Talk:Sweetheart of the Rodeo

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Good article Sweetheart of the Rodeo has been listed as one of the Music good articles under the good article criteria. If you can improve it further, please do so. If it no longer meets these criteria, you can reassess it.
November 14, 2009 Good article nominee Listed

GA Review[edit]

This review is transcluded from Talk:Sweetheart of the Rodeo/GA1. The edit link for this section can be used to add comments to the review.

Reviewer: SilkTork *YES! 19:29, 24 October 2009 (UTC)

GA review – see WP:WIAGA for criteria

  1. Is it reasonably well written?
    A. Prose quality:
    Prose appears to be clear and readable
    B. MoS compliance:
  2. Is it factually accurate and verifiable?
    A. References to sources:
    B. Citation of reliable sources where necessary:
    C. No original research:
  3. Is it broad in its coverage?
    A. Major aspects:
    B. Focused:
  4. Is it neutral?
    Fair representation without bias:
  5. Is it stable?
    No edit wars, etc:
  6. Does it contain images to illustrate the topic?
    A. Images are copyright tagged, and non-free images have fair use rationales:
    B. Images are provided where possible and appropriate, with suitable captions:
  7. Overall:
    Pass or Fail:


I'll take a look over the next few days and then give my initial impression. SilkTork *YES! 19:29, 24 October 2009 (UTC)

OK, well first let me say thanks for giving me plenty to think about and take on board with your comments. I'd like to make it clear that myself and User:Cbben have been working together on this article, with plenty of communication, so please don't go mistaking our alternating edits for an edit war! :-D --Kohoutek1138 (talk) 18:51, 25 October 2009 (UTC)

Lead[edit]

  • Lead needs to be a summary of the topic, and to be able to stand alone. It should cover the contents of the main body. See WP:Lead. SilkTork *YES! 16:10, 25 October 2009 (UTC)
I agree that your re-arranging of the lead section was an improvement but I'm curious as to how much more indepth the lead section needs to go? Surely we wouldn't want too much duplication of information between the lead and the main body of the article? --Kohoutek1138 (talk) 18:51, 25 October 2009 (UTC)
The lead should be a summary of the topic. An easy way of doing it is to read each section, and summarise that section in a sentence or two (depending on the importance) in the lead. Yes, it is a duplication. While the lead is an introduction - it is mainly a mini-article. The idea is that the lead should serve as a short introduction to the topic and as a over-view. The majority of readers will not read more than the lead - what they want is a quick over-view of the topic. The sections are for where people want more depth and detail on a particular aspect. Very few people have the time or inclination to read an entire Wikipedia article (unless it is short). SilkTork *YES! 19:16, 25 October 2009 (UTC)
OK, can you give me a couple of days to get this sorted out? I'll have a go at expanding the lead a bit to make it more inclusive and to provide a better overview. One question though, since we will inevitably be repeating information that is covered in more depth later on in the article, how important are inline references to the lead section? For example, the charrt placings that you relocated are all referenced in their new position as part of the "Release and reception" section, so when it says that the album reached #77 in the lead section, does that also need a reference? Or is it OK because that fact is references later on in the article? --Kohoutek1138 (talk) 20:23, 25 October 2009 (UTC)
I've had a go at addressing this issue but I'm still curious about references in the lead section for facts that are repeated (and referenced) later on in the article. --Kohoutek1138 (talk) 19:06, 26 October 2009 (UTC)
You don't need to repeat references. You can elect to reference the statement in the lead or the repeated statement in the main body. However, some people do like to reference both in order to give readers confidence and to prevent a challenge. SilkTork *YES! 22:03, 26 October 2009 (UTC)
Yeah, people challenging the info in the lead is what I was thinking of. OK, I think I'll try to get some references inserted into the lead as well. I'd feel happier with this. --Kohoutek1138 (talk) 15:01, 27 October 2009 (UTC)

Prose[edit]

 Done

  • In the first section the opening sentence says the band "decided to recruit replacement members" - this is unclear and indirect. The focus should be on the recruitment not on the decision - so: "The band recruited replacement members..." Anyway - the rest of the paragraph talks about the musical concept of the album, but not about the recruitment process, which then pops up in the following paragraph and is introduced as a new topic. This is unclear and confusing writing. The article needs a decent copywriter to go through and tidy up. SilkTork *YES! 16:18, 25 October 2009 (UTC)
I have to say that I disagree with this. The recruitment process is discussed in that first section in pretty reasonable detail, with information on who the new members were and how the came to be introduced. I suppose that information could be introduced in the first paragraph but then that would mess up the chronological flow of the article. The article covers a pretty short span of time (roughly 6 months) and as such, is written more or less as events unfolded. For instance the album's original concept was in place before the recruitment of Kevin Kelley and likewise, the college tour with the three-piece band occurred before Gram Parsons' recruitment. In essence this section, like the article as a whole, attempts to present the rather convoluted genesis of the album and the line-up that recorded it in an orderly and chronological fashion. --Kohoutek1138 (talk) 18:51, 25 October 2009 (UTC)
The section is poorly written. A paragraph has a unity. The first paragraph does not have unity as the first sentence is not related to the rest of the paragraph. The first sentence is recruitment. Rest of the paragraph is concept. Then the next paragraph returns to recruitment. This has nothing to do with chronology. Also - bear in mind that while a chronological approach is quite acceptable, it is not the only way of organising the information. SilkTork *YES! 19:16, 25 October 2009 (UTC)
OK, point taken. I'll have a look at this over the next day or two - I should be able to fix it to your liking. --Kohoutek1138 (talk) 20:23, 25 October 2009 (UTC)
I've had a go at addressing this issue, hopefully it's more to your liking now. Actually, it was a fairly simple matter of moving all mention of recruiting new members out of the first paragraph and dealing with that in the 2nd paragraph instead. --Kohoutek1138 (talk) 19:06, 26 October 2009 (UTC)
Yes. When doing a review there's a decision to be made as to if it's better to make the edit yourself, or to make a comment on the edit needed. If it is really minor like a spelling mistake I'll just make the edit, but if there is an educational editing point to be made which can be useful, I'll make a comment. If people do not pick up on the educational nature of the comment and use it to improve the rest of the article, I might just do the rest of the edits myself. But I'm always happier when people get the principle, and are able to apply it to the rest of the article. SilkTork *YES! 22:03, 26 October 2009 (UTC)
The paragraph on the Grand Ole Opry appearance is not clear. I think it says that the band got a poor reception, then managed to win the audience over, but lost their support and the concert ended very badly. The paragraph needs making clear what actually happened. SilkTork *YES! 16:27, 25 October 2009 (UTC)
Yep, I can see that that might be confusing. They did get a poor reception and I think that the sentence stating that they were received warmly at first is somewhat misleading. I'll take a look at this and see if I can't make it a little clearer. --Kohoutek1138 (talk) 18:51, 25 October 2009 (UTC)
I've had a go at addressing this issue. I've removed any mention of the band being received warmly because a) most sources (including the band members themselves) don't corroborate this and b) because it was confusing. Hopefully its clearer now. --Kohoutek1138 (talk) 19:06, 26 October 2009 (UTC)

Nashville[edit]

