Flying Again is the fourth studio album by the country rock group The Flying Burrito Brothers, released in 1975.
After Gram Parsons’ death in 1973, posthumous interest in the Burrito Brothers’ music grew. This interest caused the band’s original label, A&M Records, to release the compilation album Close Up the Honky-Tonks. Since Rick Roberts had dissolved the Flying Burrito Brothers after a brief 1973 European tour with no original members, former manager Eddie Tickner started to think about the possibilities of reviving the band.
After Tickner received booking interest from a number of clubs, founding members “Sneaky” Pete Kleinow and Chris Ethridge agreed to re-form the Burritos. They hired former Byrds drummer Gene Parsons, Joel Scott Hill from Canned Heat, and Gib Guilbeau to round out the “refried” Burritos. Tickner then got the new band a deal with Columbia Records, of which Flying Again was their label debut.
Despite having two original members, the sound of this album is markedly different from the albums released by the original incarnation. The best examples of this are on the tracks “Dim Lights, Thick Smoke (And Loud, Loud Music)” and “Hot Burrito #3”. “Dim Lights” is much faster and more rocking than the version recorded by the original lineup that would appear in 1976. While bassist Chris Ethridge had a significant hand in the writing of “Hot Burrito #1” and #2, Part 3 is a jarring departure from the style of the first two songs. The lyrics are written more as a caricature of the first two. “Building Fires” was released as a single. (by wikipedia)
The last that had been heard of the Flying Burrito Brothers was a 1973 European tour organized by Rick Roberts, replacement for founding member Gram Parsons, with a few hired guns. But with Parsons’s growing posthumous legend, the band’s name retained currency, and former bassist Chris Ethridge and former pedal steel guitarist “Sneaky” Pete Kleinow retained legal rights to that name. They brought in guitarist/fiddle player Floyd “Gib” Gilbeau, guitarist Joel Scott Hill, and former Byrds drummer Gene Parsons, and relaunched the Burritos with this album of competently played country-rock. Words like “travesty” and “insult” have been used to describe it, on the grounds that Ethridge and Kleinow were trading on Parsons’s reputation, but on its own, the album is an adequate, if unremarkable set. (by William Ruhlmann)
Through many shifting line-ups, the original run of the Flying Burrito Brothers had ended by 1973. However the band name was soon to be resurrected. After the release of some posthumous compilation albums, interest in the band actually grew, so that their original manager Eddie Tickner decided to organise a reunion of sorts. However most of the original members were not interested at the time.
So instead Tickner turned to Gene Parsons. Parsons already had a long history in the country-rock field, most notably being drummer for The Byrds in their latter years. He persuaded original bassist Chris Ethridge to join, along with guitarist Joel Scott Hill, who had played in bands with both of them (and had also been a member of Canned Heat from 1970-72). Pedal steel guitarist Sneaky Pete Kleinow soon joined them as well, and the final member was Parson’s old friend and musical partner Gib Guilbeau. The new five-piece went on tour as the Flying Burrito Brothers – having two of the original Burritos allowed them to use the name. Parsons was the drummer, but also contributed guitar and harmonica, and Guilbeau played his signature cajun fiddle as well as rhythm guitar. The result was a diverse lineup in terms of instruments, vocals and songwriting, and a strong live unit.
The appropriately named Flying Again album came out in 1975, with guest musician Spooner Oldham handling keyboards. Now as it was released under the Burrito Brothers name, expectations of course were high, and it has often been unfairly dismissed as being mediocre. The truth is that it is an absolutely fantastic album. The songs, performances and production are all top notch. Alongside great original songs by Parsons and Guilbeau there are covers of George Jones’ “Why Baby Why”, Joe Maphis’ “Dim Lights, Thick Smoke”, and a couple of Dan Penn numbers (the band’s 1969 debut had also featured two Penn songs). Hill performed most of the lead vocals admirably, with both Parsons and Guilbeau singing on a few too. The results is a great fusion of rock, country, soul and R&B. (stuckinthepast08.blogspot.com)
Chris Ethridge (bass)
Gib Guilbeau (vocals, fiddle, guitar)
Joel Scott Hill (vocals, guitar)
“Sneaky” Pete Kleinow (pedal steel guitar)
Gene Parsons (vocals, drums, guitar, harmonica)
Spooner Oldham (keyboards)
01. Easy To Get On (Brown/Hill) – 3:18
02. Wind And Rain (Parsons/Guilbeau) – 4:28
03. Why Baby Why (Jones/Edwards) – 2:24
04. Dim Lights, Thick Smoke (And Loud, Loud Music) (Fidler/J.Maphis/R.Maphis) – 2:16
05. You Left the Water Running” (Dan Penn, Oscar Frank, Rick Hall) – 2:23
06. Building Fires (Penn/Christopher/Dickinson) – 4:18
07. Sweet Desert Childhood (Parsons) – 3:44
08. Bon Soir Blues (Guilbeau/Maxwell) – 4:11
09. River Road (Guilbeau) – 2:59
10. Hot Burrito #3 (Ethridge/Guilbeau/Hill/Kleinow/Parsons) – 2:07