Digital Roundup: 11/05/14
New this week in the Rhino Room at iTunes:
Emmylou Harris, The ‘70s Studio Album Collection / The ‘80s Studio Album Collection: Technically speaking, we only have two releases being added to our digital catalog this week, but when you consider that one of those is a set that includes six albums and the other is a collection that includes eight albums…well, frankly, isn’t two releases enough?
Emmylou Harris didn’t start her career on Reprise Records – which, sadly, is one of the reasons why her initial studio effort, 1969’s Gliding Bird, isn’t a part of The ‘70s Studio Album Collection (the other reason being that it, uh, didn’t actually come out in the ‘70s) – but she might as well have, given the amount of artistic growth that Harris experienced between that album and her Reprise debut, Pieces of the Sky, in 1975. Unfortunately, it was also during that window that she met, collaborated with, and subsequently said goodbye to Gram Parsons, but the amount of confidence she developed during those years was tremendous, and you can hear it throughout the grooves of that album.
Okay, so now that you know what kicks off the collection, here’s what else appears on the set: Elite Hotel, which was also released in 1975, Luxury Liner (1977), Quarter Moon in a Ten Cent Town (1978), and the two 1979 albums that followed her switch from Reprise to Warner Brothers proper, Blue Kentucky Girl and Light of the Stable, the latter being a holiday album. Of the bunch, the only one that didn’t earn at least four stars from AllMusic.com is Blue Kentucky Girl, and since that album was ranked as #20 on CMT’s 40 Greatest Albums in Country Music in 2006, we’ll just presume that Jason Ankeny was having an off day when he calculated the grade for his review.
And what’s on The ‘80s Studio Album Collection? Funny you should ask, as we just happen to have the list of inclusions right here: you get Roses in the Snow (1980), Evangeline (1981), Cimarron (1981), White Shoes (1983), The Ballad of Sally Rose (1985), Thirteen (1986), Angel Band (1987), and Bluebird (1989). Are they all as critically acclaimed as the contents of the ‘70s collection? They are not. But we’re not going to tell you any more than that, because if you’re a fan of Emmylou Harris at all, then rest assured that you’ll find something to love in each and every album that’s in this thing.