Friday, August 3, 2012

The Byrds - Dr. Byrds & Mr. Hyde (1969)


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 to Sweetheart. The new lineup on this album was as strong as any the band would ever have, with guitarist Clarence White sounding revelatory whenever he opens up, and Gene Parsons and John York comprising a strong and sympathetic rhythm section. But while everyone on board was a great musician, they don't always sound like a band just yet, and the strain to come up with new material seems to have let them down; McGuinn contributes a few strong originals (especially "King Apathy III" and "Drug Store Truck Drivin' Man," the latter written with Parsons before his departure from the group), but the two songs he penned for the movie Candy are just short of disastrous, and the closing medley of "My Back Pages" and "Baby What You Want Me to Do" sounds like padding. Dr. Byrds & Mr. Hyde proved there was still life left in the Byrds, but also suggested that they hadn't gotten back to full speed yet.

01 - This Wheel's On Fire
02 - Old Blue
03 - Your Gentle Way Of Loving Me
04 - Child Of The Universe
05 - Nashville West
06 - Drug Store Truck Drivin' Man
07 - King Apathy III
08 - Candy
09 - Bad Night At The Whiskey
10 - Medley_ My Back Pages_B.J. Blues_Baby What You Want Me To Do
11 - Stanley's Song
12 - Lay Lady Lay (Alternate Version)
13 - This Wheel's On Fire (Alternate Version)
14 - Medley_ My Back Pages_B.J. Blues_Baby What You Want Me To Do (Alternate Version - Take 1)
15 - Nashville West (Alternate Version - Nashville Recording)
16 - Child Of The Universe (Candy Soundtrack Version)
17 - Buckaroo (Instrumental - Live)
18 - King Apathy III (Live)
19 - Sing Me Back Home (Live)
20 - Lay Lady Lay (sg)


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