Dr. Byrds & Mr. Hyde: Wikis


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Dr. Byrds & Mr. Hyde
Studio album by The Byrds
Released February 3, 1969
Recorded October 7 – December 4, 1968, Columbia Studios, Hollywood, CA
Genre Rock, Country rock, Folk rock, Psychedelic rock
Length 34:25
Label Columbia
Producer Bob Johnston
Professional reviews
The Byrds chronology
Sweetheart of the Rodeo
Dr. Byrds & Mr. Hyde
Singles from Dr. Byrds & Mr. Hyde
  1. "Bad Night at the Whiskey" / "Drug Store Truck Drivin' Man"
    Released: January 7, 1969

Dr. Byrds & Mr. Hyde is the seventh album by the American rock band The Byrds and was released in February, 1969 (see 1969 in music) on Columbia Records, catalogue item CS 9755.[1] The album peaked at #153 on the Billboard 200 album chart[2] and reached #15 in the United Kingdom.[3] The album is unique within the band's discography for being the only Byrds' album on which Roger McGuinn sings the lead vocal on every track.[1] A preceding single, "Bad Night at the Whiskey" backed with "Drug Store Truck Drivin' Man", was released on January 7, 1969 but it failed to chart in the United States or the United Kingdom.[4] However, a non-album single recorded shortly after the release of Dr. Byrds & Mr. Hyde,[5] a cover of Bob Dylan's "Lay Lady Lay", peaked at #132 on the Billboard chart.[4] Dr. Byrds & Mr. Hyde was the lowest charting album of the band's career, edging out the later Farther Along by one place.[6]



Following the departure of Gram Parsons, who had been a major player and musical linchpin on The Byrds' previous album, Sweetheart of the Rodeo, and with a concert at the Newport Pop Festival looming, original band members Roger McGuinn and Chris Hillman decided to replace Parsons with noted session guitarist and longtime Byrd-in-waiting, Clarence White.[1] White, who had played as a session musician on The Byrds' previous three albums, Younger Than Yesterday, The Notorious Byrd Brothers and Sweetheart of the Rodeo,[7] was invited to join The Byrds as a full-time member in July 1968.[8] Following The Byrds' appearance at the Newport Pop Festival, Clarence White began to express dissatisfaction with drummer Kevin Kelley and soon persuaded McGuinn and Hillman to dismiss Kelley from the band, replacing him with Gene Parsons (no relation to Gram), a friend of White's from their days together in the band Nashville West.[1]

However, the McGuinn, Hillman, White and Parsons line-up of the band was together for less than a month before original band member, Chris Hillman, departed in October 1968 to form The Flying Burrito Brothers with Gram Parsons.[1] John York, a session musician who had toured with Johnny Rivers and The Mamas & the Papas, was quickly hired as his replacement on bass.[6] The new band line-up, featuring McGuinn and White's dual guitar work, was regarded by critics and audiences as much more accomplished in concert than any previous configuration of The Byrds' had been.[1] Having worked with producer Gary Usher on their previous three albums, The Byrds elected to bring in Bob Johnston, who had been Bob Dylan's producer since 1965,[9] to work on Dr. Byrds & Mr. Hyde. The album was the only Byrds' LP to be produced by Johnston.[1]


Recording sessions for the album began on October 7, 1968, with nine songs intended for Dr. Byrds & Mr. Hyde being recorded during that month.[1] Among these songs were "Nashville West", an instrumental tune that had been written by Gene Parsons and Clarence White during their tenure with the country-rock group of the same name,[10] and "Your Gentle Way of Loving Me", which Parsons and Gib Guilbeau had released as a single in 1967.[11] Another song recorded during these sessions was McGuinn's "King Apathy III", a comment on political apathy and a championing of the rural idyll as an antidote to the excesses of the L.A. rock scene.[5][10] The Byrds also recorded a version of Bob Dylan and Rick Danko's song "This Wheel's on Fire" during the October 1968 sessions but this version was not included on the final album.[1] "Stanley's Song", a rather lackluster country shuffle, written by McGuinn and Bob Hippard, dates from these sessions but it was eventually discarded and did not appear in the final track listing for Dr. Byrds & Mr. Hyde.[12]

Also recorded during the October 1968 sessions was the song "Drug Store Truck Drivin' Man", written by Roger McGuinn and Gram Parsons (before his departure from the band).[1] The song was written by the pair in London in May 1968[1] and was inspired by the hostility shown towards the band by legendary Nashville DJ, Ralph Emery, when they had appeared on his WSM radio program.[5] The song's barbed lyric contains a volley of Redneck stereotypes, set to a classic country 3/4 time signature[13] and begins with the couplet "He's a drug store truck drivin' man/He's the head of the Ku Klux Klan."[14] It should be noted, however, that Emery was not, in fact, a Klansman.[1] The song was subsequently performed by Joan Baez at the Woodstock Festival in 1969 and dedicated to the then governor of California, Ronald Reagan.[5] Baez's performance of the song also appeared on the Woodstock: Music from the Original Soundtrack and More album.[15]

