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The International Submarine Band: Safe at Home

Album Reviews:

Uncut (p.112) - 3 stars out of 5 - "[A] cultural and musical flashpoint....The first glimpse at Parsons' formidable compositional skills, it introduces an authoritative singer, one already rivaling those he covers..."

Dirty Linen (p.59) - "Listen carefully to the album, and you can almost hear Parsons heading off into the wild blue yonder with the Flying Burrito Brothers in the making."

Goldmine - "refreshing, sharp and lively...."

Mojo (Publisher) (3/01/04, p.52) - Included in Mojo's The 67 Lost Albums You Must Own! - "If Gram Parsons was always a neglected visionary, then SAFE AT HOME surely set the tone for his career."

Mojo (Publisher) (p.116) - 4 stars out of 5 - "[A] rich collection of freaked-out Sun Records homages, hardcore country covers and soulful originals..."

Album Notes

Full performer name: Gram Parsons' International Submarine Band.

Gram Parsons' International Submarine Band: Gram Parsons, Bob Buchanan (vocals, guitar); Jon Corneal (vocals, drums); John Nuese (guitar); Good Ole "Jay Dee" (steel guitar); Earl "Les" Ball (piano); Chris Ethridge (bass).

Reissue producer: Dale Davis.

Recorded at United Studios, Hollywood, California in December, 1967. Orginally released on LHI/ABC Records. Includes liner notes by Sid Griffin.

All tracks have been digitally remastered.

Country, rock, and R&B share a remarkable number of attributes, not surprising given that all fuse such diverse Southern music styles as gospel, blues, and English ballads. An effort to bring these modern pop styles together was inevitable, especially during the 60's, a fertile period of musical experimentation. Few could have imagined, however, how well and how quickly these styles would mesh. 1967's SAFE AT HOME, the sole album by the International Submarine Band, is an early stab at this marriage of styles. The disc's artistic successes are primarily the responsibility of singer Gram Parsons, a legendary figure whose later work the Byrds, the Flying Burrito Brothers, and Emmylou Harris would cement his reputation as "the father of country-rock."

At just over 26 minutes, SAFE AT HOME is a perfunctory outing, but its historical importance and its many high points overshadow its brevity. Highlights include four Parsons originals and cover versions of songs by Merle Haggard, Johnny Cash, and Jack Clement. The playing is funky and the singing soulful throughout, foreshadowing Parsons' stints with the Burritos and the Byrds. An important and enjoyable record, SAFE AT HOME is a must for all country-rock fans.


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