Posts Tagged ‘Intervention Records’

Intervention Records is thrilled to announce The Flying Burrito Bros. classic 1970 sophomore effort Burrito Deluxe on 180-gram vinyl.

Burrito Deluxe is the second and final hot Burrito made while the band was still led by former Byrds member Gram Parsons. The Flying Burrito Bros. are widely viewed as the inventors of country rock and are one of the most influential bands of all time. “Burrito Deluxe” is another classic full of great tunes written and sung by Parsons and Chris Hillman.

The original LP art is restored by IR’s Tom Vadakan and the old-style, “tip-on, brown-in” LP jacket is printed by Stoughton and features super deluxe red foil accents on the front cover. For years now, we’ve touted Intervention Records’ superlative work in the vinyl reissue front.  The team’s attention to detail, impeccable artwork, and stellar sonics across genres have given them a reputation in the reissue world as one of the best.  Their established quality in the LP world happily extends to the digital realm, as well.

Is this the album that made country cool? Former Byrds Gram Parsons and Chris Hillman picked up where they left off with Sweetheart of the Rodeo with this stunning masterpiece of a debut album by The Flying Burrito Bros. While Parsons had already pushed rock in a country direction during his brief stint with The Byrds and The International Submarine Band, The Gilded Palace of Sin is why the Burritos are widely viewed as the inventors of country rock. Indeed with this album, Hillman and Parsons carved a substantial place in music history as one of the most influential albums and bands of all time.

The Gilded Palace of Sin was 100% Analog Mastered by Kevin Gray at CoHEARent Audio from the best source available- a phenomenal sounding 1/2″ safety copy of the original stereo master tapes. All of the top-end energy and “snap” of the original A&M LP is preserved, while the bass foundation is fully restored to make this new Intervention reissue the definitive listening experience for this classic LP! , For their sophomore album, the band’s original songs were joined by a country classic (“Image of Me,” popularized by Conway Twitty), a gospel standard (“Farther Along”), and tunes by Dylan (“If You Gotta Go”) and the Stones (the first recording of “Wild Horses”). “Burrito Deluxe” featured Gram Parsons, Chris Hillman, “Sneaky” Pete Kleinow, Bernie Leadon, and Michael Clarke plus guests including Leon Russell (tickling the ivories on Leadon and Parsons’ “Man in the Fog” and the Glimmer Twins’ “Wild Horses”).  It would prove Parsons’ final album with the group.

Gene Clark’s classic album “White Light” coming soon on CD/SACD from Intervention Records!

Gene Clark’s (The Byrds) classic solo album White Light is coming soon , Mastered Direct-to-DSD by Kevin Gray of CoHEARent Audio from Real Analog Tapes this hybrid CD/SACD plays on medium players and features super jewel box packaging. All Music calls this 1971 masterpiece “…one of the greatest singer/songwriter albums ever made.” When you hear our reissue of White Light, we are sure you will agree.

Gene Clark’s 1971 classic “White Light” is a bittersweet and knowing statement from a singer/songwriter at the peak at his creative powers. Having fronted The Byrds, Clark on his own here is stripped down in guitarist Jesse Ed Davis‘ stark production. The lyrics, singing and guitar playing are so powerful that less production here is immeasurably more musically.

Judee Sill performing on a British TV show in April 1972 while on tour to promote her first album.

Intervention Records have announced that Judee Sill’s classic 1971 debut, Judee Sill (Cat# IR-016), and her stellar followup Heart Food (Cat# IR-017) have both been re-issued. Each album is cut as a double-45RPM LP set and pressed on dead-quiet 180-gram vinyl. Both LPs are anticipated to street in June 2017 and are available for pre-order now. Sill’s rising stardom was one of misfortune and adversity that culminated in her death at the age of 35.

Judee Sill’s career had all the makings of a great singer-songwriter story. She was at the center of the 1970s folk-rock scene in California, alongside contemporaries like Jackson Browne and J.D. Souther. she toured with major musicians like Graham Nash and David Crosby, who both contributed to her debut album.

