Clarence White-Era Byrds

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Been listening to this stuff a lot lately -- the studio albums have raised in my estimation. Before I was more into the live stuff... but I'm including the live stuff too, because it's so good! what the heck.

Poll Results

OptionVotes
Dr. Byrds & Mr. Hyde 5
Ballad of Easy Rider 3
Untitled 3
Live at Royal Albert Hall 1971 1
Byrdmaniax 1
Live at the Fillmore - February 1969 0
Farther Along 0


tylerw, Tuesday, 11 June 2013 20:02 (six years ago) link

best stuff from this era is live don't you think?

flesh, the devil, and a wolf (wolf) (amateurist), Tuesday, 11 June 2013 20:09 (six years ago) link

The studio half of Untitled is quality goods.

Mr. Mojo Readin' (C. Grisso/McCain), Tuesday, 11 June 2013 20:11 (six years ago) link

xp probably! but i've been digging ballad of easy rider and the studio stuff on untitled a bit more lately. i'm now a gene parsons convert.

tylerw, Tuesday, 11 June 2013 20:13 (six years ago) link

here's a deep cut that stood out to me the last time around
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DQND8VwGQT4
hits a nice "everybody's talking" vibe

tylerw, Tuesday, 11 June 2013 20:22 (six years ago) link

and though the byrds' "it's all over now baby blue" doesn't make it to the heights of the 13th Floor Elevators' version (or Them's for that matter) it's still prety awesome.

tylerw, Tuesday, 11 June 2013 20:24 (six years ago) link

I think one of the sad things about this era of the band is how they became less interested in outside material as they went on. The Lowell George stuff cut during Untitled and the Jackson Browne material from Byrdmaniax pointed in a otherwise unexplored direction of new blood. I wish that McGuinn had the nerve to say, "That's a nice tune, Skip. But I've got these cool John Prine songs I'd rather do."

Mr. Mojo Readin' (C. Grisso/McCain), Tuesday, 11 June 2013 21:32 (six years ago) link

The studio half of Untitled is quality goods.

― Mr. Mojo Readin' (C. Grisso/McCain), Tuesday, June 11, 2013 3:11 PM (1 hour ago) Bookmark Flag Post Permalink

well 2/3 of it is, i guess. always liked gene parsons's (?) reading of truck stop girl.

flesh, the devil, and a wolf (wolf) (amateurist), Tuesday, 11 June 2013 21:47 (six years ago) link

i have some gene parsons solo album in my shelves. it's very pleasant, sometimes more than that, but i tend to forget about it. and when i'm in a fix for that laid-back country-rock sound i'll pull out about 5-10 LPs before that, notably the self-titled, first-post-gram-parsons flying burrito brothers LP.

flesh, the devil, and a wolf (wolf) (amateurist), Tuesday, 11 June 2013 21:48 (six years ago) link

i think it's clarence white singing "truck stop girl"?
haven't heard gene parsons' solo stuff.

tylerw, Tuesday, 11 June 2013 21:58 (six years ago) link

i really like this era.
title track on 'father along' is a gorgeous version i think. heavy-as-shit 'wheel's on fire' from dr. byrds is another highlight

i guess i'd just rather listen to canned heat? (ian), Tuesday, 11 June 2013 22:04 (six years ago) link

yeah "farther along" is great... love "oil in my lamp" too -- this era had great harmonies too, though obviously different from the "classic" era of the band.
always wondered why the byrds are sort of absent from the big "event" festivals of the late 60s/early 70s. did people think they weren't cool or something?

tylerw, Tuesday, 11 June 2013 22:36 (six years ago) link

their harmonies change drastically once crosby leaves... as much as i hate to admit it he was kind of the linchpin of those immediately identifiable (nevertheless influential) byrds harmonies in their first few LPs

flesh, the devil, and a wolf (wolf) (amateurist), Tuesday, 11 June 2013 23:50 (six years ago) link

"Dr. Byrds & Mr. Hyde" is a pretty poor album for a band of the Byrds' stature to have released - yes, there are good songs on it but, Jesus, that medley, what were they thinking? "Ballad" is good, tho McGuinn's vocals are annoying on several tracks, "Untitled" is also good, but here and thereafter Skip Battin is a problem. I don't remember much about "Byrdmaniax". "Farther Along" is a bit feeble and toothless. Band went on too long imo.

Bees Against Racism (Tom D.), Wednesday, 12 June 2013 09:33 (six years ago) link

Voted "Ballad".