An acetate version of Dr. Byrds & Mr. Hyde, dated October 16, 1968, containing a seven-track programme for the album is known to exist.[16] At this point the album consisted of "Old Blue", "King Apathy III", "Drug Store Truck Drivin' Man" and "This Wheel's on Fire" on side one, with "Your Gentle Way of Loving Me", "Nashville West" and "Bad Night at the Whiskey" on side two.[16]

The Byrds returned to the studio in December 1968 to re-record "This Wheel's on Fire", which had initially been attempted by the band during the October sessions for the album.[1] The Byrds also revisited two songs that had been written for the 1968 film Candy.[1] Of these two songs, "Child of the Universe", written by Roger McGuinn and soundtrack composer Dave Grusin, was used in the film, but the McGuinn-York penned title track was not.[5] A medley featuring the Dylan-authored Byrds' hit, "My Back Pages", an instrumental named "B.J. Blues", and a jam version of the blues standard, "Baby What You Want Me to Do", was also recorded.[1] Nashville psychedelic rock band The Dragon Cult have recorded and performed an extended medley of My Back Pages (including all 4 verses and solo), and extended BJ Blues and Baby What You Want Me To Do, with some versions clocking in excess of 25 minutes.


Dr. Byrds & Mr. Hyde was released on February 3, 1969 in the United States and April 25, 1969 in the United Kingdom.[6][1] Although the album was issued exclusively in stereo in America, it was released in both mono and stereo variations in the UK.[1] The album's title, as well as the back cover photo sequence, which featured the band changing from astronaut flight suits into cowboy garb, illustrated the schizophrenic nature of the album's material.[6] Psychedelic rock such as "Bad Night at the Whiskey" (written about a disappointing gig at the Whisky a Go Go) and the album's opening track, "This Wheel's on Fire", sat alongside Bakersfield-style country-rock.[1]

Dr. Byrds & Mr. Hyde was released to generally positive reviews,[6] with famed rock critic Robert Christgau reviewing the album in a mostly laudatory 1969 article, declaring it "first-rate Byrds, a high recommendation."[17] Despite containing only ten tracks, Dr. Byrds & Mr. Hyde is The Byrds' longest single album, clocking in at approximately thirty-five minutes in length. Only the double album release, (Untitled), is longer.

Dr. Byrds & Mr. Hyde was remastered at 20-bit resolution as part of the Columbia/Legacy Byrds series, and reissued in an expanded form on March 25, 1997. Included among the bonus tracks were alternate versions of "This Wheel's on Fire" and "Nashville West", as well as the band's cover of "Lay Lady Lay", which was issued as a single, but in the version included here, is lacking the female backing chorus that had originally appeared on the single release.[5]

There has been some discussion amongst fans as to whether or not Dr. Byrds & Mr. Hyde was remixed for its expanded reissue in 1997.[18] Although the producer of the Columbia/Legacy Byrds' series, Bob Irwin, has stated that only the first four Byrds' albums underwent any remixing, some fans of the band are doubtful of this, citing distinct differences between the 1997 reissue of Dr. Byrds & Mr. Hyde and the original album.[18] Among the differences found on the 1997 reissue are a lessening of reverb on many songs, the appearance of the spoken word "three" over the opening seconds of "This Wheel's on Fire" and a longer, unedited version of "Candy" appearing on the album for the first time.[18]

Track listing

Side 1

  1. "This Wheel's on Fire" (Bob Dylan, Rick Danko) – 4:44
  2. "Old Blue" (traditional, arranged Roger McGuinn) – 3:21
  3. "Your Gentle Way of Loving Me" (Gib Guilbeau, Gary Paxton) – 2:35
  4. "Child of the Universe" (Dave Grusin, Roger McGuinn) – 3:15
  5. "Nashville West" (Gene Parsons, Clarence White) – 2:29

Side 2

  1. "Drug Store Truck Drivin' Man" (Roger McGuinn, Gram Parsons) – 3:53
  2. "King Apathy III" (Roger McGuinn) – 3:00
  3. "Candy" (Roger McGuinn, John York) – 3:01
  4. "Bad Night at the Whiskey" (Roger McGuinn, Joseph Richards) – 3:23
  5. "Medley: My Back Pages/B.J. Blues/Baby What You Want Me to Do" (Bob Dylan, Roger McGuinn, John York, Gene Parsons, Jimmy Reed) – 4:08

