The Long Ryders were one of the greatest bands to come out of L.A. during the 1980s. The band combined rootsy influences such as Gram Parsons and Buffalo Springfield with an unlikely punk sensibility. They were refreshing, they cared about the songwriting, and they could rock. Coming from the long-lamented paisley underground scene, which included such bands as the Dream Syndicate, the Bangles, and Rain Parade, the Ryders were easily the tightest, and well-deserving of their major-label deal with Island Records, following their brilliant debut for Frontier in 1984. Polygram Chronicles has neatly compiled all the above material, plus the early 10-5-60 EP and loads of rare and unreleased tracks, on the Long Ryders' Anthology. It's an excellent collection from one of the most honest and genuinely gifted bands of the period. Tracks such as Ryders founder Sid Griffin's "Final Wild Son" and bassist Tom Stephens' "Years Long Ago" capture the essence of the band, which can almost be compared to a meeting of the Flying Burrito Brothers, Neil Young, and the Sex Pistols. Lead guitarist Stephen McCarthy's material has probably aged the best, with such polished tracks as "I Had a Dream" (one of the band's finest) and "Mason-Dixon Line" leaving you to wonder why listeners haven't heard a solo album from him. Individual praise, however, is not what the Long Ryders were about. They were a great band, and should be remembered as such. The Long Ryders' Anthology accomplishes just that.
AllMusic Review by Matthew Greenwald
Track Listing - Disc 1
Track Listing - Disc 2