If Dr. Byrds Mr. Hyde found Roger McGuinn having to re-create the Byrds after massive personnel turnovers (and not having an easy time of it), Ballad of Easy Rider was the album where the new lineup really hit its stride. Gracefully moving back and forth between serene folk-rock (the title cut, still one of McGuinn's most beautiful melodies), sure-handed rock roll ("Jesus Is Just All Right"), heartfelt country-rock ("Oil in My Lamp" and "Tulsa County"), and even a dash of RB (the unexpectedly funky "Fido," which even features a percussion solo), Ballad of Easy Rider sounds confident and committed where Dr. Byrds Mr. Hyde often seemed tentative. The band sounds tight, self-assured, and fully in touch with the music's emotional palate, and Clarence White's guitar work is truly a pleasure to hear (if Roger McGuinn's fabled 12-string work seems to take a back seat to White's superb string bends, it is doubtful that any but the most fanatical fans would think to object). While not generally regarded as one of the group's major works, in retrospect this release stands alongside Untitled as the finest work of the Byrds' final period. [This Japanese release includes bonus material.] Mark Deming, Rovi
- Psychedelic/Garage, Folk/Country Rock, Pop/Rock
- Psychedelic, Country-Rock, AM Pop, Folk-Rock
- August 9, 2005
- The Byrds
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