The Byrds were an answer to the progressive nature of The Beatles back in the 1960s. The Byrds were an American outfit often overlooked for changing musical styles and trends, whilst keeping a consistent and listenable nature to their music. This was a commercial failure at the time of release, it was too much a Rock and Roll band for Country Music and Rock musicians at the time didn’t get it, either. It does feature legendary singer and Country musician Gram Parsons, who made a name for himself later on. This is no doubt a historical turning point in the world of music. Let’s hear this album and see if it still holds up its classic status today.
You Ain’t Goin’ Nowhere begins this album with some pleasant Fender style guitars, strummed acoustic guitars and a very Country feel to the song. It is instantly pure and good and is very catchy as well. It is surprising to hear a group that started doing Folk-Rock to do this music. Still, this is an outstanding song and it sounds really amazing. A really great and amazing listen, this sounds very pretty and lovely. There are references to Genghis Khan and flying, this is a wonderful tune. Nice start guys.
I Am A Pilgrim begins with fiddle, banjo, strummed acoustic guitar and lovely instrumentation that still sounds amazing to this day. A really fine and upbeat tune, this sounds really amazing and fresh. It is extremely rare for the music of this sort to be so moving, The Byrds had a great recording on their hands. A very upbeat and wonderfully joyful piece, this is absolutely worth your time, especially if you are a Rock music fan who knows nothing about Country music. Lyrics about going down to the river of Jordan to bathe one’s soul, this is really awesome-sounding craftsmanship. The whole thing is excellent and marvellous, it just sounds really amazing. Very pretty, it was completely different to the Psychedelia of the late 1960s. Nice effort.
The Christian Life begins with some nice clean guitars, before launching into a different tune that is obviously deeply religious and spiritual. It is about avoiding a life of sin and evil by following Christian ideals. Nonetheless, this is a great tune that the moral fibre that such a life can provide. An awesome piece of music, this sounds really fantastic and excellent music with slide guitars and a Country sensibility than is undeniably great.
You Don’t Miss Your Water begins with lovely piano, strummed acoustic guitars, slide guitar and a lovely sound throughout. More deep and inspired singing about broken relationships and heartache is present, which is actually a really major Country music theme present in that style of music. This is really very old school sort of sounding, but it also sounds amazing and much better than much of musical history before it. That’s how good it really is. The singing and harmonies here are truly wonderful, and the piano solo is absolutely gorgeous, followed quickly by a guitar solo. Very great music sounds, this is a soulful album. A great and fine Country music piece. “You don’t miss your water until your well runs dry,” is sung here, a great and image evoking piece. Excellent.
You’re Still On My Mind begins with more delicious slide guitars, strummed acoustic guitars, fluttering piano and some real Southern USA feel to this song. This is about drowning one’s own sorrows in a period of relationship troubles, and it sounds rather bleak lyrically. Musically, it is wonderful and upbeat and it is a great piece of songcraft regardless. Gram Parsons’s influence was very heavy on this record, this sounds really awesome. Fantastic and catchy, this is an essential listen. Magical.
Pretty Boy Floyd begins with an intricate and upbeat banjo, along with acoustic guitars. This is a sort of old Country tale that sounds fantastic. There is magnificent fiddle on this tune, and this is mind-blowingly great. It just goes to show that making music from a non-commercial perspective really pays off, this is amazingly fantastic. It’s an old Country sort of tale, and it just sounds really great. A breezy and lovely listen, this is nothing but amazing. There is an acoustic guitar solo part before this story recommences. A truly great listen.
Hickory Wind begins with some more lovely slide guitar, before going straight into an amazing piece of beautiful music that is about childhood memories. A really great tune about more heartbreak, this has some extremely pleasant singing and backing vocals, too. This album is brilliant so far, and no effort was wasted here whatsoever. Singing about lovely memories and musings, a genuinely excellent Country music song. The guitar solo and fiddle are amazing here, it just sounds really top. As one grows older, we should not forget the good memories that we have. A really great song, and worth hearing, this is beautiful.
One Hundred Years From Now begins with more Country style slide guitars, pounding rhythms and a great song about the changes that time can bring. It’s another sad lament sort of tune matched with upbeat music, this is purely and really excellent listening. There is an amazing Fender sounding guitar solo, and this piece of music sounds really fantastic. For an album delivered in an era where Rock was replacing Country and older forms of music, this is a fantastic creation of the latter. Catchy and effortless, this is a really amazing listen. Great music.
Blue Canadian Rockies begins with some strummed acoustic guitars, a more straightforward sound and a catchy listen throughout. It’s more relationship issues 101 sort of thing, but this is pretty and gorgeous music with natural instrumentation and sounds to match. There are some also pretty guitar and piano solos, which are divine. A lovely song and something for guitarists to play around the campfire, a very great effort.
Life In Prison begins with some acoustic guitar and slide guitar, quickly launching into a great piece about being on trial for murder, this sounds heartfelt and outstanding, although the subject matter is very dark. A wonderful piece of music regardless, this is really amazing and outstanding. A clever and excellent listen, there are some amazing slide guitar solos and piano parts present in this piece. Unusually weird tune in retrospect, but good music nonetheless, this is a grand listen. Great Country tunes on this album, this ends nicely.
Nothing Was Delivered is the last track, beginning with some great slide guitar. It is a catchy, laidback and Southern USA sounding slice of goodness present on this album. This is a really excellent and enjoyable piece that makes a dramatic change between the chorus and verses, namely a shift in tempo and structure. This concludes a truly great record, and it is a pure Country music piece with some precise slide guitars that sounds natural and amazing. Again, about relationship issues, this sounds really top. Good music is here, this sounds extraordinary. It ends with a slide guitar piece and a pounding rhythm section. Great stuff.
Without a doubt, this is a classic album the moment one hears it, which is incredibly rare. It is good solid work. A combination of a successful Rock group meeting a pure Country music backdrop resulted in this truly amazing album. Sadly, this did not make the top 10 back in 1968, although it really should have. Too many people were still locked into the Country vs Rock ethos. Today, it is rightfully seen as outstanding overall. If you are new to Country music, this is where you should start. Fantastic. Sadly, The Byrds went somewhat downhill after this release and Gram Parsons went on to other things. Nothing should stop you from enjoying this album or its rewarding expanded reissues, however.
Excellence without question.