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Elite Hotel [Bonus Tracks]

Elite Hotel [Bonus Tracks]

4.0 1
by Emmylou Harris

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Building on the template set on her first solo album, Pieces of the Sky, Emmylou Harris closed out 1975 with another eclectic stunner in Elite Hotel. Her interpretive skill is a thing of beauty and a joy forever, whether she's digging into a tear-jerking rendition of Buck Owens's "Together


Building on the template set on her first solo album, Pieces of the Sky, Emmylou Harris closed out 1975 with another eclectic stunner in Elite Hotel. Her interpretive skill is a thing of beauty and a joy forever, whether she's digging into a tear-jerking rendition of Buck Owens's "Together Again" or going back to the '50s to reimagine the Louvin Brothers' version of "Satan's Jewel Crown" as a plaintive, gospel-tinged dirge; whether crossing genres to find a tender country ballad in Lennon & McCartney's "Here, There and Everywhere" or laying down definitive readings of songs by her contemporaries, such as Gram Parsons' "Sin City" and her bandmate Rodney Crowell's devastating "Till I Gain Control Again." By adding some solid mainstream country entries -- such as a twangy take on "One of These Days" and Hank Williams's jubilant "Jambalaya" -- Harris and producer Brian Ahern also position Elite Hotel as solidly ahead of its time -- by about a decade -- in bringing country's past boldly and expressively into the present in defiance of the increasingly watered down commercial fare emanating from Nashville in those days. This task was made all the easier with assistance from the stellar musicians in tow, including James Burton, Glen D. Hardin, Crowell, Hank DeVito, John Ware, and Ricky Skaggs, along with scintillating contributions by bluegrass virtuoso Mike Auldrige on dobro and Louisiana legend Jo-el Sonnier on accordion. This remixed, remastered reissue includes two fine bonus cuts: a beautiful Harris-Crowell duet on "You're Running Wild" (with the singers backed evocatively and solely by their own acoustic guitars), and an exultant workout on Sonnier's stomping "Cajun Born." Which is to say, a classic album just got better.

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Thom Jurek
Elite Hotel is the second album Emmylou Harris recorded for Warner Brothers, issued in the same year as her debut masterpiece, Pieces of the Sky. Elite Hotel is the album that garnered Harris her first pair of number one singles on Billboard's country charts, with her soulful reading of Buck Owens' "Together Again" and the impassioned performance of Don Gibson's "Sweet Dreams." And while these two tracks may have been the most played, they are far from the finest tracks on this stellar outing. While Harris continues to perform the material of her late collaborator, Gram Parsons, Elite Hotel is almost a tribute recording given that it features three of his songs, two from his period with the Flying Burrito Brothers, "Sin City" and "Wheel," and "Ooh Las Vegas," from her recording with him on his album Grievous Angel. Other standouts here include a beautiful version of Hank Williams' "Jambalaya" and her now legendary cut of Rodney Crowell's "Till I Gain Control Again." On this early date, Harris' voice arrives fully focused, fully articulate, and completely in control of the material. Her backing group, the illustrious Hot Band, included guitarist James Burton, Crowell, her producer and husband Brian Ahern, Mike Auldridge, Hank DeVito, and many others. Guests like Linda Ronstadt and Amos Garret appear as well. Elite Hotel, like all of the early Warner recordings, has aged remarkably well, and sounds as fresh and revelatory today as it did in 1975. [The 2004 reissue by Rhino offers fully remastered 24-bit sound, and the inclusion of a pair of bonus tracks: "You're Running Wild," a duet with Crowell, and the nugget "Cajun Born," by the then-unknown songwriter Jo-El Sonnier. In addition, there are fine -- even exhaustive -- liner notes by critic Holly George-Warren.]

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Album Credits

Performance Credits

Emmylou Harris   Primary Artist,Acoustic Guitar
Mike Auldridge   Dobro
Ricky Skaggs   Fiddle
John Starling   Acoustic Guitar,Background Vocals
Rodney Crowell   Acoustic Guitar,Rhythm Guitar,Background Vocals
Jo-El Sonnier   Accordion
Linda Ronstadt   Background Vocals
Amos Garrett   Electric Guitar
James Burton   Electric Guitar
Rick Cunha   Acoustic Guitar
Ben Keith   Pedal Steel Guitar
Mickey Raphael   Harmonica
Brian Ahern   Acoustic Guitar
Byron Berline   Fiddle,Mandolin
Dianne Brooks   Background Vocals
Glen D. Hardin   Piano,Electric Piano
Hank DeVito   Pedal Steel Guitar
Emory Gordy   Bass,Background Vocals
Bernie Leadon   Acoustic Guitar,Background Vocals
Bill Payne   Piano
Herb Pedersen   Banjo,Background Vocals
John Randall   Background Vocals
Fayssoux Starling   Background Vocals
Ron Tutt   Drums
John Ware   Drums

Technical Credits

Rodney Crowell   Composer
Don Gibson   Composer
Emmylou Harris   Composer
Chris Hillman   Composer
Buck Owens   Composer
Jo-El Sonnier   Composer
John Lennon   Composer
Paul McCartney   Composer
Gram Parsons   Composer
Rick Grech   Composer
John Williams   Composer
Brian Ahern   Arranger,Producer,Engineer
Greg Allen   Art Direction
Glen D. Hardin   String Arrangements
Nick DeCaro   String Arrangements
Ray Edenton   Composer
Rudy Hill   Engineer
Paul Kennerley   Composer
Stuart Taylor   Engineer
Miles Wilkinson   Engineer
Hank Williams   Composer
Bradley Hartman   Engineer
Wayne Kemp   Composer
Michael Putland   Inlay Photography
G.A. Saraf   Composer
Earl Montgomery   Composer
Edgar Eden   Composer
Kermit Goell   Composer
Don Winters   Composer
Stewart   Composer
Lenox   Composer

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