The Flying Burrito Brothers, Last of the Red Hot Burritos
File Between: The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band and Poco
Comments: The Flying Burrito Brothers put out one great album and one okay album, and then Gram Parsons left and there was really no point in going on, but Chris Hillman did, and this is the last gasp of that band, a live album with plentiful studio overdubs that sometimes make it feel like the crowd noise, not the crystal-clear instrumentation, is what’s being dropped in after the fact. Neither Hillman nor Ricky Roberts is a strong singer — certainly not on Parsons’ level — and while the playing is proficient the songs are formless and the banter excruciating. From being the first, foundational country-rock band to being a barely-competent country-rock band in just four short years must have taken a lot of drugs and self-delusion; but the band really only comes to life in instrumental passages, where they get to display the chops that listening to thousands of Bill Monroe, Buck Owens, and Allman Brothers records had given them. The bluegrass sequence at the end of the first side is probably the record’s highlight.
A Keeper? I think I’ve complained before about live albums. This one is no better or worse than the average, and all the moments of brilliance sound studio-overdubbed.
Vinyl Rip: High Fashion Queen