THE BARGAIN BUY: Emmylou Harris, The Original Album Series (Rhino)

 |   |  1 min read

Emmylou Harris: Before Believing
THE BARGAIN BUY: Emmylou Harris, The Original Album Series (Rhino)

With a new Emmylou Harris album about to be released -- does an Emmylou album "drop"? -- it is timely to look briefly at this five CD set of her early solo albums.

It skips past her work with Gram Parsons of course, and also her debut solo album Gliding Bird of '70 on the small Jubilee label but picks up her five Reprise albums from '75: Pieces of the Sky, Elite Hotel, Luxury Liner, Quarter Moon in a Ten Cent Town and Blue Kentucky Girl, all of which she released in a little over four years.

Harris was quite the star and this was where she made her name after Parsons' death in '73. The best country players were lining up on her albums: a partial list of big names on these include mandolin player Byron Berline, pianists Glen D Hardin and Bill Payne (Little Feat), Ben Keith on pedal steel (a longtime Neil Young offsider), fiddle player Ricky Skaggs, guitarist Bernie Leadon (the Eagles etc), James Burton (the Elvis' Presley and Costello, harmonica player Mickey Raphael (Willie Nelson et al). . .

And these people were with her on album after album, with guests like Dolly Parton, Rodney Crowell, Nicolette Larson . . .

If you judge someone by the company they keep, right?

Of course she sings like an angel and was picking strong material. Her signature songs Bolder to Birmingham, Queen of the Silver Dollar, Sweet Dreams and others are here alongside astute Beatles covers (For No One, Here There and Everywhere), songs by Parsons (Hickory Wind, Sin City), Parton (Coat of Many Colours, To Daddy), Townes van Zandt (Poncho and Lefty), a number by Crowell and numerous country classics from the pens of Hank Williams, Billy Sherrill, and the Louvin Brothers. And Utah Phillips' Green Rolling Hills.JB_HZ_CHEAP_long

These are the essential early Harris albums and in the Eighties her path was somewhat more haphazard, but these should be in any sensible collection of country/Americana . . . and at just $20 from JB Hi-Fi stores here that puts them in reach of everyone.

And another Bargain Buy.

Share It

Your Comments

Tami - Jun 11, 2011

I picked this up a few months back while on tour and those 5 albums got a thrashing. I love the original artwork on each sleeve, like each CD is a little mini-album. A fantastic buy!

post a comment

More from this section   The Bargain Buy articles index

THE BARGAIN BUY: The Young Rascals; Original Album Series

THE BARGAIN BUY: The Young Rascals; Original Album Series

If New Jersey's Young Rascals had done nothing more than release their exceptional Good Lovin' -- one of the most urgent, addictive and thrilling singles of 1966 -- they would still be imprinted in... > Read more

THE BARGAIN BUY: The Paul Butterfield Blues Band; Original Album Series

THE BARGAIN BUY: The Paul Butterfield Blues Band; Original Album Series

Although much ink and passion has been spilled over English white boys playing the blues in the Sixties (from senior statesman John Mayall through Eric Clapton, Peter Green, Jeff Beck, Mick Taylor... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

ABBA; THE VISITORS, REVISITED (2012): Farewell to all that

ABBA; THE VISITORS, REVISITED (2012): Farewell to all that

Abba were never my band. Too handclap-pop without the power-pop element, too clean and expressionless. Yes, I got the pathos in some lyrics, loved the irony (or irony-free) covers which... > Read more

Vanessa Daou: Zipless (1994)

Vanessa Daou: Zipless (1994)

There is sexy music and there is sex music. And there can be quite a difference between the two in execution. Prince made a lot of sex music but slightly less sexy music; Donna Summer and... > Read more