here I Am
20. The Connection

Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Masterful at rock, country, folk, bluegrass, and more, Emmylou Harris is one of the most distinctive and visionary voices in contemporary music. The artist's lucid, achingly gorgeous vocals and a string of celebrated albums-many featuring her acclaimed Hot Band-have earned Harris eleven Grammys and made this alt-country/roots-rock innovator a legend in her own time. Warner. 2005.

Less than two years after the death of her mentor, Gram Parsons, Emmylou Harris recorded her first album for Reprise. Pieces of the Sky inaugurated a suite of four mid-'70s albums and a surprising number of hits: her sound was clearly traditional, but also tastefully up-to-date with folk-rock and singer/songwriter styles, and her crystalline, febrile vocals took standards such as "Love Hurts" and "If I Could Only Win Your Love" back up the charts. This compilation brings together her biggest hits, and shows why Harris is important and why she continues to make adventurous country music. Through unfailingly tasteful song selection, brilliant occasional songwriting, and her cool, velvety soprano, Harris extended Gram Parsons's vision of "cosmic American music" and made it her own. --Roy Kasten

Customer Reviews

If you are an Emmylou fan you will love this vintage collection.
Madeline C. Anderson
Therefore; it's a must,to follow the words a few times when listening to her sing,especially when hearing her sing a song for the first time.
J. Guild
Emmylou Harris, we all love you and your voice, and your music... Heavenly Heartaches & Highways...
David Marks

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

97 of 98 people found the following review helpful By Allen Chapman VINE VOICE on July 24, 2005
Format: Audio CD
This is a great collection, although there are many "hits" or other type of collections out there for Emmylou, this is the first one that pulls at least one track from just about every one of her solo albums starting with her duet with Gram Parsons up thru her most recent album from 2003. She is also the one who picked the songs for this set. You do get the hits, but you also get songs that Emmylou says are just ones she likes. If you're new to the music of Emmylou Harris this album is a great place to start. You will probably find that you'll want to get all of her other albums as well. As great as these songs and this album is this is only the tip of the iceberg. Nonetheless, this is a great collection.
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108 of 115 people found the following review helpful By Michael Kear VINE VOICE on August 3, 2005
Format: Audio CD
C. S. Lewis tells the story in his book "The Great Divorce" of a man who, as a ghost, takes a bus ride through both hell and heaven. One of things he discovers on his trip is that if your final destination is hell you will find that this present world was only a part of hell. However if your final destination was heaven, you will discover that this present world was a part of heaven the whole time.

I know that my destination is heaven. How do I know this? Two words: Emmylou Harris.

There are angels who sing to us in this present world - which is only a suburb of heaven. Linda Ronstadt, Charlotte Church, Loreena McKennitt, Natalie Merchant, and Emmylou Harris make up my angel band.

From beginning to end this album is great! There's not one song on it that won't have you singing along. From the truly haunting "Love Hurts" duet with Gram Parsons to the country tune "Making Believe" to Townes Van Zandt's classic "Pancho and Lefty," this album is aptly subtitled: "The Very Best of Emmylou Harris."

In the midst of the "Urban Cowboy" 1980s Emmylou Harris made bluegrass cool. Her "Roses in the Snow" album has been one of my personal "top five favorite albums of all time" for a quarter century. "Wayfaring Stranger" is perhaps my favorite cut from that album, and is included here as well, featuring the talent of Ricky Scaggs.

"Born to Run" will have you tapping your foot (if not just outright dancing!) There's a duet with Roy Orbison and a trio with Linda Ronstadt and Dolly Parton. "Orphan Girl," "Beneath Still Waters," and "Michelangelo" are quite memorable ballads.

Emmylou has always been on the edge. Making great, heartfelt music with meaning, even when the trends were going in other directions. This album is worth every penny you spend on it.

Dr. Mike Kear
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29 of 29 people found the following review helpful By Peter Uys HALL OF FAME on October 8, 2005
Format: Audio CD
With her voluminous output, any Emmylou Harris compilation must of necessity be incomplete. There is rarely a dud on any of her many albums so the selection process can never be an easy one.

This album opens with her famous duet with the legendary Gram Parsons and is followed by her own composition and tribute to him, Boulder To Birmingham, a song with beautiful imagery. Then comes the lovely ballad Making Believe which was only of her early great hits.

Hits or not, every track is a gem, like Pancho And Lefty, Beneath Still Waters and the uptempo If I Could Only Win Your Love. Another great duet is the one with Roy Orbison, while To Know Him Is To Love Him is drawn from one of her collaborations with Dolly Parton and Linda Ronstadt.

Her lovely gospel style is represented here by Green Pastures, Orphan Girl and the achingly beautiful Calling My Children Home. The change of direction away from country into atmospheric rock took place in the 1990s with the album Wrecking Ball whence Orphan Girl and subsequently the breathtaking Michelangelo from Red Dirt Girl and Here I Am from Stumble Into Grace.

My personal favourites on an album of masterpieces include Beneath Still Waters, Together Again, Boulder To Birmingham and the aforementioned three songs from her post country period.
Emmylou Harris breathed new life into country from the mid 1970s and has since gone from strength to strength artistically. Hers is the most authentic, heartfelt female voice of the last three decades.

Heartaches and Highways is a superb introduction to this consummate artist that has contributed so much and I highly recommend it to the novice. Her devoted fans will have most of the original albums anyway.
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23 of 23 people found the following review helpful By Thomas D. Ryan on September 16, 2005
Format: Audio CD
No matter who you are or what your musical inclination may be, you simply have to respect Emmylou Harris. She has been a fixture of American music for more than three decades, and her body of work has become a virtual cornerstone of everything that is "American". More than a dozen solo albums, plus numerous side projects and collaborations leave a body of work that is just too huge to compile on one CD. A true overview would require much more than one disk, but if you are looking for a concise collection that captures the spirit and essence of her life's work, then this is it. "Heartaches and Highways" stretches the full length of Harris' career, from her days of singing harmony with Gram Parsons ("Love Hurts") to a new recording featured exclusively on this disk ("The Connection").

As it should be, the emphasis here is on Emmylou Harris' singing, but the caliber of her backing musicians over the years is second to none. Her choice of material has been equally outstanding, featuring legendary writers such as Townes Van Zandt ("Pancho and Lefty"), Delbert McClinton ("Two More Bottles of Wine"), and Gillian Welch ("Orphan Girl"), not to mention a few classics from her own pen ("Boulder to Birmingham", "Michelangelo"). A few more uptempo songs would have been a welcome addition, but I can understand their absence, since virtually everything included here is indispensable. Spanning over thirty years, it is interesting to hear as she progresses from the crystalline tone and perfect sense of harmony of her early recordings toward the textural and emotive resonance of her latest work. "Heartaches and Highways" might only scratch the surface, but it is enough to prove that Emmylou Harris is a national treasure.

A- Tom Ryan
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