The influence of Gram Parsons has never waned, even in the nearly three decades since his untimely death in 1973.
The influence of Gram Parsons has never waned, even in the nearly three decades since his untimely death in 1973. Forty-six of these reasons are compiled in this two-disc anthology, the first to encompass his entire career, from his groundbreaking work with the International Submarine Band and his membership in the Byrds and the Flying Burrito Brothers to his final solo recordings. The set includes classic originals that have been covered by everyone from Elvis Costello ("Hot Burrito #1") and Yo La Tengo ("How Much I've Lied") to Whiskeytown ("A Song for You") and the Cowboy Junkies ("Ooh Las Vegas"). That's not to mention Emmylou Harris, Parsons' star protégé and duet partner, who is well-represented on such late-career cuts as "Love Hurts," "Ooh Las Vegas," and "In My Hour of Darkness." Unissued tracks and alternative versions are also included. Altogether, the collection shows how Parsons did much to make it OK for rockers to like country music, paving the way for any number of more successful but lesser country/rock acts. Indeed, from the soulful evidence here, it's easy to hear why he has maintained his hold on succeeding generations of alt-country fans.—JB