  • The Nashville, Los Angeles and Europe section wanders too far away from the album. I suspect the intention of that section is to describe the first live performances of the album - but it doesn't say that, and at times it wanders far from the album - talking about songs on the next album, and recruiting new members who had nothing to do with the recoding of this particular album. SilkTork *YES! 16:32, 25 October 2009 (UTC)
Yes, I was aware that the "Nashville, Los Angeles and Europe" section might wander a little to far from the album but there's something that you should be aware of and take into consideration here. This section attempts to illustrate two very important factors associated with Sweetheart of the Rodeo. Firstly, that the country music establishment were extremely hostile to what they saw as this group of pot smoking, long-haired hippies coming and stealing their music and secondly, that Gram Parsons was not only a big influence on the group but also a troublemaker who caused the band leader, Roger McGuinn, a fair bit on angst during his time with the band.
Thus, the Grand Ole Opry paragraph and the details about the WSM radio show illustrate the resistance the album and the group got from the mainstream country crowd. This is important because Nashville's resistance to the record is a large part of the album's enduring reputation in the modern era. Later paragraphs deal with Parson's influence on the group and the pressure he put on McGuinn, to recruit new members, hopefully highlighting that particular facet of Parsons' time with the band.
Something else that I think is worth bearing in mind is that this article is likely to attract readers with an interest in Gram Parsons as well as those interested in The Byrds (what we Byrds fans like to refer to as the "cult of Gram Parsons"). As such, the in-depth exploration of the influence and consequences of Parsons' time with the band is sure to be of significant interest to a lot of readers. I don't know how familiar you are with The Byrds and their history, but you should be aware that Sweetheart of the Rodeo is nowadays arguably the most famous album that the band recorded. It's a very influential album and a milestone in The Byrds' recorded oeuvre, like Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band is for The Beatles, and as such, I believe it warrants greater detailing of minutiae than perhaps other albums by the band would. --Kohoutek1138 (talk) 18:51, 25 October 2009 (UTC)
I picked this article because I have an interest in the album - though I have no deep knowledge of it. If you wish to show the Nashville resistance to the album, then you need to be a bit more encyclopedic in your approach. Have a section which is called "Nashville response", and then bring in the reliable sources which discuss the response, which would no doubt make reference to the Ole Opry performance. Make it clearer. You are not telling a story - you are collecting together the best information on the album. SilkTork *YES! 19:16, 25 October 2009 (UTC)
Do you think the Nashville response requires it's own section? Perhaps this section just needs re-titling? The section as it stands covers the period of time from completion of the Nashville recording sessions up to post-production work on the album, so my feeling is that it all hangs together reasonably well and provides valuable historical context. What are your thoughts on the last two paragraphs of this section? My feeling is that they illustrate the trouble that Parsons caused in the band and also how the group assimilated it's new country-rock direction into it's existing live repertoire.
This is kind of important because as the "Post-production" section suggests, Parsons' usurping of McGuinn's position as leader and his jostling for position within the band may very well have been a contributing factor in McGuinn, Hillman and Usher's decision to replace some of Parsons vocals on the album. The last paragraph of the "Nashville, Los Angeles and Europe" also foreshadows Parsons leaving of the band over the South Africa issue, which I feel is very relevant to the album as a whole and explains why he was no longer a member of the band when the album was released. However, I am thinking that the last two paragraphs of the "Nashville, Los Angeles and Europe" section could be streamlined a bit, we could certainly stand to loose some details without compromising the historical context and vital information on the band's internal dynamic. What do you think? --Kohoutek1138 (talk) 20:23, 25 October 2009 (UTC)
I've had a go at addressing this issue by trimming out any unnessacary info in this section, while still keeping the most important and relevant facts present. I'm still thinking that this section might need a better title though. See what you think. --Kohoutek1138 (talk) 19:06, 26 October 2009 (UTC)
How about retitling the "Nashville, Los Angeles and Europe" section as "Nashville reaction and live performances"? This would certainly be more descriptive of the section but I'm still not sure it's quite snappy enough. What do you think? --Kohoutek1138 (talk) 15:37, 27 October 2009 (UTC)
The Line-up changes section is unrelated to the topic. SilkTork *YES! 16:33, 25 October 2009 (UTC)
This section deals with the ramifications of Parsons' departure from the band, which I feel is relevant in light of my earlier comments concerning Parsons' individual popularity these days. His leaving is also foreshadowed at the end of the "Nashville, Los Angeles and Europe" section. As such, the "Line-up changes" section brings the article full circle and informs the reader of the trouble Parsons caused when he bailed out of the South African tour.
The topic is the album, not Parson's career. Remain on the album. The details of Parson's career, and of the Byrds in general belong in other articles. SilkTork *YES! 19:16, 25 October 2009 (UTC)
OK, I'll see if I can trim this down a bit and delete as much superfluous information as I can. But while you have a valid point about staying on the album and not Parsons' career, you're going to find that in this particular case, the two are inextricably linked (see my comments above on the replacing of Parsons vocals on the album for example). --Kohoutek1138 (talk) 20:23, 25 October 2009 (UTC)
I've had a go at addressing this issue by deleting most of the "Line-up changes" section and adding only the most relevant details into the "Post-production" section instead. --Kohoutek1138 (talk) 19:06, 26 October 2009 (UTC)
I think the Opry performance is germane as it occurred during the sessions for the album (in fact the same day as the group recorded "Nothing Was Delivered"). Having occurred prior to the Los Angeles portion of the Sweetheart Of The Rodeo sessions, the performance was something of a preview of the album-in-work and a signal of the change in direction the album would mark for the group and really the rock and roll world at large. Cbben (talk) 04:50, 28 October 2009 (UTC)

Release and reception[edit]

 Done

  • The Release and reception section is good. The chart information in the lead should be in here, with a summary of the important points left in the lead. SilkTork *YES! 16:37, 25 October 2009 (UTC)
OK, so what you're saying is that the chart information in the lead should be moved to the Release and reception section? There's not really that much info there - two singles and chart positions. I'm curious how we would summarise that in the lead and include it in the "Release and reception" section as well, without having duplication of information? --Kohoutek1138 (talk) 18:51, 25 October 2009 (UTC)
As the lead is a summary of the body, there should be nothing in the lead that is not in the body, and there should be nothing significant in the body that is not mentioned in the lead. Duplication is not an issue. Please read WP:Lead - that will explain it for you. SilkTork *YES! 19:16, 25 October 2009 (UTC)
I've done the chart information. I moved the detail to the Release and reception section, and then summarised the main points for the lead. Have a look - that's an example of how the information should be dealt with throughout the article. SilkTork *YES! 19:24, 25 October 2009 (UTC)
OK, that's pretty good actually. I think I might move the chart placings towards the top of the "release and reception" section though because it seems to make more sense to mention it at that point, while release dates and other album release specifics are being discussed. It just seems a bit "stuck on" coming after the critical reception paragraphs. Is that OK with you? --Kohoutek1138 (talk) 20:23, 25 October 2009 (UTC)
I've relocated the chart information paragraph to the top of the "Release and reception" section as suggested above. Hopefully you're OK with this. --Kohoutek1138 (talk) 19:06, 26 October 2009 (UTC)
I haven't looked yet, but that sounds OK. SilkTork *YES! 22:03, 26 October 2009 (UTC)

Personnel[edit]

  • The Personnel section is a bit listy. See Wikipedia:Embedded list. A good example of how to present personnel is Wish_You_Were_Here_(Pink_Floyd_album)#Personnel. I would suggest that the tracks that the additional personnel play on are shown next to their names - this would be somewhat more useful, and would also compact the section into something more readable. SilkTork *YES! 19:16, 25 October 2009 (UTC)
I'll leave User:Cbben to deal with this since the personnel section is his baby really. --Kohoutek1138 (talk) 20:23, 25 October 2009 (UTC)
I am looking at the problem of the number of lists in the section, and comparing the section to that of the Pink Floyd album. There are many complicating factors, including the number of musicians on the record; the number of musicians that play on bonus tracks only; the fact that two separate releases with bonus material have been issued, one of which is a double-disc including six songs by an altogether different band; and the fact that Gram Parsons--in many ways the star power behind the album and the public's interest in it--wears so many different hats (lead singer, backing singer, pianist, organist, guitar player) and people seem to want to know just what he does where. The track-by-track listing was born out of a desire to spell out clearly what people seem quite keen on knowing (based on what has been written on the album to date) -- who does what and where -- because there were parts erased and re-recorded, plus there were quite a bit of overdubs, and these have become part of the album's legacy. I think reducing the size of the type in some places plus the number of lists overall is in order; I would like to make the section shorter without eliminating the information of most interest and relevance to the story of the album. Cbben (talk) 17:42, 26 October 2009 (UTC)
From what you have just said it seems it might be appropriate to have a prose explanation. Embedded lists are, on the whole, discouraged on Wikipedia as lists do not explain. The person creating the list knows the reason they are creating the list, but the reader often does not. It is always good to be aware that the article is aimed not at a Byrds fan (who would go to the major sources, books and websites anyway, and would only be checking this article to see where we have got it wrong!) but at the general reader who wants some basic information on a topic. There is always a tension on Wikipedia between the needs of the reader and the desire of the article writers (who are generally fans of the subject, and quite keen on including the most trivial data because it excites them!) - and our guidelines are designed to remind editors that we should be thinking of the readers. I know it's a struggle - but let's minimise the embedded list material, and concentrate on the explanation which the average reader needs. SilkTork *YES! 22:03, 26 October 2009 (UTC)
Agreed. One idea I had was to create a separate article, so that a more rudimentary list wold remain here, but a link to more complete information could take the reader to a separate article containing the full list of personnel, possibly with prose explanation in either or both places to explain the complications that make the personnel on the album so large. This album was something of a hybrid for the group -- a mix of band and outside personnel, where Roger McGuinn put away his electric guitar and ceded his lead guitar duties to four session guitar players, an unusual move as he had been the lead guitarist of the group to this point.
An artist such as Bob Dylan I see will have a shorter discography in the main article but there will also be a link to a more detailed discography. Would something along those lines be feasible? Cbben (talk) 19:41, 27 October 2009 (UTC)
If I might jump in here, I think the problem with your idea of having a separate page for a detailed personnel list Cbben is going to be one of notability. The example you use of Dylan and his separate discography page is different because obviously Dylan himself is notable enough for his own article, as is his discography (ie. his entire recorded body of work), but detailed personnel information of even one of Dylan's most famous albums probably wouldn't be. I think it would make sense to keep the personnel details on the Sweetheart page; we just need to find a way to condense this information without loosing any of it. SilkTork has mentioned something about compacting this section to make it more readable, so you need to be thinking of some work around to achieve that. I certainly wouldn't want to loose any of this information because I do think it's interesting to fans of the album (who are going to make up the lion's share of viewers of this page anyway). Perhaps you should just concentrate on compacting the personnel info for the 11 tracks that make up the album and forget the various bonus tracks? After all, the article is about the album itself and the bonus tracks only appear on certain releases of the album. Just a thought. --Kohoutek1138 (talk) 22:25, 27 October 2009 (UTC)
I see. I deleted the bonus material credits as suggested and, in keeping with the Wish You Were Here credits, put the personnel credits into columns and moved them below the track listings. I really think the track-by-track is vital information that, if presented otherwise, would just cause readers to try to figure out on their own the musician credits of a particular song; plus would cause a lot of unweildy listing of songs next to each player's name in the main personnel section (just think of "Gram Parsons - acoustic guitar on x,y,z; piano on x,y,z, vocal on x,y z; backing vocal, on x,y;z; organ on x, y, z"; or "John Hartford - fiddle on x,y,z; banjo on x; acoustic guitar on y" -- quite unweildy).
So I think keeping the track-by-track is efficient -- and important. Even to the general reader, this information lies at the heart of the most basic data on the album. It is perhaps as vital and endemic as anything else to list exactly what Gram Parsons in particular did on any given track, and the rest logically follows. I don't see how this particular information could all be conveyed within the text. So I've eliminated the bonus material to get rid of other more extraneous information, and I think the section is now much less a series of list after list.
What I don't understand is why the column for the production credits, unlike the second column of the track-by-track listing, is so far over to the right. It doesn't seem to need to be so far over (perhaps on account of the formatting variation from computer to computer), but in any case I can't figure out how to place it more to the left. Cbben (talk) 03:17, 28 October 2009 (UTC) P.S. I tried the smaller type for the track-by-track but it didn't seem to yield much benefit so I stuck with the standard type size. Cbben (talk) 05:26, 28 October 2009 (UTC)
I think that putting it in columns is a definite improvement. However, I would say that I personally preferred the smaller type for the Track-by-track personnel list. I thought that the decreasing of font size made the track-by-track information much easier to navigate and psychologically made it seem like less of the article, if that makes sense. I'll have a go at trying to move the production column over a bit. --Kohoutek1138 (talk) 11:56, 28 October 2009 (UTC)

