This is The Byrds ninth album and the first (partly) live album to enter my list of 50 years celebrations. As I might have noticed here and then, I try to avoid live albums and compilations and stick to regular albums. There can be exceptions though and this one was kind of obvious, since side 3 and 4 are new released studio songs.
The live part is recorded February 28, 1970 at the Colden Center Auditorium in New York and March 1, 1970 at the Felt Forum, also in NY. The studio album recorded from May 26 to June 11, 1970 in Columbia Studios in Hollywood. As with a few albums before this I find it difficult to confirm the actual release date, sorry about that. Of 5 sources one says today 50 years ago, September 14, three says September 16 (which is probably the correct one) and one (AllMusic) say October. Bummer, but I choose the first one to have my post released in good time. If you, the reader, have the absolute fact from an official site, please throw a comment with a link to it. Thank you very much!!
I was curious about the prices of this untitled album and looked it up at Discogs. Surprisingly it is very easy to get and even a VG+ copy of the first Terre Haute Pressing can be found to 5-6 euros. So nothing rare or expensive about this release, which might tend to be related with the live part. It is my experience that live albums tend to be lower priced, in general, than studio albums. The “in general” part is important here, please don’t misunderstand – there are plenty of rare and expensive live albums out there for sure!
The untitled part is not a planned title, according to an interview. There should have been several subjects for a title, among them White, McGuinn and Parsons. Since they were too slow with deciding the final title, the editor at Columbia Records had entered (Untitled) at the title placeholder on the sleeve and stayed there during the pressings. This seems to have followed the album and sleeves on later repress, both on vinyls and CD’s.
I like most of the songs from The Byrds, but I very rarely listen them at home. Not to offend any fans out there, but I find the music a bit common, even I know they made a lot of new music and style for their time. I guess there just were so many of them in the genre, similarities. That said, I respect their contribution to the world music, they made lots of hits/headbangers and I enjoy their music when played everywhere else. E.g. in my car which is the only place I listen radio. (except if it’s playing in the background at a friends or family’s place)
Roger McGuinn – guitar, synthesizer, vocals
Clarence White – guitar, mandolin, vocals
Skip Battin – electric bass, vocals
Gene Parsons – drums, guitar, harmonica, vocals
Gram Parsons – backing vocal
Terry Melcher – piano
Byron Berline – fiddle
Sneaky Pete Kleinow – steel guitar