In a sea of male singers and songwriters, Sill emerged, along with Joni Mitchell and a handful of others, as one of the few women who wrote and sang their own songs.

The astonishing Judee Sill was the first artist signed to David Geffen’s Asylum Records, and Judee Sill the first album released on the label. Sill’s music is intensely spiritual, redolent of mystical and divine imagery, yet grounded by great songwriting and a pure but powerful singing talent. Her songs impart incredible intimacy that is enhanced by her sometimes complex string arrangements (remarkably Sill arranged and conducted the strings/orchestra on these albums!).  

Sill’s life was tragic personally and professionally. Her father and brother were killed when Sill was young, and her tempestuous relationship with her alcoholic (and remarried) mother resulted in her leaving home at 15. She committed robberies and began a battle she was destined to lose against drug addiction. When stardom didn’t follow the critical acclaim of these two albums her career never recovered. Sill was dead from a drug overdose in 1979 at just 35. Judee Sill was working on songs for her third album when she died.

To escape her fractured family, Sill made decisions that would land her in reform school and later, in jail.

After her first marriage, right out of high school, was quickly annulled, Sill sought a way to deflect from her unhappiness. An acquaintance introduced her to a man who was experienced in armed robbery, who brought her along on his excursions to liquor stores and gas stations. By the time she was 20, she had been caught and sent to reform school. Her second marriage, in her early 20s, was to a man she met while attending Los Angeles Valley Junior College. He introduced her to heroin. “I knew I was gonna become a junkie, and I did,” Sill told Rolling Stone. At one point she turned to prostitution to fund their habit.

Through it all, she dabbled in music. In each of the chapters that form her life — from spending time in her father’s bar, where, as a young girl, she “started playin’ piano and found out I could harmonize with myself,” to reform school, where she worked as the church organist, finding early inspiration from gospel music

It was during a stint in jail, having been caught for forgery and narcotics possession, that she started fantasizing about writing her own songs. After she was released, she immersed herself in the practice. Music became the central force in her life, and she found inspiration for her songs in books about religion and the occult. “I could see that I was gonna have to write songs that were about those things,” she told Rolling Stone. “I came to some important inner realizations, tryin’ to make the laws of nature work for me instead of against me. I felt instinctively that it was my duty to throw myself into it all the way, so I did.”

She sold one of her songs, “Lady-O,” to the rock band the Turtles, which released it as a single that made it onto the Billboard pop chart in 1969. She would record the song for her first album, two years later. Her debut album, called simply “Judee Sill.” From the first song, “Crayon Angels,” to the last, “Abracadabra,” her lyrics addressed the metaphysical.

“Jesus Was a Cross Maker,” the only song on the album produced by Graham Nash, was released as a single. (The rest of the album was produced by Henry Lewy.) After a devastating breakup with a fellow songwriter, Sill read Nikos Kazantzakis’s 1952 novel, “The Last Temptation of Christ,” as a salve, which led her to the seeds of the song.

“I was so excited when I was writing’ that song because it was not only the best thing I’d ever written, and I knew it, but it took the weight off my heart and turned it into somethin’ else, and I was able to forgive the guy for the horrible romantic bummer he’d put me on,” she said. “And I gained a new kind of strength from it, from that combination of forgiveness and creation.”

The brevity of Judee’s musical legacy is outweighed by the emotional power and weight of these two extraordinary albums. “Judee Sill” and “Heart Food” were AAA mastered directly from the original analog master tapes by Kevin Gray at Cohearent Audio. The master tapes are in beautiful shape, and listeners will be blown away by the revelatory inner detail and three-dimensionality retrieved from these achingly gorgeous recordings. These new Intervention reissues represent THE definitive listening experience for these classic LPs! The original LP art has been beautifully restored by IR’s Tom Vadakan and the old-style, “tip-on, brown-in” gatefold jackets are printed by Stoughton.

