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The Byrds - Sweetheart Of The Rodeo (4LP)

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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 became the first major album widely recognised as country rock, 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 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. Tension developed between Parsons and the rest of the band, guitarist Roger McGuinn especially, with some of Parsons' vocals being re-recorded, partly due to legal complications, and by the time the album was released in August, Parsons had left the band. The Byrds' move away from rock and pop towards country music elicited a great deal of resistance and hostility from the ultra-conservative Nashville country music establishment who viewed the Byrds as a group of long-haired hippies attempting to subvert country music.

Upon its release, the album reached number 77 on the Billboard Top LPs chart, but failed to reach the charts in the United Kingdom. Two attendant singles were released during 1968, "You Ain't Goin' Nowhere", which achieved modest success, and "I Am a Pilgrim", which failed to chart. The album received mostly positive reviews in the music press, but the band's shift away from psychedelic music alienated much of its pop audience. Despite being the least commercially successful Byrds' album to date upon its initial release, Sweetheart of the Rodeo is today considered to be a seminal and highly influential country rock album.

Release info

Label: Columbia 88985494551
Format: Vinyl, LP, Album
Country: US
Released: 2018
Genre: Folk, World, & Country


A1 You Ain't Goin' Nowhere
A2 I Am A Pilgrim
A3 The Christian Life
A4 You Don't Miss Your Water
A5 You're Still On My Mind
A6 Pretty Boy Floyd
B1 Hickory Wind
B2 One Hundred Years From Now
B3 Blue Canadian Rockies
B4 Life In Prison
B5 Nothing Was Delivered
Additional Master Takes
C1 All I Have Are Memories (Kevin Kelley vocal)
C2 Reputation
C3 Pretty Polly
C4 Lazy Days
D1 The Christian Life (Gram Parsons vocal)
D2 You Don't Miss Your Water (Gram Parsons vocal)
D3 One Hundred Years From Now (Gram Parsons vocal)
D4 Radio Spot: Sweetheart Of The Rodeo album
The International Submarine Band
E1 Sum Up Broke
E2 One Day Week
E3 Truck Drivin' Man
E4 Blue Eyes
E5 Luxury Liner
E6 Strong Boy
Working Demos, Outtakes, & Rehearsal Versions
F1 Lazy Days
F2 Pretty Polly
F3 Hickory Wind
F4 The Christian Life (Gram Parsons vocal)
F5 The Christian Life (Gram Parsons vocal)
G1 Life In Prison (Gram Parsons vocal)
G2 Life In Prison (Gram Parsons vocal)
G3 One Hundred Years From Now (Gram Parsons vocal)
G4 One Hundred Years From Now (Gram Parsons vocal)
H1 You're Still On My Mind (Gram Parsons vocal)
H2 You're Still On My Mind (Gram Parsons vocal)
H3 All I Have Are Memories (Instrumental)
H4 All I Have Are Memories (Instrumental)
H5 Blue Canadian Rockies

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