Customer Review

20 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars What it should have been..., 5 Jan. 2004
This review is from: The Notorious Byrd Brothers (Audio CD)
Running for just over 28 minutes the original LP release of this, arguably the best of the Byrds' albums justified the adage that "less is more". Side one flowed seamlessly from "Artificial Energy" to "Get To You" and was a brilliant example of just how to integrate a suite of songs into a satisfying whole. Featuring superb production from Gary Usher, faultless harmonies and (for the time) highly innovative instrumental breaks it ranks as one of the most impressive LP sides ever made. Side two continued in exactly the same vein for the first four tracks (and a full ten minutes!) before hitting a serious brick wall with the dull, ponderous and wholly incongruous "Space Odyssey", leaving the listener with the distinct impression that something had gone horribly wrong or that they had just ran out of songs.

Both conclusions were true and the bonus tracks on the remastered versions of "The Notorious Byrd Brothers" and "Younger Than Yesterday" provide the answer. Cut out "Space Odyssey" and put David Crosby's "Lady Friend" (from "Younger Than Yesterday") as the opener to side two and his "Triad" (from "The Notorious Byrd Brothers") as its closer and... bingo... everything fits, both sides work and the album is transformed into a true masterpiece.

Recorded in the same period as the other tracks on the album, both songs rank up there with the best of Crosby's compositions and were presumably rejected from it as a result of his acrimonious departure part way through its production. A serious case of group politics at its very worst, and an album that should, but alas will probably never be reissued with this track listing as evidence of just how good it should/could have been.
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Tracked by 1 customer

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Showing 1-4 of 4 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 4 Mar 2013 23:43:46 GMT
I collected every studio album of byrds, with releases in bonus tracks, I would say space odyssey is my fave on that album
there you go

In reply to an earlier post on 17 Jan 2014 11:17:08 GMT
Last edited by the author on 18 Jan 2014 11:23:56 GMT
Dr Lapelle says:
Not my favourite track, but a lot better placed than 'Triad' would have been.

Posted on 18 Jan 2014 01:01:10 GMT
gille liath says:
A bit strange to review an album as it 'should have been', rather than as it is.

In reply to an earlier post on 18 Jan 2014 11:41:25 GMT
Last edited by the author on 18 Jan 2014 11:56:42 GMT
Dr Lapelle says:
Discussion as to whether the original album might have been improved substituting one track for another is perfectly valid, because the review is of a CD that comprises not only the original album but six bonus tracks too.
Personally I believe the original album would not have benefited from the inclusion of 'Triad'. 'Space Odyssey' is the perfect finale to the album as first conceived.
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