THE BYRDS “BYRDS” (’73 REUNION)
The announcement of the reunion album featuring all five original Byrds raised expectations to the point where whatever emerged was almost bound to be an anticlimax. (Imagine the effect of the Beatles reforming around the same time, if you will.) Despite a general thumbs-down from the critics, fan loyalty and eager anticipation made the new long-player highly successful at the record store: in the States, the biggest-selling new-material Byrds album since Turn, Turn, Turn. Subsequent reviews expressed varying degrees of disappointment, but recent re-evaluation with almost forty years of hindsight portrays the project as fascinating historically and not without merit artistically. Interest in it has never waned and it’s been re-released on CD no fewer than four times. The Wikipedia article on it is almost a book.
Without question, the Byrds were one of the great bands of the '60s and one of the few American bands of their time to continually turn out inventive, compelling albums. As they were recording a series of fine records, they turned out a number of classic singles that unquestionably defined their era. The Byrds' Greatest Hits does an excellent job of chronicling the peak years of their popularity before they went country-rock on 1968's Sweetheart of the Rodeo…
Four of the five original members of The Byrds appear on Younger Than Yesterday, their fourth album recorded in 1966 and released in 1967. Time has shown it to be among the most durable of the band's albums. David Crosby, Roger McGuinn, and Chris Hillman come into their own as songwriters and Michael Clarke continued to mature into an impressive drummer. The album successfully expands their musical styles into several different directions yet remains a focused set blending folk-rock, heavy psychedelia, jazz influences and early indicators of the country rock direction the band later pursued…
The 2011 box set called Original Album Classics contains mini-LP paper sleeve versions of the Byrds' second five albums: Sweetheart of the Rodeo, Dr. Byrds & Mr. Hyde, Ballad of Easy Rider, Byrdmaniax, and Farther Along. The self-titled double LP may be missing but this is a good, affordable overview of the group's country-rock years and presented as mini-LPs.
3CD set proviging an excellent showcase of The Byrds live work during the latr 60s/early 70s. Featuring three full length FM Radio Broadcasts of performances by different incarnations of The Byrds, in 1968, 1973 and 1978 (albeit by then billed as McGuinn, Clark and Hillman) this boxed set provides an excellent showcase of this ever-changing groups live work during the decade that immediately followed their pop career in the earlier part of the 1960s.
There Is a Season is a four-CD box set by the American rock band The Byrds that was released on September 26, 2006 by Columbia/Legacy. It comprises 99 tracks and includes material from every one of the band's twelve studio albums, presented in roughly chronological order. In addition to the four CDs, the set also includes a bonus DVD featuring ten previously unissued television performances.
Ballad of Easy Rider was one of two great Byrds’ albums to be released after the groups’ acknowledged heyday (Mr. Tambourine Man to Sweetheart of the Rodeo). Released in 1969, before the excellent double set Untitled, Ballad of Easy Rider was a quiet, tranquil record with good songs and fine, professional performances. By this time Clarence White was a full-time member and the group was looking to rebound from their prior release, the uneven Dr. Byrds and Mr. Hyde.
Chris Hillman, Gram Parsons, and Kevin Kelley all left the Byrds in wake of the release of Sweetheart of the Rodeo, leaving Roger McGuinn to assemble a new band from scratch. Dr. Byrds & Mr. Hyde, the first album with McGuinn as unquestioned leader (and sole founding member), was an interesting but uneven set that saw him attempting to bring together the psych-tinged rock of the group's early period with the pure country that Parsons had brought toSweetheart.