Warren Zevon, Shawn Colvin and others have covered her songs; the multi-hyphenate Greta Gerwig sang one, “Rugged Road,” in a scene in the 2010 film “Greenberg.” Every decade or so her music is reissued. Intervention Records obtained the rights to her albums in 2017.

In 1974 Judee Sill recorded material for a third album at the studio of Michael Nesmith, best known as a member of the Monkees. Those songs were released in 2005 as “Dreams Come True,” a double CD, by Water Records.

This is the vinyl release of Matthew Sweet’s 1991 classic has always deserved and the best edition of “Girlfriend” you’ll ever have … Matthew Sweet’s essential 1991 power-pop tour-de-force gets its analog due on Intervention’s Expanded Edition 180-Gram Double-LP release!

Girlfriend’s original 1991 LP release was a single LP that simply excised the last three songs that were included on the original 15-track CD release. Those three tracks were a tremendous loss as the song’s final, elegiac track “Nothing Lasts” was considered as the title track.

Intervention’s amazing Double LP Expanded Edition restores the original 15-song repertoire to three vinyl sides for maximum bass and dynamics. Side D includes three demo tracks- “Good Friend,” “Superdeformed” and “Teenage Female.” Girlfriend’s album art was lovingly restored by Intervention’s Art Director Tom Vadakan, and printed as a gorgeous “Old Style” gatefold

Hello Sweet fans and audiophiles!, Matthew Sweet here to tell you a little bit about a very special reissue series I’ve been working on together with Intervention Records.

This year we’ll be releasing fully-remastered, deluxe 180-gram vinyl as well as SACD editions of Girlfriend, Altered Beast, and 100% Fun—plus, for the very first time on vinyl, Son of Altered Beast.

Label head Shane Buettner and the rest of the Intervention Records team have done a beautiful job with these albums. Each record was fully remastered from the original analog master tapes by Ryan K. Smith in the fully analog lab at Sterling Sound in New York City. They are rich, detailed, and LOUD!

I’m particularly excited about the extra tracks; this is the first vinyl edition of Girlfriend to ever include the three-song coda (“Does She Talk?” “Holy War,” and “Nothing Lasts”). On Altered Beast and 100% Fun you’ll find B-sides and rarities like “Superdeformed” and “Ultrasuede” plus a few you may never have heard before.

Our friends at Pledge Music are helping us bring these records from the mastering lab straight to your turntable along with a ton of very cool pre-order package options. In addition to premium vinyl or SACD, we’ve gone back in the archives to reproduce original tour merch from each album cycle, plus some newly designed items based on the classic artwork. Maybe you’d like a set of Test Pressings signed by me? A handwritten lyrics sheet to “I’ve Been Waiting” or “Ugly Truth”? These, and many more options are available for you to choose from on my Pledgemusic page.

I’ll be posting updates as the campaign unfolds so be sure to purchase an Access Pass so you can stay in the loop from the moment you make a Pledge until your purchase arrives in the mail.

Your enthusiasm and ongoing support of my music all these years means so much. I can’t wait for you to hear these remasters.

Intervention Records is thrilled to present Billy Squier’s 1981 rock anthem, “Don’t Say No” in a brilliantly remastered Artist-Approved Edition. The classic rock staple catapulted Squier’s career to new heights. His live shows became arena rock sensations and four tracks from this album became classic rock radio staples in heavy rotation today: “In the Dark,” “The Stroke,” “My Kind of Lover” and “Lonely is the Night.” The original LP art has been restored by IR’s Tom Vadakan to a beautiful single-pocket gatefold and the Old-Style, “Tip-On” LP jacket is film-laminated and printed by Stoughton.

