Black Music Matters Festival

The Byrds

Farther Along – 2000 (Columbia/Legacy)

Reviewed by Brian Baker

"Farther Along" is the sound of Byrds with the wildest wish to fly. The seeds of McGuinn's solo career were being planted here, and the band is in the same state of flux that marked "Byrdmaniax," but the album's saving grace is that the songs and tone are slightly more focused. Even so, the album bombed as badly as "Byrdmaniax," dropping off the charts after 7 weeks and never cracking the Top 150. Time is kinder to "Farther Along" - it actually sounds more cohesive and less fractured (although Battin's songs were the fly in the ointment on both of the final two Byrds albums). This was never meant to be the band's eulogy, but the disastrous reunion of the original five in 1973 was the death knell for this version (which in retrospect was the better of the two line-ups at the time). The bonus tracks for reissue are the connective tissue between the end of The Byrds and McGuinn's solo career - a great take on David Wiffen's "Lost My Drivin' Wheel" and early versions of McGuinn's "Born to Rock and Roll" and "Bag Full of Money."