Sacred Hearts & Fallen Angels; The Emmylou Harris Anthology
Harris’ recent work has brought her far from her beginnings as Parsons’ backup singer, but it’s the Gram-inspired music of the ’70s and early ’80s — the bulk of the Harris anthology — that is her real legacy. Parsons, the Harvard dropout who founded country rock and died in ’73, is eternally fresh-sounding, dolefully wise. Neither set is perfect: Emmylou emphasizes Harris’ sweeter side, omitting some harder-edged gems like ”Luxury Liner,” and Sacred Hearts could’ve used the space it gives forgotten miscues like a woebegone cover of ”To Love Somebody” for a deeper sampling of GP and Grievous Angel, Gram’s only fully realized solo albums. But both are more than welcome; if you’re curious but uninformed about these two giants, start here.