Roger McGuinn


Band members                             Related acts

- Roger McGuinn -- guitar, vocals

 

  supporting musicians (1973-74)

- Greg Attaway -- drums, backing vocals 

- Richard Bowden -- guitar, backing vocals 

- Stephen Love -- bass, backing vocals   

- David Lovelace -- keyboards

  supporting musicians (1974-75)

- Greg Attaway -- drums, backing vocals 

- Richard Bowden -- guitar, backing vocals

- Donnie Dacus -- guitar 

- Paul Harris -- keyboards

- Russ Kunkel -- drums 

- Stephen Love -- bass, backing vocals   

- David Lovelace -- keyboards

- Lee Sklar -- bass 

  supporting musicians (1976-77) as Thunrderbyrd

- Bruce Barlow -- bass, vocals

- Lance Dickerson -- drums, percussion
- James Smith -- guitar 

 

  supporting musicians (1977) as Thunderbyrds

- Charlie Harrison -- bass, backing vocals (replaced Bruce Barlow)
- Rick Vito -- guitar, backing vocals (replaced James Smith)

- Greg Thomas -- drums, percussion (replaced Lance Dickerson)

 

 


 

 

- The Beefeaters

- Blue Steel (Richard Bowen)

- The Byrds

- Cold Steel (Greg Attaway, Richard Bowden, David

  Lovelace)

- The Fabulous Rhinestones (Greg Thomas)

- Fleetwood Mac (Rick Vito)

- McGuinn, Clark and Hillman

- New Riders of the Purple Sage (Stephen Love)

- Stone Canyon Band (Stephen Love)

 

 


 

Genre: rock

Rating: *** (3 stars)

Title:  Peace On You

Company: Columbia

Catalog: KC-32956

Year: 1974

Country/State: US

Grade (cover/record): VG/VG+

Comments: cut top right corner; original inner sleeve

Available: 1

Catalog ID: 4971

Price: $9.00

 

Originally greeted with critical indifference, I'll tell you that to my unsophisticated ears Roger McGuinn's sophomore solo effort has aged well and in many respects I'd rather hear it than some of his more critically acclaimed releases.  The fact that it was recorded in less than perfect circumstances makes 1974's "Peace On You" even more impressive.  

Given the lukewarm success of his self titled solo debut, Columbia executives insisted on bringing in producer Bill Halverson who in early 1974 was riding high off of his successes with Crosby, Stills and Nash.  Those commercial successes may have endeared him to Columbia management, but the partnership with McGuinn was apparently rocky.  Adding to the chaos, McGuinn decided not to record with his touring band, instead opting for an all star cast of studio players including guitarist Donnie Dacus, keyboard player Paul Harris and drummer Russ Kunkel.  While not nearly as diverse as his solo debut, the album wasn't exactly a return to The Byrds catalog either.  Instead McGuinn seemed to try to find an artistic midpoint, mixing some of his earlier genre hopping experimentation with a sheen of commerciality.  For what it's worth, the biggest problem seems to be McGuinn's reliance on outside writers and co-writer Jacques Levy's clunky lyrics.  Of the five covers, only Donnie Dacus' pretty country-rocker 'Do What Your Want To' made much of an impression.  Similarly, the McGuinn-Levy collaborations weren't exactly awe inspiring.  One of the few songs to come close to capturing The Byrds signature sound, that left the McGuinn original 'Same Old Sound' as the creative highpoint. Coming close to replicating a late inning Byrds jangle-rock track, 'The Lady' was a close second.   A modest sales success the collection peaked at # 92.  Columbia also tapped the album for a pair of singles:

- 1974's 'Peace On You' b/w 'Without You' (Columbia catalog number 3-10044)
- 1974's 'Same Old Sound' b/w 'Gate of Horn'  (Columbia catalog number 3-10019)

"Peace On You" track listing:

(side 1)

1.) Peace On You   (Charlie Rich) - 

2.) Without You   (Roger McGuinn - Jacques Levy) - 

3.) Going To the Country   (Donnie Dacus) - 

4.) (Please Not) One More Time   (Al Kooper) - 

5.) Same Old Sound   (Roger McGuinn) - 

 