Track listing[edit]

The track listing is also quite listy. I've reduced it slightly by removing the duplications. The question now is how valuable are the listings of the alternative takes. The relevant information for a general encyclopedia entry (rather than a specialist Byrds or music publication) is that the reissue contains alternative versions in which Parsons sings lead, and listing all the tracks, which tend to merely say the same thing (this is an alternative version of Song *** on which Parsons sings), is going into the trivial - see WP:TOPIC, Wikipedia:Trivia sections, Wikipedia:Listcruft, Wikipedia:Handling trivia, and Wikipedia:Relevance of content for some discussion on this matter. Readers for whom it matters that all the tracks are listed will possess the CD and so don't need the listing repeated here. It's a question of balance, and because general readers (our target audience) are put off by too much minor information, it is better for us to focus on the important stuff. SilkTork *YES! 19:14, 3 November 2009 (UTC)

I agree that the removing of the basic eleven track album from disc one is an improvement. I do think that the full listing of bonus tracks for the 2003 Legacy Edition is important though, since most of the tracks are exclusive to that release. Forgetting the actual album for a moment, only four of the tracks found on the 1997 remaster are duplicated on the 2003 release. That means that there are 24 tracks that are unique to the Legacy Edition which goes some way to justifying its inclusion I feel. The album has only been issued in 3 different configurations as far as track listings go, the original 1968 version, the 1997 remaster and the 2003 Legacy Edition. To dispense with one of these seems like rather a big omission and somewhat uninformative.
As far as the 2003 edition making things look too listy is concerned, a solution to this would be to present the 2003 Legacy Edition as a collapsible list. That way a viewer/reader would have to actually click to view the bonus track information. This has been utilised on the Wiki entry for The Stone Roses album to good effect. I have no problem with doing this, so what do you think about it as a compromise?
As an aside, I would slightly disagree with you assessment of the bonus tracks as being irrelevant to a casual reader because as an avid music buyer myself, I often scout Wikipedia to find out exactly what bonus tracks are on a particular release on an album in order to make an informed purchasing choice. In my experience, information about various releases of albums is one of the best things about Wikipedia album articles. I'm not necessarily talking about The Byrds here, but any album by any band that I may be interested in. A good example that I've been browsing lately for just this very purpose is the The La's album, which provides some good info on the track listings of various releases of the album...although it's actually a pretty crap Wiki article and could really do with a load more prose regarding the album. But you catch my drift. --Kohoutek1138 (talk) 22:51, 3 November 2009 (UTC)

Looking at one of the reviews for the Legacy CD,[1] there is this very useful explanatory material:

These tracks are then followed by the outtakes and alternates, including those with Parsons' vocals, that first surfaced on the out-of-print 1990 Byrds Box Set--"Pretty Polly," "The Christian Life," "You Don't Miss Your Water" and "One Hundred Years from Now," "(You've Got a) Reputation" and "Lazy Days." Also added to the first disc the previously unavailable Kevin Kelley vocal version of "All I Have Is Memories," which Irwin recently discovered in the vaults, plus the Columbia radio spot advertising the album that appeared as bonus on the 1997 expanded Sweetheart reissue.

Disc 2 then offers up a motherlode of unreleased and often revelatory alternate takes, along with several rare Parsons tracks that pre-date his short stay from January to July 1968 in the Byrds. The disc opens with "Sum Up Broke" and "One Day Week," the A and B sides of the International Submarine Band's lone single on the Columbia label. Parsons and John Nuese co-wrote and sing on "Sum Up Broke," while Parsons has the microphone to himself on his solo credit "One Day Week." Both tracks are in mono, as is the subsequent "Truck Drivin' Man," the B side of another ISB single done for the short-lived Ascot company.

Stereo recordings then kick in with three tracks--"Blue Eyes," "Luxury Liner" and "Strong Boy"--taken from the International Submarine Band's one full-length album, Safe at Home. "We had the original two-track stereo masters for these," Irwin tells ICE. "With these tracks we wanted to show what Gram's history was before he joined the Byrds and indicate what he and Chris Hillman (who had country roots also) brought to the table--the musical palate they offered," Irwin adds.

The disc then delivers 14 previously unheard rehearsal and alternate takes from Sweetheart sessions. They begin with a very funky version of "Lazy Days," driven by Jay Dee Maness' steel guitar. Irwin mentions the harmonies on the track as reminding him of what Mick Jagger and Keith Richards were doing during Let It Bleed period. Disc 2 continues with an alternate version of the Parsons-written but McGuinn-sung "Pretty Polly," this time without the double-tracked McGuinn vocal used on the box set. This is followed by a take of Parsons' "Hickory Wind" recorded during the band's week-long stay in Nashville before the Byrds became the first rock group to perform at the Grand Ole Opry.

A brief summary along those lines is what readers hope to get. SilkTork *YES! 00:16, 4 November 2009 (UTC)

Well, I've briefly described the contents of the Legacy Edition in the article but I didn't want to get too bogged down in an attempt to describe it, when the track listing would illustrate exactly what was on this release. Like the film director's mantra goes - "don't tell me, show me." ;-) Obviously that's not really how we do things on Wikipedia but still, an in-depth discussion of the contents of the Legacy release is beyond the scope of this article I feel. It is, after all, primarily concerned with the 11 tracks that make up the actual album. Incidentally, this is why the Track-by-track personnel listing didn't cover the bonus tracks on the various releases because Cbben and I felt that it was beyond the scope of the article.
So, what are you saying here? Are you saying that I should loose the track listing and replace it with an in-depth explanation of the Legacy Edition's contents? Because I don't think anyone would really want to read three or four paragraphs on that subject and ultimately, it seems a bit much for what is, after all, only one particular release of the album. What about my idea of utilising a collapsible list? Would that not sort out our problem in one fell swoop? --Kohoutek1138 (talk) 00:57, 4 November 2009 (UTC)
I moved the chart with the other track listings. It seems to flow best with an introduction of personnel and then details as to the tracks. As Hillman's mandolin was already in the guest musicians section, I added the other instances of Byrds members contributing outside the scope of their usual instruments. I listed the instrument each time, as not doing so seemed confusing and to be of too little benefit. Finally, I deleted the brackets/full names as the personnel are now referenced just above. I really think this chart is good now and the right compromise between too much and too little information, plus I think the presentation is efficient. Thanks! Cbben (talk) 02:13, 7 November 2009 (UTC)
I've made a few minor changes to the track listing table Cbben. The most notable being that I've moved the Personnel section below the track listing and given it a primary heading as per WikiProject Albums guidelines.--Kohoutek1138 (talk) 13:38, 7 November 2009 (UTC)

I'm not not comfortable with the 2003 Legacy Edition bonus tracks simply being listed. The tracks do need an explanation - that's the purpose of this article. The tracks are not self-explanatory. I'm not asking for an in-depth analysis - simply a statement saying what is included and why. Along the lines of "The 2003 CD reissue contains alternative versions of songs with Parsons singing lead, along with recordings by Parsons' pre-Byrds group, The International Submarine Band (tracks 1-6 on disc two)." I don't see, at the moment, the value of this:

  1. "The Christian Life" [Rehearsal Version – Take #7 – Gram Parsons Vocal] (Charles Louvin, Ira Louvin) – 3:26
  2. "The Christian Life" [Rehearsal Version – Take #8 – Gram Parsons Vocal] (Charles Louvin, Ira Louvin) – 3:05
  3. "Life in Prison" [Rehearsal Version – Takes #1 & #2 – Gram Parsons Vocal] (Merle Haggard, Jelly Sanders) – 3:16
  4. "Life in Prison" [Rehearsal Version – Takes #3 & #4 – Gram Parsons Vocal] (Merle Haggard, Jelly Sanders) – 3:16
  5. "One Hundred Years from Now" [Rehearsal Version – Takes #12 & #13 – Gram Parsons Vocal] (Gram Parsons) – 3:58
  6. "One Hundred Years from Now" [Rehearsal Version – Takes #14 & #15 – Gram Parsons Vocal] (Gram Parsons) – 3:59
  7. "You're Still on My Mind" [Rehearsal Version – Take #13 – Gram Parsons Vocal] (Luke McDaniel) – 2:53
  8. "You're Still on My Mind" [Rehearsal Version – Take #48 – Gram Parsons Vocal] (Luke McDaniel) – 2:38
  9. "All I Have Are Memories" [Alternate Instrumental – Take #17] (Kevin Kelley) – 3:13
  10. "All I Have Are Memories" [Alternate Instrumental – Take #21] (Kevin Kelley) – 3:07
  11. "Blue Canadian Rockies" [Rehearsal Version – Take #14] (Cindy Walker) – 2:59
OK, I'm happy to provide more information on this release if you require it. The 2003 Legacy Edition is covered briefly in the article already, in the "Legacy" section. At present, the article says this about the release -
  • "On September 2, 2003, a 2 CD Legacy Edition of Sweetheart of the Rodeo was released by Columbia/Legacy. This version of the album features additional outtakes, rehearsal versions, and the master takes of the songs that had their Parsons' lead vocals replaced, presented here with their Parsons' vocals intact. Most of the alternate versions and rehearsal takes on disc two of the Legacy Edition feature Parsons singing songs that were later released with vocals by McGuinn on the original album. In addition, the Legacy Edition of Sweetheart of the Rodeo also includes six tracks performed by the International Submarine Band (Parsons' previous group)."
Let me know if you think this paragraph needs expanding with more precise info regarding the contents of this release. --Kohoutek1138 (talk) 18:46, 9 November 2009 (UTC)

Why is the 1990 Box Set not given the same treatment? (I'm not saying it should - just wondering why the 1997 and 2003 releases are being given more detailed treatment than the 1990 release).

