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The Notorious Byrd Brothers Original recording remastered, Extra tracks

4.7 out of 5 stars 26 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Audio CD (24 Mar. 1997)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Original recording remastered, Extra tracks
  • Label: Columbia/Legacy
  • ASIN: B000024J7C
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  Audio Cassette  |  Vinyl  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (26 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 5,220 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
  • Sample this album Artist (Sample)
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Product Description

Product Description

1. Artificial Energy
2. Goin' Back
3. Natural Harmony
4. Draft Morning
5. Wasn't Born To Follow
6. Get To You
7. Change Is Now
8. Old John Robertson
9. Tribal Gathering
10. Dolphin's Smile
11. Space Odyssey
12. Moog Raga
13. Bound To Fall
14. Triad
15. Goin' Back
16. Draft Morning
17. Universal Mind Decoder

Amazon.co.uk

The Notorious Byrd Brothers captures the Byrds between the seminal folk-rock glories of their better-known mid-1960s triumphs and the equally influential country-rock that would soon follow, but the album is no holding action: with one time Beach Boy associate Gary Usher producing and Roy Halee engineering, the band weaves its signature vocal harmonies and chiming guitars through a lusher, more impressionistic art-pop tapestry that stops just short of post-Sgt. Pepper's cliché, employing phased vocals, sound effects, Moog synthesiser, and horns. Thematically, the project pits utopian innocence ("Tribal Gathering", "Dolphins Smile") against a new wariness ("Artificial Energy", a cautionary look at amphetamines, and the Vietnam vignette of "Draft Morning"). In a field of well-paced, inventive songs, the zenith is the silken, wistful "Goin' Back", Carole King's poignant meditation on childhood and innocence. --Sam Sutherland

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: 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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By N.D VINE VOICE on 12 April 2003
Format: Audio CD
Such tender music created in such an atrocious situation. Back in 1967 the byrds recorded their masterpiece album, full of beautiful songwriting and hauting harmonies, but behind the scenes they were bickering like children. Before the album was originally released David Crosby was fired (his songwriting credits are minimal but excellent) and shortly after michael clark left also. So what are we to expect from such an album...an aimless ego-tripping bloated beast..nope a quite beautiful charming record in fact. The real beauty comes not just from the harmonies that one can only compare to the beach boys but from the way that david and roger seem to caress their guitars inot creating some of the most lovely textured guitar work I can think of. Get to you, and the fantastic dolphin's smile are highlights, but surely the albums greatest treasure is the beautful goin' back.
The outtakes show what terrible choices the byrds often made (the ommision of triad is criminal) but are probably best listened to separately from the rest of the album.
Check the hidden track at the end of the cd to hear some of the arguing that I mentioned earlier, it's excruciating.
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Format: Audio CD
Was this Roger McGuinn's defining moment? Rightly or wrongly he had always given the impression that he felt he WAS the Byrds and that the others were there merely to assist. Then, part way through the work on this album, David Crosby departed, leaving only McGuinn, Michael Clarke and Chris Hillman. Clarke was not a contributor, Hillman was - quite notably on "Younger than Yesterday", the previous album - but he was easygoing and more likely to defer to McGuinn on creative decisions than Crosby and Gene Clark (who had left earlier). This left McGuinn largely in charge for the first time. Michael Clarke had also gone by the time the album was completed. Gene Clark actually rejoined for a couple of weeks before he left again.

The backdrop to this was an unofficial battle between the big white rock bands of the mid to late 1960's. "Rubber Soul" from the Beatles had started it in late 1965. The Beach Boys then upped the ante in May 1966 with "Pet Sounds", an album, so far in advance of anything the group had ever done before that it knocked out both critics and fellow artists alike. 1966 and 1967 saw further great album releases from the Beatles, the Stones and the Byrds themselves but the Beatles appeared to trump the lot with "Sgt Pepper" in the Summer of `67. McGuinn was left pondering, how did he compete with this monster, and, possibly more importantly, how did he arrest and rectify the public's increasing lack of interest in his group.

He retained producer Gary Usher, who'd done a good job on "Younger Than Yesterday", introducing new colouration such as the trumpet of Hugh Masakela which featured on "So you want to be a Rock'n'Roll Star". Usher was originally a musician himself and had worked with Brian Wilson as both co-writer and co-producer.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
This 1997 Sony edition of The Notorious Byrd Brothers contains additional material, tacked on to the last track (17). After a few seconds pause, we hear an attempt to record a number for which Michael Clarke either cannot or won't play what McGuinn, Crosby, and producer Gary Usher suggest would be appropriate: a jazz shuffle rhythm and relevant turns to accent different sections of the song. The crew are variously encouraging of Clarke, Usher especially, but the drummer seemingly hates the material and, perhaps, his inability to provide what's required.

At one point Crosby and McGuinn have a mild go at each over the other's ego, but, basically they seem to have a shared vision of what they want to accomplish. This studio chatter is instructive and no doubt is representative of any of that era's rock bands' toil to create something fresh in the studio.

If this is also included in the Byrds' boxed set, perhaps someone can mention it.

It would've been a nice touch if Sony had told us which tracks featured subsitute drummer Jim Gordon.
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