The Flying Burrito Brothers - Hot Burrito #1
from The Gilded Palace of Sin (1969)
Don’t be mislead by the title — this is an achingly sad song, a plea for mercy from a man who can’t bear to forget his lover, no matter how cruelly she treats him. I’m your toy — I’m your old boy. But I don’t want no one but you to love me. Gram Parsons’ voice, often rather weak on other recordings, cracks and tears heartbreakingly here, and his lyrics twist around themselves, portraying the inner monologue of a man in an agony of confusion and regret.
Parsons died at the age of 26, but his impact on country music was, frankly, too great to cover in a single blog post of the length I usually write. He played what he called Cosmic American Music, a fusion of his deep reverence for traditional country music with a drug-fueled take on rock and roll. Along with Hank Williams, he’s one of country music’s great martyred heroes, and considering how densely packed his discography is with incredible songs, I’ll be featuring a lot more of his work soon. If this surface scratch leaves you impatient, though, I’d recommend diving into these excellent profiles of his work in the Onion AV Club: 1, 2.