Because the The Byrds box set is a 4 disc compilation covering the band's entire career (1965 - 1973 + 1990) and as such only a handful of tracks date from the Sweetheart of the Rodeo period. This box set is mentioned in passing in the "Post-production" section only because the master recordings (ie. the same takes as appear on the original album) of the three songs that had their Parsons' vocals replaced appeared in their original unaltered state for the first time on the box set. That's an important point because of the historical significance of these versions finally seeing the light of day but other than that, the box set isn't really relevant to Sweetheart of the Rodeo.--Kohoutek1138 (talk) 18:46, 9 November 2009 (UTC)

The listing of the main album is appropriate - and I am happy with the adjustments to the table. A possibility for subsequent releases is that they do not get the same track listing treatment, but are rather dealt with in the Release history section in which either the current table is used - the Notes field being used to mention significant additions to the main release - or there is a prose explanation of those releases. SilkTork *YES! 13:15, 9 November 2009 (UTC)

Well, again, the 1997 and 2003 releases are discussed in the "Legacy" section, so it's not as if these track listings are coming out of nowhere. They have previously been touched upon in the main article. I would be against reformatting them as a table because a) providing detailed info against each bonus track regarding significant differences seems a bit too trivial and b) because the "numbered list" style of displaying bonus tracks is consistent with other Byrds' album articles on Wikipedia. Besides, the lists as they stand already include a brief description in squared off parenthesis of how the tracks vary from the regular album versions (these descriptions are taken verbatim from the album artwork of each release). As long as the 1997 and 2003 releases are covered by the article prose, I don't see why these lists are a problem. Featuring tracks as a numbered list in Wikipedia album articles is the recommended way of displaying this information, since it would be less clear in a prose format, as outlined in WP:ALBUM.
As I say, I'm more than happy to expand the coverage of each releases in the article itself if you require it, but I'm failing to see what the problem is with the track lists per se. There are many other album articles on Wikipedia that have been successfully GA approved that include long numbered track listings similarly to the ones in the Sweetheart article. Just take a look at Johnny Cash's At Folsom Prison, R.E.M.'s Reckoning, The Beatles' Live! at the Star-Club in Hamburg, Germany; 1962, The Clash's London Calling, or Pearl Jam's Ten to name just a few. All of these articles have attained GA status and all of them include long, numbered track listings. Why are these albums all GA compliant but Sweetheart isn't? It doesn't seem to make a whole lot of sense. --Kohoutek1138 (talk) 18:46, 9 November 2009 (UTC)

It's always useful to look at other articles as examples - though each article carries its own unique situation. At Folsom Prison doesn't have multiple retakes, and when passed as a GA didn't have the Legacy Edition listing. Nor did Reckoning (R.E.M. album). Live! at the Star-Club in Hamburg, Germany; 1962 I passed as GA - that album is not as important as this one, so it was naturally more focused (there was less to write about), and after requesting a little more detail to cover the broad coverage requirement, it wasn't difficult to pass as the article deals adequately with the main issues of the album, and gives a track listing of the UK and USA releases. There are no legacy releases to deal with. Ten (Pearl Jam album) did not contain the muddled listings it now has at the time of GA listing. I don't see in the examples you have given a situation similar to what we are facing here - which is multiple alternative takes, nor did those articles contain the extensive listings they now have at the time of being passed as GA.

OK, well fair enough then. I'll take your word for it about those longer track listings appearing after the GA status was awarded. Although from what I can see, The Clash's London Calling had exactly the same, lengthy numbered track listing that it currently does when it was given GA status, so your comments are not applicable to all of the examples I've listed. Likewise, I’m not sure how The Beatles' Hamburg album being "less important" (debatable, surely) than Sweetheart is relevant...an album article is an album article, after all, and the same guidelines should apply to them all I would’ve said. Still, it looks like we may've come up with a workable solution to this issue (see my comments below). --Kohoutek1138 (talk) 00:04, 10 November 2009 (UTC)

I'm not clear at the moment as to what benefit the reader is getting from listing the alternative takes rather than explaining those alternative takes to the reader. I am concerned that listing the alternative takes goes against the guideline in WP:Embedded lists, which is one of the specific criteria in Wikipedia:Good article criteria. I gave above other guidelines which I felt had some relevance to this matter, and it may be worth repeating them here: WP:TOPIC, Wikipedia:Trivia sections, Wikipedia:Listcruft, Wikipedia:Handling trivia, and Wikipedia:Relevance of content.

While I am concerned about this matter, I don't feel it is a huge issue. Certainly not one that I feel we can't resolve. I am considering the suggestion of a collapsible list, and wondering if that is an appropriate solution rather than one that is simply avoiding the issues raised in WP:Embedded lists. I am reassured that there is some explanation of the alternative takes in the article - though I feel that the explanation is currently in the wrong section. The Legacy section should be for discussing the album's importance and influence, not for talking about the track listings of subsequent releases.

I personally like the collapsible list idea (obviously I suppose, as I suggested them). I think it solves all of our problems and doesn't look as unsightly as yet more tables cluttering up the page. Just to let you know, I think your most recent edits are an improvement but I just wanted to let you know that I've relocated the "Legacy" section, since it seems as if it should follow on directly from the "Release and reception" section. I've left the prose pertaining to the bonus tracks where you put it though, since I agree it's better there. This relocation keeps the article prose altogether in successive sections. I've also changed the collapsible list template that you'd used, swapping it for the proper album article "Tracklist" template instead. Hopefully you're OK with my changes...if not, I did them all in one single edit, so you can just undo that revision if you disapprove. Hopefully though, we're both in agreement that our most recent changes to the order of the sections and the use of collapsible lists improves the article. --Kohoutek1138 (talk) 00:04, 10 November 2009 (UTC)

Thanks for clearing up the Box set. SilkTork *YES! 20:14, 9 November 2009 (UTC)

No problem! --Kohoutek1138 (talk) 00:04, 10 November 2009 (UTC)

Collapsible lists[edit]

Further to my suggestion in the "Track listing" section of this talk page, I'm wondering whether a better idea would be to feature the Track-by-track personnel list as a collapsible list below the regular Personnel section? I see what you've tried to do by turning the track listing into a table SilkTork but I've gotta say that to me it looks like a butt ugly mess. Just to clarify, what I'm proposing is putting the main track listing back as it was, then having the 1997 bonus tracks and the 2003 bonus tracks as collapsible lists, so that as a default setting they're not visible but are accessible if a viewer clicks on them. Likewise, the main personnel section will remain as it is currently but below it there will be the Track-by-track personnel list as it was in a collapsible list format, so that again, it's hidden by default. I can do all this no problem if you approve, so what do you think of these ideas SilkTork? Is this a satisfactory workaround as far as you're concerned? --Kohoutek1138 (talk) 23:44, 3 November 2009 (UTC)

