Uncut - 3/00, p.754 stars out of 5
- "...It is magnificent. Covering every stage of the band's career from the early pop hits through the country and folk stylings to the heavier jamming style of the final line-up..."
Dirty Linen - 4-5/00, pp.59-61
"...This disc is a showcase for White's virtuoso guitar extravaganzas and demonstrates what a potent rhythm section York and Parsons were. The emphasis was on country material..."
No Depression - 1-2/00, p.74
"...LIVE AT THE FILLMORE-FEBRUARY 1969 abjures a career-spanning approach to focus upon SWEETHEARTS-era material, thus giving the set a more-coherent, organic feel....McGuinn sings with a degree of emotion and earnestness rarely evident in his later studio work..."
The Byrds: Roger McGuinn, Clarence White, Gene Parsons, John York.
Recorded live at the Fillmore West, San Francisco, California on February 7 & 8, 1969. Includes liner notes by David Fricke.
Originally recorded as a soundcheck for the headline attraction, a reunion of Butterfield Blues Band/Electric Flag Alumni, LIVE AT THE FILLMORE captures the Byrds less than a week after the release of DR. BYRDS AND MR. HYDE. By this time, Roger McGuinn was the sole remaining founding member and his band had moved from the Dylan-inspired folk-rock of its origins to more of a country-flavored sound due in part to the seeds planted by one-time member Gram Parsons.
Parsons' replacement, Clarence White, carried on and expanded upon the band's country legacy. White gained his fingerpicking expertise as one-half of the seminal bluegrass act the Kentucky Colonels and had been an occasional Byrds sideman since 1967's YOUNGER THAN YESTERDAY. The Byrds didn't quite fit in with their self-indulgent jam-band peers--the band was known for playing concise and crystalline recreations of its material while in concert. Standouts captured here include the self-penned instrumental "Nashville West"; a thumbed-nose retort to Nashville, "Drug Store Truck Drivin' Man"; and authentically twangy covers of songs from artists including Merle Haggard ("Sing Me Back Home") and Buck Owens ("Buckaroo," "Close Up the Honky Tonks").