Farther Along: Wikis


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Farther Along
Studio album by The Byrds
Released November 17, 1971
Recorded July 22 – July 28, 1971, CBS Studios, London, England and Columbia Studios, Hollywood, CA
Genre Rock, Country rock
Length 32:02
Label Columbia
Producer The Byrds
Professional reviews
The Byrds U.S. chronology
Farther Along
The Best of The Byrds: Greatest Hits, Volume II
The Byrds UK chronology
The Byrds Greatest Hits Volume II
Farther Along
Singles from Farther Along
  1. "America's Great National Pastime" / "Farther Along"
    Released: November 29, 1971

Farther Along is the eleventh album by the American rock band The Byrds and was released in November, 1971 (see 1971 in music) on Columbia Records, catalogue item KC 30150.[1][2] The album only managed to reach #152 on the Billboard 200 album chart, during a chart stay of seven weeks, and failed to break into the UK Albums Chart altogether.[1][3][4] A single taken from the album, "America's Great National Pastime" b/w "Farther Along", was released on November 29, 1971 but failed to chart in the United States or in the United Kingdom.[5] The single's failure in the UK was due to its being withdrawn by CBS Records shortly after its release in January 1972.[6] Farther Along was, for the most part, recorded and produced by The Byrds themselves, over the course of four work-intensive days in July 1971.[1] The album was recorded as a reaction to Terry Melcher's inappropriate production work on the band's previous album, Byrdmaniax, and in an attempt to stem the criticism that album was receiving from the music press.[6] Unfortunately, the rapidity with which The Byrds planned and recorded Farther Along resulted in yet another uneven record that the band themselves were unhappy with and which failed to undo the damage to their reputation inflicted by Byrdmaniax.[6] Farther Along has the dubious honor of tying with Dr. Byrds & Mr. Hyde as The Byrds' album to have spent the least amount of time on the Billboard album chart.[1] In addition, it was almost the lowest charting album of The Byrds' career, being beaten only by Dr. Byrds & Mr. Hyde, which charted at #153, one place lower than Farther Along.[5]



Following the release of Byrdmaniax, The Byrds' producer and manager, Terry Melcher, resigned[6] amid accusations of overdubbing strings, horns, and a gospel choir onto the album, without the band's consent.[7] The band's annoyance at Melcher's additions to Byrdmaniax spurred them on to try and rectify the situation by recording a new album, produced by themselves.[8] By 1971, the band had become an in-demand fixture on the live concert circuit, particularly on the West Coast of America and in Europe, but despite a heavy touring schedual in 1971,[9] they were eager to release another studio album as soon as possible.[6]

Upon arriving in England for an appearance at the Lincoln Folk Festival on July 24, 1971,[9] The Byrds booked into a London recording studio with engineer Mike Ross to record their next album.[1] The band's decision to produce the album themselves was almost certainly an attempt to show Terry Melcher that they could do a better job than he had done on Byrdmaniax.[6] During four days of recording between July 22 and July 28, 1971, The Byrds recorded all eleven songs that would appear on Farther Along, with no other songs known to have been attempted by the band during the album sessions.[1][6] The tapes were then brought back to the U.S. where they were mixed by Eric Prestidge at Columbia Studios, Hollwood[6] and where the song "Bugler" also received Mandolin and lead vocal overdubs from the band's guitarist, Clarence White.[1][10]


The eleven tracks on Farther Along included two written by bass player Skip Battin and his songwriting partner, Kim Fowley.[2] The first of these, "America's Great National Pastime", was a vaudeville-style novelty song that painted a whimsical picture of life in the U.S.A. and drew humorous comparisons between the taste of Coca-Cola and cocaine.[6] The second Battin-Fowley song, "Precious Kate", was a love song based on a real life incident and was, according to Battin, written in five minutes.[10] Rather than being sung by Battin himself, as most of The Byrds' Battin-Fowley penned songs were, "Precious Kate" featured guitarist Roger McGuinn on lead vocal.[10] McGuinn himself contributed the song "Tiffany Queen", a rousing, Chuck Berry influenced track with amusing, Dylanesque lyrics, inspired by the guitarist's third wife, Linda Gilbert.[10][11]

