Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Consumer Guide Album

The Flying Burrito Brothers: Close Up the Honky Tonks [A&M, 1974]
This repackaged best-of-Gram is baited with five previously unreleased Parsons vocals. These are nice, but since even an unreconstructed Parsons nut like me can reel off more interesting cover versions of "Sing Me Back Home" (the Everlys), "Break My Mind" (the Box Tops), and "To Love Somebody" (initials: JJ), maybe they were unreleased for a reason. It also puts the six greatest cuts off Gilded Palace of Sin on one side, a convenience I'd appreciate more if Gilded Palace of Sin, the only full-fledged country-rock masterpiece, weren't still in the catalogue. Your local record retailer will no doubt order you one if you take the trouble of kidnapping his children. B-