Don’t Say No is the second album by Billy Squier, Released on April 13th, 1981. It stands as Squier’s biggest career album, including the hits “In the Dark”, “Lonely Is the Night”, “My Kinda Lover” and “The Stroke”. The album hit the Top Five on the Billboard album chart and remained on the chart for over two years (111 weeks)

“The Stroke” was the first single, reaching number 17 and an even bigger hit at rock radio, hitting number 3 on the Mainstream Rock chart. The song even dented the British Pop charts, rising to number 52. The video for “The Stroke” — as most of the music videos from both Don’t Say No and its follow-up, Emotions In Motion is a straight-ahead performance piece, featuring Squier on an arena stage. Billy’s many videos were staples on the then brand-new channel MTV Channel which brought him increased popularity.

The album is a near-perfect example of early-’80s melodic hard rock, and even less enduring (but hardly inferior rockers) such as “You Know What I Like” and “Lonely Is the Night” keep up the intensity. And Squier also finds time for the occasional ballad, like the disarmingly gentle “Nobody Knows.” Completists may want to review his mid-’90s double-disc anthology, but as far as studio albums are concerned, Don’t Say No is undoubtedly his best and a pure classic.

“In The Dark” followed “The Stroke” into the Top 10 of the Album Rock Tracks chart. “Lonely Is The Night” and many other tracks from the album were hugely popular on AOR (Album Oriented Rock) radio stations.

Don’t Say No belatedly received a Triple Platinum award in 1992, certifying sales of over 3 million US copies. In early 2018, Intervention Records reissued Don’t Say No on 180-gram vinyl .The reissue is Artist-Approved and according to Squier “arguably the best-sounding version ever.

Matthew Sweets Essential 90s Albums Artist-Approved Expanded Edition 180-Gram Vinyl Double LPs!

You definately need these Artist-Approved 180-gram vinyl double LP reissues*. Loaded with extra tracks 100% Analog Re-mastered from THE ORIGINAL MASTER TAPES by Ryan Smith at Sterling Sound. Packaged in “Old-Style” tip-on deluxe gatefold jackets printed by Stoughton featuring faithfully restored original album art!

“Altered Beast” is available in late August. “Girlfriend” and “Son of Altered Beast” are shipping in late autumn 2018. 100% Fun available now! ,*Son of Altered Beast is a single not double LP. All fully artist-Approved Expanded Editions. Intervention Records and Matthew Sweet are proud to introduce an amazing NEW Artist-Approved reissue series, Matthew Sweet 1991-1995!

In 2018 Intervention is releasing 2-LP Expanded Editions of Sweet’s 90’s power-pop classic Trilogy, Girlfriend, Altered Beast and 100% Fun, plus the Son of Altered Beast 7-song EP, which appears on vinyl for the very first time!

Each Expanded Edition double-LP set of the three classic studio albums is loaded with extra tracks. So many of these songs are either appearing on vinyl for the very first time or seeing official release for the very first time. And for Sweet completists, these LPs are the most extensive collection of extra tracks compiled and packaged with the studio albums the songs were recorded for!

The original 15-song repertoires for Girlfriend and Altered Beast are for the first time spread across three LPs sides for maximum sound quality and the ability to PLAY LOUD!

The jacket art for Matthew Sweet 1991-1995 has been faithfully restored by IR’s art director Tom Vadakan. The three Expanded Editions feature beautiful “Old Style” gatefolds printed onto heavy blanks and film laminated by the wizards at Stoughton Printing. Son of Altered Beast features a single-pocket “Old Style” GATEFOLD jacket by Stoughton as well.

With the wind in his sails stirred up by the success of his previous album Girlfriend, Matthew Sweet did what any young musician in his position would have with the follow up: he went for broke. He wrote more daring arrangements that brought in a country element to his power pop attack, dove deeper lyrically and, most importantly, roped in a bunch of his musical idols to join in the fun. The liner notes for Altered Beast read like a who’s who of the pop and post-punk universe with regular collaborators Ivan Julian and Richard Lloyd joined by Big Star’s Jody Stephens, Mick Fleetwood, pianist Nicky Hopkins and Elvis Costello’s drummer Pete Thomas.

