One thing the Byrds had in common with most of their fans was that they weren't especially happy with the absurd overproduction that had been inflicted upon Byrdmaniax in their absence. As a response, the group quickly cut Farther Along in 1971, producing the sessions themselves and getting the album into stores a mere six months after its predecessor. It's certainly a significant improvement, but something short of a triumphant return; the band sounds a bit tired in spots, as if they were starting to run out of gas -- which quickly proved to be the case as the Byrds split up a few months after the album's release. However, Roger McGuinn and Clarence White were nothing if not professionals, and if Farther Along doesn't always sound inspired, it's never less than well-played, really connecting when the group can get their enthusiasm up; the tough rockin' "Tiffany Queen" and the pensive "Bugler" are the late-period Byrds at the top of their game, and "Bristol Steam Convention Blues" features some superb bluegrass picking from White. This is hardly the rousing conclusion to the Byrds' story that some fans might have hoped for, but it's a strong and well-crafted set from a band that inarguably gave it their all right up to the finish line.
Farther Along Review
by Mark Deming