Sacred Hearts & Fallen Angels, an outstanding two-CD compilation of Parsons' material, draws richly from those sources as well as lesser releases and outtakes, including a previously unreleased ISB track. From the rocking "Oh Las Vegas" and "Luxury Liner," to the haunting "Dark End of the Street" and the ethereal "Hot Burrito #2," the compilers have included the essential Parsons recordings. Although the compilation features only three cuts from the live album with Emmylou Harris, I could only conjure up a couple of songs I truly missed.
The Parsons magic derives in no small part from the "live fast, love hard, die young, and leave a beautiful memory" aspect, but the musical substance drawn together here carries a great deal of weight. Unlike his contemporaries who came from either country (roughly the musicians on the second CD) or rock (those on the first), Parsons, as a singer and songwriter, never resolved the conflict within himself between country, R&B, and rock. But it's exactly that conflict that led Parsons to create music that still sounds fresh, three decades later.