Their collective work has never sounded better than it does on this remastered vinyl pressing from the ever-reliable Intervention Records. The album is wisely stretched out to a double LP, with the fourth side taken up by a batch of studio outtakes, some previously unavailable here in the States. They flesh out the story nicely, with even more of Sweet’s ‘70s rock acumen and ‘80s punk playfulness coming to the fore. It all sounds more remarkable than ever thanks to the work of mastering engineer Ryan K. Smith. Every song sounds like it is bursting out of its seams and ready to flatten a major metropolis.

Analog Planet’s Michael Fremer reviewed our trio of Joe Jackson reissues and came away impressed: “As we’ve come to expect from Intervention, the Tip-on packaging is first rate as is Kevin Gray’s mastering from analog tape, pressed on 180 gram vinyl at RTI.” But wait there’s more!  On “Look Sharp!” .. you’ll love the reissue, which offers sharper, cleaner transients, improved transparency and focus and greater dynamics. It preserves a pulsing energy the original softens and diminishes.” I’m the Man: “ … this Intervention reissue smokes the original in all of the ways that matter on a drum’n’bass’n’guitar driven record: sharper, cleaner transients, greater dynamic slam, and bass that digs all the way down.Night and Day”… The Intervention reissue again beats the original A&M Records release in every way .

Joe Jackson’s “angry young man” stance came late in the cycle and so at the time was less than fully convincing. Elvis and Graham had already been there and done that. The picture of Jackson on the back cover of his debut Look Sharp (IR-005) just wasn’t convincing.

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More importantly, the music and especially the lyrics seemed derivative but boy, could the band play and cut those sharp-edged rhythms! Songs like “Sunday Papers” covered familiar territory but the hook on “Is She Really Going Out With Him?” dug in and the songs were generally tightly sprung and well crafted though “Happy Loving Couples” sounded way too much like “Less Than Zero”. On the Reggae rhythmed “Fools in Love” Jackson is a cynical outsider looking at love from a particularly jaundiced and needy point of view. Overall, his social commentary lacked focus and bite, while his relationship songs came across as bitter. Jackson knew how to modulate the dynamics and exhibited a musical sense that indicated he was low-balling his abilities to fit the time’s stripped down ’50’s derived musical fashion.

Look Sharp! was simply but cleanly recorded in what sounds like mono. If you like the original, you’ll love the reissue, which offers sharper, cleaner transients, improved transparency and focus and greater dynamics. It preserves a pulsing energy the original softens and diminishes. Cymbals chime smartly, Graham Maby’s bass lines are tautly drawn, and Dave Haughton’s drum kit produces slam the original blunts. Plus the pressing quality helps produce blacker backgrounds.

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Jackson’s follow-up “I’m The Man” features a cover showing Jackson as consummate flim-flam man and while the title song is about a material goods salesman, it can also be seen as Jackson getting ready to slough off the Get Sharp! “musical hula-hoops” image, though the title tune may be Jackson’s pinnacle as a hard rocker.

The album opens with “On the Radio”, a sweet revenge song that also indicates the production has softened and warmed somewhat the debut album’s hard and bright edges. In “Geraldine and John” Jackson cynically observes a cheater and a break-up. “Kinda Cute” again cuts too close to the bone of an Elvis Costello song. Later on “The Band Wore Blues Shirts”, which has in parenthesis (a true story), Jackson paints an empty picture of being a musician in a nightclub house band. In “Don’t Wanna Be Like That”, Jackson paints a negative picture of the L.A. scene from his particular point of view, again as an outsider. At the end his bitterness sharply pokes through his observational stance as he hints at his own predicament: “And the Playboy centerfold leaves me cold/And that ain’t ’cause I’m a fag”. The album’s final few songs are lyrically unfocused, or rather, inconsequential relationship observations as if Jackson’s attention span on the subject was spent—though “Amateur Hour” features a lovely melody.

