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The Notorious Byrd Brothers

November 18, 2008 | Format: MP3

$9.99
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2:18
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3:25
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2:11
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2:42
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2:03
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2:39
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3:21
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1:48
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2:02
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2:00
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3:52
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3:24
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2:11
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3:31
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3:54
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2:58
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13:44
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Product Details

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
What an astonishingly perfect album.

I first discovered "The Notorious Byrd Brothers" back in 1991. I was in my early 20's, and had no idea what I was buying back then. I knew I loved "Fifth Dimension" and "Younger Than Yesterday". I probably just bought it to fill out my Byrds collection while hoping that it had a good tune or two, like "The Ballad of Easy Rider" or "Dr. Byrds and Mr. Hyde" has. I got much more than I bargained for, because it is one of the greatest efforts I've heard in all of rock-n-roll. It has become more and more special and significant with time. This would be one of my "Desert Island Discs", even if I was only allowed 10 albums, this would make that list, simply because it sounds so timeless and it never gets old.

From a marketing standpoint, it is not that well positioned in the pantheon of Byrds albums and singles. There is no hit single, and the album's cover doesn't really hint at the treasures that lie within. Combined with the album's title, someone who doesn't know any better might think it would sound more like "Sweetheart of the Rodeo", or not know what to think at all. This book cannot be judged by its cover, my friends. The only faults with this album may only be the packaging. However, as a fan, I would not change a thing. I only wish David Crosby had been allowed to finish this record before he was fired by Chris and Roger. Dave makes great contributions to this record, and the last track on the new expanded CD has a shocking glimpse into their studio world, exposing much unrest and friction in the group. Michael Clarke sounds like a royal pain-in-the-butt, and only in the Byrds for the money, and he refuses to play properly like a spoiled brat.
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Format: Audio CD
"The Notorious Byrd Brothers" is--aside perhaps from the mighty "Revolver"--the greatest pop album of all time. Inspired by The Beatles' recent achievements, embroiled in bandmember controversies (David Crosby was fired and Mike Clarke quit during the sessions), fuelled by drugs and yet reaching a creative peak that kept refining and expanding on the experimental direction of "Fifth Dimension" and "Younger Than Yesterday", the splintered Byrds somehow managed to come up
with a collection of songs which stand more like polished jewels than mere tunes. "Notorious" was to represent the final evolution of the group's sound before the backpedalling to country music that followed on "Sweetheart Of The Rodeo"; it fared well in the UK (peaking at #12) but stiffed in the US (#48) where the group were suddenly considered passe. It is a stunning work, a diverse collection of sounds and lyrical subject matter which is nonetheless unified by the group's
Taoist sense of ebb and flow; the sonic delights are smooth, tasteful and subtle, with not a single note or arrangement out of place and some of the most ingenious song fade-outs/fade-ins in the history of vinyl. The end result is a song cycle which takes one on a sonic trip that begins with an amphetamine rush and ends on the moon, with each sound--no matter how diverse, ranging from string quartets, raga-ish guitar solos, moog synthesizers, celeste, phasing, horns and those heavenly vocal harmonies--coalescing into one hypnotic rush, like a series of linked watercolors. This is pure art, a producer's wet dream, aiding some of the strongest lyrics and melodies ever written.
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Format: Audio CD
(Note: this is more of a review of this specific reissue than a review of the album "The Notorious Byrd Brothers." Needless to say, the album is fantastic...but those just looking to grab the record should look for the stock Legacy reissue. This Mobile Fidelity mono hybrid SACD is made for a specific crowd, as is this review)

I have to say that I haven't been spectacularly captivated by "new-phase" Mobile Fidelity. I did, however, make a pledge that if MoFi suddenly started releasing stuff that was interesting--stuff otherwise unavailable on CD, for example, which is how I saw them remaining relevant in the current music market--I would eagerly bite.

Well, with the mono Byrds discs, they have delivered something interesting, and as I'm a man of my informally-expressed internet word, I picked up this hybrid SACD of "Notorious." So how is this second entry in Mobile Fidelity's foray into the world of the Byrds?

Packaging: Okay. Not quite premium, which is disappointing given how expensive these things are. MoFi increased the size of their usual postage-stamp covers, but c'mon...do we still really need that design? The booklet seems to be a variation on the booklet included in the standard Sony package, only slightly blurrier, with little "mono" annotations and the mastering credits replaced.

The blurb on the shrink wrap is also interesting, as it implies that these mono mixes are from 1969 (aka a year after the album's release). Huh?

That said, MoFi's packaging has never been amazing, so perhaps this is an unfair area of criticism...

The sound: Excellent, for what it is: a great transfer of a somewhat muddy mix from a sort of shaky source, this nonetheless represents a really nice variation of this album on CD.
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