McGuinn, Clark & Hillman

Band members               Related acts

- Gene Clark (RIP 1991) -- vocals

- Chris Hillman -- vocals, bass

- Roger McGuinn -- vocals, guitar



The Byrds (Gene Clark, Chris Hillman and 

  Roger McGuinn)

- Gene Clark (solo efforts)

- The Desert Rose Band (Chris Hillman)

- The Dillard and Clark Expedition (Gene Clark)

- The Firebyrds (Gene Clark)

- Chris Hillman (solo efforts)

- Roger McGuinn (solo efforts)

- The Souther, Hillman, Furray Band

- Thunderbyrd (Roger McGuinn)





Genre: rock

Rating: *** (3 stars)

Title:  McGuinn, Clark & Hillman

Company: Capitol

Catalog: SW-11910

Year: 1979

Country/State: US

Grade (cover/record): VG/VG

Comments: original inner sleeve

Available: 1

GEMM catalog ID: 4780

Price: $9.00

Cost: $1.00


By the mid-1970s musically The Byrds were ancient history and perhaps because their solo careers weren't exactly thriving in 1977 Gene Clark, Chris Hillman and Roger McGuinn agreed to a European package tour.  The deal called for a pseudo-reunion whereby they would tour together but each would front their own bands.  While the tour collapsed after a couple of UK deals (Hillman's management got into a fight with the tour promoters), the experience convinced Clark and McGuinn to continue the partnership with an acoustic American tour, that saw Hillman join in for a couple of dates.  The trio continued to tour over the next year (with former Byrd David Crosby occasional joining in). The resulting publicity caught the attention of Capitol Records which signed the trio to a six album recording contract in late 1978.  


Produced by Ron and Howard Albert, 1979's "McGuinn, Clark & Hillman" found the trio purposely avoiding The Byrds name and sound (the original members reportedly had an agreement that they would never invoke the name unless all five members were involved in a reunion).  The end result was pleasant, but largely anonymous AOR made even more curious by McGuinn's near absence from the proceedings. While Clark and Hillman were represented by numerous compositions and most of the lead vocals, McGuinn was represent by two original numbers ('Don't You Write Her Off' and 'Bye, Bye Baby').  Even his signature 12 string Rickenbacher was absent from the mix leaving the Albert brothers to surround the trio with then-happening synthesizers, heavy percussion and an occasional discofied beat ('Release Me Girl').  McGuinn later admitted in an interview that he felt like a hired gun during the recording sessions. To be truthful, most of the album wasn't bad, but tracks such as 'Long Long Time', 'Surrender To Me' and ' Stopping Traffic' recalled something from the Firefall catalog (which was itself little more than warmed over Eagles, who had themselves borrowed heavily from The Byrds). If you could get over the fact these guys were not the reincarnated Byrds there were at least a couple of interesting efforts, including Hillman's 'Sad Boy' and McGuinn's pretty ballad 'Bye, Bye Baby' (the latter being the only track to sport any Byrds-styled echoes).  Capitol plucked three singles from the album:


- 'Don't You Write Her Off' b/w 'Sad Boy' (Capitol catalog number 4693)
- 'Surrender to Me' b/w 'Little Mama' (Capitol catalog number P-4739)

- 'Backstage Pass' b/w 'Bye Bye Baby'  (Capitol catalog number P-4763)


Backed by the top-40 hit 'Don't You Write Her Off' (which was actually quite catchy), an abbreviated supporting tour (Clark's always fragile health took a turn for the worse forcing him to drop out of the tour) and decent reviews the parent album sold respectively, eventually peaking at # 39.


"McGuinn, Clark & Hillman" track listing:
(side 1)

1.) Long Long Time   (Chris Hillman - Ramsey - Rick Roberts) - 3:06

2.) Little Mama  (Gene Clark) - 4:13

3.) Don't You Write Her Off   (Bob Hippard - Roger McGuinn) - 3:13

4.) Surrender To Me   (Rick Vito) - 3:33

5.) Backstage Pass   (Gene Clark) - 4:22


(side 2)
1.) Stopping Traffic  (Chri Hillman - Knobler) - 3:13

2.) Feelin' Higher   (Gene Clark - Jim Messina) - 5:18

3.) Sad Boy  (Chris Hillman) - 4:00

4.) Release Me Girl   (Gene Clark - Thomas Jefferson Kaye) - 3:52

5.) Bye, Bye Baby   (Bob Hippard - Roger McGuinn) - 3:54


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