# A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

Various - Sixties Transition

  by Andy Cassidy

published: 27 / 2 / 2012

Various - Sixties Transition
Label: Floating World Records
Format: CD


Fantastic compilation from the archive of producer and one-time Byrds manager Jim Dickson, which compiles tracks from some of the most important artists in West Coast rock, including, as well as the Byrds, David Crosby, the Hillmen, Leon Russell and Dino Valenti

The current resurgence in Americana, caused in part by the success of the 'O Brother Where Art Thou' soundtrack, shows no sign of abating, and there are some truly magnificent exponents of the genre currently touring. In the last year, I’ve been to probably eight or nine gigs which would once have been classed as Country, but now fall under the wide umbrella of Americana. It’s an old genre, to be sure, but one that seems to be thriving, and I’m all the happier for that. Exactly when Americana began to break into the mainstream audience’s field of interest is a contentious argument. Certainly Country acts have always been popular, and some enjoyed limited mainstream success, but to my mind it wasn’t until the Byrds that Americana as it exists today became truly popular. This compilation from the archive sof Jim Dickson (one-time Byrds manager) features a cracking selection of tracks from some of the most important artists in the history of West Coast rock and country rock, including David Crosby, the Hillmen, Leon Russell and Dino Valenti. Oh, and, not surprisingly, the Byrds. The twenty-track collection features some truly fantastic recordings. The opening track (Dino Valenti’s 'Get Together'), for instance, is a great record. Valenti’s voice is extremely powerful, and the song’s message, while perhaps a little naïve to the 21st listener, is earnest and refreshingly straightforward. Valenti has two other tracks on the collection, 'Black Betty' and 'Life is Like That', both Doors-style blues songs with some fantastic Ray Manzarek style organ work. The highlight of the collection for me is the two David Crosby tracks, 'Willie Jean' and 'Come Back Baby'. Crosby sounds fantastic, and, while the material is in no way the best he ever produced, one can hear that distinctive guitar and voice combination at their finest. There are several instrumentals on the album, none of which, if I’m honest, really didn't do a great deal for me. One worthy of mention, however, is Leon Russell’s 'Stewball' which, if you can overlook its similarity to John Lennon’s 'Happy Xmas (War is Over)', is an enjoyable piece of campfire ephemera. I don’t know if Lennon was listening to this when he wrote 'Happy Xmas', but if I were Leon Russell I would be asking questions… Dian and the Greenbriar Boys’ 'He Was a Friend of Mine' is a classic in the Carter Family tradition, while the energetic banjo backed, Weavers-style 'When the Ship Comes In' shows off the Hillmen’s country credentials to their full extent. The four Byrds tracks on the collection are superb, the early version of 'Mr Tambourine Man' being of particular interest to Byrds fans and music historians alike. The collection closes with another Dylan cover, this time 'The Times They Are A-Changin’ by Hamilton Camp. That the track has a Byrds feel to it is no surprise when one learns that Roger McGuinn and Chris Hillman are among the players. This is a neat little collection of curios, and does well to avoid the potential pitfall of being made up entirely of obscure tracks that alienate the casual listener. This selection is that rare thing – a compilation of rarities that will appeal to both completists and those with merely a passing interest in the people behind one of the more interesting periods of American rock.

Track Listing:-
1 Get Together
2 Black Betty
3 Life Is Like That
4 Willie Jean
5 Come Back Bab
6 Charisma
7 Jamaica Farewell
8 Stewball
9 He Was a Friend of Mine
10 When the Ship Comes In
11 Faretheewell
12 You Showed Me
13 Airport Song
14 I Knew I'd Want You
15 Mr Tambourine Man
16 Each Season Changes You
17 Someday You'll Find
18 Don't You Cry
19 To Ramona
20 The Times They Are a Changin

Label Links:-

Post A Comment

your name
ie London, UK
Check box to submit

digital downloads

most viewed articles

most viewed reviews

Pennyblackmusic Regular Contributors