I just googled Emmylou Harris and found that she scores about 209,000. Most of those have got nothing to do with me, and I know you'll all be saying that this is because I never continue with the Emmylou Review. To which I say: not true, here I am continuing with it; and even so, it's not going to make much of a dent in the proportions; and I'm sorry for being late - but you know how it is. Anyway, here's a useful site to kick off the latest instalment: it collects the lyrics of all the songs on Emmylou's albums.
1985 - The Ballad of Sally Rose
In my own view, this is the first album since Roses in the Snow which can be spoken of as in the same 'league' as that and some of the albums preceding it. One indication is how very difficult I found it to get the width of a cigarette paper between the half dozen best tracks even after several fresh listenings. Hence, as many as four bubbling-unders on this occasion.
Ballad of Sally Rose was written with Paul Kennerley and, like his earlier The Legend of Jesse James - on which Emmylou sings two tracks and is in company with Johnny Cash and Levon Helm among others - it is a concept album, telling the story of the eponymous singer. I can't fault it. It's Emmylou back to her best. If you only own a few of her albums, this should be one of them. Top track: Sweet Chariot. Runner-up: Bad News. Bubbling-unders: Woman Walk the Line; Timberline; Sweetheart of the Rodeo; KSOS.
1986 - Thirteen
This album has two outstanding tracks, and they get the two top spots here, obviously. The first of them is a lovely ballad, written by the same duo, then husband and wife, that wrote the songs on Ballad of Sally Rose. The second is a Cajun number which has also been done by the great D.L. Menard. Otherwise, by her standards it's good Emmylou but not in the same elevated bracket as the last. Top track: When I Was Yours. Runner-up: Lacassine Special. Bubbling-under: Mystery Train.
1987 - Angel Band
One with a difference - an entire album of close harmony bluegrass gospel. The singing is excellent, with Vince Gill doing his thang on tenor vocals; but it'll depend on whether you like the genre. Top track: Bright Morning Stars. Runner-up: When He Calls. Bubbling-under: Where Could I Go but to the Lord.
[The first five instalments are here, here, and - on the old normblog site - here (November 19), here (November 16) and here (November 2). Also relevant, though I omitted to make it part of the series, is this.]