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Songbird: Rare Tracks & Forgotten Gems [CD/DVD]

Songbird: Rare Tracks & Forgotten Gems [CD/DVD]

5.0 2
by Emmylou Harris

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Emmylou Harris has several greatest hits collections but Songbird is special. The four CD plus DVD collection includes rare tracks and favorites from every facet of the country music superstar's career -- from her duets with Gram Parsons to fronting her own Hot Band up to her work with Mark Knopfler.


Emmylou Harris has several greatest hits collections but Songbird is special. The four CD plus DVD collection includes rare tracks and favorites from every facet of the country music superstar's career -- from her duets with Gram Parsons to fronting her own Hot Band up to her work with Mark Knopfler.

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Mark Deming
It's difficult to write about Emmylou Harris without lapsing into a long train of superlatives -- she really does have one of the most beautiful voices of her generation, and her taste in material and skill in using her instrument is nearly faultless. However, as good as Harris is and as consistently strong as her body of work has been, one could make a convincing argument that she's been frequently underrated through much of her career -- more than just a lovely woman with a pure, clear voice and a fine ear, she's championed a number of gifted songwriters before they went on to have distinguished careers of their own (from Rodney Crowell to Gillian Welch), matured into a first-rate tunesmith herself, collaborated with a remarkable array of artists, and has never been afraid to take her talents into unexpected directions, from purist bluegrass to the experimental atmospherics of her work with Daniel Lanois. Songbird: Rare Tracks & Forgotten Gems is a hefty four-CD box set (with a bonus DVD) compiled by Harris in collaboration with James Austin that does justice to the scope of a career that's spanned five decades thus far, and unlike most multi-disc collections it isn't merely a super-sized "greatest-hits" collection. Harris and Austin have purposefully avoided her most recognizable work on Songbird, instead charting an alternate path through her back catalog. The first two discs of Songbird represent a roughly chronological overview of Harris' discography, beginning with an outtake from her little heard 1970 debut album, Gliding Bird (an album she's all but disowned in the past), rolling up to speed with two examples of her work with Gram Parsons, and then diving into her solo work from 1975's Pieces of the Sky to 2003's Stumble Into Grace, focusing on Harris' personal favorites rather than radio hits (which were in short supply from the 1990s on anyway). Discs three and four are devoted to collaborations and unreleased material, including several demos that have never before seen the light of day, highlights from her Trio albums with Dolly Parton and Linda Ronstadt, several tracks from the Gram Parsons tribute Return of the Grievous Angel, appearances on tribute collections and discs by other artists, and a handful of live tracks. It's telling that a private recording of Guy Clark's "Immigrant Eyes," recorded as a birthday present for Clark, is as carefully considered and beautifully rendered as anything on these four discs -- one thing that becomes clear is that Harris takes no shortcuts as an artist, and for the broad eclecticism of this set, she's uniformly intelligent, emotionally true, and thrillingly accomplished whenever she decides to sing a song. The set's packaging is handsome, and the accompanying hardbound book contains a brief but eloquent introduction from Harris, a fine biographical essay by Sylvie Simmons, and track-by-track notes by Peter Cooper (with plenty of input from Harris herself). The accompanying DVD, featuring nine television appearances by Harris, seems a bit slight by comparison, though it does contain a few prize moments, particularly a duet with Elvis Costello on "Love Hurts" and some raging guitar work from Buddy Miller on a performance of "I Ain't Living Long Like This." Songbird isn't the most concise celebration of Emmylou Harris' talents you can buy, but it's been assembled with a grace and sense of purpose worthy of its subject; it offers nearly five hours of superb music from a singular talent, and anyone who loves Harris' music will revel in it. [Songbird was also released with a DVD and ten bonus tracks of previously unreleased, DVD, and live tracks.]
New York Times - Jon Pareles
The songs she chose for this set move from devout sincerity, mountain fingerpicking and gospel conviction to loneliness and mourning, with electric guitar underlining the end of innocence.

