What is remarkable about the fifth album by the Byrds is that they managed to produce such a strong and consistent record despite serious internal conflicts and personality clashes. Indeed it is often considered their finest work. The lead single “Goin’ Back” introduced the sound of the album, that of dreamy and laid-back layers of psychedelic folk-rock. The relaxed tone was evident throughout, most of the songs merging together seamlessly. Shimmering 12-string guitars and ethereal harmonies were accentuated by strings, mandolin, pedal steel guitar, Moog synthesizer and numerous session musicians (again including guitarist Clarence White, as well as drummer Jim Gordon who took over from Michael Clarke on several songs). The studio was also used as an instrument, incorporating waves of phasing and other effects, further strengthening the dreamlike mood of the record. Veins of folk and country can be detected, blurred together beneath the psychedelic soundscapes. The song writing credits were shared equally between Crosby, Hillman and McGuinn (plus two Goffin-King compositions), so that on the surface it appeared to be a perfect collaboration of artistic input, but in reality it represented a swan song of sorts for the original incarnation of The Byrds. By the time of the album’s release drummer Michael Clarke had left, and David Crosby had been fired, leaving Roger McGuinn and Chris Hillman as the only remaining members.
Younger Than Yesterday (1967) <|> Sweetheart Of The Rodeo (1968)
More from The Byrds