Again, this Intervention reissue smokes the original in all of the ways that matter on a drum’n’bass’n’guitar driven record: sharper, cleaner transients, greater dynamic slam, and bass that digs all the way down. The perspective is again nearly if not fully mono, which increases the importance of the instrumental separation and clarity.

I’m the Man came across then and now as a “bridge” album to either more of the same next time, which would have been a career-stall, or something new demonstrating musical and personal growth. Still, probably few fans were prepared for Night and Day, where Jackson basically said “fuck this angry young man shit, here’s who I really am (musically and otherwise).”

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On the front cover Jackson is seen at the piano (where he dared not previously go) in a Hirschfeld-like pen and ink sketch, looking very much like the Cole Porter toward which the album’s title points. The newly liberated Jackson is shown in the gatefold “deal with it” photo standing before a plethora of keyboard and mallet instruments—all percussion—plus a couple of bass guitars. Not an electric guitar in sight but plenty of latin rhythms packed into the grooves.

The album opens with Jackson stepping into a rhythmically sophisticated “Another World” backed by congas and xylophone. Jackson’s liberation continues song by song as he’s moved beyond “boy/girl” to more sophisticated fare. “Stepping Out” presents the newly liberated Jackson in full sophisticated flower but not before the embarrassing Talking Heads rip-off “T.V. Age”, which I bet Jackson wishes he could take back.

“Real Men” gets to the heart of where Jackson’s been heading—the sexual liberation and another dose of tearful bitterness because he’s not one of the pretty boys he’s observing and in any case, liberation is leading to confusion. It’s a powerful song and worlds away from “Is She Really Going Out With Him?”. It’s Jackson being really tough but without shouting and on the final tune you hear Jackson finally singing satisfied about his relationship instead of observing others—though he’s still got a bitch, but it’s about the club D.J..

The Intervention reissue again beats the original A&M in every way as above. I think Mobile Fidelity once issued this years ago and I had it but got rid of it I can’t remember why, but probably because the old Mo-Fi regime laid on the excess bass and muddied the middle.

Fans of these records will want all three but more casual fans looking for one should get Night and Day both for the music and far more sophisticated ‘recorded in New York City’ sound.

As we’ve come to expect from Intervention, the Tip-on packaging is first rate as is Kevin Gray’s mastering from analog tape, pressed on 180 gram vinyl at RTI.

In 1969, The Flying Burrito Brothers welcomed listeners into their “Gilded Palace Of Sin”.  The album, released on Herb Alpert and Jerry Moss’ A&M label, heralded a new style of music – one which co-founder Gram Parsons would famously dub “Cosmic American Music.”  Indeed, the sounds emanating from this Palace were, at the same time, surprisingly traditional and completely radical.  For the Burritos melded the harmonies of the Everlys or the Louvins with the gutbucket soul of the deep south, the instrumentation of classic Nashville, and the experimentation of psychedelia.  The sound created on The Gilded Palace of Sin would come to be known as country-rock, and influence a generation of performers, perhaps most notably the Eagles but also bands from Poco to Wilco.  Intervention Records has recently given the deluxe audiophile treatment to this landmark cult-classic album, with a new 180-gram vinyl pressing.  (A hybrid stereo SACD edition will follow later this year, as well.)  Intervention’s reissue is both faithful to the sound of the original LP while actually improving on it.

That this was no ordinary country record, or rock record, was evident from the very first track.  “Christine’s Tune” was written and sung by Gram Parsons and Chris Hillman, both late of The Byrds. (Parsons had also been a member of The International Submarine Band, itself a progenitor of the country rock genre.)  The band was rounded out by Chris Ethridge on bass and “Sneaky Pete” Kleinow on steel guitar, while the drum seat was occupied by a number of musicians including “Fast” Eddie Hoh“Christine’s Tune” has a classic country-and-western storyline about a woman who’s a “devil in disguise,” but underneath the harmonies and Parsons’ acoustic style was Hillman’s psychedelic electric guitar on the verge of a freakout, and Kleinow’s offbeat steel playing – both captivating and disconcerting.  (Bernie Leadon, who served in the group as of its second album and went on to join the Eagles, noted that Kleinow usually played an eight-string Fender cable pull steel tuned to B6 instead of the expected C6.  He played in a jazz style that others might typically have used an E9 tuning for, and utilized a fuzzbox and played his instrument through a rotating Leslie speaker, to add unusual effects.)  Kleinow’s presence was a reprieve for the steel guitar, an instrument that had been largely eschewed by Nashville in the wake of the lush, pop-oriented Nashville Sound.

