Much of my calendar year, every year, is spent sifting through record store bargain bins, estate sales, etc. and digging into the acquisitions. I win some and lose some, but I never write about it on AuxOut even though it accounts for a huge portion of my listening and discovery. In honor of the season of presents, I am celebrating some of the gifts bestowed upon me by the record gods during 2023.
Wednesday, December 6, 2023
The 25 Bargain Buys of Xmas: Day 6
The Byrds' only "double album" (and only untitled album, through a hilarious misunderstanding with Columbia) is not a true double album. The two records are split between live recordings and studio recordings. The first LP is solid (opener "Lover of the Bayou" is a highlight) with rocked up renditions of famous Byrds tunes. I was hyped to check out the sidelong version of "Eight Miles High" which I'd imagined as a proto-Spacemen 3 psych-feedback-implosion but it's more of a middle-of-the-road 60s rock freakout, in my book. The second LP is where my real listening occurs as it's the studio LP they affixed the live record to. It's a really strong album, not as many peaks as some other Byrds albums but consistent throughout while maintaining their trademark eclecticism. Whether the Velvets-lite vibe of extended closer "Well Come Back Home", the lonesome, Sweetheart of the Rodeo-esque ballad "Yesterday's Train", the pure glee of the Leadbelly cover "Take a Whiff of Me", or the album's best remembered song, country rock supernova "Chestnut Mare" (so stupid! so catchy!), there's good reason to add (Untitled) to every Byrds home library.
A playlist of tunes from each of the records I wrote about, I'll add a new song each day: