Thursday, March 7, 2013
40 Year Itch: Funny How The Circle Turns Around
Only Gene Clark shines in this half hearted reunion album released on March 7, 1973. That's perhaps because the band ( last together in their original line-up in 1966) didn't reunite out of a strong desire to start up the band again. As Roger McGuinn told Creem Magazine's Cameron Crowe, it all started off kind of half-assed.
Nobody really pushed for it very hard, which is partly why it happened. It was sorta “how’d ya like to…,” an open invitation to all the original Byrds. Nobody stood to lose anything, even David Crosby, who really didn’t stand to gain by it because he was already doing okay by himself. I think he wanted to reinstate himself as a Byrd,; his pride was at stake. He didn’t like the idea that I continued the group without him.
There were two different points of view, one is business and the other aesthetic. (Drummer) Michael Clarke stood to gain quite a bit. Chris Hillman was doing okay and I was doing all right. I could’ve passed it up, but then I thought, well, it could be pretty big. It could reopen the catalog of past Byrds albums and a lot of people would probably like to hear the new one. Looking at it aesthetically.
The album received generally bad reviews. There were two Neil Young covers (a limp "Cowgirl In The Sand" and "(See the Sky) About to Rain"), a Joni Mitchell cover ("For Free" from Ladies of the Canyon) and two songs each from Hillman, McGuinn, Clark and Crosby ( including a very similar "Laughing" to the one Crosby recorded for his solo debut). So the Byrds final flight was a shaky one. McGuinn would release his solo debut later in the year.