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Ballad of Easy Rider

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Byrds aficionados often pronounce 1969's Ballad Of Easy Rider the band's last great work. The guitar interplay between Roger McGuinn's jangling Rickenbacker and Clarence White's inventive string-bending Telecaster birth a sweet chemistry that makes songs like "Jesus Is Just Alright" (later popularized by the Doobie Brothers) pulse and strut with an unpredictably successful marriage of country and funk. "Fido" is another standout that similarly implements White's pedal steel approximations with a heavy dance-floor boogie and a percussive conga-laden breakdown so undeniably groovy that The Beastie Boys sampled it for "Body Movin'" off 1998's Hello Nasty. The real magic happens on more pensive songs like Gene Parsons' "Gunga Din," or "It's All Over Now, Baby Blue" which could be the definitive version of this Dylan chestnut with its weeping slide guitar and hushed harmonies. They also turn Jackson Browne's "Mae Jean Goes To Hollywood" (easily the best bonus song here) into a playfully romantic, twang-rocking rip on anyone who ever believed that they could easily "make it" in show business if they only relocated to Los Angeles.

Customer Reviews

1960's Americana, Complete With Leather Jacket.

The title song is a beautiful Country-Rock ballad. The music is well crafted. Seven additional cuts on the iTunes version. This album contains my favorite Byrds song - Gunga Din.

Wow! Byrds to Glen Campbell and more

Yes, true Americana as stated once. My 14 year old son even wants to learn Ballad of Easy Rider! This is stuff I've missed over the years and now I'm going back to get it and lovin' it all the way. The Byrds were great and are a true American treasure.

Clarence Is Just Alright

With that B-Bender Telecaster Clarence White invented with Gene Parsons, dude sounds like he has six fingers on his left hand! Check the bonus cover of Jackson Brown's "Mae Jean Goes To Hollywood."


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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