Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Birds / Byrds / Thunderbyrd

Three singles today:

I was surprised and delighted, when I put on Neil Young's "Birds" to find a totally different arrangement from the the spare piano version on After The Goldrush. This abbreviated take features guitar, bass, and drums - and is probably an early one - with only one verse and one chorus.


"Birds" mp3
by Neil Young, 1970.
alternate take - non LP B-Side

The b-side to The Byrds' "Turn! Turn! Turn!" single is an early Gene Clark masterpiece, that turned up on their box set in a different version. Clark recorded it again later on his Roadmaster LP in 1972. You can hear echoes of the Beatles' "Ticket to Ride" which was the #1 record in the US, shortly before The Byrds started sessions for their second record. The 12 string sound on "Ticket to Ride" owes a huge debt to the Jim (soon to be Roger) McGuinn. The Byrds, on "She Don't Care About Time," are in turn emulating a Beatles record, or more precisely, a Beatles record that emulates a Byrds record.

"She Don't Care About Time" mp3
by The Byrds, 1965.
available on Turn! Turn! Turn!

The third single of today's selections I mentioned in a post a couple of weeks ago. In 1977, Roger McGuinn, perhaps a little lost, and looking for inspiration again from those that he had inspired, made his final solo record, Thunderbyrd, before retreating from recording for another 13 or so years. "American Girl" is his take on a Tom Petty song from his debut of the previous year. It's no secret that Petty's early sound was hugely indebted to McGuinn and the Byrds. McGuinn's 12 string sound is large and instantly recognizable.

"American Girl" mp3
by Roger McGuinn, 1977.
available on Thunderbyrd


"Birds" mp3
by Neil Young, 1970.
available on After the Gold Rush

"She Don't Care About Time"
by Gene Clark, 1972.
available on Roadmaster

"American Girl" mp3
by Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, 1976.
available on Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers

top photograph: Alabama Hills, California, 2004. © Ted Barron


Anonymous said...

Woo! Stick She Don't Care on after Wild Mountain Thyme and I'm just jelly. Ace post.

Denier said...

That b-side version of "Birds" is amazing. Also love Roger McGuinn solo. "Lost My Driving Wheel" and "Born to Rock & Roll" are classics that hold up to his best Byrds stuff.

Anonymous said...

Great stuff! Thanks for posting the McGuinn version of "American Girl" which is too often overlooked...

Hazy Dave said...

Faintly astonishing to discover an unknown version of a classic Neil Young song on an old 45. Thanks for this. What's the A-side?

The other pair are great as well, of course....

Anonymous said...

My long love for McGuinn's American Girl no longer feels like such a solitary, guilty pleasure. Thanks! W.

Anonymous said...