Byrds Nyrds: Talk about anything Byrds related here (Part 04)

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by stereoptic, Mar 17, 2015.

  1. Byrdman77

    Byrdman77 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Leigh On Sea, UK
    I think you have that wrong, it was Gene and David that tried a version each, no Roger version to my knowledge (which is perplexing).

    The people who have heard it tell me it's pretty much complete save for a minor fix required on Gene's vocal. Not sure how David's version holds up.
     
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  2. Ma Kelly

    Ma Kelly Forum Resident

    Location:
    Bristol

    I do think that, although I like it, the song doesn't quite live up to it's potential. It seems like it's gonna go somewhere interesting and that little jazzy section after the first verse is one of the most musically interesting moments of the whole album for me, but yeah then it feels like they don't know where to go with the song and it sorta fizzles out.
     
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  3. MarcS

    MarcS Forum Resident

    Location:
    Oradell NJ
    I think Roger was on the road a lot during the making of this album so maybe that explains why he didn't do a vocal on it. It probably explains a lot, actually.
     
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  4. czeskleba

    czeskleba Senior Member

    Location:
    Seattle
    Looking at the tape box, Roger definitely did vocals on the "early version" of the track. It's not indicated which vocal is the lead vocal, but he's definitely on there. The fact that he's listed on three tracks is what made me presume that he was the lead vocal on the early version, but apparently Whin Oppice has said he believes the early version features Crosby on lead vocal.

    [​IMG]
     
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  5. czeskleba

    czeskleba Senior Member

    Location:
    Seattle
    My knowledge of Crosby's post-Byrds output is pretty limited, and I'd never heard his solo version of that song until last night when I checked it out on youtube. Wow, the solo version is MUCH better. The Byrds version seems both forced and sluggish at the same time. "Soggy" may be a good word for it, as the band sounds like they are immersed in jello as they perform. There's a palpable lack of energy. By contrast, the solo version is quite nice. I've also always preferred Gene's Roadmaster version of "Full Circle" to the Byrds version. Again, more energy. I will give the Byrds credit though that their version of "Born to RnR" is the least noxious of the three versions available, so that's something.
     
  6. Ma Kelly

    Ma Kelly Forum Resident

    Location:
    Bristol
    Gene's version of Full Circle sounds more Byrds-like, but Crosby's harmony on the Byrds version makes it the keeper for me. Laughing is an odd one - the Byrds version is pretty good and I like the sludgy sound (one man's sludge is another's soggy, I guess) but I do wonder what the point of it is as the solo version is just about perfection. Not sure how anyone thought they could improve on it.
     
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  7. Ma Kelly

    Ma Kelly Forum Resident

    Location:
    Bristol


    By the way, if anyone is interested I put a stereo downmix of the Quad version of I Want to Grow Up to Be a Politician on youtube. Producing a stereo downmix wasn't entirely successful as you lose certain elements, but one thing that stands out is a guitar part from Clarence that's totally missing from the standard stereo mix - have absolutely no idea why, as it makes the song way more Byrdsy sounding. Might be of interest if you haven't heard the quad mix.
     
  8. MarcS

    MarcS Forum Resident

    Location:
    Oradell NJ
     
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  9. czeskleba

    czeskleba Senior Member

    Location:
    Seattle
    Yeah, he apparently wrote it in 1967, shortly before being fired. Would have been interesting to hear what the 1967 Byrds might have done with the song, but the 1972 version is just a meandering, dismal mess to me.
     
  10. Dee Zee

    Dee Zee Forum Resident

    It would be worth your time to check out Crosby’s solo album If Only I Could Rememebr My Name. Good stuff within.
     
  11. Strawberry Fields Forever

    Strawberry Fields Forever Well-Known Member

    Location:
    London, England
    Agree with some of this but.... one of the dictums a friend one said to me often rings true which is, the original version of a song by a particular artist is the one you always love the best. Crosby’s solo version of ‘Laughing’ is enchanting. Maybe if I’d heard the Byrds’ version first I might have felt more conflicted but after hearing Crosby’s ‘Laughing’ no version will ever equal it.
     
  12. Strawberry Fields Forever

    Strawberry Fields Forever Well-Known Member

    Location:
    London, England
    Good stuff within? Er, make that some of the greatest stuff. ever!
     
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  13. Strawberry Fields Forever

    Strawberry Fields Forever Well-Known Member

    Location:
    London, England
    Quite amazed you didn't know Crosby's 'Laughing'. Assumed you'd regard If I Could Only Remember My Name as one of the greatest albums of all time, which it surely is. This is really, really strange as you speak so authoritatively on the Byrds, often with great insight, and yet missed one of Crosby's greatest moments. Just odd. Amazed you lived without it all these years. Isn't Crosby wonderful?
     
  14. czeskleba

    czeskleba Senior Member

    Location:
    Seattle
    It is odd, isn't it? I am a huge Byrds fan, but my knowledge of and experience with Crosby's post-Byrds work is extremely limited. Obviously, I'm aware of all CSN's hit singles, but of course he did not write or sing any of the hits. As far as Crosby's non-Byrds work itself, all I've heard is the Woodstock soundtrack album, the first CSN album, and "Drive My Car" from 1989. And now "Laughing, of course.

