Music

Emmylou Harris – Her Best Songs – Music Monday #1

November 17, 2014

Hey!

Welcome to post #1 of Music Mondays! If you don’t know what Music Mondays is then please click here to read my introductory post!

I picked a reference from my box and got H4 which is Emmylou Harris – Her Best Songs. It’s quite cool that this was the first album I picked out because I named my record player Eva because Emmylou Harris  – Evangeline was the first album I ever played on her!

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Emmylou Harris has had such an amazing career I don’t even know where to start when telling you about her life!

She was born in Birmingham Alabama in 1947, recorded her first album Gliding Bird in New York in 1969, went on to work with Gram Parsons in 1972 which proved to be a massive deal for her career because not only did it help her find fame whilst touring with Gram Parsons and The Fallen Angels but the death Of Gram Parsons in 1973 inspired Emmylou to go on to write some of her biggest hits including ‘Boulder To Birmingham’ in an attempt to deal with her grief and carry on Gram’s musical vision.

I could say so much more about Emmylou & Gram but I’m not going to because I really don’t think I can do their story enough justice but if you’re genuinely interested look it up and listen to the song Boulder To Birmingham, you can hear the pain in her voice, it breaks my heart every time I hear it.

Emmylou Harris still tours and it is my absolute dream to see her live one day, to hear that voice in person and not just coming out of my record player would be incredible.

She’s had an amazing career that I realised just now whilst doing some research I coukd talk about for hours, but if you’re genuinely interested in knowing more about her then do some research yourself because her story is truly fascinating. Click here to visit her official website and click here to visit her Wikipedia page.

Let’s get back to the album I picked out.

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This album was released in 1980 and apparently consists of Emmylou Harris’ best songs but I don’t entirely agree with that, there’s a few missing and there’s a fair few covers on here too which I think is strange to put on a Her Best Songs type album because they’re not her songs but whatever let’s take a look at the track list! 

Side 1:

  • (You Never Can Tell) C’est La Vie

  • Save The Last Dance For Me

  • Too Far Gone

  • Together Again

  • Queen Of The Silver Dollar

  • One Of These Days

  • I Ain’t Living Long Like This

  • Jambalaya (On The Bayou)

Side 2:

  • Here There And Everywhere

  • Defying Gravity

  • Boulder To Birmingham

  • Coat Of Many Colours

  • For No One

  • Luxury Liner

  • Blue Kentucky Girl

  • Leaving Louisiana In The Broad Daylight

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My favourite side is definitely Side 1 its more up beat and definitely more fun to sing along to! I love Side 2 as well though, they’re both good!

Way to be decisive..

But going back to what I said about there being covers on the album if you don’t know which ones they are then let me tell you!

  • (You Never Can Tell) C’est La Vie is actually a Chuck Berry song.

  • Save The Last Dance for me was first recorded by Ben E King and The Drifters in 1960 and I feel like it’s been covered by everybody since then too!

  • Too Far Gone was originally a 1967 hit for Tammy Wynette

  • Queen Of The Silver Dollar was originally recorded by Dr Hook in the early 70s

  • I Ain’t Living Long Like This is originally a Rodney Crowell song

  • Jambalaya (On The Bayou) is a Hank Williams song

  • Here There And Everywhere is a Lennon / McCartney song recorded by the Beatles in 1966.

  • Coat Of Many Colours is of course one of Dolly Parton’s most well known songs written about Dolly’s childhood.

  • For No One is another Lennon / McCartney song recorded by the Beatles in 1966

  • Blue Kentucky Girl was originally recorded by Loretta Lynn in 1965

  • Leaving Louisiana In The Broad Daylight is a Rodney Crowell song too.

So on an album of 16 of ‘her biggest hits’ theres just 4 of Emmylou’s own songs the rest are covers which although they’re all beautiful covers is such a shame because she’s a really talented song writer and to not see her songs recognised on an album like this is a real shame!

I do have to admit though that this is one of my favourite albums to listen to even if the name does annoy me every time.

My favourite tracks are:

  • (You Never Can Tell) C’est La Vie

  • Queen Of The Silver Dollar

  • Boulder To Birmingham

  • Leaving Louisiana In The Broad Daylight

For no other reason than I think they’re great songs and I love singing along to them!

My least favourite song is her cover of Dolly Parton’s Coat Of Many Colours but I think that’s literally because I know that the song is about Dolly’s childhood, it’s based on real events and it’s weird hearing somebody else sing like it was their life. It’s nothing personal to Emmylou though I’d say the same no matter who it was, hell Elvis could come back from the dead and cover it and I still wouldn’t like it.

That’s what I don’t get actually, Elvis wanted to the cover the song when he was alive but Dolly wouldn’t give up the publishing rights but then Emmylou covered it. Never understood that!

I love this album though and I love Emmylou Harris, I didn’t mean to slam her by pointing out all the covers on this album, it’s a beautiful album I just don’t agree with the name, I mean maybe they are the songs she’d had the biggest hits with at the time I mean the album is from 1980 but it still seems strange to me that a woman with as many incredible original songs as she has puts out an album of hits that’s full of covers.

I don’t understand and I’m struggling to find a concise answer on the Internet.. The Internet can show me cats doing stupid things whenever I want but ask it a legitimate question like this and it fails! Way to go Internet!

I think since this record was originally owned by my Dad I’ll ask him, stay tuned if he has the answer I’ll update this post and let you know!

What’s your favourite track from this album? Comment down below or tweet me @MissCharlotteEm and let me know!

Thank you so much for reading and don’t forget to come back next week to see which album I’m talking about next!

Charlotte xo