My attempt to blog all of the entries from the book 1001 Albums to Hear Before You Die
Brief Background: Sweetheart of the Rodeo was recorded in Nashville, in the middle of March 1968. The album was originally conceived as a progression from Appalachian music through the futuristic sounds of the Moog synthesizer. The idea was scrapped after Gram Parsons convinced the band to record an album of country-rock music. This is the only album Parsons would do with The Byrds, he would in fact be out of the band even before the album was released.
What I think: It’s interesting and quite exciting that up to this point The Byrds have had the most albums on this project ecspecially since I seem to really only enjoy every other one. This is their penultimate though, this one is their masterpiece. They have left the psychedelia of The Notorious Byrd Brothers behind for an album of almost straight up country sounds. The songs consist of orginals (written by Parsons), the requisite Bob Dylans covers, and covers of other artist such as Merle Haggard and Woody Guthrie.
This is the perfect album to put on when relaxation is the goal. I love throwing it on while sitting in front of a bonfire on a warm summers night. It’s wonderful, beautiful and pretty much just amazing! And while there isn’t anything close to a dud of a song on the album, my favorites here are “You Don’t Miss Your Water” and the Gram Parsons original “Hickory Wind”.
Do I agree or disagree with the writers as to this being an album you must listen to? No doubt, perfection on an album! It’s influence on the end of the sixties and then the alt country of the early ninties would be huge! I would even bet it’s a big part of the Bluegrass/Americana boom of the last couple of years.
Rating (Out of 5): 5 (Three fives in a row!)
Amazon Review (Out of 5): 4.5
Is this my first time hearing this album? No (31/140)
Percentage of Albums that are new to me: 78%