The godfathers of country rock -- and by extension, all of the alt-country movements that have followed -- are finally given their full due on this lovingly annotated, nicely packaged two-CD retrospective. The band's most important albums -- The Gilded Palace of Sin
and Burrito Deluxe
-- are presented here in their entirety, rife with songs (like "Hot Burrito #2" and the hippie-bluegrass anthem "My Uncle") that, even three decades on, manage to sound remarkably fresh. That's a testament to the vision of the late Gram Parsons
, who, along with expatriate Byrd Chris Hillman
, forged the Burritos into a force that could remake and remodel songs like the soul classic "The Dark End of the Street" and the trucker-speak chestnut "Six Days on the Road" with equal aplomb. While the urgency flags a bit toward the end of this chronologically assembled set, the music on Anthology 1969-1972
is still an invaluable reference for those who've only heard the Burritos in passing -- with the archival material sealing the deal for longtime fans.