- A stunning original pressing, earning a Triple Plus (A+++) sonic grade on the first side and a strong Double Plus (A++) on the second
- We’re always blown away at just how much further the best copies are able to take the music – what a difference
- Jesus Is Just Alright is the killer track here and it rocks like you will not believe
- “Ballad of Easy Rider was the album where the new lineup really hit its stride.” Allmusic, 4 stars
Every now and then we manage to stumble on one with some serious magic, and this is one of the best of those to ever make it onto our site. You won’t believe how much better this great country-rock material sounds when you have a copy that sounds as good as this one does.
Jesus Is Just Alright is the killer track here and it rocks like you will not believe! It’s one of the All Time Best Byrds tracks, especially for sonics, with Rock and Roll energy that shows just how good a band these four guys had become.
What to Listen For (WTLF)
Here are some of the things we specifically listen for in an Electric Folk Rock record from 1969.
Our hottest Hot Stamper copies are simply doing more of these things better than the other copies we played in our shootout.
The best copies have:
- Greater immediacy in the vocals (most copies are veiled and distant to some degree);
- Natural tonal balance (many copies are at least slightly brighter or darker than ideal; those with the right balance are the exception, not the rule);
- Good solid weight (so the bass sounds full and powerful);
- Spaciousness (the best copies have wonderful studio ambience and space);
- Tubey Magic, without which you might as well be playing a CD;
- And last but not least, transparency, the quality of being able to see into the studio, where there is plenty of musical information to be revealed in this sometimes simple, sometimes complex and sophisticated recording.
If Dr. Byrds & Mr. Hyde found Roger McGuinn having to re-create the Byrds after massive personnel turnovers (and not having an easy time of it), Ballad of Easy Rider was the album where the new lineup really hit its stride. Gracefully moving back and forth between serene folk-rock (the title cut, still one of McGuinn’s most beautiful melodies), sure-footed rock & roll (“Jesus Is Just All Right”), heartfelt country-rock (“Oil In My Lamp” and “Tulsa County”), and even a dash of R&B (the unexpectedly funky “Fido,” which even features a percussion solo), Ballad of Easy Rider sounds confident and committed where Dr. Byrds & Mr. Hyde often seemed tentative.
Ballad of Easy Rider
Oil in My Lamp
Tulsa County Blue
Jack Tarr the Sailor
Jesus Is Just Alright
It’s All Over Now, Baby Blue
There Must Be Someone
Deportee (Plane Wreck at Los Gatos)
Armstrong, Aldrin and Collins