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August 2002








The Byrds Play Dylan

Pop disciples will remember that The Byrds hit number one during the Summer of ‘65 with their cover of Bob Dylan’s “Mr. Tambourine Man”. In fact, the first Byrds album contained a number of Dylan covers. That fortuitous association of The Byrds doing Dylan carried on with a number of subsequent Byrds albums including all time classics like Turn! Turn! Turn! (early ‘66), Younger Than Yesterday (1967) and Sweetheart Of The Rodeo (1968). The successful pop merger of Dylan’s recondite folk music with The Byrds pop-based folk-rock sound was nothing short of a miracle and—assisted by legendary producers Gary Usher, Bob Johnston and Terry Melcher—The Byrds are often credited with starting the folk-rock boom of the mid ‘60s. A superb, 20 track compilation on Columbia Legacy, The Byrds Play Dylan reexamines the group’s early ‘60s fascination with Dylan’s poetic and melodic folk songs all the way through to their version of “Paths Of Victory”, recorded for the 1990 Byrds box set. Legacy has done a great job, packing their 2002, 20 track Byrds Play Dylan CD with cool period piece photos and liner notes galore.

Ultimate Collection

As The Who gear up for their 2002 U.S. stadium tour, the group’s original label MCA/Decca recently released a singles-heavy, 2002 double disc Who retrospective that’s worth hearing for a couple reasons. With the expected 2002 release of a double disc reissue of The Who’s fabled 1965 Shel Talmy-produced My Generation album, the new Ultimate set starts things off with a taster from that album and, soundwise, it’s obviously worth the wait. Also of note is a fine sounding 4 track bonus ep CD tagged onto the first CD run featuring American release 45 versions of “Substitute” and “Magic Bus” and intriguing alternate takes of “Happy Jack” and “I’m A Boy” (French horn and all). There’s also a rare single version of the Tommy classic “See Me, Feel Me” and a 28 page booklet—abundant with rarely seen photos—that recasts the meteoric rise of the band. The Ultimate Collection is a good bet for long time fans and a real treat for anyone hearing them for the first time.


Crabby Appleton
(Collector’s Choice)

Crabby Appleton, that group’s self-titled debut, has long been considered an American power pop masterpiece. A former bandmate of the late great Curt Boettcher in the group Millennium, Michael Fennally really delivered an outstanding array of catchy pop cuts, sang up a storm and played some excellent electric guitar throughout. Released in ‘72 on Elektra Records, Crabby Appleton, the album, merged power-pop and breezy rock with incredible ease. Thankfully, the reissue experts at Collector’s Choice have also reissued the group’s second Elektra album Rotten To The Core as well. Liner notes by rock historian Richie Unterberger makes both of these releases essential CD reissues.

Lord Of The Rings
(Virgin / Silence)

Bo Hansson’s debut solo album helped put Sweden on the map big time back in 1969. Released worldwide in ‘69 by the progressive rock trendsetters at Charisma Records—with that incredible cover art faithfully reproduced on this new reissue by Virgin / EMI—the album remains a masterpiece album from the heyday of European progressive instrumental rock. The concept of Bo and Swedish engineer wizard Anders Lind (of Silence Records in Sweden), Lord paired Hansson’s unique keyboards and compositional skill—as well as his effective electric guitar passages—with drums by Rune Carlsson. Hansson’s remaining three fantastic instrumental solo albums—he hasn’t made a new instrumental album since the late ‘70s—featured the gifted electric guitarist Kenny Håkhansson and took the Hansson instrumental sound to even greater heights. Even so, 1969’s Lord Of The Rings remains a magical, music classic worth reinvestigation.

Get Together: The Essential Youngbloods
(BMG Heritage)

Led by singer-songwriter Jesse Colin Young, The Youngbloods were one of the great hippie rock bands of the late ‘60s. They gained fame with their tasty ‘67 cover of the Dino Valenti classic “Get Together” and their albums were also quite intriguing. Discovered by producer Felix Pappalardi during their early gigs in NYC, The Youngbloods soon moved to Northern California. Young shared the group spotlight with singer-songwriter Jerry Corbitt, and in fact, it was Corbitt’s song “Grizzly Bear”, that first brought the group national attention. After Corbitt split they carried on as a three piece and continued their unique blend of folk-rock, ragtime, bossa nova, raga rock and jazz blends. The group’s recent 21 track compilation on BMG Heritage Records compiles tracks from their three RCA albums including “Get Together”, “Grizzly Bear”, the Young classic “Darkness, Darkness”, as well as songs co-written by Pappalardi. The Essential Youngbloods fills in quite a few gaps concerning one of the most impressive ‘60s rock legends. 

Classic Masters
Lost Silver And Gold
(Collector’s Choice)

Featuring the dueling guitars of Gary Duncan and John Cippolina, Quicksilver were high among the best of all the SF Bay Area bands, although their fortunes were partly eclipsed early on with the arrest of group mentor Dino Valenti on pot charges. Valenti—whose real name was Chester A. Powers—is often credited with classics like “Get Together” and “Hey Joe”. Early Quicksilver albums were nearly incomplete without Valenti, and upon his return they recorded their biggest hits to date, the hippie anthems “Fresh Air” and “What About Me”. Despite having top musicians like Nicky Hopkins and David Freiberg in the band during various incarnations, Quicksilver was a great band mired in misfortune and bad timing. Nevertheless, they recorded some fascinating music, some of which is featured on their Classic Masters compilation on Capitol Records. Cippolina, Valenti and Hopkins have long since passed away, but the psychedelic jams and peace and protest songs they recorded during the heyday of the ‘60s and ‘70s will long endure.
Unreleased Quicksilver Messenger Service - Lost Silver And Gold
is a fine double CD set documenting the early Quicksilver—several years before the return of Dino Valenti and Nicky Hopkins into the band. If anything, the CD set proves early Quicksilver could hold their own with the The Dead and The Airplane. The early jams between Quicksilver guitarists John Cipollina and Gary Duncan—caught live on their groundbreaking late ‘60s live album Happy Trails—are now legendary. Collector’s Choice has done a great job on their Lost Silver And Gold double disc set—pairing 76 minutes of live recordings from 1968 (on disc one) with 12 rare and unreleased Quicksilver studio tracks on disc two. The CD set also provides insightful liner notes, written by rock scribe Richie Unterberger—who did a great job, not to mention his amazing chapter on the incredible Dino Valenti in his fascinating book, Urban Spacemen And Wayfaring Strangers (Miller Freeman Books).

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