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The Byrds - The Lost Broadcasts (DVD)

Genre: Pop/Rock
Release Date: 10th October 2011

Label: Gonzo
Catalogue Number: HST065DVD
Price: £7.99
Available: Sorry - Not currently available

The Byrds - The Lost Broadcasts

Gonzo Multimedia is at it again, releasing more rare rock footage from the vaults, this time it's the seminal US folk/psychedelic/country rock legends The Byrds. Here you have two German TV broadcasts from 1971 & 1972 featuring the later line-up of vocalist/guitarist Roger McGuinn, bassist Skip Battin, guitarist Clarence White, and drummer Gene Parsons.

The first session is from May 19, 1971, and includes two takes of the rocking song "Chestnut Mare", a rambling, near 14-minute instrumental take on the psychedelic classic "Eight Miles High" (including lengthy bass solo), and their folk/pop hit "Mr. Tambourine Man", a Bob Dylan song that they made all their own, here a lovely duet between McGuinn & White on acoustic guitars. Throughout, you'll see & hear the magical Rickenbacker guitar tones from McGuinn perfectly mesh with White's sizzling Telecaster (oddly enough White was more of a country player but you can really see his rock side coming out here), while the rhythm section of Battin & Parsons, both who also handle vocals as well, are firing on all cylinders. It's performances like these that show that The Byrds were much more than a folk rock or country rock band. Over to the October 1972 sessions, you'll see the band doing three takes of the wild bluegrass instrumental "Black Mountain Rag" (lots of weaving guitars and banjo) and two versions of their staple hit "So You Want to Be a Rock'n Roll Star", another great example of how this band was able to mix psychedelic rock with folk and pop.

The sound and audio is very good for source material that is 40 years old, which goes along with the high standards that Gonzo has previously set in this video series. In the end, you'll just wish there was more footage-at slightly over 30 minutes, it's all over before you feel you've really gotten started.

Pete Pardo (Sea Of Tranquility)

The Lost Broadcasts are a series of DVD sets featuring performances that have rarely been seen since the original transmission on German television, in some cases more than forty years ago. Some of the artists featured within the series are legendary and these “Lost” performances will be a fine addition to any music fans collection. The series covers a number of styles and genres however all of the performances are of a high calibre The Byrds first came to prominence in 1965 when their electrified version of Bob Dylan’s Mr. Tambourine Man became a worldwide hit. The band which at the time featured Roger McGuinn, Gene Clark, David Crosby, Chris Hillman and Michael Clarke would have further hits and record two albums before Gene Clark departed for a solo career. The Byrds would not replace Gene Clark and continued to record singles and albums as a four piece. Albums such as Fifth Dimension and Younger Than Yesterday along with singles such as So You Want To Be A Rock n Roll Star were also commercially successful at this time. In 1968 however David Crosby was sacked from the band just before the release of the album The Notorious Byrd Brothers. There followed a period of transition for the band with members coming and going and during late 1968 McGuinn and Hillman became the only original members of the band following the departure of Michael Clarke. Critically acclaimed albums such as Sweetheart of the Rodeo a genre breaking “Country” styled album featuring Gram Parsons was the next release although the line up featuring Gram Parsons was short-lived and soon after his departure the band recruited guitarist Clarence White previously with the Kentucky Colonels and alongside Gene Parsons in the more recent Nashville West. By the time of these filmed sessions for German television which are spread across two dates in 1971 and 1972 the band had stabilised following various line up changes (which included Kevin Kelley and John York) with the line up of Roger McGuinn alongside Skip Battin on bass and vocals, Clarence White guitar and vocals and Gene Parsons drums and vocals. The first session from the 19th of May 1971 featured newer material including Chestnut Mare from the bands critically well received album Untitled alongside the classic songs So you Want To Be A Rock n Roll Star, Mr Tambourine Man and Eight Miles High. The second session comes from October 1972 the band features drummer John Guerin on drums (who replaced Gene Parsons in September of that year) and they perform three versions of Black Mountain Rag and two versions of So You Want To Be A Rock n Roll Star.


Licensed courtesy of Joe Sweetinburgh / Impressive Records Consultants

LLP at: impressiverecs@btinternet.com

Disc 1
1.Black Mountain Rag (Oct 72)
2.Chestnut Mare (May 71)
3.So You Want to Be A Rock n Roll Star (Oct 72)
4.Eight Miles High (May 71)
5.Black Mountain Rag (Oct 72)
6.Black Mountain Rag & Soldier's (Oct 72)
7.Soldier's Man (May 71)
8.Rock N Roll Star (Oct 72)
9.Chestnutmare (May 71)
10.Mr Tambourine Man (May 71)
11.Eight Miles High (May 71)


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