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Live At the Fillmore - February 1969

The Byrds

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Album Review

Recorded by Columbia engineers in February 1969, this is an early show by the first Byrds lineup to feature only one original member: founding member Roger McGuinn and Clarence White on guitars, John York on bass, and Gene Parsons on drums. Despite the recent departures of Chris Hillman and Gram Parsons for the Flying Burrito Brothers, the sound and repertoire are still very much in the Byrds' country-rock phase, many of the 16 tracks coming from the Sweetheart of the Rodeo and Dr. Byrds & Mr. Hyde albums. The big mid-'60s hits are revisited in a medley, and a few other songs first recorded in the pre-White days — "So You Want to Be a Rock 'n' Roll Star" and "Chimes of Freedom" among them — also show up. There are also covers of Merle Haggard and Buck Owens tunes that would not show up on Byrds albums. It's a pleasant but not outstanding set, probably of most interest to those who enjoy White's guitar playing. He and McGuinn work pretty well together here, but the timing of the band as a whole is sometimes tenuous, and the vocal harmonies are not as full as those of other Byrds configurations.

Biography

Formed: 1964 in Los Angeles, CA

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s

Although they only attained the huge success of the Beatles, Rolling Stones, and the Beach Boys for a short time in the mid-'60s, time has judged the Byrds to be nearly as influential as those groups in the long run. They were not solely responsible for devising folk-rock, but they were certainly more responsible than any other single act (Dylan included) for melding the innovations and energy of the British Invasion with the best lyrical and musical elements of contemporary folk music. The jangling,...
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