Parsons and Hillman’s cautionary tale of “Sin City” was another classic country lament (“This old earthquake’s gonna leave me in the poorhouse/It seems like this whole town’s insane…”) but with striking religious imagery, as well.  Parsons and Hillman weren’t pulling any punches in bringing the rootsy country sound they loved – one which had been largely pushed to the side in the countrypolitan era – and fusing it to a youthful rock-and-roll sensibility.

A number of the Parsons/Hillman originals were very much of their time.  “My Uncle” juxtaposed a jaunty bluegrass melody with the narrator’s story of “heading for the nearest foreign border” to evade the draft, very much a specter lingering over young men in 1969.  “Wheels,” too, was transporting – a typical country song in its longing and plea to “come on wheels, take this boy away,” but also with a spiritual streak and likely drug references, as well.  Chris Etheridge’s barroom piano lends another happily unexpected grace note to the track.  Hillman recites the spoken-word “Hippie Boy” which ends the album on a note of sadness and tragedy.  (It was a direct reflection on the 1968 Democratic National Convention riots.)

Ethridge teamed with Parsons to write two of the album’s standout tracks, “Hot Burrito No. 1” and “Hot Burrito No. 2.”  Elvis Costello retitled the former “I’m Your Toy,” reasoning that the original title was dignified enough for this beautiful ballad which underscores the influence of southern soul writers like Dan Penn on the Burritos.  Both “No. 1” and the more driving “No. 2” feature quavering, tender leads from Parsons, joined on “No. 2” by Hillman and Ethridge on background vocals.  Barry Goldberg stepped in to co-write “Do You Know How It Feels” with Parsons, grafting a melancholy, classic country lyric to catchy melody ripe for a saloon sing-along.

The Gilded Palace of Sin‘s two covers were significant reminders of the R&B and soul underpinning, too.  Both were written by Dan Penn and Chips Moman: “Do Right Woman” and “Dark End of the Street.”  Though the songs undoubtedly belong to Aretha Franklin and James Carr, respectively, Hillman, Parsons and the Burritos traced a direct line from Memphis to Nashville – via Los Angeles, where the album was recorded.  (Note that “Dark End” is credited on the album to Penn’s most frequent writing partner, Spooner Oldham. This is not an error on Intervention’s part, but rather is just faithful to the original LP sleeve.)

Parsons only lasted for one more album with the Burritos, while Gilded Palace turned out to be Chris Ethridge’s debut and swansong with the band.  By the time of the band’s fourth album, released in 1972, Chris Hillman was The Last of the Red Hot Burritos.  Since then, various iterations of the band have formed and re-formed, and one such splinter group called The Burrito Brothers still tours today.  Gram Parsons died in 1973, having furthered his musical mission with a pair of solo records featuring Emmylou Harris – the second of which was released after his untimely death.  The Gilded Palace of Sin is still the most cohesive record of Parsons’ career, on which he crystallized his ambitions and talents into a singular piece of art.  Though few originally bought the record, its reputation quickly grew among artists and collectors alike, and its influence from pop to alt-country can hardly be understated.