    Why haven't I gone deeper? I love a lot of Crosby's stuff with the Byrds, but I think that a big part of it is the band and what they add to his work. I like the first CSN album, but I do not love it. There's something that seems plastic or sterile about it. Christgau's review says "this is a perfect album, but that is not necessarily a compliment" and I can see where he's coming from. There's no mistakes, no rawness, no sense of spontaneity, and those are the qualities that seem to always be in the music I love best. Those are the qualities I seek out. I remember reading in Jimmy McDonough's Shakey about how Crosby held Crazy Horse in disdain, and could not understand why Neil Young would ever choose to work with musicians who were so "bad" from a technical standpoint. I get the sense that Crosby has an aesthetic that's vastly different than mine, and that he's enamored of perfection at the expense of idiosyncratic style and feel. The Byrds obviously reined in those tendencies (I mean, how perfect could they get with Mike on drums) but I get the sense that post-Byrds he's striven for that sort of technical perfection. I think also that Crosby's three tracks on the reunion album really turned me off wanting to seek out his other work from that time period, since I really find virtually no redeeming qualities in them.

    So perhaps I've had a bit of a blind spot towards Croz, because of all these factors. I guess I should check out If I Could Only Remember My Name, if the rest of it is comparable to "Laughing" though, since that is a nice piece of work.
     
    Last edited: Feb 7, 2018
  15. deanrelax

    deanrelax Forum Resident

    Location:
    Sweden
    I fully agree with your CSN(Y)-sentiments (and most of your Byrds assessments). There is something sterile about the work of CSN(Y), but If I Could Only Remember My name is the exception to the rule. Greil Marcus once said about ZZ Top's Eliminator that "all the songs seem to be caught in the middle of some greater song, as if it was playing before the guys showed up to tinker with it and kept playing after they left." The same can be said about If I Could Only Remember My Name. Brilliant work and in some way the end game of what began with Stranger In a Strange Land, I See You, What's Happening?!?!
     
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  16. czeskleba

    czeskleba Senior Member

    Location:
    Seattle
    Well, okay, you guys have persuaded me. I've got IICORMN on reserve at the library. I'll listen and get back to the group.
     
  17. Byrdman77

    Byrdman77 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Leigh On Sea, UK
    Very interesting, hadn't studied this but looks like you have a point there. Looks like David tried a vocal version on track 16 on the early version at least which is what Whin has said. The later version has a whole lot of Banjo going on! This is the holy grail for me right here, although looks like Michael Clarke isn't on either version so not the original 5 entirely. Hope I live long enough to hear these eventually... Is there anything we can do as fans to get a record company (Warners?) interested in releasing this stuff? Whin has tried and had no interest. David Crosby said on Twitter he would love to remix this record!
     
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  18. Byrdman77

    Byrdman77 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Leigh On Sea, UK
    Ok so speaking as someone who has explored a fair bit of Crosby's work here's my recommendations for the songs no Byrds fan should be without. I've not truly delved into anything post 1970's btw....there's quite a few other songs that are good but this is my essential list...

    1968

    Gunnevere Demo (on the CSN Boxset) - check out the demo version David made before CSN, it's not as syrupy vocally and sounds a lot more like The Byrds.

    1969

    The Lee Shore (on the CSN Boxset) - ok so David added his vocal to this Deja Vu outtake in 1991 but it's a beautiful song. Wish he had added vocals in this way to Stranger In A Strange Land.

    1970

    Almost Cut My Hair (on Deja Vu) - big stupid song but very Crosby

    1971

    Laughing (on If Only I Could) - solo version is breathakingly beautiful.

    Traction In The Rain - possibly my favourite post-Byrds Crosby song

    1972

    Where Will I Be? (on Graham Nash/David Crosby) - this is a showstopper, would have been a great closing track on a Byrds album

    Page 43- nice Byrdsy song

    Games - written whilst in The Byrds

    The Wall Song - sounds like The Byrds

    1975

    Carry Me (on Wind on the Water) - this is a great song, maybe one of his best about his mother dying, wish there was a version without Nash on BV's.

    1978

    Drive My Car early version - this is produced by same team as made the MCH album so you could add this to that album to get an idea of what Crosby would have contributed to that album
     
  19. Ma Kelly

    Ma Kelly Forum Resident

    Location:
    Bristol
    FWIW I pretty much hate CS&N(&Y) and that whole San Fransisco Jefferson Airplane / Grateful Dead stuff, so on paper I should hate IICORMN too - but nope, it really is good.
     
  20. Rfreeman

    Rfreeman Forum Resident

    Location:
    Lawrenceville, NJ
    If I Could Only Remember My Name is my favorite album Crosby sings on (followed by YTY) and among my 25 favorite albums period. I have it on LP, CD and 5.1 DVD-A.

    Oddly, the first time I heard the album I did not care for it at all. So give it some time.
     
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  21. Untitled

    Untitled Well-Known Member

    Location:
    South by southwest
    The album has a handful of songs on the same theme--rise and fall--like "Long Live the King," "Changing Heart," "Full Circle," and "Things Will Be Better." Kind of a rock opera about the transient nature of success.
     
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  22. czeskleba

    czeskleba Senior Member

    Location:
    Seattle
    Yeah, and several other songs are about being a musician: Born to RnR, For Free, See the Sky About to Rain (at least in terms of the line about playing the fiddle). So it is sort of loosely a concept album. Just not a very good one, unfortunately
     
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  23. Dr. Robert

    Dr. Robert Album Reconstructor

    Location:
    Curitiba, Brazil
    Hey folks! I came here to ask of their 1990 reunion lineup, that recorded some tunes in Nashville and played some gigs. What I'd like to know is: who exactly was playing in that lineup? I know of McGuinn, Hillman and Croz, but no mention of anyone else. Do any of you Byrd people know anything about that?
     
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  24. MarcS

    MarcS Forum Resident

    Location:
    Oradell NJ
    I seem to recall it was Stan Lynch and John Jorgensen
     
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  25. czeskleba

    czeskleba Senior Member

    Location:
    Seattle
    Yep. Jorgenson plays guitar and mandolin, Lynch drums. And McGuinn says that Crosby and Hillman do not appear at all on one of the tracks "Love That Never Dies." So presumably Jorgenson sings backing on that too.
     
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