Our Top 10 The Flying Burrito Brothers Songs introduces us to an American band well known for their influence in the 1970s country-rock. Former members of The Byrds, Chris Hillman, and Gram Parsons would form this band in the later 1960s. The two tagged along Pete Kleinow and Chris Ethridge to make the original The Flying Burrito Brothers’ lineup. Unlike most bands who share a superb past, The Flying Burrito Brothers’ formation came only after the reconciliation of members who shared a bitter past in their former band, The Byrds. Even after the band’s formation, suspicion and lack of trust made the band more of a group than a team. Nevertheless, the band played music with passion recording their debut album, The Gilded Palace of Sin. Their album was critically acclaimed after its release in 1969, thanks to its blending of soul, classic, and psychedelic rock music genres. The album peaked at number 164 on the Billboard chart.
Even after success started knocking in, The Flying Burrito Brothers still couldn’t manage themselves in their best conduct. At one time, the band’s train tour ended in disaster due to alcohol and drug abuse. Ethridge would leave dissatisfied with The Flying Burrito Brothers’ slow rise to success and inability to reconcile his preference for R&B and groove-based music. After failed tours and releases, losses came knocking in, forcing the band to market as a straight country band. After a series of trials to make in the music industry, The Flying Burrito Brothers would later dissolve with later configurations of the band to appear since 1974 till date. Despite a rough ride in their music career, the top 10 The Flying Burrito Brothers songs still made them quite a reputable band amongst their fans.
#10 – Do Right Woman
Introducing us to the top 10 The Flying Burrito Brothers songs is the ballad “Do Right Woman.” Featured on the band’s debut album, The Gilded Palace of Sin, the song brings the best writing skills of Dan Penn and Chips Moman for Aretha Franklin. The original song is a gospel-inflicted plea that calls for men to respect their female partners. And true to the word, whoever treats his lover well makes it hard for her to stray, only that some will do that from an inner motivation.
#9 – Juanita
Written by Gram Parsons and Chris Hillman, “Juanita” is another great song from the band’s debut album, The Gilded Palace of Sin. The singer tells of how he was left by a woman who meant so much to him from the lyrics. During this time, he got into a self-destructive behavior of drug and alcohol abuse to numb the pain in his heart. However, an angel, in this context, another woman, came into his life and turned around what seemed to be the dark days of a past lost love. All this time, the singer didn’t know how to react and kept calling on his mum to help him with what to say.
#8 – Wheels
“Wheels” is yet another composition that brings the best of Gram and Chris’ sublime songwriting skills. The song talks of how we all have wheels to take us away from home after we have our destiny right at our hands. In some way, Christians can relate to the song having it seem to be a great way to connect to the fact that human beings will meet their maker once their mission on earth is accomplished!
#7 – Colorado
Featured on the band’s album The Flying Burrito Bros, “Colorado” feels quite similar to “Wheels.” However, this talks more of a homecoming after a fast-paced life trying to chase your goals. The Flying Burrito Brothers call and sing unto home in this context the mountainous areas of Colorado where they had left to seek a better life. Is it too late to make this choice? Well, east or west, home is the best, and in some way, even the prodigal son is welcome!
#6 – Six Days on the Road
“Six Days on the Road” is one of the greatest country-rock songs ever released. Initially, the song was released by Dave Dudley, peaking at number two on the Billboard Country Chart in 1964. While multiple artists have covered the song, very few have brought the same old vibe of the song back to life. However, The Flying Burrito Brothers took no chance with making this song one of the best releases from their album, Last of the Red Hot Burritos.
#5 – Wild Horses
Featured as the final track on their album Burrito Deluxe, the hit “Wild Horses” was originally a song by the Rolling Stones. Gram Parsons approached the band members, who he was friends with, asking to record the song with The Flying Burrito Brothers. Funny about the song is that it was released way ahead of the original song written by Keith Richards and Mick Jagger. Only friendship can have such a thing happen!
#4 – Dark End of the Street
Released in their debut album, “Dark End of the Street” was originally a song by James Carr, featured on his 1967 album You Got My Mind Messed Up. James’ song was written by Chips Moman and Dan Penn, with Dan Penn delivering harmonies for the track too. “Dark End of Street” has been described a lot by fans and critics as a straightforward country cheating hit song.
#3 – Sin City
Number 3 in our top 10 The Flying Burrito Brothers songs list is “Sin City” from the band’s with the same title recorded in 1976. The song was written inspired by Chris Hillman’s words, “This old town’s filled with sin, it’ll swallow you in.” The Flying Burrito Brothers sang it together while sounding like a world-weary version of the Everly Brothers. “Sin City” would become one of the signature hits of the band and a memorable country-rock song.
#2 – Christine’s Tune
Featured on the band’s debut album, “Christine’s Tune” remains one of the band’s memorable songs. The song is about Miss Christine, a famous LA Groupie and one of the Frank Zappa members. “Christine’s Tune” was inspired by Christine’s relationship with Chris Hillman that went sour. You can tell that Chris was a bitter man after they broke up from the song’s lyrics.
#1 – Hot Burrito 1
“Hot Burrito 1” remains to be the best The Flying Burrito Brothers songs from their 1969 debut album, The Gilded Palace of Sin. Gram wrote “Hot Burrito 1” about a breakup with Nancy, a girlfriend with whom they had a daughter. In this song, Gram confessed that he could not stand the thought of his ex-girlfriend with another man. The song became a major influence on The Flying Burrito Brothers career, helping them receive critical acclaim with its release.
Feature Photo: A&M Records, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons
Top 10 Flying Burrito Brothers Songs article published on Classic RockHistory.com© 2021
Classicrockhistory.com claims ownership of all its original content and Intellectual property under United States Copyright laws and those of all other foreign countries. No one person, business or any organizations is allowed to republish any of our original content anywhere on the web or in print without our permission.