I second that motion regarding the collapsible list. The chart we have at present will just cause readers to try and figure out the track-by-track personnel, and leave them unable to do so fully. As for lead vocals, is it not Gram singing "I won't lose a friend by heeding God's call, for what is a friend who'd want you to fall?" in Christian Life; and on "One Hundred Years" isn't Gram's lead in the right channel and McGuinn's in the left, with Hillman providing background vocals on the chorus only? We're definitely getting there! Cbben (talk) 11:47, 12 November 2009 (UTC)
I think the table we currently have remedies this problem really and collapsible lists have been used as a work around for the bonus tracks, so my above comments are a bit out of date now. In answer to your questions, no, McGuinn sings the lead vocal on "The Christian Life", Parson's contribution is a backing vocal. On "One Hundred Years from Now", I'm pretty sure that it's McGuinn and Hillman singing in unison with Parson's voice mixed lower in the background. Regardless of what I think, that is what is stated in the sources and that's what this article is concerned with, not our opinions. --Kohoutek1138 (talk) 12:19, 12 November 2009 (UTC)
Some sources must be wrong; if you left/right channel "One Hundred Years" it's clearly McGuinn and Parsons. Hillman sings only on the chorus. And the "won't lose a friend" bit (whether one calls it a bridge or a chorus) is clearly Parsons. I'll dig around for a source, but meanwhile have a listen. Thanks! Cbben (talk) 01:40, 16 November 2009 (UTC)
You're absolutely right that Parsons is heard on the bridge of "The Christian Life" but it's still not a lead vocal part - it's a backing vocal. McGuinn is the lead singer of that song without doubt, much of the song is sung by him alone with Parsons or Hillman (?) only joining in for the bridge and chorus. Therefore, as many of the sources state, McGuinn is the lead vocalist on this track. As for "One Hundred Years from Now", I believe that Hillman is singing in unison with McGuinn throughout most of the song and also adding a harmony part to the chorus (via the miracle of overdubbing). Parsons is in there too but very low in the mix, making his contribution a backing vocal at best and arguably only a guide vocal. If you check with Rogan/Hjort and I believe Fricke as well they all cite McGuinn and Hillman as singing a dual lead vocal on this song and that's exactly as I hear it too. Just to clarify, I'm not disagreeing with what you're saying, I'm just pointing out that Parsons contributions on these two songs do not amount to a lead vocal. --Kohoutek1138 (talk) 12:58, 17 November 2009 (UTC)
I hear you, and would say that the best thing to do would be keep McGuinn as sole lead singer on Christian Life, but credit all three singers on One Hundred Years. I think it is best described as a three-way group effort, and if you left/right channel the verses I don't believe you'll hear Hillman. With Parsons taking the sole lead on the left channel (or is it right?), I don't see how he can be omitted as one of the lead singers. I think all three singers are sharing the vocal duties in a way that most justifiably calls for a three-way credit. What do you think? P.S. Just listened to the song and I hear Parsons more prominently than even McGuinn. I would actually argue Hillman should be removed from lead singer (I do not hear him outside the backing vocal on the chorus), but would be happy to agree to making it a three-way credit. Sorry for not logging in this time (I'm at a different computer). 69.138.231.252 (talk) 06:20, 22 November 2009 (UTC)
Hillman can be clearly heard on both channels but most clearly on the right-hand channel (just listen to the first verse). In fact, Hillman is more prominent than McGuinn on the verses, although McGuinn can still be clearly heard...especially on the left-hand channel. Parson's contribution to "One Hundred Years from Now" is ever so faint and can only really be heard as a ghostly echo. In fact, if you didn't know that Parsons' voice was there, you'd never hear it because it's so faint. I have to say that I think that you're mistaking Hillman's voice for Parsons'. McGuinn and Hillman are clearly the dual lead singers of "One Hundred Years from Now". However, as previously noted, it doesn't really matter what I think or hear (since that would constitute original research). The sources all state that the lead vocal is sung by Hillman and McGuinn, as detailed in the article itself, and that's exactly what I hear too. --Kohoutek1138 (talk) 10:17, 24 November 2009 (UTC)
Could be I am mistaking Hillman's voice for Parsons -- I'll check it out. Meanwhile did we get the GA rating yet? Cbben (talk) 04:53, 28 November 2009 (UTC)
Oh yeah, Sweetheart was certified as a GA by SilkTork on November 14, 2009. So it's all over now (there is a section about this at the bottom of this page). Well done on your contributions and for helping get the article up to GA status...we couldn't have done it without your help. You can now display the GA Userbox for this article on your user page if you so wish. I've taken the liberty of adding it to your user page but if you don't want it, just delete it. --Kohoutek1138 (talk) 12:57, 28 November 2009 (UTC)
Great news! Yes it appears to be McGuinn and Hillman on right/left at first. But then Gram joins Roger at equal volume for lead vocal on the next verse (right channel) -- and 1:46-1:51 has him taking lead vocal alone on the right channel. Shall we list all three vocalists for this song? Cbben (talk) 03:46, 17 December 2009 (UTC)
No, that's Hillman joining McGuinn on the right channel in the second verse. Likewise from 1:46 - 1:51 that's Hillman taking lead vocal alone on the right channel (although, I'm betting McGuinn's voice is still in there somewhere). I’m finding it hard to believe that you think it’s Parsons. Just to clarify, we are talking about "One Hundred Years from Now", right?
Parson's singing on that track is almost completely inaudible and can only really be heard as a ghostly echo in the background on the left-hand channel when his singing hangs over the edge of what Hillman is singing - like when he holds a note slightly longer than Hillman does. The two lead vocal voices that you can hear on that song are McGuinn and Hillman, not Parsons. Gram has a very distinctive, cracked voice, quite different from Hillman and McGuinn's relatively smooth singing style.
We could discuss this for ever and a day but again, I must stress that your opinion and my opinion are irrelevant. All the third party sources state that the duel lead vocal is sung by McGuinn and Hillman, not Parsons. Therefore, the lead vocal credit in the Sweetheart article should be left as it is, otherwise it constitutes original research. Although, I would still oppose it anyway because I happen to agree with the sources. --Kohoutek1138 (talk) 18:41, 17 December 2009 (UTC)

Images[edit]

 Done

  • Images are fine. Though I am uncertain over the use of the word "controversial" in the caption to the Ryman Auditorium as that is not explained in the text. SilkTork *YES! 19:29, 25 October 2009 (UTC)
OK, I'll have a think about rewording the image caption. --Kohoutek1138 (talk) 20:23, 25 October 2009 (UTC)
I've reworded this slightly, which I think is an improvement. --Kohoutek1138 (talk) 19:06, 26 October 2009 (UTC)

Sources[edit]

  • Most detail is well cited. There is one statement which is challenged with a tag, and that needs sorting. I haven't checked sources yet. I will do, but the information looks good, so I don't expect any surprises there (Johnny Rogan is usually quite interesting and sometimes outspoken, but quite reliable).
Yeah, we've been talking about that "Citation needed" tag ourselves. It's a detail that existed in the album article long before we came along. Neither of us can find any reliable third party reference for it so, I think it's time to get rid of it. --Kohoutek1138 (talk) 20:23, 25 October 2009 (UTC)
I've removed the offending detail and "citation needed" tag, replacing it with something that can be more easily varified. --Kohoutek1138 (talk) 19:06, 26 October 2009 (UTC)
Not a GA requirement, but it might be worth listing the main sources in a Bibliography section. SilkTork *YES! 19:43, 25 October 2009 (UTC)


  • I was just checking a couple of the cites, when I noticed that one of them was sourced to the ByrdWatcher Website which appears to be a blog that doesn't fit Wikipedia:Reliable sources. You may think I'm nit-picking, but I would get criticised later if somebody picked that up after I had passed the article as meeting GA criteria. Can you either give me an acceptable rationale for ByrdWatcher Website being a Reliable Source, or remove it as a source, and then either remove all statements that rely on that source, or find an alternative Reliable Source. SilkTork *YES! 22:36, 26 October 2009 (UTC)
No, I don't think you're nit-picking. I perfectly understand why blogs are not really reliable sources and as such, I never use them as references for Wiki articles. I would dispute the classification of Byrdwatcher as a blog though...to my mind it’s nothing of the sort. The Wikipedia article blog defines a blog as "a type of website, usually maintained by an individual with regular entries of commentary, descriptions of events, or other material…commonly displayed in reverse-chronological order." Byrdwatcher is a fansite (albeit a well researched one), not a blog. It is not updated, nor was it ever updated on a regular basis with dates next to the entries like a blog would be. Additionally, it is not hosted on a blog domain and to be honest, it's structure is entirely different to that of a chronological blog.
The site attempts to provide an online resource for the history and legacy of The Byrds, furnishing readers with in-depth information on many facets of the band's existence. Yes, some personal opinion is expressed on the music itself by the site owner but you will find that I never, ever introduce the author's opinion on a subject into a Wikipedia article and nor would I cite a subjective opinion as a reference. In the context of the Sweetheart of the Rodeo Wikipedia page, the site is used simply as a source for hard facts (almost all of which are corroborated by books and such), not the opinions of the author. Byrdwatcher (along with Byrds Flyght) is probably the premier Byrds related website on the internet (in fact, The Rough Guide to Rock lists it as the very best Byrds website) and features information that is well sourced with citations for quotes and such. In addition the site carries out its own original research, such as original interviews with both David Crosby and Roger McGuinn for example. Indeed, outside of an official band website, it's hard to imagine a more reliable web source for information on the Byrds. --Kohoutek1138 (talk) 15:01, 27 October 2009 (UTC)
Hi I thought I'd jump into this issue just briefly. ByrdWatcher existed long before blogs came into the mainstream (I think it has been around since the mid-1990's). I always thought of it is as an e-book. as it is written with chapters and could just as well have been published in physical book form. That said I am not sure where the line between blog and e-book lies exactly. Cbben (talk) 19:50, 27 October 2009 (UTC)
I meant a self-published website - I tend to use the term blog for websites in which essentially one person self-publishes their views and opinions regardless of time-scale. I feel ByrdWatcher may not pass this policy guideline: Wikipedia:Verifiability#Self-published_sources_.28online_and_paper.29. What would be needed is some evidence that the author is a recognised expert. Comments about the website by reliable sources would be helpful. If you cannot find anything, you may post here and somebody might take a look and give their view - though try to do as much research yourselves first.
As you indicate, ByrdWatcher is getting the information from somewhere, and it would be better to go to those sources yourselves. SilkTork *YES! 20:33, 27 October 2009 (UTC)
Yes, I can see what you're getting at. The only evidence that I can offer to support that the author is an expert and endorsed by the band themselves is the fact that a number of members have agreed to be interviewed by the author and have said interviews published on that site and also that there's a link to the website on the official Roger McGuinn/Byrds web page (here [2]). If that's not enough to convince you then you better say and I'll have to have a look for some alternate references. There are 23 individually referenced points attributed to Byrdwatcher in the article though, so that may take some digging. Let me know what you reckon. --Kohoutek1138 (talk) 22:25, 27 October 2009 (UTC)
A consensus view on [[Wikipedia:Reliable sources/Noticeboard that the source is acceptable would mean that you don't need to resource the cites. I'll ask them for you. SilkTork *YES! 19:18, 3 November 2009 (UTC)
I've asked the question: Wikipedia:Reliable_sources/Noticeboard#Is_Byrdwatcher_a_reliable_site.3F. SilkTork *YES! 19:36, 3 November 2009 (UTC)
It has been agreed that The Byrdwatcher site is reliable - [3]. SilkTork *YES! 11:41, 9 November 2009 (UTC)
Oh, wonderful! That saves me a lot of work re-sourcing citations. --Kohoutek1138 (talk) 18:48, 9 November 2009 (UTC)

