This album is a re-release from 1991, and a fine re-release it is too. 'Back From Rio' was McGuinn's first solo album in over a decade and is his best since his first ('Roger McGuinn'), perhaps even better. It certainly sees him at his most Byrd-like - his Rickenbacker playing is inspired (check out 'Car Phone' with its solos evocative of his 'Eight Miles High' best). The songs are all very strong and quite immediate (i.e. catchy), and the performances (from such luminaries as ex-Byrds Crosby and Hillman, Tom Petty, Elvis Costello and Eagle Timothy B. Schmit) are as excellent as you'd expect.
My particular favourites are 'You Bowed Down', 'King Of The Hill', 'The Trees Are All Gone' and the aforementioned 'Car Phone' ("He blew his mind out in a caaaaaarr"), but you'd be hard pushed to find a dud track on an album as fine as this.
I understand that following this album McGuinn returned to playing his first love, folk music and I must admit I haven't heard much of his stuff, but I'd love him to keep on making music as majestic as this.
The title, by the way comes from a jokey reply McGuinn gave out when, after changing his name from Jim to Roger in the 60's, people asked him where his 'brother' Jim had gone - "He's gone to Rio" he'd say.