The album's title track was a Clarence White arranged rendition of the bluegrass standard, "Farther Along", a song that had crossed-over to a rock audience in 1970 when it had appeared on The Flying Burrito Brothers' second album, Burrito Deluxe.[10] The Byrds' recording of the song took on an extra poignancy when "Farther Along" was sung by ex-Byrd Gram Parsons and Bernie Leadon at Clarence White's funeral in 1973.[10] Clarence White also sings lead vocal on the song "Bugler", a track that was regarded by most critics as the album's highlight. "Bugler" was the third in a trio of Byrds' songs about canine companions, with the first being "Old Blue" on Dr. Byrds & Mr. Hyde and the second being "Fido" on Ballad of Easy Rider.[10]

The Byrds' drummer, Gene Parsons (no relation to Gram), contributed "Get Down Your Line", a reflection on the need for self-improvement, and "B.B. Class Road", a lighthearted song about a road manager's life on tour with a rock band, co-written by The Byrds' roadie, Stewart Dawson. For many years it was assumed that the lead vocal on "B.B. Class Road" was sung by Dawson[2] but Parsons eventually revealed in the early 1990s that it was actually sung by him. Parsons went on to elucidate by stating "I wanted Dinky [Stewart Dawson] to sing this song but Dinky insisted that I do it. Until now, everyone thought he did. I tried to sing it with an excess of testosterone in the true spirit of rock 'n roll."[12] Parsons further explained to The Byrds' biographer, Johnny Rogan, that he was "imitating and taking on a different persona. Stewart and I collaborated and it's me growling and howling out the vocal."[10]

"Antique Sandy" was the result of a songwriting experiment between all four members of The Byrds and their percussionist/road manager, Jimmi Seiter. The song's inspiration was Seiter's then girlfriend, who did indeed live in the woods in a house full of antiques, as the song's lyrics indicate.[10] The final track on Farther Along was a Gene Parsons and Clarence White penned bluegrass instrumental, titled "Bristol Steam Convention Blues", written to express Parsons' disappointment at having missed the Bristol Steam Convention during both of The Byrds' last two visits to England.[6]


Farther Along was released on November 17, 1971 in the United States and January 21, 1972 in the United Kingdom,[6] a mere six months after Byrdmaniax.[8] Although the album was issued commercially in stereo in America and Europe,[6] there is some evidence to suggest that mono copies of the album (possibly radio station promos) were distributed in the UK.[13] Upon its release, Farther Along received reasonable reviews in the British music press, with many commentators expressing pleasure that the band had reverted to a more simplistic style of production.[6] The LP certainly had a less cluttered sound than its predecessor, prompting McGuinn to comment "It was as live as you can get in the studio. We didn't do a lot of overdubs, mostly just the vocals."[1]

Reaction to the album in the the U.S. was more enthusiastic than it had been for Byrdmaniax but still wasn't wholly positive. In the March 1972 issue of Rolling Stone magazine, Ben Gerson, described the album's contents by saying "There is a programmatic certainty to their music at this point which at first glance happily signifies that a first-generation band has successfully remade itself, but, after repeated exposure disappoints one with its inflexibility." Gerson concluded his review of the album by saying "This is not an outstanding album, either by Byrds or contemporary standards, though, for at least a Byrds fan, it contains several seductive tunes and some exemplary musicianship. But beneath the old Byrds sound, and this new, quartered approach, there is a more fundamental commitment, and that is to survival."[11]

The question of The Byrds' continued existence was echoed in a contemporary review by Bud Scoppa, in which he opined "The Byrds recognized their failure on Byrdmaniax, but placed the blame on the lavish production job rather than their own disunity. So what we have with Farther Along, evidently rushed out to rectify the problems caused by the last LP, is more disunity, but this time in a basic unadorned state."[6] Despite Farther Along being an attempt to counter the over-production present on Byrdmaniax, the band themselves weren't particularly satisfied with the finished product. Skip Battin described his feelings toward the album by saying "When we finished it, I didn't think we had anything, I thought the stuff was rotten - it didn't sound good, it was scattered and there was no unification."[6] Gene Parsons concurred with Battin's assessment of the album, stating "I felt that Farther Along was a good album, but it was under produced. It was done really rapidly and it suffered in under production as a reaction to Byrdmaniax."[6]


