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The Byrds Live At Royal Albert Hall 1971

Live At Royal Albert Hall 1971
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(2008/SUNDAZED) 19 tracks - Stereo / slipcase packaging From their earliest days as... more

The Byrds: Live At Royal Albert Hall 1971

(2008/SUNDAZED) 19 tracks - Stereo / slipcase packaging
From their earliest days as 12-string-wielding folk-rockers, to the thrilling psychedelic excursions of their raga-rock period to their 1968 birthing of country-rock, the Byrds were always accorded a hero’s welcome in England.What better place to record founding Byrds member/guitarist/singer Roger McGuinn’s new version of the band—featuring fretboard ace Clarence White, bassist Skip Battin and drummer Gene Parsons—than London’s Royal Albert Hall! 

Rescued from a tape that had sat forgotten in McGuinn’s climatized garage for decades, this stellar 1971 set, featuring live versions of the current band’s studio faves (“Lover of the Bayou,” “Chestnut Mare”) as well as adventurous reworkings of Byrds classics (“Mr. Tambourine Man,” “My Back Pages,” “Eight Miles High,”“So You Want to Be a Rock‘n’Roll Star”) might be the most accurate and stirring live performance yet of the legendary Los Angeles combo. By 1971, the guitar interplay of McGuinn andWhite had become a jaw-dropping highlight of their live performances,as had their stripped down, acoustic mini-set and peerless four-part vocal harmonies. 

As McGuinn, in typically understated fashion, says of this new Sundazed release, available now on both compact disc and as a high-definition vinyl, double-gatefold LP: “It was a great night, so I’m happy there’s a record of it!” 

Also available as a digital download on iTunes.

"...the set verily smokes, with White's edge-of-distortion, Bender-equipped Tele right in your face...with a ripping rendition of White's instrumental "Nashville West" and an acoustic tour de force on "Black Mountain Rag" paired with "Soldier's Joy," this is the answer to any Clarence White fan's dream."
—Dan Forte, Vintage Guitar Magazine

"The Byrds were still a year and change from their messy end when they played the newly unearthed London show on Live at Royal Albert Hall 1971 (Sundazed). This is the (Untitled)-era Byrds — singer-guitarist Roger McGuinn, drummer Gene Parsons, bassist Skip Battin and lead guitarist Clarence White — in sparkling last-hurrah mettle, mixing space flight and prairie dust in jangle and repertoire, and singing, at the very end, a short, wonderful “Amazing Grace” in backwoods-chapel a cappella harmonies." 
—David Fricke, Rolling Stone Magazine

 "...Live At Royal Hall demonstrates, on theconcert circuit the quartet took on an unexpected guise: populist, road-tested American everyband, touching on vintage rock 'n' roll, bluegrass, blues, honky-tonk, gospel, and more.
Weaving Dead-like "Eight Miles High" jams in with stripped-down Woody Guthrie gems—Clarence White's stringwork zigzagging through the material with authority—this edition of the Byrds demonstrated a deep, oft-taken-for-granted kinship with the very foundations of American music. White, three years a Byrd and settling into the job with a rare sonic adventurousness, is the focus, gluing disparate styles together with dazzling versatility, gracefully reinventing each song with the instincts of a guitar genius..."

Article properties: The Byrds: Live At Royal Albert Hall 1971

  • Interpret: The Byrds

  • Album titlle: Live At Royal Albert Hall 1971

  • Genre Beat

  • Year of publication 2008
  • Label SUNDAZED

  • Price code VCD7
  • Artikelart CD

  • EAN: 0090771117724

  • weight in Kg 0.1
Byrds, The - Live At Royal Albert Hall 1971 CD 1
01 Lover Of The Bayou The Byrds
02 You An't Going Nowhere The Byrds
03 Truck Stop Girl The Byrds
04 My Back Pages The Byrds
05 Baby, What You Want Me To Do The Byrds
06 Jamaica, Say You Will The Byrds
07 Black Mountain Rag / Soldier's Joy The Byrds
08 Mr. Tambourine Man The Byrds
09 Pretty Boy Floyd The Byrds
10 Take A Whiff (On Me) The Byrds
11 Chestnut Mare The Byrds
12 Jesus Is Just Alright The Byrds
13 Eight Miles High The Byrds
14 So You Want To Be A Rock & Roll Star The Byrds
15 Mr. Spaceman The Byrds
16 I Trust The Byrds
17 Nashville West The Byrds
18 Roll Over Beethoven The Byrds
19 Amazing Grace The Byrds
The Byrds Neither hailed as an instant classic nor seen as polarizing, 'Sweetheart Of The... more
"The Byrds"

The Byrds

Neither hailed as an instant classic nor seen as polarizing, 'Sweetheart Of The Rodeo' was largely ignored upon release on August 30, 1968. It alienated the Byrds' core audience without finding them a new one. In contrast, Bob Dylan's 'Nashville Skyline,' released eight months later, was hailed as boldly iconoclastic and became a best-seller. By February '68, Gene Clark, Michael Clarke, and David Crosby had gone, leaving just Roger McGuinn and Chris Hillman as the Byrds. Hillman met Gram Parsons and invited him to join as a backing musician rather than group member.

