From Rhodes Scholar to decorated military helicopter pilot to janitor is hardly the most promising of career trajectories.
However Kris Kristofferson finessed that downward arc into something extraordinary when he made the jump from Nashville studio dogsbody to the singer-songwriter who, according to Willie Nelson, hauled country music "out of the Dark Ages" – a process depicted in downbeat but gripping manner on these hitherto unreleased demos.
Included are prototype versions of several future standards with Kristofferson's weather-beaten baritone defining the notion of "old before his time". Of particular interest is the juxtaposition of "Me And Bobby McGee", first recorded by his friend Janis Joplin, and "Epitaph (Black And Blue)", written in tribute after her death.
Download this: Me And Bobby McGee; Epitaph (Black And Blue)