Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Roger Mcguinn & Band
Genres: Country, Pop, Rock
Roger McGuinn, whose voice and 12-string guitar had been signature elements of the Byrds, was flying high again on solo albums three and four: Roger McGuinn & Bandand Cardiff Rose. Released in 1975, the former longplayer f... more »
Roger McGuinn, whose voice and 12-string guitar had been signature elements of the Byrds, was flying high again on solo albums three and four: Roger McGuinn & Bandand Cardiff Rose. Released in 1975, the former longplayer features McGuinn?s tortured vocals on screaming rocker "Somebody Loves You," a mindbending version of Bob Dylan?s "Knockin? On Heaven?s Door" and a churning reprise of McGuinn classic "Born To Rock And Roll." Rejuvenated by a featured spot in Dylan?s fabled Rolling Thunder Revue in 1975, McGuinn hooked up with storied producer/guitarist Mick Ronson to create Cardiff Rose, the solo LP many consider his best. From the ringing opening chords of "Take Me Away" and the scurvy buccaneer tale, "Jolly Roger," both fascinating postcards from Rolling Thunder, to the swaggering "Rock And Roll Time" and Joni Mitchell?s fervent "Dreamland," McGuinn?s feet barely touch the ground on this 1976 masterpiece. Accompanied by liner notes penned after recent interviews with the great man himself, both McGuinn classics now available on compact disc with bonus material, have been sourced from the pristine Columbia Records master tapes and have never sounded better! McGUINN
Brilliant Band, Great Bonus Tracks
o dubhthaigh | north rustico, pei, canada | 04/16/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"For his fourth album, McGuinn had put together a superb touring band that had a harder edge than any of his Byrd and solo records had shown. Having caught them in concert in a Devon movie theatre of all places, I was amazed at what a powerful group they were. As always, McGuinn's self-efacing humour was key to the joy and charm of these performances. That's hard to capture in a studio, but this was a very primal recording, again as much a premonition of the new wave and punk recording process as anything. Costello, Strummer and Bators must have been listening to CARDIFF ROSE and this one.
So, with the enhanced remastering, you'll find that this disc literally snaps with energy. For the Gram Parsons devotees, this is as far removed as McGuinn would get, and that's just as well. It was time for a cleansing tonic from the southern california brain dead style of country rock. Enough was enough. Poco was still around if that's what you needed.
Everything kicks off with a great burst in "Somebody Loves You." This band had caught fire. "Knocking on Heaven's Door" again, is the definitive version. Dylan hopefully thanks his almight God that McGuinn came along. Pity Roger hadn't been asked to join the Wilburys at the end of the Eighties, one can only imagine what would have been....
Anyway, the grit of "Lover of the Bayou," the island stylings of "Lisa" and the rest of the CD sound terrific. "Born to Rock and Roll" recasts a very weak tune into much a stronger framework, and it is nowhere near as leaden as the Byrds re-union take on it.
But what takes this CD elsewhere altogether are the incredible versions of "Wasn't Born to Follow" and "Chestnut Mare" that this line-up delivered live. It would be worth gold to release a live set from this band. These two tunes and the "Dreamland" live track on CARDIFF ROSE give you some indication what a great, great live band this was. As protean as Los Lobos. As I've said before, an underappreciated hero of music, McGuinn deserves a lot more attention. His influence over the years has been profound. Not everything he did was perfect, but I'd take his imperfections any day of the week. With this CD, you have a truly amazing touring band re-creating that energy in the studio and then flexing its live muscles as well in the bonus tracks. Enjoy! It's great!"
His worst solo album, but not awful
byrds freak | Syracuse NY USA | 12/19/2004
(2 out of 5 stars)
"Great cover of "Knockin' on Heaven's Door" and a super reworking of The Byrds "Lover of the Bayou" but the reggae beat of "Lisa" and the schlock of "Born to Rock-n-Roll" bring this record down.(Though this version of Born to Rock-Roll is superior to the version on The Byrds reunion album of 1973).In my opinion his best solo albums are "Roger Mcguinn" "Cardiff Rose" "Back from Rio" "Live from Mars" and "Limited Edition"."
running_man | Chesterfield Twp., MI | 12/26/2005
(3 out of 5 stars)
"Between the years 1966 and 1972 a remarkable phenomenon took place in music. A renaissance exploded in which not only the premier artists of the era, but even less talented, less promising performers, were given the opportunity to produce art in lieu of a commercially salable product. Indeed, it was art that became the commercially salable product. In that atmosphere, genuine artists became icons and took the predominate genres of the era, psychedelic-, blues-, country-, and hard-rock, to heights since unparalleled. Many people bemoaned the obvious return of the pre-conceived and targeted sound music began to employ as the 1970's progressed. Those artists who had thrived during rock's renaissance, artists such as Roger McGuinn, found themselves as mere musicians looking to earn a paycheck in a highly fabricated milieu of popular music. On this album, McGuinn was literally assigned by "record company clowns" (as Neil Young lovingly calls them) a producer and backing band not of his choosing, laying down a songlist on which he himself had penned less than half of the songs (among the four songs credited to McGuinn, only two were previously unrecorded). Clearly this artist had lost control of the production bearing his name, and of course his art suffers immensely for it.
It's rather stunning to peruse the liner notes cobbled together by Jud Cost in 'Roger McGuinn and Band'. McGuinn is quoted regarding his "complacency with this record" being due to "not being ALLOWED (capitalizations mine) to produce it". "I just sort of threw my hands up", he says, "and let it all happen". He blows off the lyrics of 'Lover of the Bayou', as "totally made up" and "total nonsense". Regarding 'Born To Rock and Roll' McGuinn admits, "I never did quite nail it". Almost as a mockery of all that was happening, McGuinn sings in 'Circle Song', "Sometimes we're singin', and the words won't rhyme, 'cause we don't mean these things we say... it's the game we play". It's akin to the owner of a new car opening up the owners manual and finding out all the shortcomings of his new purchase.
Predictably, this album has a slick, glossy feel to it... a pretty facade over tracks lacking in substance. There is the sound of rock and roll minus the feel of rock and roll. There are some good compositions, both rockers ('Somebody Loves You', 'Lover of the Bayou', and 'So Long') and ballads ('Painted Lady' and an impressive cover of Bob Dylan's 'Knockin' On Heaven's Door'), but the performances seem all done for effect. One wonders if there isn't a subliminal message being delivered by the cover art, picturing McGuinn in front of an early and massive video tape machine, a producer of two-dimensional images. Even the good work on 'Roger McGuinn and Band', unfortunately, comes across superficial and two-dimensional. This is easy to spot in the work of an artist who once led his faithful following to challenge the 'Fifth Dimension'.
The CD version of 'Roger McGuinn and Band' is spruced up a bit with two live bonus tracks, recorded in July of 1976 as McGuinn toured with his band Thunderbyrd. The first is a Gerry Goffin and Carol King composition, 'Wasn't Born To Follow' (previously recorded by The Byrds, and by Dusty Springfield), a fairly undistinguished song, and one which the liner notes make apologies for in "sonic anomalies" (in other words, the original recording was messed up), and a live rendition of 'Chestnut Mare' which is the one gem harbored on the disc.
The disc comes packaged fairly well, but without lyrics. The backing band, and circustances under which the album was produced, as well as inside commentary on the tracks, are given adequate detail in the liner notes. I have to suspect, however, that 'Roger McGuinn and Band' would only appeal to McGuinn completists, of which there are probably a handsome number. For the more casual McGuinn fan, there is hardly a single disc by The Byrds that won't provide a more satisfying Roger McGuinn experience."