The FLYING BURRITO BROTHERS – ” Burrito Deluxe ” Intervention Reissues

Posted: October 20, 2020 in ALBUMS, MUSIC
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Co-founded by former Byrds members Chris Hillman and Gram Parsons, the Flying Burrito Brothers formed their own massive country-rock family tree: Rick Roberts, the band’s guitarist in the early ’70s, later fronted Firefall; guitarist Bernie Leadon left for the Eagles; and pedal-steel guitarist “Sneaky” Pete Kleinow recorded with just about any pop or rock artist who craved a little twang. The Burritos only released one album in the ’60s, but it’s enough to warrant their inclusion: 1969’s ‘The Gilded Palace of Sin’ is a high watermark of the genre, adding elements of psychedelia and gospel to their country core.

On the heels of recent releases including the first-ever reissue of Gene Clark’s classic A&M album White Light, Intervention Records has turned its attention once more to a group of California legends with ties to The Byrds: The Flying Burrito Brothers.  Following its previous release of the Burritos’ debut “The Gilded Palace of Sin” on both hybrid SACD and deluxe vinyl, Intervention will reissue the band’s sophomore LP, “Burrito Deluxe”, in those formats.  The 180-gram vinyl LP will arrive by October, .

Burrito Deluxe marked the second and final album by the country-rock pioneers to feature founding member Gram Parsons.  Drummer Michael Clarke, late of Gene Clark’s duo with Doug Dillard, came on board along with another Dillard and Clark alumnus, guitarist Bernie Leadon.  Chris Hillman, who played guitar on Gilded Palace, moved over to bass to replace Chris Ethridge.  Pedal steel guitarist “Sneaky” Pete Kleinow continued to round out the roster.

The sad story of the Flying Burrito Brothers is that they were always far, far ahead of their time. Hillman “We had always hoped the band would become as successful as the Byrds were, but it never happened. We never had a hit single . . . just a lot of ups and downs. It was a magical, very productive period in my life. But nobody was really ready for us. Now, even the new Flying Burrito Brothers are doing all right. I do really suspect their motive, though. It’s like me hiring four other guys and calling myself the Byrds. My point, though, is what we were doing is real popular now. For God’s sake, I watch these groups with their rhinestone suits on, singing out of tune, playing shitty, and they’re being accepted. It breaks my heart. “We all worked so hard with that band. Goddamn it, we deserved success.”

Like most bands in their position, the Flying Burrio Brothers splintered out of desperation. Chris Hillman was helping Stephen Stills with his third solo album at the time of the final breakup. When Stills promptly offered him a partnership in Manassas, it seemed a comfortable solution to post-Burrito depression. “We were always more of a band than people thought,” Hillman recalls fondly. “Stills wouldn’t have been the same without us, that’s for sure. Stills was playing a concert in Cleveland with the Memphis Horns. I was sitting in the audience, going, ‘Jesus Christ. They’re making 25,000 bucks and they’re shitty. The Burritos are better than this.’( Rolling Stone ’72)

Like the first album, Burrito Deluxe blended both band originals and cover versions – this time including Bob Dylan’s “If You Gotta Go (Go Now),” Harlan Howard and Wayne Kemp’s “Image of Me” (most closely associated with Conway Twitty), the southern gospel standard “Farther Along,” and most notably, Mick Jagger and Keith Richard’s “Wild Horses” – a year before The Rolling Stones released it themselves.  The opening track, Parsons’ “Lazy Days,” also had history as it was previously recorded by both The International Submarine Band and The Byrds, though neither version had been released at the time.  Just two months after the release of the album in April 1970, Parsons was fired from the group he founded.  He would be replaced by Rick Roberts for the band’s next LP.

Intervention’s 180-gram vinyl LP reissue has been remastered by Kevin Gray from original analog tapes (a 1/2-inch safety copy of the original stereo master), and has been pressed at RTI in an old-school Stoughton-printed “tip-on” jacket.  The artwork has been restored by Tom Vadakan and features red foil accents on the front cover.  Look for this country-rock classic on vinyl in October.

The Flying Burrito BrothersBurrito Deluxe (A&M SP-4258, 1970 – reissued Intervention Records IR-022, 2018)

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