This line is awkward "It soon became apparent, however, that The Byrds were having difficulty in performing their studio material live as a trio, and so after the tour had ended it was decided that a fourth member was required." as it seems to say that the band needed a fourth member in order to play on tour, but they didn't realise that until they had finished the tour. It doesn't quite follow. I thought I'd look to see what the source had to say, but the source given - [4] - says nothing about this. Sometimes in rewriting an article, sources get misplaced. Can someone find the correct source for this, so we can see what was said, and tidy up the writing (perhaps remove "soon became apparent" and "it was decided" as they are fluff phrases). SilkTork *YES! 00:09, 4 November 2009 (UTC)

The part of that inline citation that's relevant is the sentence "The two brought in Hillman's cousin Kevin Kelley as drummer and toured the college circuit as a trio. Before long they realized they could not get the Byrdsy sound they wanted without a fourth member." This is an overly-simplistic summation of the events to be honest and maybe I should replace it with a reference from Rogan's Timeless Flight since he goes into a bit more detail there. What I'm trying to say in this sentence that you've highlighted is that during the college tour the trio found it difficult to perform their studio material live but were unable to do anything about it until the tour finished. Once the tour was over, they set about recruiting a fourth member. --Kohoutek1138 (talk) 00:41, 4 November 2009 (UTC)

Audio samples[edit]

I've added a small, low bitrate audio sample of the song "You Don't Miss Your Water" as featured on the album, to illustrate Parsons' concept of "Cosmic American Music". The song is a soul/country hybrid which is exactly the sort of thing Parsons was attempting to describe with this rather hyperbolic phrase, as explained in the article. It's also one of the three songs that had its original Parsons' vocal replaced by McGuinn, so it’s also relevant from that point of view too. You might wanna check it and the fair-use rational I've concocted for it just to make sure you're happy with everything. --Kohoutek1138 (talk) 22:25, 27 October 2009 (UTC)

That seems fine. SilkTork *YES! 22:29, 3 November 2009 (UTC)

Country-rock - legacy[edit]

I'll bring in this from my talkpage:

Hi SilkTork, I just wanted to give you the heads up about a couple of changes I've made to your recent edits of the second sentence of the lead section. I don't mean to tread on your toes but this sentence was worded very carefully in order that it was accurate. The album is sometimes (erroneously) labeled as the first country-rock album, but that’s not true. That particular honour often goes to Gram Parson's previous album by The International Submarine Band album, Safe at Home, but I personally would argue aginst that as well. It's a somewhat contentious issue and this is why it's important that any claims about Sweetheart being the first of anything are carefully worded. It was the first album to be widely labeled as country-rock by an internationally successful rock act - not the first major country-rock album because The Band's Music from Big Pink could equally lay claim to that title, since it was released a month earlier than Sweetheart. But The Band weren't an internationally famous rock act at the time of that album’s release, they were pretty much unknown to most of the public at that time, although Music from Big Pink' soon changed all that because it was very successful. Hopefully you can kind of see what I'm saying here. The wording has to be precise. --Kohoutek1138 (talk) 00:27, 4 November 2009 (UTC)
Editing is good - not toe treading at all! It would be good to get some of that information into the article - I don't recall a mention of Big Pink. If there is a reliable source on the development of country-rock which places Sweetheart in context of the other albums, that would be useful. SilkTork *YES! 09:53, 4 November 2009 (UTC)
Well, in my view, a chronological history of country rock is probably slightly above and beyond the focus of this article. The article does mention that Sweetheart pre-dates Dylan's Nashville Skyline because that would be the only other likely contender to the title of "first country-rock album by an established, internationally successful group." This lineage, including The Band's album, is covered by reference #6, which follows the statement about Nashville Skyline, so a brief history of the genre could be ascertained from there or indeed from the Wikipedia country rock article. My concern is that it would be very easy to get bogged down in a history of country rock releases, which wouldn’t really enhance the article and could be contentious and open a can of worms for no good reason. --Kohoutek1138 (talk) 14:04, 4 November 2009 (UTC)

The lead again now contains this statement: "Though not the first country-rock album,[3] it was the first album widely labeled as country-rock to be released by an internationally successful rock act,[4][5] pre-dating the release of Bob Dylan's Nashville Skyline by over six months."

This is problematic because the mention of the album's importance to country-rock is mentioned in the lead, but not developed or even mentioned in the body. What is in the lead should also be in the body. It helps to view the lead not as an introduction, but as a mini version of the body. See WP:Lead.

Kohoutek1138 left an explanation for the sentence on my talkpage. If a sentence needs an explanation then either the sentence is not clear, or an explanation needs to be in the article. The legacy section is the most appropriate for the explanation - though, of course, the explanation requires appropriate sourcing.

The sentence starts with saying what the album is not. It is preferable to say what the album actually is. There are, after all, many things the album is not! The finer detail of who recorded the first full country-rock album is best placed in the legacy section, as that is a related but not essential fact.

My suggested sentence is this: "Recorded with the addition of country-rock pioneer Gram Parsons,[2] it was influential as the first major country-rock album,[3][4] pre-dating the release of Bob Dylan's Nashville Skyline by over six months.[5][6]"

I am not an expert in this field, however I have often read that the album is acknowledged as the first major country-rock album, and what we should be doing on Wikipedia is summing up what sources say. The lead should be reflecting what most sources do say - that the album is regarded as the first major country rock album. [5] [6] [7] [8] [9] [10] [11] - the finer details, as I say, should be put in one of the sections - preferably the Legacy section. SilkTork *YES!

I have struck the mention of Nashville Skyline, as I feel that shouldn't be in the lead, but could be in the Legacy section. SilkTork *YES! 12:45, 9 November 2009 (UTC)
OK, I see your point and I think you're right. I'll remove the mention of Dylan's Nashville Skyline from the lead and reformat the sentence as you've suggested. I'll also, as you suggest, knock up a paragraph about the album’s place in country-rock lineage over the next day or two. Do you think that the Legacy section is the best place for this? Would it not fit better in the "Release" section? I dunno, I'm torn on this to be honest - I can see reasons why it might be applicable to both sections. I'll add it to the "Legacy" section for now though and we can always move it later if we deem it necessary. --Kohoutek1138 (talk) 19:09, 9 November 2009 (UTC)

Focus[edit]

I've probably mentioned this previously in some form above, but I'll create a specific section here. The article tends to wander at times away from the focus of the topic. How much of this paragraph from the Nashville section is actually needed in an article on Sweetheart of the Rodeo - and how much might be better placed in The Byrds article?