McGuinn had a vision for the Byrds' new LP, but Parsons overrode it. “We hired a piano player and he turned out to be Parsons, a monster in sheep's clothing,” McGuinn told Fusion magazine. “George Jones in a big sequin suit.” Both McGuinn and Hillman were versed in folk and bluegrass, so country wasn't as much of a stretch as McGuinn implied.Hillman's cousin, drummer Kevin Kelley, rounded out the new Byrds, and they found twelve songs, cut their hair, and headed for Nashville. They recorded for one week with a few session guys and guests, including John Hartford and steel guitarist Lloyd Green. The Opry appearance at the end of the week was an omen that all would not be well, but the problems began before that. Lee Hazlewood had the International Submarine Band under contract, and considered Parsons bound by that contract. Some of Parsons' vocals were replaced, leaving him as a guest vocalist on a couple of songs.

The album credits were cryptic, listing all the musicians in the 'Thanks to' credit line, usually reserved for the dope dealer. Shortly before release, the Byrds toured Europe before heading for South Africa. Parsons cited the South African dates as the reason he left to form the Flying Burrito Brothers, although the problem might have been that he'd just heard the test pressing. “They chopped up the album however they wanted,” he told Bud Scoppa. “I wasn't there when they chopped it. This cat, Gary Usher, decided that it should go Hollywood freaky. It was a serious country album. A great album that might as well never have been recorded.” For his part, Usher said that the LHI contractual issues were resolved during the week in Nashville and some of the vocals were redone at McGuinn's insistence to reduce Parsons' footprint. The LP cover, a detail from Jo Mora's 1933 poster for the Salinas Rodeo, was a stroke of genius.


'Sweetheart Of The Rodeo' contained two new Dylan songs, but the highlight was Parsons' achingly sweet lament for his South of dreams and memory, Hickory Wind. Chris Hillman's high harmonies were exquisite. Parsons' collaborator on the song, Bob Buchanan of the International Submarine Band, said they wrote it on a train ride back to Los Angeles from Florida shortly before Parsons joined the Byrds. "We were a little Hollywood weary," said Buchanan. "I had gone back to Michigan to see my folks and Gram had gone back to see his family in Florida. I was getting a sandwich in the dining car and came back to the room. Gram had his guitar out and was working on the start of 'Hickory Wind.' We had both been back home and in a simpler time, and suddenly we were heading for Hollywood. We were in a down mood." Buchanan wrote the second verse (“I started out younger…”). “Of all people in my high school class,” he said, “how many got out and did what I did? I was on the road and having adventures when I was 19 years old. Fancy sports car and motorcycle back in my house in Hollywood. I had all that and was still bankrupt.

What else can life bring? Big deal with all the riches and pleasures - that wasn't the answer." After Parsons' death, the song was seen as the summation of his art. But then rumors began to surface that, as a young folkie in Greenville, South Carolina, he poached the song from a blind folk singer, Sylvia Sammons. According to researcher David W. Johnson, Sammons lived in Highlands, North Carolina. Some remember her singing Hickory Wind as early as 1963 when Parsons was in the Carolinas, and, of course, North Carolina is associated with the Hickory tree whereas Parsons' home state, Florida, is not. She didn't hear the Byrds' recording, but heard Joan Baez's 1969 cover version. According to several of those around Sammons, she turned over a copy of the song she'd mailed to herself in a still-sealed envelope (an age-old way of copyrighting a song) and received a one-time payout.

And so the story ends with a question mark. Sammons still insists that she wrote it. Parsons might have thought he was adapting a traditional song, but never gave any indication to Hillman or McGuinn that it was anything other than his and Buchanan's work. Buchanan got out of music and worked at General Motors until retirement, but still insists that he wrote the second verse, which he probably did.

Various Country & Western Hit Parade 1968
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Byrds, The - Live At Royal Albert Hall 1971 CD 1
01 Lover Of The Bayou
02 You An't Going Nowhere
03 Truck Stop Girl
04 My Back Pages
05 Baby, What You Want Me To Do
06 Jamaica, Say You Will
07 Black Mountain Rag / Soldier's Joy
08 Mr. Tambourine Man
09 Pretty Boy Floyd
10 Take A Whiff (On Me)
11 Chestnut Mare
12 Jesus Is Just Alright
13 Eight Miles High
14 So You Want To Be A Rock & Roll Star
15 Mr. Spaceman
16 I Trust
17 Nashville West
18 Roll Over Beethoven
19 Amazing Grace