Pieces Of The Sky (album) by Emmylou Harris
Overall rank: 2,601st
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Emmylou Harris bestography
The best album by Emmylou Harris is Wrecking Ball which is ranked number 1318 in the list of all-time albums with a total rank score of 1,830.
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|Rating||Date logged||Member||No. album ratings||Avg. album rating|
|3 days ago||Rivera||1,463 ratings||82/100|
|09/12/2019 05:02||Exist-en-ciel||4,087 ratings||77/100|
|08/30/2019 18:34||leniad||2,283 ratings||79/100|
|08/26/2019 06:04||phantom1305||4,240 ratings||71/100|
|08/12/2019 15:04||pctrooper||675 ratings||82/100|
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Pieces Of The Sky comments
MENTOR & MUSE
Well you really got me this time
And the hardest part is knowing I'll survive
I have come to listen for the sound
Of the trucks as they move down
Out on ninety five
And pretend that it's the ocean
Coming down to wash me clean, to wash me clean (Boulder to Birmingham)
Why did you go why did you go
Don't you know don't you know I need you (Sleepless Nights)
Emmylou was an army brat from the South who thought country music was “boring.” As Harris later recounted, “You have to grow up, start paying the rent and have your heart broken before you understand country.” No. Folk was where it was at for young Emmylou. It was the mid-60s after all. Dylan was king. And Joan Baez was queen. And like countless other girls her age and of her time she dropped out of college & headed to The Village to be the next Joan Baez. “I mean, what girl back then didn’t want to be her?” Emmylou gushed. And for a little window of time it looked like she just might! She had the looks. The voice. And fell in with a talented songwriting boyfriend turned husband named Tom Slocum who had contacts in the record industry. And before you know it, she had a record contract and a debut album - Gliding Bird!
But, her timing sucked. Her label bit the dust. Gliding Bird flopped. (Emmylou now disowns it pretty much and consider THIS her real debut. Personally, time is short and no one seems to high on it so I’ll just trust the pretty lady until Mercury tells me different. lol.)
And before you know it, she was a divorced single mom trying to raise her baby on food stamps. So like any smart, well adjusted kid will do, she moved back home. (To an actual farm believe or not just on the outskirts of Washington DC.) Dreams of being the next Joan Baez dashed just like a thousand other pretty girls.
In other words, she was now ready for her Country awakening. For Gram. And so much of life is just persevering and continuing to be ready. You never know when your luck may change. When the providence of the Gods may smile on you. So she didn’t give up. She started a little folk band and started playing gigs around DC. And divine Providence in the guise of the Gram Parsons showed up. On a hot tip from fellow Flying Burrito brother in arms, and former Byrdman,Chris Hillman.
Baby brought me in out off the highway
Poured my right good liquor down the sink
Straightened out my crooked ways of thinking
And made it purely pleasure when I drank (Bluebird wine)
She’s talking about Gram of course. Yet again. The album is filled with references to him. How he saved her. Mentored her. Showed her his take on music. His vision of what country music could & should be. Cosmic American Music he called it. And Gram’s vision was so pure & inspired that it infected everybody around him. They would become instantaneously inflicted with his country bug.Whether it be striking up a conversation in a bank line at the Beverly Hills bank with Chris Hillman of the Byrds, singlehandedly taking over the creative reigns of one the most popular American bands of the entire 1960s as a freakin’ nobody, or convincing Emmylou to drop everything and join him on his quest for cosmic country goodness. Gram just had one of those magnetic personalities that could convince you of pretty much anything. Like Steve Jobs. There’s even a name for it - a Reality Distortion Field (look it up if you don’t believe me!). And Gram had one of the biggest Fields in all of music history.
Now the Queen of the Silver Dollar
Is not as haughty as she seems
She was once an ordinary girl with ordinary dreams
But there's a MAN who found her
And he brought her to this world
He's the one who made a queen of a simple country girl (Queen of The Silver Dollar)
While the did they or didn’t they (they didn’t) gossip tends to overshadow most of the story, the real story is one of a girl being tutored to become The Queen of the Silver Dollar - a bonafide Country star. Something she wouldn’t even have comprehended just five years earlier. She got her divorce. She got her album flop failure. She got her hurt. She became intimately (but not the way you think) involved in one of the most legendary tragedies in Country Rock history. And she got her purpose and her muse all rolled in the same tragedy. Like the last bearer of a long family line, she was determined to carry out Gram’s vision. To spread his good word all through the land. It was missionary work. But it gave her a purpose.
I would walk all the way from boulder to Birmingham
If i thought I could see, I could see your face (Boulder to Birmingham)
And a purpose in life is extremely important. It may be the most important thing. Most of us have don’t have one. We don’t have the vision. Gram had technicolor vision.And whereas Gram had the vision, Emmylou had the ambition and discipline. And thus became aa country juggernaut who carried Gram’s torch of Cosmic American country and inspired countless country and rock singer for decades to come.
And consequently Gram takes on an almost Christ like reference for Emmylou on this album. The man that saved her. Showed her the light. And became her perfect muse. Forever.
Grade: A. Allmusic.com calls this album “eclectic”. But it’s really not. It’s charm is that it's straight forward and most of all sincere. Emmylou wears her heart on her sleeve on these songs. In less capable hands some one of these songs could have turned saccharine or syrupy. But they are so tastefully done, so movingly played, that all one feels is the passion, the sorrow, the love. The pain.
It was the perfect cross-over album. Firmly rooted in the basics of Gram’s Cosmic American Country but with the appeal and and vibe to cash in on 70s female singer songwriters scene that was all the rage back then. And it worked. Emmylou was finally Joan Baez. It just took her ten years and the perfect mentor & muse. Emmylou and Gram’s love will live forever. And their perfect platonic love plunks down at number 35 on The Essentials list.
Arguably Emmylou Harris' best album featuring some fantastic songs. Pieces of the sky, is a country masterpiece. Boulder to Birmingham, is probably Emmylou's greatest original song, a lovely number. Elsewhere, there's if I could only win your love, too far gone, and an achingly beautiful version of The Beatles, for no one. An excellent country record, and my favourite Emmylou Harris album.
The album that really launched Emmylou Harris's career, and for good reason. A terrific collection of country songs here, highlighted by Harris's heartbreaking eulogy to Gram Parsons, "Boulder to Birmingham." To people who reflexively say they don't like country music, period, I ask: yeah, but have you heard Pieces of the Sky?
This is as good as it gets. In my opinion the greatest country album ever made. If I Could Only Win Your Love is my personal favorite but they're all great masterpieces. Absolutely beautiful.
Really nice country album. Emmylou Harris has a beautiful voice and regardless of whether she's singing an upbeat country song or a ballad, it's sounds great. Her cover of The Beatles' "For No One" is hauntingly beautiful.
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