Bees Against Racism (Tom D.), Wednesday, 12 June 2013 09:34 (six years ago) link

forgot about the groovy past lives slow jam "yesterday's train" on untitled. reincarnation as a pick up line, does it get any more early 70s southern california than that? wonder if battin and parsons were into scientology.

tylerw, Wednesday, 12 June 2013 14:37 (six years ago) link

Battin was a heavy duty Buddhist methinks

Bees Against Racism (Tom D.), Wednesday, 12 June 2013 14:54 (six years ago) link

Automatic thread bump. This poll is closing tomorrow.

System, Wednesday, 19 June 2013 00:01 (six years ago) link

Ballad is the last more or less solid album all the way through. ("Jack Tarr" is awful, but then again even the classic Byrds albums tended to have at least one terrible song.) Untitled has some great moments, but personally I think from that album til the end the albums were just average, with occasional songs that rose above average.

sctttnnnt (pgwp), Wednesday, 19 June 2013 01:13 (six years ago) link

I think I've posted this on ILX before but I re-sequenced Ballad of Easy Rider with some of their alternate mixes and (superior) outtakes and after I did that it turned into one of my favorite Byrds albums. I re-made it in Spotify.

Also - Tyler, I agree about Gene Parsons. His solo album is on Spotify too, btw. It's not too bad.

sctttnnnt (pgwp), Wednesday, 19 June 2013 01:16 (six years ago) link

i'll have to check it out!
and yeah, jack tarr is awful, though i'd like it if mcguinn sang it straight (which he probably does at some point in his career).

tylerw, Wednesday, 19 June 2013 01:52 (six years ago) link

if anyone hasn't heard that fillmore disc it really is fantastic, just listened to it over the weekend. such an awesome guitar sound white had.

tylerw, Wednesday, 19 June 2013 01:53 (six years ago) link

Byrdmaniax all the way. The two Clarence-sung tunes are my faves to boot.

Naive Teen Idol, Wednesday, 19 June 2013 02:30 (six years ago) link

Easy Rider and (Untitled) seem the obvious standouts (amongst the studio albums anyway) but deciding between the two not easy

every snapchat tells a story (Lee626), Wednesday, 19 June 2013 02:46 (six years ago) link

Love lots of this stuff but I'm goin' with Mr. Hyde. Byrds record I listen to most.

chromecassettes, Wednesday, 19 June 2013 03:10 (six years ago) link

I actually like "CItizen Kane" off of Byrdmaniax. Skip Battin wasn't all bad, he just didn't totally fit, I think.

sctttnnnt (pgwp), Wednesday, 19 June 2013 03:23 (six years ago) link

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nbm1yfWi-e0

Skip & Flip, "It Was I" (1959) - Skip Battin and Gary Paxton a good ten+ years before Battin joined the Byrds.

sctttnnnt (pgwp), Wednesday, 19 June 2013 03:28 (six years ago) link

VOTE IN THIS IMPORTANT POLL

tylerw, Wednesday, 19 June 2013 14:40 (six years ago) link

Only Clarence White-era Byrds I have is on the 1990 box, and I can't remember what stuff he's on...except for the live "Lover of the Bayou," which is one of my three or four favorite Byrds songs. So I guess I should listen to more Clarence.

Tarfumes The Escape Goat, Wednesday, 19 June 2013 14:45 (six years ago) link

yes you should!
and since we're talking about the byrds, those 90s CD reissues of their catalog are really great, good packaging and liners, great remastering and well-chosen bonus tracks. and generally pretty cheap too.

tylerw, Wednesday, 19 June 2013 14:46 (six years ago) link

I do have the Notorious reissue (single disc...was there a 2CD of this?), which I love. It's always fun to say to friends, "Hey, let's listen to the Byrds!" and putting on "Moog Raga."

Tarfumes The Escape Goat, Wednesday, 19 June 2013 14:48 (six years ago) link

You know Clarence White is on pre-Clarence White era Byrds too?

Bees Against Racism (Tom D.), Wednesday, 19 June 2013 14:50 (six years ago) link

right! time between, girl with no name, change is now (i think?)... anything else?

tylerw, Wednesday, 19 June 2013 16:13 (six years ago) link

was there a 2CD of this?
i don't think so, but man, i would much rather have that than the sweetheart two CD. (which is fine, but doesn't really improve upon the single CD)

tylerw, Wednesday, 19 June 2013 16:14 (six years ago) link

right! time between, girl with no name, change is now (i think?)... anything else?

