ARTIST: The Flying Burrito Brothers
TITLE: Burrito Deluxe
YEAR RELEASED: 1970
CHART ACTION: None
SINGLES: Older Guys
OTHER SONGS YOU MAY KNOW: The first ever version of Wild Horses was on this record.
LINEUP: Gram Parsons, Chris Hillman, Bernie Leadon, Sneaky Pete Kleinow, Michael Clarke
WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT: Almost half-hearted effort from Parsons and company in their follow-up to their groundbreaking first album.
SOME WORDS, PHRASES AND CLAUSES ABOUT THIS RECORD: On their first album, the Burrito Brothers got a fistful of acclaim and not many sales. This caused some tension, and original bassist Chris Ethridge quit. Parsons and the group picked up Bernie Leadon and found a full-time drummer in ex-Byrd Michael Clarke, both from the same group (the Dillard & Clarke band).
With new band members, those who knew them and loved the music they wanted to play, you’d think the group would plunge forward full-speed. However, Parsons seemingly had no songs. It took several writing sessions with Leadon and Hillman to get a few songs, and then they pulled out songs Parsons had done before and cover versions to pad the album.
One song they did have was “Wild Horses” which Keith Richards gave as a demo to Parsons soon after Altamont. Did Richards mean for Parsons to record it? Who knows. At any rate, this seemed to be the only song Parsons put his all into.
The rest of the album is okay, better than Poco, let’s say. The production seems muddied (especially the harmonies), and Kleinow, the star of the first album, seems muted. Only “Cody, Cody” had any of the oomph of the first album.
NOTES & MINUTIAE: Parsons was thrown out of his own group later in 1970 for missing gigs. He then basically became a Rolling Stones groupie for a year or so.
IS THERE A DELUXE VERSION: It’s on a two-fer with the first album and a single.
GRADE: B-: It could have, and should have, been much better given the people involved. The production is just so-so and I give it a downgrade for that.