Search - Byrds :: Live at Royal Albert Hall 1971

Live at Royal Albert Hall 1971
Live at Royal Albert Hall 1971
Genres: Country, Pop, Rock
  •  Track Listings (19) - Disc #1

From their earliest days as 12-string-wielding folk-rockers, to the thrilling psychedelic excursions of their raga-rock period to their 1968 birthing of country-rock, the Byrds were always accorded a hero's welcome in Engl...  more »


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CD Details

All Artists: Byrds
Title: Live at Royal Albert Hall 1971
Members Wishing: 7
Total Copies: 0
Label: Sundazed Music Inc.
Original Release Date: 1/1/2008
Re-Release Date: 6/17/2008
Genres: Country, Pop, Rock
Styles: Oldies, Country Rock
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaCD Credits: 1
UPC: 090771117724


Album Description
From their earliest days as 12-string-wielding folk-rockers, to the thrilling psychedelic excursions of their raga-rock period to their 1968 birthing of country-rock, the Byrds were always accorded a hero's welcome in England. What better place to record founding Byrds member/guitarist/singer Roger McGuinn's new version of the band--featuring fretboard ace Clarence White, bassist Skip Battin and drummer Gene Parsons--than London's Royal Albert Hall! Rescued from a tape that had sat forgotten in McGuinn's climatized garage for decades, this stellar 1971 set, featuring live versions of the current band's studio faves ("Lover of the Bayou," "Chestnut Mare") as well as adventurous reworkings of Byrds classics ("Mr. Tambourine Man," "My Back Pages," "Eight Miles High," "So You Want to Be a Rock `n' Roll Star") might be the most accurate and stirring live performance yet of the legendary Los Angeles combo. By 1971, the guitar interplay of McGuinn and White had become a jaw-dropping highlight of their live performances, as had their stripped-down, acoustic mini-set and peerless four-part vocal harmonies. As McGuinn, in typically understated fashion, says of this new Sundazed release, available now on both compact disc and as a high-definition vinyl, double-gatefold LP: "It was a great night, so I'm happy there's a record of it!"

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CD Reviews

Now You Have The Evidence
(5 out of 5 stars)

"For 37 years now the only official document of The Byrds live has been the 1970 recording: "Untitled", {recently expanded to: Untitled/Unissued}. As "Untitled" only hints at the might & majesty that surrounds this version of musicians called: The Byrds, many of us have emptied our wallets on high-priced bootlegs such as: "Live In Amsterdam 1970" and "Two Tea For Two" {"Boston Tea Party, Feb 1969"}. The reason that poor-quality recordings of this edition of The Byrds have been so popular for close to 40 years now, is simple...This band was known around the world as one of the greatest live bands of their time {1969-1972}. Now, because of nothing more than a: "Chance-in-a-Million" and 37 years on, we can Listen and judge for ourselves.

Sound quality is not stellar here, and some postings are on the attack over that issue. But, by the cold hard digital standards of 2008, this tape of variable quality improves as the show unfolds and the mix is corrected in the concert hall on the soundboard by the only way possible in 1971, with the soundman's own two hands. Sundazed Records, must really worked on this tape to get it to sound this good, {they are known as true Byrds fans there} and I thank them for their work on this recording.

What about the music? Well, this track listing looks like all the usual suspects are present: "Mr. Tambourine Man", "Eight Miles High" & "My Back Pages", but be prepared to be a little surprised with a fresh acoustic take on "Tambourine Man" and the longest and finest captured version of: "Eight Miles High", where it all sounds 'On' at long last! {sorry "Untitled" fans, this one has a better flow and soars above the Felt Forum version from 1970}.

Why is this considered the best live bunch of: "Byrdmen"? Well, Roger McGuinn and Clarence White get much {and they have earned it!}praise for the meshing of their guitar playing styles{Folk-Rock meets Bluegrass-Country}, but the real secret weapons of this CD are found in the bass playing of Skip Batton and the percussion of Gene Parsons. This is a tight rhythm section that holds this all together and always plays interesting passages that entertain but never bore. The jam on "Eight Miles High is focused and stands the test of mulitple plays because these guys know WHAT to play and they know WHAT NOT to play. Like the best jazz musicians these Byrds can Fly, and they Fly high on this night in London.

There is a lot of musical history covered here in these 19 Songs. From the traditional a cappella rendition of: "Amazing Grace", just like it would have sounded in a small church 150 Years ago, on to the space/country of: "Mr. Spaceman" that takes such an refreshing take on this 1966 hit that it's almost like a brand new tune. The album tracks: "I Trust" and "Truck Stop Girl" blow their studio cousins right outta the water and sound so good here. It has been a while since a live album has been this great from start to finish {with the exception of the live CD by Gene Clark: "Silverado 75", released in May of this year}.

The Byrds were amazing to me when I was listening to: "Younger Than Yesterday" way back in 1968, and now in 2008 they are amazing once more.
You can live with the sound quality, this is a fantastic CD...

So you want to be rocked.....
feralduck | Austin, TX USA | 06/20/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)

"A fine compare and contrast to the live sides on Untitled. There are song duplications between that set and this, but the arrangements are by no means static. A nice little acoustic set in the middle, tunes from MTM through Byrdmaniax, and another opportunity to hear the stellar Clarence White work out.
The Battin/Parsons rhythm section propel the two guitarists in a fine manner; Gene Parsons has long been an underrated drummer. For a recording that was originally meant just as a band reference tape, the sound is fine; many live recordings from this era sound no better than this. I saw the Byrds live around the time of Untitled, and the sound was no more or less clear inside the concert hall itself.
A great addition to this band's catalog; buy without reservations."
I think I'm going back to the things that I learned so well
Junglies | Morrisville, NC United States | 06/26/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)

"This is one of those innocent pleasures that one can afford to consume in one's later years without any guilt whatsoever while ruing the years that the subject has been under wraps in Roger McGuinn's archives.

I will leave others to discuss individual tracks while I make the claim to how like the Grateful Dead the Byrds really were on this showing. The differences are clear, whilst the Dead gre from their blues based background the Byrds arose from the folk tradition but here, in this fines concert marred only by a minor sound glitch in the first track, the similarities are there for all to see and hear.

Marvel how America has produced two bands who outgrew their simple origins to become the greatest evangelists for the broad spectrum of music that has emerged from the United States in it's brief history. Marvel at their adaptions and restorations of folk and country and bluegrass while having the talent and capability to perform outside of the boundaries of the simple folk song.

Of course both bands look to Bob Dylan at various times in their careers to provide the vivid lyrics which capture so much and evoke much more but which they in turn reflect and refract back out to the broader audiences.

This album spans many decades in it's short span and presents them afresh. Whilst I mourn the space between the recording and it's eventual release it reminds me of much that has been lost in the intervening years and how we will probably never see the likes of the Byrds and the Dead again in their ability to transcend styles and forms and bring into the fold many from differing subclasses of the popular idiom together.

I commend this album to the pantheon of excellent albums."