Set for reissue on March 1st is the 1973 self-titled Byrds reunion album featuring the original quintet — Roger McGuinn, David Crosby, Gene Clark, Chris Hillman, and Michael Clark. The album saw all the members at a creative crossroads — McGuinn having folded the contemporary version of the band around the time of the reunion, Crosby between CSNY and solo projects, Hillman on the verge of a solo career after running the course with the Flying Burrito Brothers and Stephen Stills’ Manassas. Gene Clark — once considered the most important songwriter in the band — was by then a fringe artist, at best, and drummer Michael Clark was several years away from the AM radio success as a part of Firefall.
The album, which contained little if any of the original mid-’60s spark of the band’s seminal works — has found a cult following over the years. Highlights on the set include the full band workout on Crosby’s previously released solo cut “Laughing,” along with new takes of Neil Young’s “Cowgirl In The Sand” and Joni Mitchell’s “For Free.” Although The Byrds peaked at a more than respectable Number 20 on the Billboard 200 albums charts, the band members passed on touring to support set, and never recorded a new album again under the Byrds moniker.
We asked Roger McGuinn what he remembers about the fall 1972 reunion sessions for the Byrds’ 1973 reunion album: “It was a party. We had booze and coke and pot — y’know, (David) Crosby supplied the best of everything. And he was a big star by then, so he took over the helm. We thought of doing road work if the album was successful, but I don’t think it charted or anything. You never know when you put something out. I mean, I had been getting good chart success with the Byrds stuff (prior to that), so, I mean, it was sort of a downhill run and I thought It’d probably do better than what I was doin’ with those guys. It really didn’t.”
David Crosby next performs on February 8th, 9th, and 10th in Miami Beach, Florida at North Beach Bandshell.
Roger McGuinn will next perform on March 16th, in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida at Ponte Vedra Concert Hall.
Photo Courtesy of UMe