Home Site

Flying Burrito Brothers

  • The Gilded Palace Of Sin,
  • Burrito Deluxe,

  • Album Reviews |

    Flying Burrito Brothers

    gilded palace of sin burrito deluxe

    The Gilded Palace Of Sin( 1969 )
    Christines Tune / Sin City / Do Right Woman / Dark End Of The Street / My Uncle / Wheels / Juanita / Hot Burrito No 1 / Hot Burrito No 2 / Do You Know How It Feels / Hippie Boy

    Chris Hillman joined his former Byrds mate Gram Parsons following a disatrous Byrds tour of South Africa. Gram quit before the tour, Chris shortly after. The idea for Flying Burrito Brothers had been flying about Gram Parsons mind for quite some time, even before he joined The Byrds for their 'Sweetheart At The Rodeo' record. Gram expressed disapointment following that albums release that it sounded too much like The Byrds and also expressed some anger that many of his lead vocals had been wiped and replaced by Roger McGuinn vocals. This was the album that would have put everything right had it managed to sell even respectably. The lack of chart sucess this album enjoyed would result in Gram leaving the Flying Burrito Brothers very early into the recording of their second set. So, Country Rock! This is the record that is generally regarded as kick starting that whole genre. We open with 'Christines Tune' a Parsons/Hillman co-write and the song most fans of The Byrds will feel at home listening to. It doesn't sound a lot like The Byrds but it is more rock than country. 'Sin City' was a lyrical response and dig at The Byrds manager around the time of 'Sweetheart At The Rodeo'. Mismanaged financial affairs produced a great lyric and the music is pure country with pedal steel and sweetly strummed guitars.

    One of the most impressive features of this record is the groups chosen cover versions. Mostly soul songs. 'Do Right Woman' and 'Dark End Of The Street' both benefit from Gram Parsons wonderful vocals, the music is country at heart but providing a whole lot of soul - especially when mixed with the vocals. Both, wonderful wonderful moments. Haunting and the sort of music able to send a chill right up and down your spine. Following those two rather serious moments, 'Wheels' and 'My Uncle' are infused with bluegrass and are simply enjoyable fun. They add variety to the record which at this half way point is rather starting to border on a classic.

    The second half of the album is dominated by the sheer quality of the two 'Hot Burrito' songs. 'Juanita' and 'Hippie Boy' aren't exactly lack-lustre but they lack the magic of the finest moments from the first half. 'Do You Know How It Feels' opens with nice piano, Gram produces another quality vocal and the music has country pure in its heart. 'Hot Burrito No 1' is something else altogether. Following from the soul covers in a sense but this time original compositions. The vocals are simply stunning. Gram was arguably at the top of his game vocally at this point in time. 'Hot Burrito No 1' is desolate in feel musically seemingly covering some of the same ground as songs such as 'A Whiter Shade Of Pale'. The vocals turn it into something else altogether. A wonderful, brilliant song. 'Hot Burrito No 2' is more uptempo than the first song but no less wonderful for it. Again, great vocals, and the music! All the musical tracks on the record as a whole are impeccably performed, actually.

    Add A Comment?

    Readers Comments

    Jack O\'Diamonds simon.champion@btinternet.com
    Re- "The lack of chart sucess this album enjoyed would result in Gram leaving the Flying Burrito Brothers very early into the recording of their second set.second set.".... maybe.... but GP left because he was kicked out in truth! He had been regularly hanging out with Keith Richards rather than with the Burritos to the detriment of the latter. Chris Hillman and the boys had to gig to pay the rent but GP didn't need the loot. So yes he may have been disappointed by album sales but in reality he was kicked out! NB Love your reviews of Fairport albums as well. Great stuff!!

    John john.j.doyle@nuim.ie
    Regularly overlooked in the "Best Debut Album" stakes. Gram's definition of "Cosmic American Music" starts to take shape on this masterpiece. It's not just Parsons of course, Chris Hillman is on the highest of astral plains in a musical sense, and it rubs off on "Gilded Place Of Sin". Not quite flawless, but the charms of "Hippie Boy" and the double heartbreaker/soul revival duo of "Hot Burrito#1/Hot Burrito#2" are spectacular musical achievements. 10/10.

    chris chrisfret2004@yahoo.co.uk
    I always rated Gram's work here as better than his solo offerings, but thats probably a personnal thing. Still,I'd rate Sin City and Dark End Of The Street as two of my very favourite songs of all time!His voice is simply heartbreaking and the arrangements and songwriting beyond reproach.9/10

    gazza garyhess44@hotmail.com
    This is everything people say "sweetheart of the rodaeo" is and isnt . Hot burrito is one of the saddest sweetest things ive ever heard and grams is One of the best vocal performances of the era on this album , i also love their version of the stones "wild horses" awesome 10/10

    top of page
    Burrito Deluxe 7 ( 1970 )
    Lazy Days / Image of Me / High Fashion Queen / If You Gotta Go, Go Now / Man in the Fog / Farther Along / Older Guys / Cody, Cody / God's Own Singer / Down in the Churchyard / Wild Horses

    Gram Parsons contributes 'Lazy Days', a song rescued from The Byrds and co-writes five others. A Dylan cover inevitably features alongside The Rolling Stones 'Wild Horses' a full year before they would record their own version. As 1969 flowed into 1970 Chris Ethridge left the group, so Hillman moved over to bass with Bernie Leadon joining on guitar. Gram Parsons seemed bored with the Burrito Brothers and spent his time with the Rolling Stones, taking drugs and generally showing a disinterest in the sessions that resulted in Burrito Deluxe. This left Chris Hillman to pick up the pieces. He hired original Byrds producer Jim Dickson to produce the album. The band had little material so the songs were gathered together with Bernie Leadon co-writing material with Gram and Chris, alongside tradditional material. There is little here that reaches the heights of the bands debut and Sneeky Pete on pedal steel seems somewhat wasted. The end result is a Chris Hillman solo record, albeit with 'star studded' collaborations with his mates. This wasn't the intention of Chris Hillman, but someone had to put the record together, A&M Records had already lost a fortune on the band and would soon lost interest in them completely. Tellingly, Gram saves his own best performance for 'Wild Horses', the song given to him by 'his mates', The Rolling Stones. Strong material also arrives in the shape of 'God's Own Singer', a quality country composition surrounded by a lot of Burrito Brothers takes on rock'n'roll.

    'Lazy Days' chugs along fairly enjoyably, but surely doesn't rank alongside 'Christines Tune' from the previous LP? 'High Fashion Queen' mixes country and rock'n'roll, harmony vocals and comes across somewhat slight. Better is the fun honky-tonk of 'Man In The Fog', which at least sounds genuine. I don't know, it's a difficult album to review, because ultimately a lot of the material sounds good enough but doesn't withstand repeated listening. There isn't enough depth in the songwriting. Even the Dylan cover is tossed off, a sub-two minute run through that sounds like warm-up material. Disappointing. Get this for 'Wild Horses', get this for strong performances for Bernie Leadon and Chris Hillman. Don't get this expecting to hear Gram Parsons finest moments. If you approach the album that way, with suitably lowered expectations, you'll surely enjoy the record.

    Add A Comment?

    top of page
    this page last updated 14/07/07

    Full Archive - Sort by Decade - Sort by Genre

    Album Reviews | A-Z Artists | Beginners Guides | Twitter | Blogs We Like |
    Channel Youtube | Contact Us | Find New Music | Features | Music & Web Apps | Ratings At A Glance
    Singles Bar | Top 100 Albums | Top 100 Songs |

    Creative Commons License
    This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.

    Made In Devon.