Gram Parsons – Grievous Angel

  • A KILLER copy of this country rock classic and the first to hit the site in over a year
  • Amazing Triple Plus (A+++) sound on side two backed with an excellent Double Plus (A++) side one
  • The sound here is incredibly rich, full and tubey magical with plenty of presence and none of the harshness that plagues most copies
  • “… one would be hard pressed to name an artist who made an album this strong only a few weeks before their death — or at any time of their life, for that matter.” – All Music

It’s tough to find clean early pressings of this album, let alone copies that have excellent sound and quiet surfaces on both sides. We just had our second big shootout for this album and found a lot to like about this pressing. The sound here is big, rich and open with excellent clarity and transparency. Gram’s voice sounds just right here, as does Emmylou Harris’s. Most copies have some grit and edge that really hurts the uptempo numbers, but this copy remains smooth and sweet enough to work throughout.

The music on this record is some of the finest Parsons ever laid to wax. There never was a true “solo” Gram Parsons record and Grievous Angel is full of wonderful collaborations, especially with Emmylou Harris, whose nuanced vocal performance perfectly compliments Parsons on nearly every song. Though “The Gilded Palace of Sin” and “Sweetheart of the Rodeo” may be Parsons’ most influential LPs, he never made another record quite as personal and effortlessly understated as Grievous Angel.

A Country Rock Classic

What the best sides of this Gram Parsons Album have to offer is not hard to hear:

  • The biggest, most immediate staging in the largest acoustic space
  • The most Tubey Magic, without which you have almost nothing. CDs give you clean and clear. Only the best vintage vinyl domestic pressings like this one offer the kind of Tubey Magic that was on the tapes in 1974
  • Tight, note-like, rich, full-bodied bass, with the correct amount of weight down low
  • Natural tonality in the midrange — with all the vocals, guitars (acoustic, electric, pedal steel) and drums having the correct sound for this kind of recording
  • Transparency and resolution, critical to hearing into the three-dimensional space of the studio

No doubt there’s more but we hope that should do for now

Playing the record is the only way to hear all of the above, and playing the best pressings against a pile of other copies under rigorously controlled conditions is the only way to find a pressing that sounds as good as this one does.


Side One

Return of the Grievous Angel
Hearts on Fire
I Can’t Dance
Brass Buttons
$1000 Wedding

Side Two

Cash on the Barrelhead
Hickory Wind
Love Hurts
Ooh Las Vegas
In My Hour of Darkness