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THE FLYING BURRITO BROTHERS

1980 - 1985

Burrito Discography

Burrito Bibliography


BURRITO SCORECARD:

Burrito Bros. v. 6.0
John Beland: vocals, guitar
Gib Guilbeau: vocals, fiddle
Sneaky Pete Kleinow: pedal steel
Skip Battin: vocals, bass

"She's A Friend of a Friend" (US)
Curb
December 1980
Country Top 70

Hearts on the Line (US)
Curb
January 1981

"Does She Wish She Was Single Again?" / "Oh Lonesome Me" (US)
Curb
April 1981
Country Top 20

"She Belongs to Everyone But Me" / "Why Must the Ending Always Be So Sad" (US)
Curb
July 1981
Country Top 20


Burrito Bros. v. 6.1
John Beland: vocals, guitar
Gib Guilbeau: vocals, fiddle
Sneaky Pete Kleinow: pedal steel

"If Something Should Come Between Us (Let It Be Love)" / "Damned If I'll Be Lonely Tonight" (US)
Curb
December 1981
Country Top 30

Sunset Sundown (US)
Curb
January 1982

"Closer to You" /
"Coast to Coast" (US)
Curb
April 1982
Country Top 40

"I'm Drinking Canada Dry" /
"How'd We Ever Get That Way" (US)
Curb
July 1982
Country Top 20

Hollywood Nights 1979-1982
Sundown 67
May 1990
Demo versions of the Guilbeau/Beland hits.


Burrito Bros. v. 6.2
John Beland: vocals, guitar
Gib Guilbeau: vocals, fiddle

"Blue and Broken-Hearted Me" /
"Our Roots Are In Country Music" (US)
Curb
November 1982

"Could You Love Me One More Time" /
"Rollercoaster" (US)
Curb
1983
A side featured Earl Scruggs

Taste of the Country
Recorded in 1983; released only in Europe in the late '80s.

"Almost Saturday Night" /
"Jukebox Kind of Night"
Curb
January 1984

"My Kind of Lady" /
"Dream Chaser" (US) Curb
May 1984

Double Barrel
Sundown
December 1995
Recorded 1984.




To read about Skip Battin and the other late '70s Burritos, see the previous page in this chapter: The Flying Burrito Brothers: 1974 - 1979.


The Burrito Brothers v. 6.0

At the end of 1979, the late '70s incarnation of the Flying Burrito Brothers had devolved to Gib Guilbeau, Sneaky Pete Kleinow, and Skip Battin. Their live recording of "White Line Fever" had by some fluke become a minor hit on US country radio. The Burritos had to decide whether to capitalize on renewed interest, and if so, how.
Guilbeau had several other irons in the fire. He had been signed as a songwriter to Criterion Music in L.A., and in late 1979, he ran into another Criterion songwriter: John Beland, who had played with Guilbeau in Swampwater from 1969 to 1971. The two had access to studio time, and looked up Swampwater bassist and sometime Burrito Thad Maxwell to see how the old group sounded. Guilbeau and Beland wrote and recorded a few songs together, in the course of which they did some sessions with Kleinow. (Some of these sessions were eventually released in Italy on Swampwater (Appaloosa, 1988).) Eventually Guilbeau hit upon a different idea: Beland should join the Burritos.
Beland at this time had a regular job backing up Rick Nelson, but he saw the opportunity to be out in front with the Burritos. He and Guilbeau agreed that they would write more commercial material for the group and shop it to labels. They also truncated the group's name to the Burrito Brothers, to emphasize the group's new direction. The pair spent some time in the woodshed and came out with a bunch of demos, many of which were later released on Hollywood Nights 1979-1982 (Sundown, 1990). Those demos landed the group a contract with Curb Records, at that time a subsidiary of CBS.
By the end of 1980, the Burrito Brothers had released their first single, "She's A Friend of a Friend." It reached the country top 70. The new group's first album, Hearts on the Line (Curb, 1981) followed in January. Its contents bore little resemblance to anything previously issued under the Burrito name -- these were the type of slick, commercial country pop that dominated the country charts at the time. The next two singles ("Does She Wish She Was Single Again?" and "She Belongs to Everyone But Me") finally broke the Burrito jinx by hitting the country Top 20.


The Burrito Brothers v. 6.1

Bassist Skip Battin apparently didn't care for the Burritos' new direction. He left midway through the recording of Hearts. Beland, Guilbeau and Kleinow toured behind Emmylou Harris in support of the LP, then began work on the follow-up. Its first single, "If Something Should Come Between Us (Let It Be Love)" was released in December of 1980, making the Top 30. The album, Sunset Sundown (Curb, 1981) came out in January. Again, two more singles were released, "Closer to You" and "I'm Drinking Canada Dry."


The Burrito Brothers v. 6.2

Despite the impressive performance of their singles, the curse of the Burritos had already begun to reassert itself. Sneaky Pete Kleinow, unwilling to leave L.A. and his film work, decided to leave the band just after the release of Sunset Sundown. Beland and Guilbeau continued on as a duo, and moved to Nashville, hoping to consolidate their successes to date.
Unfortunately for the band, Curb had difficulty translating their successful singles into album sales. Beland attributes this failure to growing tensions between Curb and its corporate parent, CBS.
Curb assigned Randy Scruggs to produce the third Burrito Brothers LP, Taste of the Country. Two singles from those sessions, "Blue and Broken-Hearted Me" and "Could You Love Me One More Time," were released, but the album itself languished in the vaults, as friction between Curb and CBS came to a head. (Taste was eventually released in Europe several years later.)
Curb moved to MCA, but the duo's fortunes did not improve. Their first MCA release was a cover of John Fogerty's "Almost Saturday Night." That spring, the duo recorded "My Kind of Lady" for the soundtrack of a Disney movie called Dream Chasers (1984). "The song was terrible, the production was terrible, and the movie was terrible!" Beland remarked later.* Naturally, the single was a minor hit.
Around this time, Beland and Guilbeau sacked their manager, whose work had suffered due to marital and drug problems. His subsequent suicide demoralized the pair further. By the time of his death, they had signed with Leon Russell's manager. They recorded a two-record set to be called Double Barrel for Russell's Paradise Records, but that album went unreleased when Paradise folded. (Again, it eventually saw release abroad.)
Discouraged and at odds with each other in the studio, Beland and Guilbeau decided to call it quits. They made plans to release one more album in Europe, then went their separate ways.
Beland made arrangements to rejoin Rick Nelson's Stone Canyon Band, which were aborted by the plane crash that took Nelson's life. He ended up touring with Nicolette Larson. Guilbeau, meanwhile, formed a duo with his son Ronnie. That pairing also had difficulty getting off the ground.
For a couple years, Beland and Guilbeau had achieved the chart success that eluded all previous incarnations of the Burritos, but a run of bad luck kept them from building on that success. It's almost as if they were being punished for daring to record commercial country music under the Burrito trademark. Apparently it takes more than a few hit singles to overcome the Burrito curse.



To follow the career of the sometimes Flying, sometimes not Burrito Brothers, see The Flying Burrito Brothers: 1985 - Present.



Notes

"The song was terrible..." Duncan, "Beland Part 2" at 100.



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Spinoffs | Flying Burrito Brothers | 1980 - 1985

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