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Another Side of This Life: The Lost Recordings of Gram Parsons 1965-1966

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Album Review

The 18 previously unreleased, solo acoustic performances on this collection were recorded between March 1965 and December 1966. These show Parsons not as a country singer, rock singer, or even folk-rock singer, but very much as a mid-'60s folkie, in the mold of so many artists to be heard in the Greenwich Village scene. There's no straight country music in his repertoire, comprised largely of covers of songs by then-contemporary writers such as Buffy Sainte-Marie ("Codine"), Tim Hardin, Tom Paxton, and Fred Neil, along with high-caliber compositions that would be popularized by rock groups (Billy Wheeler's "High Flyin' Bird" and Hamilton Camp's "Pride of Man"). There are also five Parsons originals, a few not available elsewhere, and others recorded at other points either by himself ("Brass Buttons" and "Zah's Blues") or different performers ("November Nights," placed on an obscure single by Peter Fonda). A bit of R&B pokes out in his covers of "Searchin'" and "Candy Man." This disc is definitely of historical interest, if only to demonstrate that Parsons' roots were certainly not country-soaked, but largely indebted to '60s folk as well. As music, it's very average (though certainly not bad) mid-'60s folk, of the kind you might hear by numerous coffeehouse support acts. He sings best on the jazzy "Zah's Blues," where he seems to reach further into himself than he does on most of the other material here.

Biography

Born: 05 November 1946 in Winter Haven, FL

Genre: Country

Years Active: '60s, '70s

Gram Parsons is the father of country-rock. With the International Submarine Band, the Byrds, and the Flying Burrito Brothers, the songwriter pioneered the concept of a rock band playing country music, and as a solo artist he moved even further into the country realm, blending the two genres to the point that they became indistinguishable from each other. While he was alive, Parsons was a cult figure that never sold many records but influenced countless fellow musicians, from the Rolling Stones to...
Full bio

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