(side 2)

1.) Do What Your Want To   (Donnie Dacus) - 

2.) Together   (Roger McGuinn - Jacques Levy) - 

3.) Better Change   (Dan Fogelberg) - 

4.) Gate of Horn   (Roger McGuinn - Jacques Levy) - 

5.) The Lady   (Roger McGuinn - Jacques Levy) - 

 

 


Genre: rock

Rating: *** (3 stars)

Title:  Roger McGuinn and Band

Company: Columbia

Catalog: PC-33541

Year: 1975

Country/State: US

Grade (cover/record): VG+/VG+

Comments: minor ring and edge wear

Available: 1

Catalog ID: 4496

Price: $9.00

 

For some reason Roger McGuinn's solo debut "I Give You Peace" gets strong reviews, while his 1975 sophomore effort gets slammed, or is simply ignored.  I own both albums and while "Roger McGuinn and Band" isn't gonna' shake your world, it isn't half bad.

 

Produced by John Boylan, McGuinn sounded quite comfortable (if not particularly inspired), returning to a band-oriented environment - in this case he was supported by former Cold Steel members Greg Attaway (drums), Richard Bowden (guitar), David Lovelace (keyboards) and ex-Stone Canyon Band bassist Steven Love.  Musically the set was somewhat of a hodgepodge, featuring a mixture of previously recorded material including a couple of late inning Byrds tracks ('Love of the Bayou' and 'Born To Rock 'n' Roll', while 'Painted Lady' was an old Cold Steel number.  New material from Attaway, Bowden, Love and Lovelace was okay (check out Bowden's 'Bull Dog'), while McGuinn's new stuff was marginally interesting.  At least 'Lisa' had an interesting Caribbean lilt.  That left a cover of Bob Dylan's 'Knocking On Heaven's Door' as the standout track.  Elsewhere, Columbia tapped the album for two unsuccessful singles:

 

- 1975's 'Somebody Loves You' b/w 'Easy Does It' (Columbia catalog number 3-?????)

- 1975's 'Lover Of The Bayou' b/w 'Easy Does It' (Columbia catalog number 3-10201)

 

McGuinn and company made some efforts to support the album, including a tour of Europe, but it did little commercially and within a few months the group was history.

 

"Roger McGuinn and Band" track listing:

(side 1)

1.) Somebody Loves You   (Stephen A. Love - Allen Kemp) 

2.) Knockin' On Heaven's Door    (Bob Dylan) - 

3.) Bull Dog    (Richard Bowden) - 

4.) Painted Lady   (Greg Attaway - David Lovelace) - 

5.) Lover Of The Bayou   (Roger McGuinn - Jacques Levy) -

 

(side 2)

1.) Lisa   (Roger McGuinn) - 

2.) Circle Song   (David Lovelace) -

3.) So Long   (Richard Bowden) - 

4.) Easy Does It   (Roger McGuinn) - 

5.) Born To Rock 'n' Roll   (Roger McGuinn) - 

 

 

 


Genre: rock

Rating: *** (3 stars)

Title:  Thunderbyrd

Company: Columbia

Catalog: PC-34656

Year: 1977

Country/State: US

Grade (cover/record): VG+/VG+

Comments: original inner sleeve

Available: 1

Catalog ID: 1435

Price: $10.00

 

 

Thunderbyrd (the band) was an interesting, if short lived venture.  On the heels of the critically acclaimed "Cardiff Rose" album, McGuinn apparently decided he missed the dynamics of a full time band.  He promptly hired guitarist James Smith, bassist Bruce Barlow, and drummer Lance Dickerson (the latter two from the recently disbanded Commander Cody's Lost Planet Airmen).  The quartet spent a year touring before going into the studio, but within a matter of weeks McGuinn decided the lineup wasn't working and promptly fired all three.  Bass player Charlie Harrison, guitarist Rick Vito and drummer Greg Thomas were quickly brought in as replacements for Thunderbyrd MK II.

