Released in 1968, "Sweethearts of the Rodeo" was a landmark album for the Byrds and rock music as a whole.
Released in 1968, "Sweethearts of the Rodeo" was a landmark album for the Byrds and rock music as a whole. Underappreciated at the time, it has since been hailed for pioneering the country-rock genre, much as the group had introduced folk-rock only three years earlier. But it also marked the stepping-out of ex-International Submarine Band founder Gram Parsons, the short-lived legend who countrified the band in the wake of David Crosby's departure. The original disc featured songs by Byrds guru Bob Dylan and classic country covers —and a pair of portentous Parsons tunes. This two-disc "Legacy Edition" adds Parsons' vocals that were excised from the original, along with choice Submarine Band cuts and Parsons bonus material.—JB