The Flying Burrito Brothers - 1971
Parsons was replaced by singer and songwriter Rick Roberts, and Roberts shows fine capabilities in both fields on this album. As songwriter he contributes to no less than 7 numbers - the best, however, are those written with Byrd legend Chris Hillman, whom I personally regard as the group's key member.
The three Hillman / Roberts songs "Hand To Mouth," "Just Can not Be" and "All Alone" are among the album best. It is however the three cover versions that stand strongest in the picture. In particular, Gene Clark's "Tried So Hard", with lead vocal by Hillman is a highlight. Opening number "White Line Fever" sounds like a song Parsons also would have liked to sing, and Dylan's "To Ramona" can hardly be delivered better.
A very good album, that can be found paired with the live album "Last of the Red Hot Burrito" from 1972, which shows the same band-constellation at their best. Bonus numbers there are two Gene Clark songs. On "Here Tonight" helps Clark himself on vocals, and "Tried So Hard" is an early single-version of the album track.