The Byrds

Pale Blue

Composed by Gene Parsons / Roger McGuinn

Song Review by

Easily one of the highlights of the uneven Byrdmaniax album, this classy folk-pop song is filled with a melancholy sense of longing and tenderness that is missing from much of the later-day Byrds catalog. The title reference is a metaphor for a mood, and the underlying sense of values and compassion is quite strikingly life-affirming. The sparse instrumentation and orchestral arrangement are perfect for the song's recording, and quite different from the rest of the album's somewhat heavy-handed production. Rarely performed by the band in their lifetime, it remains one of their lost classics. A fine alternate version appears in the 1999 Sony/legacy reissue.

Appears On

Year Artist/Album Label Time AllMusic Rating
Byrdmaniax 1971 Columbia
12 Dimensions: 1965-1972 2002 Columbia
There Is a Season 2006 Legacy / Columbia/Legacy / Sony BMG 2:23
The Complete Columbia Albums Collection 2011 Columbia / Legacy / Sony Music / Sony Music Entertainment 2:24
Original Album Classics [2012] 2012 Columbia / Sony Music
blue highlight denotes editor's pick