Probably, don't know which tracks for sure, but anywhere with something that sounds like a pedal steel but isn't a pedal steel

Bees Against Racism (Tom D.), Wednesday, 19 June 2013 16:19 (six years ago) link

yeah, i guess he plays at least a bit on sweetheart too.

tylerw, Wednesday, 19 June 2013 16:34 (six years ago) link

let's have a fine hand for the byrds

dschinghis kraan (NickB), Wednesday, 19 June 2013 16:36 (six years ago) link

and because i just saw it, here's the sleeve to the weirdest a-side/b-side pairing of the byrds' career
http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/d/dd/TheByrdsYouAintGoinNowhere.jpg

tylerw, Wednesday, 19 June 2013 16:36 (six years ago) link

Yeah, I looked it up, there's just the 1CD Notorious. Dammit, I want at least another 40 minutes of them arguing with Michael Clarke. THEY OWE ME.

Tarfumes The Escape Goat, Wednesday, 19 June 2013 16:37 (six years ago) link

And otm re: Sweetheart 2CD. The outtakes on disc 2 aren't mindblowingly revealing, and I already had the ISB stuff.

Tarfumes The Escape Goat, Wednesday, 19 June 2013 16:39 (six years ago) link

xp haha, i'm sure there's plenty more where that came from. that bonus track is so classic.

tylerw, Wednesday, 19 June 2013 16:41 (six years ago) link

Up there with Arthur Lee trying to get Johnny Echols to play the solo on "Your Mind and We Belong Together"

Bees Against Racism (Tom D.), Wednesday, 19 June 2013 16:44 (six years ago) link

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rATxG-hWMIo

^^ you have prob all seen this vid before, but if not..

i guess i'd just rather listen to canned heat? (ian), Wednesday, 19 June 2013 16:45 (six years ago) link

never need an excuse to watch it again -- one of the best things on the internet?

tylerw, Wednesday, 19 June 2013 16:54 (six years ago) link

Wow, that's pretty amazing.

Tarfumes The Escape Goat, Wednesday, 19 June 2013 17:15 (six years ago) link

i think there's a longer version with more 'hangin around' -- that is earl scruggs on the banjer, btw.

i guess i'd just rather listen to canned heat? (ian), Wednesday, 19 June 2013 17:21 (six years ago) link

!!! never seen that before

temporarily embarassed millionaire (Shakey Mo Collier), Wednesday, 19 June 2013 17:27 (six years ago) link

and yes, i agree with tyler -- one of the best things on the internet. right up there with the stevie nicks 'wild heart' dressing room demo

i guess i'd just rather listen to canned heat? (ian), Wednesday, 19 June 2013 17:28 (six years ago) link

another good clip -- these playboy after dark things are groovy
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RxdMqiKI08g

tylerw, Wednesday, 19 June 2013 18:09 (six years ago) link

So who here is going to run a Byrds artist poll?

Naive Teen Idol, Wednesday, 19 June 2013 22:50 (six years ago) link

Automatic thread bump. This poll's results are now in.

System, Thursday, 20 June 2013 00:01 (six years ago) link

What

sctttnnnt (pgwp), Thursday, 20 June 2013 04:28 (six years ago) link

who are the dr byrds lovers? (not that this was some amazing turnout, but just surprising -- that album has plenty of good stuff but is the definition of hodge podge). voted untitled by the way. listened to the "unissued" bonus disc yesterday, some killer stuff on there (studio "lover of the bayou", unadorned "kathleen's song," "white lightning," etc).

tylerw, Thursday, 20 June 2013 14:52 (six years ago) link

It's their worst 60s album by a country mile

Bees Against Racism (Tom D.), Thursday, 20 June 2013 15:46 (six years ago) link

Based on what little I know about Clarence-era Byrds, I assumed untitled would be the clear winner (I mean, jeez, for "Lover of the Bayou" and "Truck Stop Girl" alone).

Tarfumes The Escape Goat, Thursday, 20 June 2013 16:07 (six years ago) link

It's their worst 60s album by a country mile

Yes but Bad Night at the Whiskey is awesome.

