10 ONE HUNDRED YEARS FROM NOW
Sweetheart Of The Rodeo, 1968
Truly, the promise of Cosmic American Music realised: the mood is country, the bottom end is pulsing rock, the harmonies are classic Byrds, and the lyrics hint at satisfyingly vague profundity. Parsons’ original lead vocal was removed by Roger McGuinn before Sweetheart was released, and only reinstated on the 1990 Byrds boxset.
The Gilded Palace Of Sin, 1969
Lazy roadhouse piano and campfire harmonies dominate on a Hillman-Parsons number that manages to be both an ode to the uncomplicated joys of the open road (“We’re not afraid to ride”) and a reaffirmation of Parsons’ religious faith. Notable for its easy slide into the mid section and a great fuzzbox guitar, like a truck steaming around the bend.
12 STILL FEELING BLUE
The opening song on GP pulls off that country trick of making heartache sound like the greatest thing in the world, driven by Byron Berline’s fiddle, Ronnie Tutt’s rattling brushwork and jaunty banjo. In her first recorded Gram outing, Emmylou Harris simply soars on her chorus parts.