1997 CD reissue Bonus Tracks

  1. "Stanley’s Song" (Roger McGuinn, Robert J. Hippard) – 3:12
  2. "Lay Lady Lay" [Alternate Version] (Bob Dylan) – 3:18
  3. "This Wheel’s on Fire" [Version One] (Bob Dylan, Rick Danko) – 3:53
  4. "Medley: My Back Pages/B.J. Blues/Baby What You Want Me To Do" [Alternate Version — Take 1] (Bob Dylan, Roger McGuinn, John York, Gene Parsons, Jimmy Reed) – 4:18
  5. "Nashville West" [Alternate Version — Nashville Recording] (Gene Parsons, Clarence White) – 2:04


  1. "Bad Night at the Whiskey" b/w "Drug Store Truck Drivin' Man" (Columbia 44746) 7 January 1969


NOTE: Sources for this section are as follows: [1][19]

The Byrds
Additional Personnel

Release history

Date Label Format Country Catalog Notes
February 3, 1969 Columbia LP US CS 9755 Original stereo release.
April 25, 1969 CBS LP UK 63545 Original mono release.
S 63545 Original stereo release.
1991 Columbia CD US CK 9755 Original CD release.
1993 BGO LP UK BGOLP 107
1993 BGO CD UK BGOCD 107
March 25, 1997 Columbia/Legacy CD US CK 65113 Reissue containing five bonus tracks and the remastered stereo album.
UK COL 486753
1999 Simply Vinyl LP UK SVLP 070 Reissue of the remastered stereo album.
2003 Sony CD Japan MHCP-101 Reissue containing five bonus tracks and the remastered album in a replica LP sleeve.
2008 Sundazed LP US LP 5072


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s Rogan, Johnny. (1998). The Byrds: Timeless Flight Revisited. Rogan House. ISBN 0-95295-401-X.  
  2. ^ Whitburn, Joel. (2002). Top Pop Albums 1955-2001. Record Research Inc. ISBN 0-89820-147-0.  
  3. ^ Brown, Tony. (2000). The Complete Book of the British Charts. Omnibus Press. ISBN 0-7119-7670-8.  
  4. ^ a b "The Byrds chart data". Ultimate Music Database. http://www.umdmusic.com/default.asp?Lang=English&Search=Byrds&Where=Bands. Retrieved 2009-09-14.  
  5. ^ a b c d e f "Dr. Byrds & Mr. Hyde". ByrdWatcher: A Field Guide to the Byrds of Los Angeles. http://ebni.com/byrds/lpdbmh.html. Retrieved 2009-09-14.  
  6. ^ a b c d e Fricke, David. (1997). Dr. Byrds & Mr. Hyde (1997 CD liner notes).  
  7. ^ Fricke, David. (1997). Sweetheart of the Rodeo (1997 CD liner notes).  
  8. ^ "Clarence White: With the Byrds and After, 1968-1973". ByrdWatcher: A Field Guide to the Byrds of Los Angeles. http://ebni.com/byrds/memcw3.html. Retrieved 2009-09-14.  
  9. ^ "Bob Johnston Biography". Allmusic. http://www.allmusic.com/cg/amg.dll?p=amg&sql=11:fjfuxql5ldje~T1. Retrieved 2009-09-14.  
  10. ^ a b Rogan, Johnny. (1997). Dr. Byrds & Mr. Hyde (1997 CD liner notes).  
  11. ^ "Gene Parsons related records". Byrds Flyght. http://users.skynet.be/fa388247/discoparsonsgene2.htm. Retrieved 2009-09-14.  
  12. ^ "Dr. Byrds & Mr. Hyde review". Allmusic. http://www.allmusic.com/cg/amg.dll?p=amg&sql=10:gzfrxqq5ld6e. Retrieved 2009-09-14.  
  13. ^ Fricke, David. (2003). Sweetheart of the Rodeo: Legacy Edition (2003 CD liner notes).  
  14. ^ "Drug Store Truck Drivin' Man lyrics". The Byrds Lyrics Page. http://die-augenweide.de/byrds/songd/drugstore.htm. Retrieved 2009-09-06.  
  15. ^ "Woodstock album review". Allmusic. http://www.allmusic.com/cg/amg.dll?p=amg&sql=10:dpfyxqq5ldje. Retrieved 2009-09-14.  
  16. ^ a b "Byrds Promo Records". Byrds Flyght. http://users.skynet.be/byrdsflyght/promo12.htm. Retrieved 2009-09-14.  
  17. ^ "The Byrds Have Flown - But Not Far". Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics. http://robertchristgau.com/xg/news/byrds-69.php. Retrieved 2009-09-14.  
  18. ^ a b c "The Byrds Remastered Albums 1996 - 2000". Byrds Flyght. http://users.skynet.be/byrdsfollower/remasters1996-2000.htm. Retrieved 2009-09-14.  
  19. ^ Hjort, Christopher. (2008). So You Want To Be A Rock 'n' Roll Star: The Byrds Day-By-Day (1965-1973). Jawbone Press. ISBN 1-90600-215-0.  

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