|First posted 2/24/2008; updated 10/17/2020.|
Charted: February 16, 1974
Peak: 195 US, -- UK, -- CN, -- AU
Sales (in millions): 0.14 US, -- UK, 0.14 world (includes US and UK)
Genre: country rock
Song Title (Writers) [time] Click for codes to singles charts.
Total Running Time: 36:14
4.379 out of 5.00 (average of 15 ratings)
Quotable: Established Parsons as “the patron saint of alt-country.” – Mark Deming, All Music Guide
About the Album:
“Gram Parsons fondness for drugs and high living are said to have been catching up with him while he was recording Grievous Angel, and sadly he wouldn’t live long enough to see it reach record stores, dying from a drug overdose in the fall of 1973.” MD “Released four months after Parsons went to that great nightclub in the sky, Grievous Angel was more than a final bow. It infused the ex Byrd and Flying Burrito Brothers cosmic tang with melancholy soul, breathing new life into both country and rock & roll” BL and establishing Parsons as “the patron saint of alt-country.” MD
“This album is a less ambitious and unified set than his solo debut, but that’s to say that G.P. was a great album while Grievous Angel was instead a very, very good one. Much of the same band that played on his solo debut were brought back for this set, and they perform with the same effortless grace and authority (especially guitarist James Burton and fiddler Byron Berline).” MD
“If Parsons was slowing down a bit as a songwriter, he still had plenty of gems on hand from more productive days, such as Brass Buttons and Hickory Wind (which wasn't really recorded live in Northern Quebec; that’s just Gram and the band ripping it up live in the studio, with a handful of friends whooping it up to create honky-tonk atmosphere). He also proved to be a shrewd judge of other folks material as always; Tom T. Hall’s I Can’t Dance is a strong barroom rocker, and everyone seems to be having a great time on The Louvin Brothers’ Cash on the Barrelhead.” MD
“As a vocal duo, Parsons and Emmylou Harris only improved on this set, turning in a version of Love Hurts so quietly impassioned and delicately beautiful that it’s enough to make you forget Roy Orbison ever recorded it. And while he didn’t plan on it, Parsons could hardly have picked a better closing gesture than In My Hour of Darkness. Grievous Angel may not have been the finest work of his career, but one would be hard pressed to name an artist who made an album this strong only a few weeks before their death – or at any time of their life, for that matter.” MD
Notes: The CD reissue combined this album with Parsons’ debut G.P.
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