Sweetheart of the Rodeo will forever be revered as the Byrds' 1968 album that opened the eyes of the hip and the young to country music. Whether it was the first country-rock album doesn't really matter: It was certainly the best and most heartfelt such excursion and paved the way for fabled combos the Flying Burrito Bros. and Poco yet to come. Sweetheart featured the first extensive lineup change for the Byrds, as Roger McGuinn and Chris Hillman said goodbye to David Crosby, Gene Clark and Michael Clarke and welcomed former International Submarine Band leader Gram Parsons into the fold. With his magical voice and bona fide country pedigree, Parsons helped unleash a style that had already begun to seep into the Byrds' sound. And now Sundazed makes available a perfect replica of the original vinyl release of the ever-enduring Sweetheart of the Rodeo.
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