Thursday, November 21, 2013

The Flip Sides of The Byrds' Singles: Change Is Now, Artificial Energy

Change Is Now
By the time the Byrds released their 12th single, the Goffin-King composed, Going Back, on October 20, 1967, they were a band in the midst of massive change. For starters, change in personnel, as David Crosby left the band shortly after recording this single. But also a change in musical direction as the band dabbled with country, psychedelia and straight out pop -- to mixed results, I might add. The Flip-Side, Change Is Now, is our featured song and it may be the last thing Crosby recorded with the band. It's likely that Jim Gordon is sitting in on drums for Michael Clarke and Red Rhodes provides us with the nice pedal steel throughout the song.
 Artificial Energy
It took quite some time for the new-look Byrds, now with Gram Parsons replacing David Crosby on guitar and vocals and Kevin Kelly replacing Michael Clarke on drums, to release their 13th single. A full 6 months had passed since their last single. The re-feathered Byrds returned to a tried and true formula -- record a Bob Dylan song! The fabulous You Ain't Going Nowhere was recorded in Nashville and showed The Byrds' full frontal embrace of country music. For the Flip-Side the band turned to an old song recorded for the previous album, the Hillman, McGuinn, Michael Clarke composition, Artificial Energy which kicked off the tepid Notorious Byrd Brothers LP released just three months prior. It's a peppy pop number with horns and, I believe, Hillman on lead vocals.

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