Thursday, September 22, 2011

The Byrds - The Byrds (1970 us folk rock - 2000 Legacy remaster edition 2 cds - Wave audio format)

"Untitled" is by far my favorite Byrds lp, regardless of what era of the band it was. There are many reasons for this- mainly being that the countrified Byrds of McGuinn/White/Battin/Parsons was the most stable lineup of the band, and with it produced numbers that ROCKED harder than anything they had ever done.
Disc one opens with live material, with obligitory Dylan numbers, the country/rocked out glory of "Nashville West," showcasing the late Clarence White's amazing guitar work, and the blissful 16 minute workout of "Eight Miles High"- proving that when they were inspired, the Byrds could flex their solo muscles and go with it. The studio material offer many wonderful nuggets, such as the McGuinn classic "Chestnut Mare," the Parsons/Battin's religiously based "Yesterday's Train," Leadbelly's "Take a Whiff on Me," sung by White, and White's wonderful take on Lowell George's beautiful "Truck Stop Girl.".
The beauty of a whole cd worth of unissued material is more than enough reason to get this gem of a re-release. It showcases the wonderful democracy (or as close as McGuinn would allow it to be) of the band at this point, and with it, the immense talents of all 4 members. Highlights include the studio version of McGuinn's "Lover of the Bayou," Parson's cover of Lowell George's "Willin," and White's "White's Lightning Pt.2," part of a studio jam. Also included are more live tracks including "Jesus Is Just Alright," soon to be the Doobie Brothers' breakout hit..
Many people regard this lp as the last great Byrds lp. This is debatable, of course (I feel "Last Time Around" is a brilliant, if tired, effort), but what is clear is the absolute brillaince of this lineup. Their chops are in top form, and it shows throughout the 2 cds. they never sounded tighter and more at ease with themselves.
This re-issue is absolutly indispensible listening and a gem of the highest calibre.(By Sean M. Kelly - Portland, Oregon)
As a long-time admirer of the Byrds' Untitled, I have to admit I was a bit skeptical when I heard that another CD was being added to the re-release, with studio and concert outtakes. Forgive me for doubting. The added studio tracks are a revelation. "All the Things" seems like a completely different song, with a brilliant arrangement that features complex vocal harmonies and a prominent McGuinn guitar--one of his most heavenly 12-string riffs. "Lover of the Bayou" features a heavily echoed McGuinn vocal and a strong harmonica backing, plus great guitar interplay between McGuinn and Clarence White--ferocious! Then there are two quiet, acoustic songs with Gene Parsons's vocals that are the real sleepers here--"Willin'" and "Yesterday's Train." The latter has an understated vocal so achingly beautiful that all the song's wistful longing comes through. And the acoustic version of "Kathleen's Song" has a similar fragile beauty. All in all, 22 minutes of unreleased studio cuts than are as strong as anything on the original album. As for the live performances, a great "Jesus is Just Alright"--it's about time a live version is now available. And the arrangement of "Ballad of Easy Rider" is far superior to the studio version, with lovely bitter-sweet harmonies at the end. From a double album to a double CD--and every bit worthy of the name. One of the greatest Byrds albums, now even more awe-inspiring.

The Byrds - 8 Miles High

THE BYRDS: 8 MILES HIGH AVEC Clarence White GUITAR par mrjyn

Tracks Listing

Disc: 1
01. Lover Of The Bayou
02. Positively 4th Street
03. Nashville West
04. So You Want To Be A Rock 'N Roll Star
05. Mr. Tambourine Man
06. Mr. Spaceman
07. Eight Miles High
08. Chestnut Mare
09. Truck Stop Girl
10. All The Things
11. Yesterday's Train
12. Hungry Planet
13. Just A Season
14. Take A Whiff On Me
15. You All Look Alike
16. Well Come Back Home

Disc: 2
01. All The Things - (alternate take)
02. Yesterday's Train - (alternate take)
03. Lover Of The Bayou - (alternate take)
04. Kathleen's Song - (alternate take)
05. White's Lightning Pt. 2
06. Willin'
07. You Ain't Goin' Nowhere - (live)
08. Old Blue - (live)It's Alright Ma (I'm Only Bleeding) - (live)
09. It's Alright Ma (I'm Only Bleeding) - (live)
10. Ballad Of Easy Rider - (live)
11. My Back Pages - (live)
12. Take A Whiff On Me - (live)
13. Jesus Is Just Alright - (live)
14. Wheels On Fire - (live)

Roger McGuinn - Guitar, Vocals
Gene Parsons - Drums, Percussions, Banjo, Vocals
Skip Battin - Bass, Piano, Vocals
Clarence White - Guitar, Vocals

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