Product Details

Release Date:


Disc 1

  1. Clocks
  2. The Angels Rejoiced Last Night
  3. The Old Country Baptizing
  4. Coat of Many Colors
  5. For No One
  6. Ooh Las Vegas
  7. Satan's Jewel Crown
  8. Tulsa Queen
  9. My Songbird
  10. Green Rolling Hills
  11. One Paper Kid
  12. Sorrow in the Wind
  13. Rough and Rocky
  14. Jordan
  15. Darkest Hour Is Just Before Dawn
  16. Ashes by Now
  17. How High the Moon
  18. Spanish Johnny
  19. The Last Cheaters Waltz
  20. Racing in the Streets
  21. Like an Old Fashioned Waltz

Disc 2

  1. The Sweetheart of the Rodeo
  2. When I Was Yours
  3. My Father's House
  4. Bright Morning Stars
  5. When He Calls
  6. Lonely Street
  7. Brand New Dance
  8. Get Up John
  9. If I Could Be There
  10. Ballad of a Runaway Horse
  11. Going Back to Harlan
  12. Sweet Old World
  13. All My Tears
  14. Prayer in Open D
  15. Bang the Drum Slowly
  16. Boy from Tupelo
  17. Lost Unto This World
  18. Man Is an Island
  19. Cup of Kindness

Disc 3

  1. Falling in a Deep Hole
  2. 1917
  3. Palms of Victory
  4. Softly and Tenderly
  5. My Dear Companion
  6. Mary Danced with Soldiers
  7. I Don't Love You Much Do I
  8. All I Left Behind
  9. I Remember You
  10. Golden Ring
  11. Sonny
  12. In the Garden
  13. Love Still Remains
  14. Snake Song
  15. Hobo's Lullaby
  16. Wondering
  17. Immigrant Eyes
  18. Juanita
  19. She
  20. Sin City
  21. Wheels

Disc 4

  1. Beyond the Blue
  2. First in Line
  3. Highway of Heartache
  4. Alone and Forsaken
  5. Child of Mine
  6. Heaven Ain't Ready for You Yet
  7. Wish We Were Back in Missouri
  8. Mama's Hungry Eyes
  9. Here We Are
  10. Waltz Across Texas Tonight
  11. Snowin' on Raton
  12. Gone
  13. Don't Let Our Love Die
  14. The Pearl
  15. Wildwood Flower
  16. Love and Happiness
  17. When We're Gone, Long Gone

Disc 5

  1. Together Again
  2. Making Believe
  3. Blue Kentucky Girl
  4. Satan's Jewel Crown
  5. Mr. Sandman
  6. I Don't Have to Crawl
  7. I Ain't Living Long Like This
  8. Love Hurts
  9. Imagine
  10. Emmylou Harris on Animal Rescue

