Doubtless the number who read this magazine and require a single-disc introduction to the recorded works of Emmylou Harris is miniscule. So, inevitably, is the number who would not quibble with the selections made for such a set, even though, in this case, the choices are those of the artist herself. If the body of work is of depth and substance — and it is, of course — the task is impossible. Here, to pick one poignant example, we miss the wonderful duet with Don Williams on Townes Van Zandt’s “If I Needed You”. Nevertheless, it is a comparatively full summation, from the Gram Parsons duet “Love Hurts” through the Lanois era, and without those suspicious bonus tracks. Doubtless any of us would have chosen differently. Which, I fear, is why the evil of downloading (the legal kind) is said to be the future of the music industry.
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