The Gilded Palace of Sin isn’t strictly a country rock record. But when Parsons chose to mix the country with whatever else, he did it so well that it drew the ire of the Nashville establishment who felt that Parson’s music was a stain on the wholesomeness of pure country music. A sort of hippie invasion, if you will. Looking back, it’s funny to think about. Not only Nashville’s revulsion at Parson as an unsavory character—because there were no unsavory characters in country music—but also because country rock and country pop now dominate a large section of the consumer music market. That sort of genre blending, the country aesthetic mixed with dance beats or rock riffs, is a flower off the tree of Parson’s Cosmic American Music. Although I’m not so sure he would be happy with the dumb-downed legacy that is the current state of country music. American it is. Cosmic it is not.
Counterbalance No. 153: Flying Burrito Brothers’ ‘The Gilded Palace of Sin’ by Jason Mendelsohn and Eric Klinger
The Guilded Palace of Sin remains for me, after forty-six years, one of my favorite pop records of all time, certainly in the top five.
I put the following compact disc in my car player and listened to it twice.
The hook for me, once again, was Sneaky Pete Kleinow’s pedal steel magic. His playing reinforces my own sense that The Burrito Brothers were a psychedelic country band, with Sneaky’s shapeshifting steel fronting the lead guitar aesthetic with its leaps between swirly chorus-effect and bandsaw fuzz.
Plus, marvels of lip-synch and stand-up pedal steel.
Sneaky Pete also anchored The Flying Burrito Brothers on tour.
Calgary, August 1970
There are some fine audio-only concerts from 1970 on youtube.
Seattle Pop Festival – July 27, 1969
December 6, 1970 – Lyceum Ballroom – London, England