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I always thought the Byrds were brilliant. They never rocked hard yet they were very versatile. They were at the forefront of folk rock and psychedelic rock. Yet albums like Younger Than Yesterday or a single like Eight Miles don't seem to get the critical acclaim they deserve.
Sweetheart of the Rodeo is their only album that really caught me.
Yeah they probably are a bit underrated - I got the box set out from the library a while ago and it just floored me - 90 songs,and almost all classics - they were brilliant songwriters and interpreted Dylan's songs very well - a class act all the way
Sweetheart of the Rodeo might be a bit underrated at AM #165. It is both groundbreaking and musically good. I'd put it in the top 50, probably.
Otherwise I think the Byrds are rated about right. (I've always loved "Hey, Mr. Spaceman." That should at least bubble under. A lost classic, it is).
The Byrds are tough to pin down because of the changing lineup and sound. It's hard to claim the Byrds of Sweetheart of the Rodeo as the same band as the early years. To me it was more of a side project that rode on the Byrds moniker. Other than 5th Dimension all of the albums before Sweetheart were cover albums. 5th Dimension did showoff their own songwriting ability though and they were masters of covering a song. All in all I think that their place in history is about right. The Byrds in their original form might be overrated considering they wrote somewhere around three good songs.
The Byrds are ranked 28 on AM artists list.
The Zombies (a comparable, and arguably better, band from the same era) are ranked 384 on the same list.
To me that says that Byrds are way over-rated.
I think they're over-rated. A few good songs.
Agree with Loopole, compared to the Zombies the Byrds are highly overrated.
My personal favourite Byrds songs are "Feel a whole lot better", "Goin' back" and "Hickory wind" : 3 great songs very different one to the others.
But I've never really enjoyed a Byrds album. Each of their albums have 2 or 3 hits but the 9 others is fillers. Maybe The Zombies have had a shorter career but they succeed in making a ultimate pop classic ("Odessey") that people keep on listening and loving 40 years later.
Should the top artists not be based on quantity? I always thought so - I mean,should the Sex Pistols really be at #37 on the strength of one album and a couple of songs ahead of people like Joni Mitchell or Sonic Youth with strings of classics - it's the same with the Byrds and the Zombies. And should Radiohead - with 5 or 6 entries in the AM3000 really be ahead of Miles Davis(29 entries) on the albums list?
I think Sweetheart at the Rodeo is a little overrated. I prefer Younger Than Yesterday and The Notorious Byrd Brothers, both of which should be ranked on the top 100.