Following the release of Farther Along, The Byrds would continue to tour the U.S. and Europe throughout 1972,[14] but no new album or single release was forthcoming and ultimately, Farther Along would turn out to be the last studio album by the latter day line-up of the band.[1] The Byrds did, however, record a handful of new songs during 1972 but these remained unreleased at the time.[15] Included among these new songs were versions of David Wiffen's "Lost My Drivin' Wheel", recorded on January 12, 1972, and McGuinn's own "Born to Rock and Roll", recorded on April 18, 1972.[10] "Born to Rock and Roll" was intended for a proposed single release, with "Lost My Drivin' Wheel" as the B-side, but ultimately the single failed to materialize.[6] According to McGuinn, the January 12, 1972 session that produced "Lost My Drivin' Wheel" saw McGuinn being backed, not by The Byrds, but by hired studio musicians.[1] However, since McGuinn was contracted to Columbia Records as a member of the band and not as a solo artist, the studio documentation for this session lists "Lost My Drivin' Wheel" as a Byrds' recording.[1]

In July 1972, Gene Parsons was fired from the group and replaced by session drummer, John Guerin, although it should be noted that Guerin was never officially a fully fledged member of The Byrds and instead worked for a standard session musician's rate.[6] A further three Roger McGuinn and Jacques Levy penned songs, "Draggin'", "I'm So Restless", and "Bag Full of Money", were recorded by the band during July 1972.[15] These three studio recordings saw McGuinn, White, Battin and Guerin being accompanied by pedal steel guitarist, Buddy Emmons, and an unknown pianist.[16] Ultimately, the five songs recorded by The Byrds during 1972 would all be re-recorded for Roger McGuinn's 1973 solo album, Roger McGuinn, with the exception of "Born to Rock and Roll", which would appear on The Byrds' reunion album.

In January 1973, the band recorded a cover version of "Roll Over Beethoven" and their signature song, Bob Dylan's "Mr. Tambourine Man", for the soundtrack to an Earl Scruggs tribute film, Banjoman, in which they also starred.[2][17] Bass player Skip Battin was fired soon after and in late February 1973, Roger McGuinn finally disbanded the latter-day line-up of The Byrds in order to facilitate a reunion of the five original members of the group.[1] The Byrds' reunion was centered around the release of a "comeback" album in March 1973 and featured Roger McGuinn along with original members David Crosby, Gene Clark, Chris Hillman, and Michael Clarke.[6] The reunion of the original Byrds had occurred in October 1972, when the quintet got together to work on new material, with the recording sessions for the reunion album beginning later that same month.[6]

Farther Along was remastered at 20-bit resolution as part of the Columbia/Legacy Byrds series, and was reissued in an expanded form on February 22, 2000. The three bonus tracks on the remastered CD were all taken from The Byrds' early to mid-1972 studio sessions and included "Lost My Drivin' Wheel", "Born to Rock and Roll" and "Bag Full of Money". The remastered reissue also includes, as a hidden track, an alternate version of "Bristol Steam Convention Blues".

Track listing


Side 1

  1. "Tiffany Queen" (Roger McGuinn) – 2:40
  2. "Get Down Your Line" (Gene Parsons) – 3:26
  3. "Farther Along" (traditional, arranged Clarence White) – 2:57
  4. "B.B. Class Road" (Gene Parsons, Stewart Dawson) – 2:16
  5. "Bugler" (Larry Murray) – 3:06

Side 2

  1. "America's Great National Pastime" (Skip Battin, Kim Fowley) – 2:57
  2. "Antique Sandy" (Roger McGuinn, Skip Battin, Gene Parsons, Clarence White, Jimmi Seiter) – 2:13
  3. "Precious Kate" (Skip Battin, Kim Fowley) – 2:59
  4. "So Fine" (Johnny Otis) – 2:36
  5. "Lazy Waters" (Bob Rafkin) – 3:32
  6. "Bristol Steam Convention Blues" (Gene Parsons, Clarence White) – 2:39

2000 CD reissue Bonus Tracks

  1. "Lost My Drivin' Wheel" (David Wiffen) – 4:56
  2. "Born to Rock and Roll" (Roger McGuinn) - 2:59
  3. "Bag Full of Money" (Roger McGuinn, Jacques Levy) - 5:58
    • NOTE: this song ends at 3:18; at 3:29 begins "Bristol Steam Convention Blues" [Alternate Version] (Gene Parsons, Clarence White)


  1. "America's Great National Pastime" b/w "Farther Along" (Columbia 45514) 29 November 1971


Sources for this section are as follows: [10][16]

The Byrds

NOTE: Bonus track 12 is a recording not by The Byrds but by Roger McGuinn and a group of unknown studio musicians. Bonus track 13 features the regular band line-up plus Charles Lloyd (saxophone), an unknown musician (synthesizer), and a number of unnamed female backing singers. Bonus track 14 features McGuinn, White and Battin, along with John Guerin (drums), Buddy Emmons (pedal steel guitar), and an unknown musician (piano).

