THE BYRDS - Farther Along (1971) & Byrds (1973)
Farther Along is the 11th album by the American rock band The Byrds and was released in November 1971 on Columbia Records. For the most part, the album was recorded and produced by The Byrds themselves in London, England, over the course of five work-intensive days in July 1971. It was quickly released as a reaction to the commercial failure of The Byrds' previous album, Byrdmaniax, and as an attempt to stem the criticism that album was receiving in the music press. Byrdmaniax had suffered from excessive and inappropriate orchestration, which producer Terry Melcher had applied to the album, allegedly without the band's consent. As such, Farther Along can be seen as the band's answer to Melcher's over-production as well as an attempt to prove that they could produce an album superior to Byrdmaniax themselves. Unfortunately, the rapidity with which The Byrds planned and recorded Farther Along resulted in yet another uneven LP, which the band themselves were unhappy with and which failed to undo the damage to their reputation inflicted by Byrdmaniax. Upon release, the album only managed to reach #152 on the Billboard Top LPs chart and failed to break into the UK Albums Chart altogether.
Byrds is the twelfth and final studio album by the American rock band The Byrds and was released in March 1973 on Asylum Records. It was recorded as the centerpiece of a reunion between the five original members of The Byrds: Roger McGuinn, Gene Clark, David Crosby, Chris Hillman, and Michael Clarke. The last time that all five members had worked together as The Byrds was in 1966, prior to Gene Clark's departure from the band. During the reunion, the current, latter-day line-up of the band continued to make live appearances until February 1973, with McGuinn being the only member common to both versions of the group. Upon its release, Byrds received generally poor reviews, with many critics bemoaning a lack of sonic unity and the absence of The Byrds' signature jangly guitar sound among the album's shortcomings. Nonetheless, the album reached #20 on the Billboard Top LPs & Tapes chart and was also moderately successful in the United Kingdom, where it reached #31. In the U.S., Byrds was the band's highest charting album of new material since 1965's Turn! Turn! Turn!, which had also been the last Byrds' album to feature Clark as a full member.
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