The Notorious Byrd Brothers – The Byrds (1968)

Album no. 119/1001

The Byrds are back. Again. We’re getting pretty sick of saying that. 

This was their ‘experimental’ album – but there was plenty of tension in the band to fuel this creativity. Two of the founding members left before recording was finished. David Crosby was fired over arguments about what song to use on the album. He wanted his song ‘Triad’ (fun fact: it’s about threesomes!) to be included. In the end it wasn’t chosen, so he gave it to Jefferson Airplane to record instead.

He’d also annoyed the band by playing with rival group Buffalo Springfield, making long speeches about LSD on stage, and missing a number of recording sessions.

CL: No. Of course not. Come on. 

NK: Hrrnnnnnnnnnngggggggggggggg

Standout track

CL: This is back in the same sort of direction as Fifth Dimension. Which is to say, it’s crap. 

NK: The best thing about this is that it’s the shortest album The Byrds ever did. It’s still twenty eight and a half minutes too long, but you take what you can get when it comes to The Byrds. I will pick ‘Draft Morning’ because it’s got a minute of explosion sound effects in the middle of it. I listened to this twice(!) and it didn’t really sink in. I tried! You can’t say I didn’t try!

CL: You listened to it twice?! I couldn’t do that.

When would be the best time to listen to this?

CL: Look. Probably never. I can’t recommend this with any sort of genuine excitement.

NK: There is ANOTHER Byrds album after this. How is that possible? Only three weeks away as well, something to look forward to. At least after that there will be no Byrds albums coming up.

CL: It will definitely be a brighter time.

Why has this album been included on the list?

CL: I’m really struggling to come up with an answer for this. 

NK: Is there a little bit of country influence on this? The twangy guitar? The song with the explosions in it? This album is described as The Byrds’ most experimental album, which seems insane.

CL: What?!

NK: You could pick just about any track off Electric Ladyland and it would be more experimental than this whole album. I don’t get the Byrds. I have tried and tried, but I am pretty comfortable saying they are not for me.

Will you be listening again?  

CL: Not to this. I can handle Younger Than Yesterday and I quite like Mr Tambourine Man, but not this. No thanks. 

NK: Nooooooooooooooooooooope.


CL: This is possibly one of the worst things I’ve ever heard. I’m removing it from my iTunes without delay. It was offensive to my eardrums.

NK: This is possibly one of the worst things I’ve ever heard. I’m removing it from my iTunes without delay. It was offensive to my eardrums.

Unfortunately, you can’t listen to The Notorious Byrd Brothers on Spotify or buy on iTunes. (Soz). 

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