Sweetheart of the Rodeo – The Byrds (1968)


Sweetheart of the Rodeo is the sixth album by American rock band the Byrds and was released on August 30, 1968, on Columbia Records (see 1968 in music). Recorded with the addition of country rock pioneer Gram Parsons, it was influential as the first major country rock album by an established act and represented a stylistic move away from the psychedelic rock of the band’s previous LP, The Notorious Byrd Brothers. The Byrds had occasionally experimented with country music on their four previous albums, but Sweetheart of the Rodeo represented their fullest immersion into the genre thus far. The album was also responsible for bringing Gram Parsons, who had joined the Byrds prior to the recording of the album, to the attention of a mainstream rock audience for the first time. Thus, the album can be seen as an important chapter in Parsons’ personal and musical crusade to make country music fashionable for a young audience. The album was initially conceived as a musical history of 20th century American popular music, encompassing examples of country music, jazz and rhythm and blues, among other genres. However, steered by the passion of the little-known Parsons, who had only joined the Byrds in February 1968, this proposed concept was abandoned early on and the album instead became purely a country record. The recording of the album was divided between sessions in Nashville and Los Angeles, with contributions from several notable session musicians, including Lloyd Green, John Hartford, JayDee Maness and Clarence White. … Released at a time when the Byrds’ surprising immersion in the world of country music coincided with their declining commercial appeal, Sweetheart of the Rodeo was certainly an uncommercial proposition at the time of its release. However, the album has proved to be a landmark, serving not only as a blueprint for Parsons’ and Hillman’s the Flying Burrito Brothers, but also for the entire nascent 1970s Los Angeles country rock movement. The album was also influential on the outlaw country and new traditionalist movements, as well as the so-called alternative country genre of the 1990s and 2000s. Among fans of the Byrds, however, opinion is often sharply divided regarding the merits of the album, with some seeing it as a natural continuation of the group’s innovations, and others mourning the loss of the band’s trademark Rickenbacker guitar jangle and psychedelic experimentation. Nonetheless, Sweetheart of the Rodeo is widely considered to be the Byrds’ last truly influential album. …”
Wikipedia
Graded on a Curve: The Byrds, Sweetheart of the Rodeo
The Byrds: Sweetheart of the Rodeo: Legacy Edition
amazon: Sweetheart of the Rodeo: Legacy Edition, iTunes
YouTube: You Ain’t Going Nowhere (1968), I Am a Pilgrim, The Christian Life, Under Your Spell Again, You Don’t Miss Your Water, You Don’t Miss Your Water, You’re Still On My Mind [Live At The Fillmore 1969], Pretty Boy Floyd (live at the Fillmore West)1969, Hickory Wind, Rome May,1968, Life In Prison, Nothing was delivered
YouTube: The Byrds – Sweetheart Of The Rodeo (Gram Parsons Vocals) 1. One Hundred Years From Now, 2. The Christian Life, 3. You’re Still On My Mind, 4. Hickory Wind, 5. Life In Prison

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