If you’d prefer to listen to the audio version of The Louvin Brothers – Tragic Songs Of Life! then you can do so by using the SoundCloud Player at the bottom of the post or by subscribing on iTunes here!
In this series I’m going to be looking through the book 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die and commenting on the albums featured, telling you about albums I think should have been featured, artists that should have been featured too and just anything else I feel like commenting on!
This isn’t a sponsored series but if you’d like to read the book with me I’ll put a link at the bottom of this post to where you can buy it. This series is just something I wanted to do because I’d been reading the book and found that I had a lot of opinions!
Every Tuesday and Thursday I’m going to take one album from the front of the book starting in 1950s and one album from the back of the book starting in 2000’s, I’ll give you a bit of the albums history, the track list and of course my thoughts on the album!
In this post we’re going to be talking about The Louvin Brothers – Tragic Songs Of Life.
This album isn’t available on Spotify so I can’t put a player in this post for it, but I’m sure if you look around on YouTube you’ll be able to find all of the songs on there if you’d like to listen to it!
Tragic Songs Of Life was released in 1956 by Capitol, it was produced by Ken Nelson, the art director is uncredited and the run time is 35:58!
This isn’t an album I have in my collection because simply put I’m not a fan of The Louvin Brothers, you can’t be a fan of everything right?
This album was The Louvin Brothers debut album on Capitol. The majority of the songs on this album are typical country heartbreak, hard times songs.
The Louvin Brothers themselves had their fair share of hard times with Ira Louvin being notorious for his drinking and violent womanizing behaviour, he was married 4 times, his 3rd wife shot him 4 times because he tried to strangle her, sadly he died in a car accident with his 4th wife when somewhat ironically a drunk driver hit their car head on.
Charlie Louvin was the tamer of the two and actually left his brother to go solo in 1963 because he’d had enough of his brother’s behaviour.
It has been said that The Louvin Brothers inspired the likes of Gram Parsons in fact the book says that ‘Gram Parsons would later be responsible for a renewal of interest in the brothers’ music, and since then the Louvin legend has continued to deepen and grow over the decades’.
It’s certainly true that these days The Louvin Brothers music has sort of developed a bit of a cult following, certainly within the country community. I personally don’t understand it but like I said, you can’t be a fan of everything right?
Anyway let’s take a look at the track list!
Track One: Kentucky
Track Two: I’ll Be All Smiles Tonight
Track Three: Let Her Go God Bless Her
Track Four: What Is Home Without Love
Track Five: A Tiny Broken Heart
Track Six: In The Pines
Track Eight: Katie Dear
Track Nine: My Brother’s Will
Track Ten: Knoxville Girl
Track Eleven: Take The News To Mother
Track Twelve: Mary Of The Wild Moor
I honestly don’t have a favourite track on this album, I just listened to it all the way through again for the purpose of this blog post and I’m sorry to say that I just didn’t enjoy it at all.
I love country music, I love bluegrass and I’m a sucker for heartache and hard time songs but I just don’t get this album or The Louvin Brothers in general.
So I suppose the question I have to answer is whether or not I think this album should be on the list of 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die and my answer is no.
I understand that The Louvin Brothers are said to have influenced a number of people and without this album then maybe there would be no Louvin Brothers to inspire people, but I don’t feel like this album or the brothers in general did anything particularly game changing or iconic and so I do think that you can safely go through life without hearing this album and you’ll be okay.
That’s it for this post from my new series based on the book 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die! As I said at the beginning of this post this isn’t in anyway a sponsored series but if you’d like to buy the book so you can read along with me then click here for the link to purchase from Waterstones if you live in the UK and click here for the Amazon link if you’re in the rest of the world.
Those aren’t affiliate links; I just want to make sure you guys know where to buy the book if you want to read along too!
If you’d like to read other posts from this series, then please click here to be redirected to the 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die section of my blog.
Here is the audio version of this post on SoundCloud.
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