Several weeks ago I completed a thirteen part retrospective of the major album releases in The Byrds catalogue. While Gram Parsons was with the group for only a short period of time, his contributions would help pave the way in the development of the fusion of rock and country music. At the time I made a mental note to visit some of his solo material in the near future and so here we are.
Gram Parsons left behind quite a legacy, having died at the young age of 26. He was a member of The International Submarine Band, The Byrds, The Flying Burrito Brothers, and performed as a solo artist. He traveled and partied with Mick Jagger and Keith Richards and was a drug addict, which would ultimately cost him his life. Through it all he created wonderful music that fit his gentle vocals.
The Complete Reprise Sessions gathers together the two studio albums that Parsons recorded for the Reprise label, each of which comes with a number of bonus tracks. A third disc is included which provides 18 rare and alternate versions of many of his songs. GP and Grievous Angel are a wonderful look into the mid and music of Gram Parsons shortly before his death in 1976.
Country star Emmylou Harris was a part of Parsons musical entourage at the time and she was the creative force behind this release plus also serves as its co-producer. The two albums come in separate packages with the original art work intact. The accompanying booklet contains many rare pictures plus a nice biography of Parsons and the music contained within. It is the clarity of the music that really stands out however. The tracks have been re-mastered so that every nuance of the music and vocals come together as they were originally intended.