 

To be honest, the first time I heard 1977's "Thunderbyrd" I was pretty disappointed.  McGuinn's always thin voice seemed exceptionally brittle and uninspired and the thought of him covering a Peter Frampton song ('All Night Long') just didn't cut it.  Add to that, the album included four McGuinn-Jacques Levy collaborations and ...   well, there was always the next time.   To McGuinn's credit  there were a couple of mildly entertaining numbers, including McGuinn's cover of Byrd-wannabe Tom Petty's 'American Girl' and the pseudo-Byrd-ish 'It's Gone', but the overall feel was less than inspired.  Revisiting the album, years later, my original views may have been a little sharp, but weren't all that far off.  It certainly wasn't my favorite McGuinn album, but it wasn't quite as bad as I originally thought.  The Petty cover was very good.  The McGuinn - Levy rocker 'It's Gone' was better than I remembered, and his cover of the George Jones classic 'Why Baby Why' actually rocked with some gusto.  As for McGuinn's voice; well ... you either liked his nasal whine, or it drove you crazy.  I found myself leaning to the former.   Cal it an acquired taste.  

 

"Thunderbyrd" track listing:

(side 1)

1.) All Night Long (Peter Frampton - M. Gallagher) - 4:15

Better than I would have expected, but his cover won't make you forget the Frampton original.  The most interesting thing about this one was the gigantic drum sound Greg Thomas churned out.   Cool tune to listen to on a good pair of speakers, or quality headphones.   rating: *** stars
2.) It's Gone   (Roger McGuinn - Jacques Levy) - 3:51

McGuinn returning to his patented Byrds song.  Yeah, the voice wasn't what it had once been, but the song was tuneful; has some sweet backing vocals, included a tasty guitar solo, and was a nice flashback to that earlier time.  One of the album highlights.   rating: **** stars
3.) Dixie Highway   (Roger McGuinn - Jacques Levy) - 3:27

''DIxie Highway' was a nice Little Feat-styled rocker.  Slinky and fun.    YouTube has a nice clip of Thunderbyrd doing the song on a 1977 episode of the German Rockpalast televiision show: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h6Wt8f0gKho   rating: **** stars
4.) American Girl   (Tom Petty) - 4:28

Kudos to McGuinn for being an early Tom Petty fan and grabbing this one.  Petty's original remains the definitive version, but McGuinn and company turned in an enthusiastic version.  It would have been even better without the muzak-ish sax solo.   For some reason Tom Scott's solo always makes me think of Saturday Night Live.    YouTube has a clip from the 1977 Rockpalast performance: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-UwY_2jxd2s 

No doubt tied in part to Tom Petty's ongoing commercial successes, Columbia tapped it as the album's single:

 

  

 

- 1977's 'American Girl' b/w 'Russian Hill' (Columbia catalog number 3-10543)   rating: **** stars
5.) We Can Do It All Over Again   (M. Williams - Barry Goldberg) - 4:46

Laid back, slightly country-rock tinged ballad.  Pretty chorus that's reminded me a bit of a sub-par Jimmy Buffett tune.   rating: ** stars 

 

(side 2)

1.) Why Baby Why   (George Jones - Edwards) - 3:47

McGuinn showing he could handle country-rock without the rest of The Byrds.   Another Rockpalast lip: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nUMj0Ik77hw   rating: *** stars
2.) I'm Not Lonely Anymore   (Roger McGuinn - Jacques Levy) - 3:05

Plodding country-rocker.  The highlight came in the form of Rick Vito's slide guitar work.   rating: ** stars
3.) Golden Loom   (Bob Dylan) - 4:06

Kind of swampy rocker, McGuinn's always claimed Dylan gave him the tune without recording it.  Fact is Dylan recorded a demo of the song, which eventually appeared on one of his authorized bootleg collections.   Another Rockpalast performance: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3a05vtxZIHg  rating: *** stars
4.) Russian Hill   (Roger McGuinn - Jacques Levy) - 5:03

One of two tracks recorded with original Thunderbyrd bassist Bruce Barlow, this was the album's most interesting tune, the dark and reflective ballad  'Russian Hill' had the best melody and surprisingly poignant lyrics (yes I know it was a Jacques Levy collaboration.    rating: **** stars

 

 

 

 

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