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Emmylou Harris Anthology: The Warner / Reprise Years

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Customer Reviews

The songs that made a very beautiful and powerful American icon

Dig this. St Francis of Assisi is credited with having saved the Catholic Church of the Middle Ages from the Reformation. He made the tired old Roman Catholic message relatable to people again. Emmylou Harris kind of did the same thing with country and western music where the Catholic Church was country western music and the Reformation was the advent of rock and roll and the pop culture it generated. You don't have to agree with me on that but you will have to agree that she has had an enormous influence on the genre and on the American psyche. Imagine the women starring in many of the highly produced C&W acts of the sixties and early seventies with the big wigs and fancy outfits and along comes this beautiful young singer. Her hair is the normal hippy child hair, long and separated in the middle and she wears comfortable, elegant clothing. She has a beautiful soprano voice with expression that catches you off guard in any number of styles of songs. She has a drummer and electric instruments that have a rock sort of feel to them. She sings songs that are poignant and meaningful in a Dylan sense or rough and tumble in a Rolling Stones sense. She is the band leader (in a country and western band...a woman?). She is also someone who survived a very early tragedy in her life and survived it in a way that it made her life and her work that much more meaningful and rich. If you name any of the country stars in the past twenty years, you will likely name people who owe some of their success to Emmylou Harris. She took a staid old art form that was stuck in an almost religious rut and brought it out into the air so that the audience for Nashville grew exponentially. This is the individual I am writing about here. I believe the Warner/Reprise years are 1975-1992. When you listen to this anthology, you will get a clear sense of the power and beauty of Ms Harris' voice. Songs like "Making Believe" or "Together Again". "Mister Sandman" can showcase you her voice in harmonies and why a lot of performers want her backup vocals today. You will hear that the songs she chooses to sing are not the simple cutesy country songs that give it such a bad name. Instead, her voice clearly articulates an individual's very really experience. Not projected as he or she should experience it she conveys how they do experience it, with all of the complications that that involves. Songs like "Two More Bottles of Wine" or "Tennessee Rose" can offer different levels of meaning that broaden the sense you get of another person's life. Hence this collection will give much of the music that made Emmylou Harris a star in the years listed above. Some of it is a bit too much in the old country form where non C&W devotees might feel their eyes glaze over. The collection does not include Emmylou and the Hot Band's version of "Pancho and Lefty". Some of the songs that were included over that one do not make sense. But these are many of the songs that made a very beautiful and powerful American icon into the historical presence that she is today. You will get a lot of great music from a great performer on this album.

Biography

Born: April 02, 1947 in Birmingham, AL

Genre: Country

Years Active: '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

Though other performers sold more records and earned greater fame, few had as profound an impact on contemporary music as Emmylou Harris. Blessed with a crystalline voice, a remarkable gift for phrasing, and a restless creative spirit, she traveled a singular artistic path, proudly carrying the torch of "cosmic American music" passed down by her mentor, Gram Parsons. With the exception of only Neil Young — not surprisingly an occasional collaborator — no other mainstream star established...
Full bio