The Everly Brothers first recorded “Love Hurts” in July 1960. Composer Boudleaux Bryant, an American songwriter, penned its lyrics. Due to its popularity, several artists covered it. For one, a 1975 international hit version is famous because of Nazareth (a Scottish hard rock band). In the UK, English singer Jim Capaldi sang it and made it a top five hit in 1975. Of all who covered it, Emmylou Harris and Gram Parsons’ duet made us feel the worst heartache.
Two—it takes two to tango, fall in and out of love, and sing songs of heartbreak and loss. Country music has a long respected history of duets. To name the magnificent pairings—Johnny and June Carter Cash; George Jones and Tammy Wynette; Jim Reeves and Patsy Cline; Kenny Rogers and Dolly Parton—they just represent a few in our list of the best country duets. One of the best heartache duets, we must say, is Emmylou Harris and Gram Parsons’ cover of “Love Hurts”.
For years, Emmylou Harris has compiled many beautiful duets with other well-known musicians. Among them are: “All Fall Down” with George Jones, “Wild Montana Skies” with John Denver, “Gulf Coast Highway” with Willie Nelson, and saving the best for last, “Love Hurts” with Gram Parsons. At that time, Gram Parsons was the lead vocal for the band Fallen Angels. With Parsons and Harris’ unique and very special partnership, Parsons adopted Harris to his band that made them form great songs.
The Emmylou Harris-Gram Parsons collaboration came to a full realization on the “Grievous Angel” album. Together with Bernie Leadon and master guitarist James Burton, the harmony of Gram Parsons’ and Emmylou’s voices attained a very moving track.
Because of their great friendship, Emmylou co-wrote one of the songs on the album. After the death of Parsons in 1973, Harris made the song a staple of her collection. Furthermore, she has included it in her concert setlists from the 1970s to the present. From then on, Harris has since re-recorded the song twice.
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