Top 10 New Riders of the Purple Sage Songs

New Riders Of The Purple Sage songs

Photo: cp_thornton [CC BY 2.0

Our Top 10 New Riders of the Purple Sage Songs list takes a look at a band co-founded by the Grateful Dead’s legendary Jerry Garcia. Even though Jerry Garcia only recorded one album with the group, his connection with the New Riders of the Purple Sage fueled instant interest in the band, especially from the legion of dedicated Dead Heads. The New Riders of the Purple Sage released their first album in 1971 on Columbia Records. Their music fused elements of country, blues, and rock. It was a popular sound at the time.

New Riders of the Purple Sage enjoyed their most tremendous commercial success in the 1970s. Their first handful of albums achieved the highest chart positions of their career. The first two albums New Riders of the Purple Sage and Powerglide reached the U.S. Top 40 album music charts. The group’s following four albums also made it into the top 100 on the U.S. Billboard Album Charts. From 1971 until 1974 the band released six albums in a span of only three years. In modern times, it seems most artists release one album every six years or so.

The New Riders of the Purple Sage continued to release albums and tours on a relentless schedule through the 1970s. They released ten albums during the decade of the seventies. The band continued to release music throughout the 1980s during the glam years when bands like Bon Jovi, Poison, and Def Leppard dominated the airwaves. Nonetheless, the band continued on throughout the 1980s, sailing through the 1990s grunge scene and into the 2000s. Despite music changes, there is always a place for bands like The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band and The Grateful Dead. The popularity of new groups that fused many of those same elements, like The Dave Matthews Band and many others, proved there will always be a new audience for great organic country rock and roll.

# 10 – Glendale Train

We open up our top 10 New Riders of the Purple Sage Songs list with the classic New Riders song “Glendale Train.” The classic tale of train robbery was released on the band’s debut album in 1971, entitled New Riders of the Purple Sage. Jerry Garcia’s banjo playing on this one sounded so sweet. John Dawson wrote the song.

# 9 – Red Hot Women and Ice Cold Beer

Even if you don’t like the song, you must love the title. And come on, you know you love this great song. “Red Hot Women and Ice Cold Beer” was released in 1977. The song appeared on the New Riders of the Purple Sage album Who Are Those Guys? The song “Red Hot Women and Ice Cold Beer” was the closing track on the album. The song was written by legendary songwriter Seymour “Cy” Coben. The songwriter had penned over 50 top 40 hits between the 1940s and 70 for various artists. A legendary songwriter, legendary song, legendary band!

# 8 – You Angel You

On this one, the New Riders of the Purple Sage tilted more toward the pop world without leaving their traditional country sound too far behind. This has always been one of our favorites. The song “You Angel You” was released on the Brujo album. The record was released in 1974. The song “You Angel You” was written by Bob Dylan. The song was released as a single from the record.

# 7 – Mighty Time

At number seven on this top 10 New Riders of the Purple Sage Songs list, we turn to the tremendous grooving track “Mighty Time.” The song was released on the album Oh, What a Mighty Time. Certain songs lent themselves to the road quite well. It didn’t get better than driving down the highway in the 1970s with the windows wide open and listening to music like this great song by New Riders. Can’t you feel it?

# 6 – Linda

Continuing with our New Riders of the Purple Sage Songs list, we present the wonderful song “Linda.” This heartwarming piece of music was released on the album Gypsy Cowboy. The record was the band’s third album release. The album was issued in 1973. Listen to the inspiring musical chant in the middle section of the song. Simply, it is one of the New Riders of the Purple Sage’s best recordings.

# 5 -You Should Have Seen Me Running

The tender ballad “You Should Have Seen Me Running” was released on The Adventures of Panama Red albumThe beautiful backing vocals performed on the songs belonged to Canadian singer, musical artist, and activist Buffy Sainte-Marie. The song and album were released in 1973.

# 4 – Henry

The great New Riders of the Purple Sage song “Henry” was released in 1971. The song Henry was issued on the band’s first album entitled New Riders of the Purple Sage. One listen to this great song, and you won’t get enough of Jerry Garcia’s brilliant pedal steel guitar playing.

# 3 – Lonesome L.A. Cowboy

As we get closer to the top 10 spot on our Top 10 New Riders of the Purple Sage Songs list, we turn to the band’s fourth album, The Adventures of Panama Red. The album was released in 1973. It was a banner year for music, with classic albums by Elton John, The Who, Pink Floyd, and Led Zeppelin released that year. With albums like Quadrophenia, Goodbye Yellow Brick Road, Houses of The Holy, and Dark Side of the Moon being released, it’s pretty impressive that bands like The New Riders of the Purple Stage could get any airplay.

The great song “Lonesome L.A. Cowboy” was written by Peter Rowan. The song appeared as the third track on the album. It was also the longest-running song on the record.

# 2 – Last Lonely Eagle

The classic New Riders of the Purple Sage Song “Last Lonely Eagle” was released on the band’s debut album, New Riders of the Purple Sage. The album was released in 1971. Like all songs on the original album release, the song “Last Lonely Eagle,” was written by John Dawson, The song also featured guest appearances by Mickey Hart and Commander Cody.

# 1 – Panama Red

We close out our Top 10 New Riders of the Purple Sage Songs list with the band’s most famous song, “Panama Red.” The song was released on the band’s fourth album, The Adventures of Panama Red. The album The Adventures of Panama Red was released in 1973. The popularity of the song “Panama Red” helped the band achieve their only Gold Album.

The song “Panama Red” was the album’s opening track. Legendary musician Peter Rowan wrote the song. The album and songs were released on Columbia Records. The record was produced by Norbert Putnam.

Updated January 13, 2024

Top 10 New Riders of the Purple Sage Songs article published on Classic RockHistory.com© 2024

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