Naive Teen Idol, Thursday, 20 June 2013 17:17 (six years ago) link

this is the only Byrds i own post-Sweethearts, but i dig it. gonna be on the look out for some of the proper records

http://userserve-ak.last.fm/serve/_/59077407/The+Best+Of+The+Byrds+Greatest+Hits++Volume+Ii.jpg

sons of plutarchy (will), Thursday, 20 June 2013 17:22 (six years ago) link

such epic facial hair. feel like we could do a byrds vs. band facial hair poll.
http://appleseedsmusic.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/01/url.jpeg

tylerw, Thursday, 20 June 2013 17:25 (six years ago) link

aw
http://mydadwasinaband.com/my-dad-was-in-the-byrds/

tylerw, Saturday, 22 June 2013 00:10 (six years ago) link

This thread inspired me to revisit my love of Gene Parsons. I wrote a little something about him and made a mix of just his songs—which doesn't function as a very "Byrdsian" mix but it is a nice ad-hoc Gene Parsons album.

sctttnnnt (pgwp), Saturday, 22 June 2013 23:53 (six years ago) link

five months pass...

I think the later Byrds records are pretty good. They seemed to have quite a few good songs and tracks that didn't end up on the albums, which leads me to think with a better edit they would have been improved.

I also wonder if this later group would have just changed their name, perhaps being taken for what it was and not what it was not - it would have had a bigger profile. Even with McGuinn around, the group had a different sound. They definitely was ahead of the curve on the getting it back to roots rock. Some tunes have the 70s L.A. rock pop sound down. Got to say I think not keeping all the talent in one basket with Parsons and Hillman going to do the Flying Burrito Brothers. If those tunes could have happened in an almalgam band, this 'byrds' might have been that country rock Stones huge hit instead of interesting back catalog records of that time.

earlnash, Saturday, 23 November 2013 14:48 (five years ago) link

one year passes...

yeah, this rules

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zLTMu6uaqHI

I dunno. (amateurist), Friday, 6 February 2015 23:01 (four years ago) link

This version of the Byrds had a cool sound definitely a bit of ahead of the popular curve, as this type of country rock got so big. There are some good songs and some great covers, but they just were not able to come up with singles to get on the radio. Maybe not for harmony vocals, but I'd have to think this was the best live band of their various lineups.

Considering where they were all at musically, I think you can play fantasy league rock and roll and wonder what it would have been like if this version of the Byrds hooked up with John Fogarty as CCR was falling apart. I think sound wise and style, they would have been an awesome musical group to fit with Fogarty's songs. Never would have happened for a million reasons, but sonically it would have been a really good match.

earlnash, Saturday, 7 February 2015 11:21 (four years ago) link

Listening to live audience tapes from the late 60s (pretty good sound quality): McGuinn and the other guys are riding White's coattails, and he's not showboating. Just by projecting the kind/amount of stylish clarity and self-assurance that would be a given in other settings, he stands way out. McG. often sounds a little hoarse, kinda lonely (dutiful harmonies, only when absolutely required,to kinda sorta approximate expected sound of the hits). But I would go back to hear Clarence.

dow, Saturday, 7 February 2015 14:24 (four years ago) link

four years pass...

Yeah, been listening to this stuff this week and for me it’s almost all about Clarence. Roger is a given, can’t decide about Gene and, as far as Skip goes, if you like loud buzzy bass, Jack Bruce he ain’t.

Vini C. Riley (James Redd and the Blecchs), Saturday, 6 July 2019 01:41 (two weeks ago) link

Skip's no Jack Bruce in the songwriting department either.

frustration and wonky passion (C. Grisso/McCain), Saturday, 6 July 2019 01:56 (two weeks ago) link

Amazed untitled did so poor. To me that's the one time this lineup fires on all cylinders...even the Battin song is good, long, and weird!

frustration and wonky passion (C. Grisso/McCain), Saturday, 6 July 2019 01:59 (two weeks ago) link

Agreed. That’s probably the one I would have voted for.

Vini C. Riley (James Redd and the Blecchs), Saturday, 6 July 2019 02:00 (two weeks ago) link

I like Gene Parsons during this era. His voice is very un-Byrdian but I like his songs.

sctttnnnt (pgwp), Saturday, 6 July 2019 16:11 (two weeks ago) link

Yes, good drummer too.

Orpheus Knutt (Tom D.), Saturday, 6 July 2019 16:22 (two weeks ago) link

Wonder if this vintage video will sway any Skip skeptics:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kizVrrI7EEU

Vini C. Riley (James Redd and the Blecchs), Sunday, 7 July 2019 00:29 (two weeks ago) link


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