After returning from Nashville, the band played a handful of concerts throughout the Los Angeles area with the addition of pedal steel guitarist JayDee Maness, who had played on several tracks on the album.[14] Throughout April 1968, McGuinn came under considerable pressure from Parsons to recruit Maness as a full member of The Byrds but McGuinn resisted, although Maness has stated in interview that he declined the invitation anyway.[13][28] Having failed to recruit Maness as a permanent member of the band, Parsons next recommended another pedal steel guitar player, Sneaky Pete Kleinow, but once again, McGuinn held firm.[14] However, in May 1968 the band embarked on a short European tour and invited banjo player Doug Dillard along, so that the band's new country material would sound authentic.[14] Tapes of this tour reveal a very disjointed ensemble playing psychedelic material alongside the newer country-rock songs.[13] While in England for concerts at the Middle Earth Club and Blaises, The Byrds met Mick Jagger, Marianne Faithfull. and Keith Richards, and accompanied them to Stonehenge, where the two Rolling Stones expressed some concern over The Byrds' intention to tour South Africa during the summer. McGuinn chose to dismiss their concern over the country's apartheid policies, having already convinced the rest of The Byrds that a trip to South Africa would be an interesting experience.[14]
Unfortunately, I would say that most of it is important to the Sweetheart article, for reasons I'll discuss in a moment. At a push, I think we could probably loose the sentences - "However, in May 1968 the band embarked on a short European tour and invited banjo player Doug Dillard along, so that the band's new country material would sound authentic. Tapes of this tour reveal a very disjointed ensemble playing psychedelic material alongside the newer country-rock songs." - Really, all those two sentences are detailing is how the Sweetheart era band sounded live, playing material from two radically different musical styles.
As for the rest of this paragraph (sorry if I'm repeating myself here), Parsons' petitioning of McGuinn to recruit either Maness or Kleinow as a permanent member shows the trouble that Parsons caused in the band. This is kind of important because as the "Post-production" section suggests, Parsons' usurping of McGuinn's position as leader and his jostling for position within the band may very well have been a factor in McGuinn, Hillman and Usher's decision to replace some of Parsons vocals on the album. He was essentially getting a bit too big for his boots! The last few sentences about meeting members of The Rolling Stones and their disapproval of the group's intentions to tour South Africa are important because they foreshadow Parsons leaving the band in July 1968, as detailed in the "Post-production" section. Parsons' departure is, of course, relevant and explains why he was no longer a member of the band when the album was released. --Kohoutek1138 (talk) 19:46, 9 November 2009 (UTC)
I hear what you are saying about Parsons leaving the band. However, Parson's protest over the SA tour is detailed effectively in the Post-production section. The Stonehenge incident adds nothing substantial to that - and serves as a diversion from the main point as it is not clear that it is about Parsons leaving because Parsons is not mentioned. The conversation at Stonehenge did not lead to Parsons leaving - it appears he made his decision three months later.
Well, the point is that the first seeds of doubt about the moral implications of touring SA were sown in Parsons mind during The Byrds first meeting with Jagger & Richards. It was also when Parsons first bonded with them, hence McGuinn and Hillman's comments about doubting Parsons' sincerity over the SA issue - they felt that when he left the band, he just wanted to hang out with The Stones. But I think you're right that this mention muddies the waters. I think it needs removing and perhaps being briefly mentioned in the "Post-production" section instead, in the same paragraph that actually details Parsons leaving the band. Of course, the mention of visiting Stonehenge is totally superfluous. I'll try and address this over the next day or two. --Kohoutek1138 (talk) 01:41, 10 November 2009 (UTC)
It is not clear in the article that Parsons had left the band by the time the album was released. That information should be in the lead, and should be made a little clearer in the main body.
Good point I'll address this in the next day or two. --Kohoutek1138 (talk) 01:41, 10 November 2009 (UTC)
Internal conflict during the making of a major album is important, so I agree that information about conflict between McQuinn and Parsons should be detailed in the article. Is this conflict remarked upon by sources? Is it considered notable enough to have a section to itself? We shouldn't be hinting at conflict - it should be openly discussed. Either as and when appropriate in the history of the recording, or as a separate section if notable enough. And the conflict should then be mentioned in the lead.
Yes, the conflict is remarked upon my multiple sources and has been corroborated by McGuinn, Hillman and Usher themselves. I don't believe that it's notable enough to warrant its own section but I agree that it should be more explicitly mentioned. Likewise, it should be briefly mentioned in the lead. I'll sort this too, over the next day or so. --Kohoutek1138 (talk) 01:41, 10 November 2009 (UTC)
Possible wording for the lead: "Steered by the passion of the little known Gram Parsons, who had only joined The Byrds in February 1968, the album became a hybrid of various roots music forms and contemporary rock, and was recorded in Nashville to ensure a country-oriented feel. Tension developed between Parsons and the rest of the band, McQuinn especially; some of Parsons' vocals were re-recorded due partly to legal complications; and by the time the album was released in August, Parsons had left the band."
Yeah, that's good, with my only slight amendment being that the album was only partly recorded in Nashville - seven songs were recorded in their entirety in Los Angeles, as detailed in the article. Also, the decision to record in Nashville wasn't really to ensure a country sound, after all, that could've been achieved equally as well in L.A., as the April-May 1968 recording sessions demonstrated. I think it was more to do with Parsons, who was a country music nut, thinking that it would be a cool thing to do! I will reword the lead with this suggestion of yours though but make slight edits to take into consideration my above comments. --Kohoutek1138 (talk) 01:41, 10 November 2009 (UTC)
Looking at Gram Parsons I'm not convinced that "The album was also responsible for bringing Gram Parsons ... to the attention of a mainstream rock audience for the first time" is justified for the lead. This album appears to be his most notable work. And this "Thus, the album can be seen as an important chapter in Parsons' personal and musical crusade to make country music fashionable for a young audience" is also questionable. It's a discursive opinion which could belong in the Gram Parsons article - but seems ill-placed in this article, especially in the lead. SilkTork *YES! 00:16, 10 November 2009 (UTC)
OK, this is gonna be a long reply - bear with me. With all due respect that Wikipedia article is pretty dire. I'm not just saying that to back up my own point, it's very poorly referenced and littered with factual inaccuracies. I did some work on the "1968 - 1970" section of that article myself a few months back because it was basically a load of nonsense. Consequently, if you look, the inline citations I inserted into that section account for about half of the references in the whole article! So, I would take the Gram Parsons article with a pinch of salt.
Sweetheart was definitely responsible for bringing Parsons to an international audience for the first time because prior to that he'd been in one signed band and their lone album had sunk without a trace. Parsons and The International Submarine Band weren't even that famous in their native Los Angeles, due to their country music being completely out of step with the prevailing music trends - especially on the West Coast. Psychedelia was the order of the day in 1967 in San Francisco and L.A., not Parsons' brand of country-rock. Of course, in hindsight, this is why he was such a revolutionary, pioneering figure but at the time, he was essentially a nobody.
This is why Parsons was so determined to exert his dominance on The Byrds - he saw his recruitment into a major international rock/pop band as his chance to spread his country-rock gospel to a much larger audience. Parsons' determination to rescue country music (which he saw as being the purest form of American music) from the "Rednecks" and "hicks" is well documented. As such, his work on Sweetheart was certainly an important chapter in his musical crusade to make country music fashionable for a hip, young audience. He finally had a platform with which to spread his vague concept of "Cosmic American Music" to an international market.
Parsons didn't waste time exerting his dominance on The Byrds either; persuading them to play his style of music, attempting to hog the lead vocal spotlight until McGuinn and Usher replaced his vocals, trying to recruit new members into the band, and at one point even demanding that the album be billed as "Gram Parsons & The Byrds" (something that I think needs to be mentioned in the article). This was all very cheeky of Parsons since he was not only the "new boy" in the band but also an unknown on the contemporary music scene of the day. Naturally this jostling for position got McGuinn's back up and Hillman's too, to an extent. I admit that all of this might be somewhat discursive but it's vital to understanding Parsons contribution to the album and is well documented, with inline references backing every one of these points. --Kohoutek1138 (talk) 01:41, 10 November 2009 (UTC)

General comments[edit]

  • The article is written in a fair and unbiased manner. That is not always easy to achieve when the main editors are fans of the band or album. Well done. SilkTork *YES! 19:34, 25 October 2009 (UTC)
Thank you. Both Cbben and I are fans but we also take the fact that our contributions are in the public domain very seriously and as such, should be unbiased and above all, factually accurate. --Kohoutek1138 (talk) 20:23, 25 October 2009 (UTC)
  • This is a full and detailed article on the album. Albums by their nature are decent subjects for GA status - I think I've passed almost all the album articles I have reviewed, and I expect to pass this one. The major issues are the lead, going through to check the prose is as clear as it could be, and trimming back on the (understandable) desire to include rather more than is needed for this topic. If there are aspects still not clear after my clarifications above, please ask me again. I am very patient. I want this article to be GA. And I think you guys have done a very good job here. It's just a matter of tidying up the last little details. Regards SilkTork *YES! 19:50, 25 October 2009 (UTC)
  • Sorry - I have been rather busier off-Wiki than I had anticipated, and I have not had the time to deal with all my on-Wiki commitments appropriately. I will focus down on this article in the next few days. SilkTork *YES! 10:23, 31 October 2009 (UTC)
  • I'm pleased with the way the article is developing. The article is good. It started out as good, and what is happening here is little tweaks just to get some of the focus right. It can be frustrating when the person looking at an article is a non-expert because that person will raise many stupid questions - but those are the same questions the average reader will be asking. An article examined by a non-expert ensures robustness and clarity. The GA articles that get delisted most often are those which were reviewed by someone too close to the subject.
No, it's not frustrating at all. I totally agree with you that a non-expert reviewing the article is beneficial because ultimately, this Wikipedia entry should be just as easy to understand for a neophyte who's never heard of The Byrds (or the album) as it is for a long time fan. I feel confident that we're getting there. --Kohoutek1138 (talk) 01:51, 10 November 2009 (UTC)
  • I'm sorry this is taking a little longer than normal for an album GAN - that is a combination of my being rather busier off-Wiki than I had anticipated, and also because this is a rather more complex than average album! I have no doubts though that this will pass as a GA. At the moment I think what needs to be done is:
  • Read through and remove material that is not important to the album - as discussed;
I'll do this over the next day or two. --Kohoutek1138 (talk) 01:51, 10 November 2009 (UTC)
  • Develop the Legacy section as discussed;
Yes, I'll do this too in the next couple of days. --Kohoutek1138 (talk) 01:51, 10 November 2009 (UTC)
  • Check that the Lead reflects the main body and complies with WP:Lead;
I'm on this and I'll sort it over the next day or two. --Kohoutek1138 (talk) 01:51, 10 November 2009 (UTC)
  • A final run through to ensure the prose is OK after all the changes.
  • I'm going to spend the next couple of days looking at two other GA reviews, then I'll come back here to see what is happening. SilkTork *YES! 00:42, 10 November 2009 (UTC)
OK, I've had a go at addressing all of the points raised in the above list and their relevant discussions further up this talk page. I've also added a short paragraph to the "Background" section detailing Parson's own musical crusade to reclaim country music and that his joining The Byrds introduced him to an international audience for the first time, since it's mentioned in the lead. I really think that this aspect of the album's background is key because without Parsons' own country-rock agenda, the album simply wouldn't exist. Had Parsons not exerted his influence or even joined the band, The Byrds sixth album would've undoubtedly been McGuinn's proposed concept album. As such, not mentioning this aspect of the album's genesis seems like a glaring omission. Anyway, see what you think of my recent changes. I think they address all of your most recent comments and I'm glad to say that they improve the article. See what you think. --Kohoutek1138 (talk) 18:52, 11 November 2009 (UTC)

The recent edits have tightened things up a bit, and also explained more where needed. I feel the article can be developed further along the lines we have discussed, however the article now substantially meets the GA criteria.