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Emmylou Harris   Primary Artist,Acoustic Guitar,Percussion,Electric Guitar,Vocals,Background Vocals,6-string bass,Guitar (Electric Baritone),Vocal Harmony
Mike Auldridge   Dobro,Pedal Steel Guitar
Jerry Douglas   Dobro
Alison Krauss   Viola
Tony Rice   Acoustic Guitar,Vocal Harmony
Ricky Skaggs   Acoustic Guitar,Fiddle,Mandolin,Viola,Vocals,Vocal Harmony
John Starling   Acoustic Guitar,Vocals,Background Vocals,Vocal Harmony
Marty Stuart   Mandolin
Dolores Keane   Vocals,Vocal Harmony
Sam Bush   Fiddle,Mandolin,Vocal Harmony
Johnny Cash   Vocal Harmony
Rodney Crowell   Acoustic Guitar,Rhythm Guitar,Background Vocals
Waylon Jennings   Vocal Harmony
George Jones   Vocals
Willie Nelson   Vocals
Dolly Parton   Vocals,Background Vocals,Guest Appearance
Verlon Thompson   Guitar
Iris DeMent   Vocals,Vocal Harmony
Jane Siberry   Background Vocals
Edgar Meyer   Bowed Bass
Mary Black   Vocals,Vocal Harmony
Elvis Costello   Guest Appearance
Steve Earle   Organ,Acoustic Guitar,Banjo,Bass,Harmonica,Mandolin,Harmonium,Vocals,Mini Moog,Finger Picking
Jonathan Edwards   Guitar,Vocals
Albert Lee   Acoustic Guitar,Mandolin,Electric Guitar,Background Vocals
David Lindley   Autoharp
Gram Parsons   Guitar,Vocals,Background Vocals
Linda Ronstadt   Vocals,Background Vocals,Vocal Harmony,Guest Appearance
Mike Henderson   Mandolin
Amos Garrett   Guitar,Electric Guitar
James Burton   Dobro,Electric Guitar,Rhythm Guitar,Gut String Guitar
Rick Cunha   Acoustic Guitar
Geraint Watkins   Hammond Organ
Eric Ambel   Guitar,Vocals
Glen Duncan   Fiddle,Mandolin
Jim Keltner   Drums
Bobby Wood   Keyboards
Sheryl Crow   Acoustic Guitar,Vocals,Guest Appearance
Lou Reid   Electric Bass,Vocals
Ben Keith   Pedal Steel Guitar
Mickey Raphael   Harmonica
Richard Rodney Bennett   Acoustic Guitar,Electric Guitar,Mandocello,6-string bass
Julie Miller   Background Vocals,Vocal Harmony
Beck   Acoustic Guitar,Vocals,Guest Appearance
Kevin Salem   Electric Guitar
Brian Ahern   Acoustic Guitar,Banjo,Bass,Percussion,Tambourine,Acoustic Bass,6-string bass,Hi String,Guitar (Electric Baritone),Archguitar
Larry Atamanuik   Drums,Vocal Harmony
Hal Blaine   Drums
Jock Bartley   Electric Guitar
Benmont Tench   Organ
Byron Berline   Fiddle,Mandolin
Brian Blade   Drums
Peter Bonta   Piano
Tony Brown   Piano,Electric Piano
Malcolm Burn   Bass,Percussion,Piano,Drums,Electric Guitar,Hammond Organ,Background Vocals,fender rhodes,Synthesizer Bass
Bob Carpenter   Accordion,Vocal Harmony
Mary Chapin Carpenter   Vocal Harmony
Mark Casstevens   Acoustic Guitar
Martin Chambers   Drums
Kathy Chiavola   Harmony
Travis Clark   Bass
Ken Coomer   Drums
Donivan Cowart   Background Vocals
Jim Cox   Keyboards
Chad Cromwell   Drums
Pat Crowley   Accordion
Danny Cummings   Drums
Glen D. Hardin   Piano,Keyboards,Electric Piano
Nick DeCaro   Strings,Accordion
Hank DeVito   Pedal Steel Guitar
Shane Keister   Synthesizer,Keyboards
Dan Dugmore   Acoustic Guitar
Kenny Edwards   Acoustic Bass
Jimmie Fadden   Drums
Steve Fishell   Dobro,Pedal Steel Guitar
Neil Flanz   Pedal Steel Guitar
Guy Fletcher   Acoustic Guitar,Keyboards
Vince Gill   Mandolin,Vocals,Tenor (Vocal)
Wayne Goodwin   Mandolin,Tenor Saxophone
Emory Gordy   Bass,Vocals,Background Vocals,Double Bass,Acoustic Bass
Tim Gorman   Piano,Background Vocals
Patty Griffin   Vocals,Vocal Harmony
David Grisman   Mandolin
Jeff Hanna   Guitar,Vocal Harmony
Levon Helm   Drums,Background Vocals,Vocal Harmony