Release history

Date Label Format Country Catalog Notes
November 17, 1971 Columbia LP US KC 30150 Original release.
January 21, 1972 CBS LP UK S 64676 Original release.
1993 Columbia CD UK COL 468418 Original CD release.
1993 Line CD Germany 901024
February 22, 2000 Columbia/Legacy CD US CK 65849 Reissue containing three bonus tracks and the remastered album.
UK COL 495078
2003 Sony CD Japan MHCP-106 Reissue containing three bonus tracks and the remastered album in a replica LP sleeve.


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l Fricke, David. (2000). Farther Along (2000 CD liner notes).  
  2. ^ a b c d "Farther Along". ByrdWatcher: A Field Guide to the Byrds of Los Angeles. http://ebni.com/byrds/lpfa.html. Retrieved 2009-10-07.  
  3. ^ Whitburn, Joel. (2002). Top Pop Albums 1955-2001. Record Research Inc. ISBN 0-89820-147-0.  
  4. ^ Brown, Tony. (2000). The Complete Book of the British Charts. Omnibus Press. ISBN 0-7119-7670-8.  
  5. ^ a b "Byrds Discography". ByrdWatcher: A Field Guide to the Byrds of Los Angeles. http://ebni.com/byrds/refdiscogbyrds.html. Retrieved 2009-10-07.  
  6. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t Rogan, Johnny. (1998). The Byrds: Timeless Flight Revisited. Rogan House. ISBN 0-95295-401-X.  
  7. ^ "Byrdmaniax review". Allmusic. http://www.allmusic.com/cg/amg.dll?p=amg&sql=10:hzfrxqq5ld6e. Retrieved 2009-10-07.  
  8. ^ a b "Farther Along review". Allmusic. http://www.allmusic.com/cg/amg.dll?p=amg&sql=10:jzfrxqq5ld6e. Retrieved 2009-10-07.  
  9. ^ a b "The Byrds 1971 Performances". Byrds Flyght. http://www.oocities.com/byrdsflyght/concerts71.htm. Retrieved 2009-10-06.  
  10. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k Rogan, Johnny. (2000). Farther Along (2000 CD liner notes).  
  11. ^ a b "Farther Along review". Rolling Stone. http://www.rollingstone.com/artists/thebyrds/albums/album/146966/review/5944791/farther_along. Retrieved 2009-10-07.  
  12. ^ Parsons, Gene. (1994). The Kindling Collection (1994 CD liner notes).  
  13. ^ "The Byrds Mono Pressings". Byrds Flyght. http://users.skynet.be/byrdsflyght/mono.htm. Retrieved 2009-10-04.  
  14. ^ "The Byrds 1972 Performances". Byrds Flyght. http://www.oocities.com/byrdsflyght/concerts72.htm. Retrieved 2009-10-07.  
  15. ^ a b Fricke, David. (1990). The Byrds (1990 CD box set liner notes).  
  16. ^ a b 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.  
  17. ^ "Banjoman". Internet Movie Database. http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0072681. Retrieved 2009-10-07.  

Source material

Up to date as of January 22, 2010

From Wikisource

Farther Along
J.R.Baxter and W.B.Stevens
The song Farther Along is an old Christian southern hymn, dealing with religious lyrics.— Excerpted from Farther Along (song) on Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

This old gospel tune was often covered, famous singers and groups are the Byrds, the legendary Million Dollar Quartet (consisting of Carl Perkins, Elvis Presley, Jerry Lee Lewis and Johnny Cash), Mac Wiseman and Elvis Presley as a solo act again.


Farther Along', 1956 (version by the Million Dollar Quartet)

Tempted and tried, we're oft made to wonder
Why it should be thus all the day long,
While there are others living about us,
Never molested, though in the wrong.

Farther along we'll know all about it,
Farther along we'll understand why;
Cheer up my brother, live in the sunshine,
We'll understand it all by and by.

When death has come and taken our loved ones,
It leaves our home so lonely and drear,
Then do we wonder why others prosper
Living so wicked year after year.


Faithful til death, said our loving Master
A few more days to labor and wait,
Toils of the road will then seem as nothing
As we sweet through the beautiful gate.


When we see Jesus, coming in glory,
When He comes from His home in the sky,
Then we shall meet Him in that bright mansion,
We'll understand it all by and by.

Refrain (one last time)
Farther along we'll know all about it,
Farther along we'll understand why;
Cheer up my brother, live in the sunshine,
We'll understand it all by and by.


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