Wednesday, April 4, 2018

McGuinn Clark Hillman - The Capitol Collection (1979-80 us, awesome country folk classic rock, three albums with bonus tracks, on a 2007 double disc set)

McGuinn, Clark & Hillman were one of a series of post-Byrds linkups between the original members that fizzled after a lot of initial promise. They were greeted with great enthusiasm in the rock press in early 1977, but -- as with the self-titled Byrds reunion album on Asylum four years earlier -- never lived up to the promise of the talents involved. Possibly it was too much to expect that they would succeed, given the shakiness of some of the personalities involved (specifically, Gene Clark, arguably the most talented songwriter of the three, who pulled out early on) and the music environment of the time, which had just sworn itself off of prog rock, burned itself out on punk rock, and worn out a fixation on disco. Absent a trio willing to make a committed effort by all three parties, which never fully happened after the debut album, they were always a day late and a dollar short in terms of getting much more than sympathetic enthusiasm from the press and attracting the loyalty of unreformed early-'70s hippies (the audience that would hang on Crosby, Stills & Nash's periodic reunions). 

What this double-CD set reminds listeners, however, is that there was some very fine, if not brilliant or groundbreaking, music generated by these guys, at least on their first two albums, when they were still more or less a trio. No, the songs -- with the exception of Clark's contributions -- weren't the finest ever written, but they were mostly catchy and had good hooks; though why is it that one feels that, say, Chris Hillman's "Stopping Traffic" would have worked better as an acoustic number by the trio? The set ends with a pair of acoustic Roger McGuinn demos that are almost worth the price of admission by themselves -- if the group could have sounded as simple and adorned in its official releases as McGuinn sounds here, it might just have had a commercial future, even as a duo. Given the on-again, off-again availability of the group's catalog on CD since the early '90s, the quality of this set is excellent, from the artwork and packaging to the sound quality, which is a significant improvement on the original LPs. They still don't sound much like the Byrds, but Byrds completists should definitely own this double-CD set, and fans of the actual trio will discover a lot that is worthwhile as well. 
by Bruce Eder
Disc 1
McGuinn, Clark And Hillman 1979
1. Long, Long Time (Chris Hillman, Ramsey, Rick Roberts) - 3:09 
2. Little Mamma (Gene Clark) - 4:21 
3. Don't Write Her Off (Bob Hippard, Roger McGuinn) - 3:21 
4. Surrender To Me (Rick Vito) - 3:40 
5. Backstage Pass (Gene Clark) - 4:29 
6. Stopping Traffic (Chri Hillman, Peter Knobler) - 3:20 
7. Feelin' Higher (Gene Clark, Jim Messina) - 5:25 
8. Sad Boy (Chris Hillman) - 4:03 
9. Release Me Girl (Gene Clark, Thomas Jefferson Kaye) - 4:00 
10.Bye Bye Baby (Bob Hippard, Roger McGuinn) - 4:01 
City 1980
11.Who Taught the Night (Chri Hillman, Peter Knobler) - 3:06 
12.One More Chance (Jacques Levy, Roger McGuinn) - 4:11 
13.Won't Let You Down (Gene Clark) - 3:59 
14.Street Talk (Chris Hillman, John Sambataro) - 2:50 
15.City (Camilla McGuinn, Roger McGuinn) - 4:40 
Disc 2 
City 1980
1. Skate Date (Camilla McGuinn, Chris Hillman, Roger McGuinn) - 3:05
2. Givin' Herself Away (Lynn Tobola, Tom Kimmel) - 3:52
3. Deeper In (Chris Hillman, Douglas Foxworthy) - 2:43
4. Painted Fire (Gene Clark) - 2:53
5. Let Me Down Easy (Chri Hillman, Peter Knobler) - 4:02
McGuinn Hillman (Mean Streets) 1980
6. Mean Streets (Chris Hillman, Douglas Foxworthy) - 2:57
7. Entertainment (Chris Hillman, Roger McGuinn) - 3:27
8. Soul Shoes (Graham Parker) - 3:16
9. Between You and Me (Graham Parker) - 3:01
10.Angel (Chris Hillman, Douglas Foxworthy) - 3:23
11.Love Me Tonight (Robbie Seidman) - 3:18
12.King for a Night (Chris Hillman, Roger McGuinn) - 3:34
13.A Secret Side of You (Will McFarlane) - 3:44
14.Ain't No Money (Rodney Crowell) - 3:35
15.Turn Your Radio On (Chris Hillman, Roger McGuinn) - 3:06
Bonus Tracks
16.Making Movies (Roger McGuinn, Chris Hillman) - 3:00
17.Surrender To Me (Rick Vito) - 2:30
18.Little Girl (Unknown) - 4:10
19.I Love Her (Camilla McGuinn, Roger McGuinn) - 2:54

Disc 1 McGuinn, Clark And Hillman 1979 Tracks 1-10
*Chris Hillman - Bass, Guitar, Vocals
*Gene Clark - Vocals
*Roger McGuinn - Guitars, Vocals
*Paul Harris - Keyboards
*Joe Lala - Percussion
*Donna Rhodes - Vocals
*John Sambataro - Guitar, Vocals
*George Terry - Guitars, Piano
*Greg Thomas - Drums
*Charles Chalmers - Vocals
*Sandra Chalmers - Vocals
*Mike Lewis - Horn Arrangements, String Arrangements
Disc 1 Tacks 11-15, Disc 2 Tracks 1-5 City 1980
*Gene Clark - Vocals
*Roger McGuinn - 12 String Guitar, Vocals
*Chuck Crane - Guitar
*Skip Edwards - Steel Guitar, Keyboards
*Chris Hillman - Guitar, Bass, Vocals
*Stephen Scott Kirkpatrick - Drums, Vocals
*John Sambataro - Guitar, Vocals
Disc 2 McGuinn Hillman (Mean Streets) 1980 Tracks 6-15
*Roger McGuinn - Electric, Acoustic, Six-String, Twelve-String Guitars
*Chris Hillman - Bass
*John Sambataro - Electric Guitar
*Wayne Perkins - Electric Guitar
*Barry Beckett - Keyboards
*Scott Kirkpatrick - Drums
*Joe Lala - Percussion

1973  Roger McGuinn - Roger McGuinn (2013 Edition)
1975  Roger McGuinn And Band - Roger McGuinn And Band (2004 extra tracks remaster)
1976  Roger McGuinn - Cardiff Rose (2013 edition)
1979  McGuinn, Clark And Hillman (2014 Japan SHM Remaster)
1967  Gene Clark - Echoes
1968-69  Dillard And Clark - Fantastic Expedition / Through The Morning, Through The Night
1971  Gene Clark - White Light
1972  Gene Clark - Roadmaster  (2011 Edition)
1976  Chris Hillman - Slippin' Away (2002 reissue)
The Byrds
1964  The Byrds - Preflyte (2012 Edition)
1968  The Byrds - Sweetheart Of The Rodeo  (Double Disc Set)
1969  The Byrds - Live At Fillmore
1971  The Byrds - Live At Royal Albert Hall
1971  The Byrds - Farther Along (Blu Spec 2014 extra tracks release)
1971  The Byrds - Byrdmaniax (2013 Japan Blu Spec edition)
1973  Byrds - Byrds (2004 issue)
Related Acts
1971-73 Manassas - Pieces (2009 release)
1972  Stephen Stills - Manassas (2006 HDCD)  
1973  Stephen Stills And Manassas - Down the Road (Japan issue)

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