I appreciate the patience and good will of the editors working on the article, as I have made some demands - but at all times people have been willing to engage in discussion and have been polite and good natured. Well done. SilkTork *YES! 20:00, 14 November 2009 (UTC)

My two cents[edit]

Hi folks. Thanks to Kohoutek1138, Cbben, and the other editors for their extensive work on this article, and to SilkTork for his many helpful suggestions. This article was really good before, and it's even better now. My two cents is that the article shouldn't be trimmed down much more than it has been already. I think just about all the material that's there now is relevant, and I think that Kohoutek1138 and Cbben have done a good job on this talk page of explaining exactly how it's directly related to the album itself. Mudwater (Talk) 02:23, 10 November 2009 (UTC)

Thanks for the kind words Mudwater. I'm glad that you feel that the article is a good one and hopefully it will be even better by the time this GA assessment is finished. I have to say that I whole heartedly agree with your comments regarding the relevancy of the information currently included in the article. All of it is essential in order to give a solid, factually accurate and unbiased overview of the album. It's simply impossible to divorce the album from the events of its conception, its impact on the development of country-rock and Parsons' attempts to influence the band's musical direction, as well as the Nashville establishment's reaction to the album and The Byrds' new country style. To attempt to do so would, in my view, compromise the article severely and ultimately lead to an incomplete and possibly misleading overview of the album.
I am a fan of the band and the album, of course, but I also have an almost obsessive attitude to Wiki articles when it comes to presenting information in a factually accurate, non-biased way, and this article is no exception. As such, I personally believe that everything that is currently mentioned in the article is essential to a balanced understanding of the album's music and its historical context. --Kohoutek1138 (talk) 19:20, 11 November 2009 (UTC)

A Good Article[edit]

Woo-hoo! Thanks everybody. Good work. Mudwater (Talk) 20:11, 14 November 2009 (UTC)

Yeah, that's great news! Hurrah!! Well done to Cbben, Mudwater and, of course, SilkTork. I think that the article is looking pretty darn good now and certainly much better than it did before this GA review began. How long it'll stay like that is another matter, other editors are bound to start tearing it apart but I, for one, will be keeping an eye on it just to make sure that other editor's contributions don't compromise or damage the article - only improve it. --Kohoutek1138 (talk) 13:06, 17 November 2009 (UTC)

South African tour[edit]

It seems to me that there is something odd about this passage:


"In May 1968 the band embarked on a short European tour and while in England for concerts at the Middle Earth Club and Blaises, The Byrds met with Mick Jagger and Keith Richards who both expressed concern over The Byrds' intention to tour South Africa during the summer. McGuinn chose to dismiss these concerns over the country's apartheid policies, having already convinced the rest of The Byrds that a trip to South Africa would be an interesting experience and received South African singer Miriam Makeba's blessing for the tour."


So, Jagger and Richards are concerned about the idea of touring South Africa, because of the country's apartheid policies. Right? And what McGuinn is dismissing are their concerns about going ahead with the tour. However, the formulation could make it sound as if McGuinn is dismissing their concern over the political situation, which he of course was not. 90.224.25.46 (talk) 15:32, 5 January 2011 (UTC)

I think the paragraph is OK because actually, McGuinn was naive in the extreme with regards the South African situation. For a start he believed the concert promoters who told him that the band would not be playing to segregated audiences…something that turned out to be untrue, unsurprisingly. Secondly, he viewed the tour as something of a curiosity trip - as the article states he considered it potentially "an interesting experience". In the third place, he believed that his talks with Miriam Makeba prior to the tour somehow gave him the moral high ground with regards touring there. When the UK and U.S. press later berated The Byrds for undertaking the tour and questioned their political integrity, McGuinn tried to claim that the tour was, in some way, a protest against the contry's political status quo. However, the truth of the matter seems to be that he really didn't have a grasp on the situation until he got there and by then it was too late.
I don't think the paragraph is misleading because ultimately McGuinn was dismissing Jagger & Richards' concerns about going ahead with the tour and their concern over the political situation, because he was ignorant of that situation. Ultimately though, a lot of this info concerning the tour is omitted from the article because it really has nothing to do with the Sweetheart of the Rodeo album itself. The main Byrds article goes into a bit more detail in the sub-section titled "The Gram Parsons era". The South African tour is only really mentioned in this article in connection with Gram Parsons' departure from the band. --Kohoutek1138 (talk) 16:41, 5 January 2011 (UTC)
Thanks for your comment! I agree with you on the whole. It's just that, for me, there's something about the formulation that makes McGuinn seem overtly flippant about the issue. For sure, from what I've read in Rogan's book, there seems to have been a certain naïveté involved. But the formulation "chose to dismiss" to me suggests a kind of almost deliberate defiance. Of course, as you say, we cannot go into too much detail here, but I think it would suffice to just phrase a little differently what is already there. Something like this perhaps: "McGuinn, having already received the blessing of South African singer Miriam Makeba for the tour, did not lend as much weight to these concerns as Parsons later would, but rather saw the trip as an interesting experience for the band." 90.224.25.46 (talk) 20:08, 5 January 2011 (UTC)
Hmmmm...trouble is, there's doubt over the sincerity of Parsons' anti-apartheid stance. Chris Hillman, for one, has always believed that Gram just used it as a convenient excuse to hang with Mick and Keith from the Stones (as detailed later on in the article). The fact that Gram had known about the pending South African tour for some months and expressed no concern about going along prior to The Byrds' visit to London in July 1968, lends credence to Hillman's suspecions I would say. So personally, I would be against suggesting that Gram had any stronger anti-aparthied feelings than the article already outlines.
However, I do understand your concern. The phrase that Rogan actually uses in Timeless Flight is "McGuinn was undaunted", so perhaps we should just change the sentence to "McGuinn remained undaunted regarding these concerns over the country's apartheid policies, however, having already received the blessing of South African singer Miriam Makeba and convinced the rest of The Byrds that a trip to South Africa would be an interesting experience." What do you reckon to that? --Kohoutek1138 (talk) 00:16, 6 January 2011 (UTC)
Thanks for the discussion! I see your point about the nature of Parsons' stance being in question. "Undaunted" is a good choice of words, and your proposed formulation seems to work well. 90.224.25.46 (talk) 23:52, 7 January 2011 (UTC)
OK, I'll change the sentence accordingly. Thanks for your input. --Kohoutek1138 (talk) 04:33, 8 January 2011 (UTC)

Genre: The Consideration of Country[edit]

After watching the Byrds Under Review DVD, reading Sweetheart of the Rodeo album reviews and books on the subject (in particular Johnny Rogan's book), the general consensus made by journalists, music critics and musicians is that the majority of tracks on the album are purely country based, with little rock and roll being made. Of course, songs such as "You Ain't Goin' Nowhere", "One Hundred Years from Now", "Hickory Wind" and "Nothing Was Delivered" are less country orientated, more pop influenced and quintessentially "country rock", but I generally feel that the authentic country contributions should be represented along side country rock within the infobox.

SgtPetsounds 19:24, 12 October 2012 (UTC)

I agree. There's nothing country rock about "Blue Canadian Rockies" for example, that's as pure country as country can be. --Kohoutek1138 (talk) 13:24, 24 October 2012 (UTC)

Vocal credits for One Hundred Years from Now and Blue Canadian Rockies[edit]

One Hundred Years from Now has vocal credits from Hillman and McGuinn but is clearly a single vocalist. I'm assuming it's Hillman. It sounds like him.

Blue Canadian Rockies has a single vocal credit for Hillman but there are clearly two vocalists. I'm wondering if the vocal credits were mixed up between the two songs.

2001:558:6036:31:25F4:9A48:6C92:918F (talk) 05:15, 5 April 2014 (UTC)

No, "One Hundred Years From Now" does feature both McGuinn and Hillman singing the song's lead vocal in unison, like a very close double tracked vocal (I'm not counting the harmony vocals here). Listen to the first couple of lines -- there are clearly two voices singing in unison there. Hillman and McGuinn singing lead vocal on "One Hundred Years From Now" is borne out or supported by Christopher Hjort's So You Want to Be a Rock 'n' Roll Star book. Are you sure you're not getting mixed up between the album version of "One Hundred Years From Now" (here) and the outtake version with Gram Parsons on lead vocals (here)? The latter does indeed just feature one lead vocal, but the proper album version features McGuinn and Hillman singing the lead vocal together.
"Blue Canadian Rockies" features Hillman alone on lead vocals, with McGuinn (and possible Parsons or an overdubbed Hillman) providing the high harmony. McGuinn's harmony part is not the lead vocal though, since it drops out in the verses, leaving Hillman singing on his own (see the "Now, oh, how my lonely heart is aching tonight..." bit at the 0:29 mark). So attributing lead vocals to Hillman on "Blue Canadian Rockies" is correct. --Kohoutek1138 (talk) 14:32, 12 April 2014 (UTC)

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