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Intervention’s splendidly detailed remaster of The Gilded Palace of Sin maintains the almost woozy, psychedelic ambiance of the album produced by the band, Larry Marks, and Henry Lewy, while bringing vivid detail and clarity to the stinging guitars, tight harmonies, and especially Chris Ethridge’s bass which anchors the LP with resonance.  Kevin Gray at Cohearant Audio has remastered (100% AAA analog, notes the label) from a 1/2″ safety copy of the original stereo master tapes as housed in the Universal vaults.  This RTI pressing, on heavyweight vinyl, lives up to its promise of being “dead quiet” and makes a powerful case for the warmth of its analog sound.  The LP, boasting period A&M labels, is housed in a protective sleeve within a sturdy Stoughton-printed “tip-on” jacket, replicating the original artwork.

thanks To The Second Disc

So where would that leave the legacy of a cult artist like Gram Parsons, who died in 1973 at the age of 26 with but a small, yet influential body of work, as the 21st-century marches ever onward? If you are of a certain age, and presuming that you are a pretty big music fan, you no doubt have heard and hopefully appreciate the “cosmic American music” of this golden-voiced country rock progenitor/genius. To be sure, I think that there’s still a pretty strong cult following of Gram Parsons fans , but in 2017 its members tend to be know-it-all aging boomers with graying ponytails who want to give you their opinions of whatever album you happen to be looking at in a record store.

Only in Southern California, always a stronghold of Flying Burrito Bros. fandom, does there seem to be an organic all ages awareness of the great Gram Parsons. This has much to do with the desert and how inextricably intertwined the desert trip is with the mythos of Parsons’ death by OD in room 8 of the Joshua Tree Inn and how his body was subsequently stolen and given a drunken cremation near Cap Rock by his manager, Phil Kaufman.

It’s a SoCal rite of passage to do magic mushrooms in Joshua Tree and trip out under the desert stars listening to “The Gilded Palace of Sin” by the Flying Burrito Bros. as there is simply no greater soundtrack for this sort of activity in that particular place . Its a specifically a desert thing. .

Which is why the word needs to get out about this release by Intervention Records who recently released vinyl and also SACD re-issue of “The Gilded Palace Of Sin”. Mastered by Kevin Gray at Cohearent Audio, this is one of the best-sounding slabs of wax that I’ve heard , which is exactly what you would want someone to say if you’re a new boutique record label catering to the jaded (and easily disappointed) audiophiles. Think you’ve heard it all? Wait until you’ve heard this! That beautiful young man’s quivering, vulnerable, plaintive voice, those harmonies with Chris Hillman and the exquisite chime of Sneaky Pete Kleinow’s buzzing, warmly-distorted almost psychedelic steel guitar, it’s all there in the grooves as never before, like they coaxed some extra music particles off the low generation analog tapes it was mastered from. Since I first heard The Gilded Palace Of Sin in the early 70’s .

I’ve listened to it hundreds of times, but this is something else entirely. Always an exhilarating—and well-recorded—album to begin with, this absolutely sparkling pressing by Intervention represents the apex of the state of the art analog “triple A” production (no digital anywhere in the workflow) going today. They even make a new vinyl stamper after every 5000 uses . If you’re looking for some primo vinyl to throw at your turntable, this is as good as it gets, a record you will find yourself flipping over and playing again and again and again. (And although I’d bet this is their showpiece, Intervention Records have also released exquisite editions of classic albums by Joe Jackson, Big Audio Dynamite, Stealers Wheel and they’ve announced some upcoming Judee Sill releases. Everything I’ve heard from them is crazy-ly good, 10/10 stuff. Every audiophile should keep an eye on what they’re releasing.)

Although there are several books, bootlegs, live albums and compilations, plus a great feature length documentary , there are precious few examples of Gram Parsons on film or video. Less than a handful for sure. This performance, provenance unknown to me, is the Flying Burrito Bros. doing one of their very best numbers—and perhaps Parsons’ greatest ever vocal performance—the oddly named heartbreaker “Hot Burrito #1” (It and “Hot Burrito #2” were both written on the same day and both recorded that very same evening.) If there can only be a few clips of Gram Parsons in action, this is the best.