The first country rock LP ever? Gram Parsons’ International Submarine Band LP

IsbGram Parsons‘ polarizes. Some can’t live without his unique backwater drawl, whilst others can’t stand his soppy country twangs. Well, for those falling in the latter who are still curious, perhaps you should try Gram’s first proper outing with the cracking shuffle of ‘Safe At Home’. ‘Safe At Home’, by the International Submarine Band, was produced by Suzi Jane Hokom for Lee Hazelwood’s LHI label, and features Gram pre-Burrito.

‘Safe At Home’ contains Gram at his most rockin’. ‘Strong Boy’ is worthy of virtually any dancefloor, with an Little Richard-esque shuffle and honky tonked piano. The production on this particular cut is so tough that it’s hard to think of a more brutal form of country… which is obviously the ‘rock’ influence brought by Parsons’ love of RnB and Rockabilly.

The long player also features one of Parsons’ career bests in the shape of ‘Luxury Liner’. Off kilter vocals merge with grade-A country rock to create one of the finest examples of the genre ever recorded. Long before Parsons’ has begun his affair with doe-eyed road songs, ‘Liner’ sees him promiscuous and tough as nails.

The LP sees Parsons’ taking on all styles, some of which can be found on the Legacy edition of The Byrds ‘Sweetheart of the Rodeo’, but for the real country crunch, get to ‘Safe At Home’ and get laid to waste by a youthful punkassed Parsons taking on all-comers.

Mof Gimmers

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