Andy Hobson   Bass
David Hoffner   Keyboards,Wurlitzer
Jim Horn   Recorder
Chrissie Hynde   Vocals
Jimmy Ibbotson   Vocal Harmony
Victor Indrizzo   Drums
Carl Jackson   Acoustic Guitar,Vocals,Baritone (Vocal),Vocal Harmony
John Jarvis   Piano,Wurlitzer
Ethan Johns   Acoustic Guitar,Percussion,Drums,spanish guitar,E-bow,Guitar (Baritone)
Darryl Johnson   Organ,Bass,Percussion,Bass Guitar,Tom-Tom,Vocals,Djembe,bass pedals,Vocal Harmony
Mary Ann Kennedy   Mandolin,Vocals,Vocal Harmony
Paul Kennerley   Synthesizer,Electric Guitar,Background Vocals
Mark Knopfler   Guitar,Electric Guitar,Vocals,Guest Appearance
Lynn Langham   Synthesizer
Daniel Lanois   Acoustic Guitar,Bass,Mandolin,Electric Guitar,Vocals,Background Vocals,Performing Ensemble,bass pedals
Bernie Leadon   Banjo,Guitar,Synthesizer Bass
Greg Leisz   Acoustic Guitar,Pedal Steel Guitar
Chris Leuzinger   Acoustic Guitar,Electric Guitar,Slide Guitar
Dave Lewis   Drums
Kelly Looney   Bass
Robbie Magruder   Drums
Kenny Malone   Percussion,Drums
Jay Dee Maness   Pedal Steel Guitar
Carl Marsh   Synthesizer
Anna McGarrigle   Accordion,Keyboards,Background Vocals,Vocal Harmony
Pat McInerney   Drums
Buddy Miller   Acoustic Guitar,Electric Guitar,Vocals,12-string Guitar,Mando-Guitar
Joey Miskulin   Accordion
Larry Mullen   Drums,Hand Drums
Bob Mummert   Drums
Mark O'Connor   Acoustic Guitar,Fiddle,Viola,Mandola
Liam O'Flynn   Human Whistle,uillean pipes
Bill Payne   Organ,Piano,Electric Piano
Jody Payne   Background Vocals
Herb Pedersen   Acoustic Guitar,Background Vocals
Perkins   Banjo,Dobro,Pedal Steel Guitar,Vocal Harmony
Ray Pohlman   Bass
Dave Pomeroy   Bass
Frank Reckard   Guitar,Mandolin
Will Rigby   Percussion,Drums
Pamela Rose   Acoustic Guitar,Vocals,Vocal Harmony
Randy Scruggs   Acoustic Guitar,Dobro,Autoharp
Adam Seymour   Guitar
Milton Sledge   Percussion,Drums
Davy Spillane   Human Whistle,uillean pipes
Fayssoux Starling   Vocals,Background Vocals
Harry Stinson   Drums
Jeff Trott   Electric Guitar
Kyle Tullis   Bass
Steve Turner   Percussion,Drums
Ron Tutt   Drums
John Ware   Percussion,Drums
Cheryl White   Background Vocals,Vocal Harmony
Sharon White   Background Vocals,Vocal Harmony
Greg Williams   Drums
Glenn Worf   Bass
Bob Wray   Bass
John Duffey   Mandolin
Roy Huskey   Bass,Upright Bass
Dr. John   Piano
Smokey Hormel   Guitar
Kenny Vaughn   Electric Guitar
Joey Waronker   Drums
N.D. Smart   Drums
Gillian Welch   Bass,Vocal Harmony
Kate McGarrigle   Acoustic Guitar,Banjo,Piano,Background Vocals,Vocal Harmony
Scott Neubert   Acoustic Guitar
Jon Randall Stewart   Mandolin,Vocal Harmony
Jon Randall   Acoustic Guitar,Vocal Harmony
Barry Tashian   Rhythm Guitar,Vocals
Billy Thomas   Percussion
Emmylou Harris & the Nash Ramblers   Track Performer
Rev. Brady Blade   Percussion,Drums,Vocals
David Rawlings   Acoustic Guitar,Vocal Harmony
Don Johnson   Keyboards,Vocal Harmony
Pat Bergeson   Guitar,Harmonica,Tremolo
Justin Meldal-Johnsen   Bass
Gabe Witcher   Fiddle
Chris Nole   Piano
John McColgan   Percussion,Drums
Patrick Earle   Percussion
Sylvain Clavet   Percussion
Emily Robison   Weissenborn
Mike Bowden   Bass
Johnny Cox   Pedal Steel Guitar
Patty Mitchell   Vocal Harmony
Aaron Embry   Piano
Martie Maguire   Mandolin
Rob Price   Bass
Tony Hall   Bass,Shaker
Billy Payne   Synthesizer,Piano
Tim Smith   Bass,Guitar (Baritone)
Buddy Kunkel   Fiddle
Cheryl White Warren   Background Vocals,Vocal Harmony
Wix   Accordion

