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Gram Parsons - Reviews and recommendations

 

Gram ParsonsThe Byrds with Gram Parsons

Gram Parsons

Flying Burritto BrothersThe Gram Parsons Anthology

 
Gram Parsons - Reviews and recommendations - Gram Parsons discography
Gram Parsons solo ] Flying Burrito Brothers ] The Byrds W/ Gram Parsons ] International Submarine Band ] Gram Parsons Tributes and... ]
Gram Parsons - Reviews and recommendations - Gram Parsons discography

Gram Parsons  

Once you start listening to Gram Parsons you'll want it all. The chart below includes the top tier Gram Parsons releases. It is broken down by the bands he recorded with and then we make a recommendation of how to get the most comprehensive Parsons collection. We also provide an excellent alternative in our compromise column if you're on a budget, but we warn you, you'll likely feel you've been short changed. 

The chart is high level and listed by band Gram played in. It is ordered by our favorite releases, not chorological. We have album details, reviews, personnel, etc. in separate pages. 

The Annual Gram Parsons Guitar Pull festival

In February 2010, SIERRA RECORDS will be releasing a major project, that literally has been in the works for decades, the compact disc release of SIERRA’s 1979 “Gram Parsons-The Early Years”. But this will be no ordinary issue of that legendary, vinyl LP record album. This collectors edition with be a full BOX SET. Packaged in a 12”x12” full color box, this Collectors Edition will be limited to only 2000 sets produced. These discs will be NOT be sold separately.

Gram Parsons solo ] Flying Burrito Brothers ] The Byrds W/ Gram Parsons ] International Submarine Band ] Gram Parsons Tributes and... ]
Gram Parsons - Reviews and recommendations - Gram Parsons discography
If you take our top pick recommendations:
Gram Parsons - The Complete Reprise Sessions
Byrds - Sweetheart of the Rodeo - Legacy Edition
Flying Burrito Brothers - Farther Along: Best Of The Flying Burrito Brothers,
it includes most of The International Submarine Band's album Safe At Home and the GP / Flying Burrito Brothers release, Sleepless Nights. So while the boxes / deluxe editions cost a bit more initially, you'll eliminate the need to pick up some tier two Parsons material. 
Gram Parsons - Reviews and recommendations - Gram Parsons discography
Gram Parsons

Our favorite Gram Parsons material is his solo two albums. The two albums are packaged together, either on one disc as a two-fer or a three disc box set. They're both great. The box has better sonics, the three tracks from Sleepless Nights, some delightful alternate tracks, among its benefits. 
Complete Compromise Other
The Complete Reprise Sessions
Top Pick
G.P. and Grievous Angel Live 1973
Highly recommended
The Byrds
We have more Sweetheart of the Rodeo information in the details section. In short, on disc 1 the Deluxe Edition disc one adds to the original album the three "Parsons" songs that had the "McGuinn" vocal replacements, as well as four bonus tracks. For maximum enjoyment one needs to reorder the songs and replace the McGuinn vocal tracks with the Parsons versions, highly recommended. It sounds sooooo much better this way. Disc two has six International Submarine tracks and some very enjoyable bonus tracks. They are mostly rehearsals type and Parsons sings most of them. 

I added an option of a box-set. The Byrds have two, There Is A Season (2006) and The Byrds [BOX SET] (1990).  The one from 1990 has the Parsons material spread out over two discs, which is not how the album is meant to be played. The box sets are quite good. Though, our recommendations for The Byrds is:
Sweetheart - covering Parsons.
For Clarence White era, check out our Clarence White page. For the early, pre-Parsons material, I'm not the biggest fan, so I'd be satisfied with a compilation. 

Sweetheart of the Rodeo - Legacy Edition
Top Pick
Sweetheart of the Rodeo Box-set
The Flying Burrito Brothers

The are numerous Flying Burrito Brothers compilations. Most combine their first two releases when Gram Parsons in the band. The two-disc release Farther Along: Best Of The Flying Burrito Brothers is worth pursuing if you can spend a few more bucks. The second disc includes seven tracks with Parsons, many of which appeared on Sleepless Nights, as well as the Flying Burrito Brothers third album and a few post Parsons bonus tracks. 

Don't overlook the live archive, Gram Parsons Archive, Vol. 1: Live at the Avalon Ballroom 1969. It has two of their concerts when the opened up for the Grateful Dead at the Avalon Ballroom on April 4 and 6, 1969. Gram Parson's cover of George Jones' "She Once Lived Here" is stunning, you get two versions. Also key is two more great cover songs "You Win Again," and "Long Black Limousine." The sound is acceptable, it's good, but not bouncing with fidelity. 

Farther Along: Best Of The Flying Burrito Brothers
Top Pick
The Definitive Collection Gram Parsons Archive, Vol. 1: Live at the Avalon Ballroom 1969
Highly recommended
The International Submarine Band

The International Submarine Band is my least favorite of Gram Parsons bands. In addition to the  Safe at Home album much of this material is available on various deluxe edition / Anthology releases. Six tracks, not the same ones, are found on  Sweetheart of the Rodeo - Deluxe Edition and Sacred Hearts and Fallen Angels: The Gram Parsons Anthology

The best way to own the Byrds with Parsons is the Sweetheart Heart of the Rodeo Deluxe Edition, so this is our top recommendation to get the International Submarine material. 

Safe At Home Sweetheart of the Rodeo - Deluxe Edition Sacred Hearts and Fallen Angels: The Gram Parsons Anthology
Gram Parsons - Reviews and recommendations
Gram Parsons links

GramParsons.com - Photos, discrography, lyrics, and more.

Byrd Watcher - Nice website, the Gram section

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Gram Parsons - Reviews and recommendations

 

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