Thursday, 4 August 2016

Art of the Cover - Emmylou Harris' "Elite Hotel" (1975)

Sweetheart of the rodeo, perhaps!

Sure looks like these boots ain't made for walking!

Yap, a real nice shot of a hot young Harris outside some crummy motel adorns this sublime - and timeless - collection.

As well as the great Emmylou, the footprints of lover/guru, the late pioneering Gram Parsons and longtime collaborator Rodney Crowell (who not only appears here but writes some of the tracks) are all over this fine album.

Amazingly, although  "Elite Hotel" has it's 30th anniversary this year, this stuff sounds as fresh as the day it was first created!

Released in December 1975, just a few months after PIECES OF THE SKY, Emmylou Harris's ELITE HOTEL is already a first momentous achievement in her illustrious career.

Twelve songs ... twelve little musical pearls.

One could never repeat enough that half of the success of a singer depends on the members of the band playing in the recording. In ELITE HOTEL, the Angel Band hides such great names as Glen D. Hardin at the piano, James Burton at the electric guitar or Herb Pedersen at the banjo. Some of you certainly remember that Glen D. Hardin and James Burton used to play with another successful singer- some guy called Elvis Presley! Then there's some lovely backing vocals by someone called Linda Ronstadt!

Twelve musical pearls because, like in PIECES OF THE SKY, Emmylou gives to the musicians the opportunity to develop superb instrumental solos. In my opinion, Buck Owen's "Together Again" can be compared to Ray Charles's version partly thanks to the incredible piano arrangement invented by Glen D. Hardin. The supporting vocals are also terrific, specially in Gram Parson's "Sin City" , John Starling forming with Emmylou a duo that has haunted me for days.

Three songs recorded live "Ooh Las Vegas", "Sweet Dreams" and Hank Williams's "Jambalaya" and an homage to Emmylou Harris's former mentor Gram Parsons with "Sin City", "Ooh Las Vegas" and "Wheels". At last, a perfect version of Lennon/McCartney's "Here, there and everywhere" that is going to make you wonder why this song is not one of the most known recording of the Beatles.

A must have collection  for your music library.


1. Amarillo [03:07]

2. Together Again [03:57]

3. Feelin' Single - Seein' Double [02:30]

4. Sin City [03:58]

5. One of These Days [03:05]

6. Till I Gain Control Again [05:37]

7. Here, There and Everywhere [03:46]

8. Ooh Las Vegas [03:44]

9. Sweet Dreams [04:07]

10. Jambalaya [03:11]

11. Satan's Jewel Crown [03:18]

12. Wheels [03:12]

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