Technical Credits

Ralph Stanley   Composer
John Starling   Arranger,Producer
Carl Story   Composer
Marty Stuart   Composer
Dónal Lunny   Producer
Beth Nielsen Chapman   Composer
Guy Clark   Composer,Producer
Rodney Crowell   Composer
Gail Davies   Producer
Merle Haggard   Composer
Emmylou Harris   Arranger,Composer,Producer,Executive Producer,Author,Introduction
Chris Hillman   Composer
Willie Nelson   Duet
Buck Owens   Composer
Dolly Parton   Composer
Leonard Cohen   Composer
Sandy Denny   Composer
Utah Phillips   Composer
Jean Ritchie   Composer
Paul Siebel   Composer
John Lennon   Composer
Paul McCartney   Composer
Gram Parsons   Composer,Producer
Bruce Springsteen   Composer
Lucinda Williams   Composer
Jesse Winchester   Composer
Gerry Goffin   Composer
Rick Grech   Composer
Sheryl Crow   Producer
Mark Howard   Engineer
Goebel Reeves   Composer
Carl Belew   Composer
David Olney   Composer
Jerry Sullivan   Composer
Bobby Braddock   Composer
Richard Rodney Bennett   Producer
Julie Miller   Composer
Kimmie Rhodes   Composer
Eric Paul   Producer
Kieran Kane   Composer
Brian Ahern   Arranger,Producer
James Austin   Producer
Hugh Brown   Art Direction
Boudleaux Bryant   Composer
Steve Buckingham   Executive Producer
Malcolm Burn   Producer
Jack Clement   Producer
Bill Danoff   Composer
Taffy Danoff   Composer
Nick DeCaro   String Arrangements
Jim Dickson   Producer
Ray Ellis   Producer
Steve Fishell   Producer
Freddy Joe Fletcher   Producer
Nina Gerber   Producer
Glyn Johns   Producer
Emory Gordy   Producer
Nancy Hamilton   Composer
Carl Jackson   Composer,Producer,Duet
Paul Kennerley   Composer,Producer,Engineer
Mark Knopfler   Producer
Daniel Lanois   Arranger,Composer,Producer,Duet
Richard Leigh   Composer
Ira Louvin   Composer
George Massenburg   Producer
Anna McGarrigle   Composer
Buddy Miller   Producer
Roger Murrah   Composer
Gary Nicholson   Composer
Alan O'Bryant   Composer
Jamie O'Hara   Composer
Julia Olin   Producer
Allen Reynolds   Producer
Randy Scruggs   Arranger,Producer
Billy Sherrill   Producer
Allen Sides   Engineer
Fayssoux Starling   Arranger,Duet
Stephen Street   Producer
Sonny Throckmorton   Composer
Townes Van Zandt   Composer
Rafe Van Hoy   Composer
Miles Wilkinson   Producer
Bill Wolf   Producer
Liz Meyer   Composer
Ron Hynes   Composer
Mark Miller   Engineer
Kate McGarrigle   Composer
Marley Brant   Producer
John M. Delgatto   Producer
Joe Loesch   Special Effects
Chuck Ainlay   Producer
Shoji Tabuchi   Composer
Barry Tashian   Duet
Joe Werner   Composer
Jimmy Work   Composer
Patrick Milligan   Annotation
Jean Krikorian   Art Direction
Gary Oelze   Executive Producer
W.S. Stevenson   Composer
Morgan Lewis   Composer
Kenny Sowder   Composer
Pat Ballard   Composer
Walter Martin Cowart   Composer
John Gould   Illustrations
Twangtrust   Producer
Traditional   Composer
Scott Webber   Art Direction
Sylvie Simmons   Liner Notes
Paul Kremen   Executive Producer
Johnny Mullins   Composer

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Songbird: Rare Tracks & Forgotten Gems 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
omarNE More than 1 year ago
this is a great collection of songs from a unique singer. i will enjoy it over and over.
glauver More than 1 year ago
This is not the place to hear Emmylou rock and roll. It is a collection of slow,stately weepers,duets, and gospel ballads. That said, this is the place to really understand her artistic vision. She has taken great care in assembling this box set. My only complaint is the packaging. The book is fine, but the CDs are almost impossible to get out of their slots. I would probably listen to this set more if they were in a jewel case. I have not viewed the DVD.