Customer Review

44 of 48 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars What A Classic, January 5, 2000
This review is from: The Gilded Palace of Sin (Audio CD)
Lots of people pay lip service these days to Gram Parsons. He was the father of all the middle-class folkies who believe that playing "country" music will get them closer to their "roots," whatever they might be. I have nothing against Gram's progeny, but the sad fact is that I can't think of any who are as good as he was. Gram Parsons was a rich kid with a typical Southern musical upbringing: country music and soul. He was just about the first person who loved country music for what it truly was while at the same time intellectualizing it--no small feat. So while some people might complain about the built-in catch in his voice, or the indifferent production values found on "The Gilded Palace Of Sin," I just say that this 1969 album, completely neglected on its release and still pretty much unknown to the majority of America's benighted music fans (try to find a record store that carries the CD), is quite possibly the only country-rock album one need own--beside Parsons' two solo albums, conveniently collected on one CD. As a songwriter Gram Parsons had no peer; he was colloquial, exact, suggestive, and supremely indifferent to the formulas that Nashville hacks have been exploiting these many years since Parsons' untimely death. As with all masterpieces, the success of "Gilded Palace" lies in its perfection of tone--a little stoned, kind of grim, and pretty light on its feet. Maybe Rodney Crowell in his early days matches Gram's work; Dwight Yoakam is a colder, more calculated and nasty version of Parsons, and Gram dated women just as gorgeous as Sharon Stone. There's way too much talk in this musical era about "seminal" artists and whom they influenced, as if the original works of art are just starting points. But I would claim that country music, or whatever you wish to call it nowadays, has never advanced past what Parsons did on three albums made three decades ago.
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Showing 1-3 of 3 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Jun 29, 2009 4:59:33 PM PDT
I love GP too, but this album is as much Chris Hillman's effort as Parsons'.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 3, 2009 3:41:28 AM PST
Of the 3 Hillman-Parsons albums, this one is clearly dominated by Parsons. It has the most Parsons-written tunes (some of which are co-written by Hillman, but some with Chris Etheridge), and it's the only one with R & B covers, which were a passion of Hillman's.

Burrito Deluxe had a lot less Parsons on it, and it suffered. Sweetheart of the Rodeo had less Parsons too, but it's still a classic, perhaps because Roger McGuinn was a better leader than Chris Hillman. Hillman doesn't seem to be able to do much without McGuinn or Parsons.

Posted on May 16, 2014 7:31:37 AM PDT
Great review.
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