Chris Hillman is a seminal figure in country-rock. Prior to joining The Byrds as their bass player, Hillman was the featured mandolin player in a bluegrass band called The Hillmen. He was mostly a supporting player for The Byrds’ first few albums, but that changed with Younger Than Yesterday. On that album, Hillman emerged as a songwriter and introduced a distinct country-rock flavor to the band on songs like “The Girl With No Name” and “Time Between.” After the overtly country-rock Sweetheart of the Rodeo, Hillman and Gram Parsons left The Byrds to form The Flying Burrito Brothers.
The Gilded Palace of Sin, like Sweetheart before it, is an acknowledged country-rock classic (although both have psychedelic overtones). Unfortunately, Parsons’ erratic behavior got him fired from the band, and Hillman dissolved the group a few years later, opting to join Stephen Stills’ new group, Manassas. Manassas was primarily a vehicle for Stills, however, with Hillman more or less playing a supporting role as a second guitarist and occasional songwriter. After Manassas ended, Hillman reunited with his original bandmates for a one-off album titled simply Byrds.
The success of country-rock bands like Eagles and CS&N seems to have been the inspiration behind Hillman’s next move, a collabration between Richie Furay (Buffalo Springfield, Poco) and sometime Eagles songwriter J.D. Souther as The Souther-Hillman-Furay Band. After two albums, SHF parted ways, and Hillman put his attention on a solo career.
Produced by the Albert Brothers (Manassas), Slippin’ Away was a solid collection of country-rock songs in the same vein as Eagles that featured members of The Flying Burrito Brothers and Manassas. A second album, Clear Sailin’, found Hillman working more with journalist Peter Knobler as a songwriting partner, with similar results. Neither record charted particularly well, though, paving the way to a reunion with Roger McGuinn and Gene Clark. McGuinn, Clark & Hillman gave him a hit single with “Long Long Time,” but no hits were forthcoming on the disappointing second album, City.
Over the years, Hillman has continued to release country-rock albums both under his own name and as a member of The Desert Rose Band. More recently, Hillman can be heard with mandolin in hand playing bluegrass music with his old friend, Herb Pedersen, proving that all Byrds return to their nest sooner or later. In 2017, Hillman released Bidin’ My Time, which was produced by Tom Petty.
SLIPPIN’ AWAY (1976)
Step On Out / Slippin’ Away / Falling Again / Take It On The Run / Blue Morning // Witching Hour / Down In The Churchyard / Love Is The Sweetest Amnesty / Midnight Again / (Take Me In Your) Lifeboat. Released on elpee and 8-track in 1976 in the US (Elektra, 7E/ET8-1062), the UK (Asylum, K-53041) and Japan (Warner Bros., P-10211Y) with innersleeve; reached #152 on the US charts. 8-track features different track order. Re-issued on compact disc in 2000 in Japan (Asylum, WPCP-4145).
Step On Out (1976)
b/w Take It On The Run. Released on 7-inch single in July 1976 in the US (Asylum, E-45330). Also released as promotional 7-inch single in 1976 in the US (Asylum, E-45330) feat. A mono on flip side.
Love Is The Sweetest Amnesty (1976)
b/w Falling Again. Released on 7-inch single in October 1976 in the US (Asylum, E-45350). Also released as promotional 7-inch single in 1976 in the US (Asylum, E-45350) with A mono on flip side.
Slippin’ Away (1976)
b/w (Take Me In Your) Lifeboat. Released on 7-inch single in the UK (Asylum, K-13083).
CLEAR SAILIN’ (1977)
Nothing Gets Through / Fallen Favorite / Quits / Hot Dusty Roads / Heartbreaker // Playing The Fool / Lucky In Love / Rollin’ And Tumblin’ / Ain’t That Peculiar / Clear Sailin’. Released on elpee and 8-track in June 1977 in the US (Asylum, 7E/ET8-1104), the UK (Asylum, K 53060), Brazil (Asylum, 32.016), Canada (Asylum, 7ES 1104), Japan (Asylum, P-10395Y) and the Netherlands (Asylum, AS-53060) with innersleeve; reached #188 on the US charts. Re-issued on compact disc on February 25, 1991 in Japan (Asylum, WPCP-4146). Re-issued on compact disc on October 15, 2002 in the US (Wounded Bird, 1104).
b/w Lucky In Love. Released on 7-inch single in 1977 in the UK (Asylum, E-45428). Also released as promotional 7-inch single in 1977 in the US (Asylum, E-45428) feat. A mono on flip.
McGUINN, CLARK & HILLMAN (1979)
Long Long Time / Little Mama / Don’t You Write Her Off / Surrender To Me / Backstage Pass // Stopping Traffic / Feelin’ Higher / Sad Boy / Release Me Girl / Bye Bay Baby. Co-credited to Roger McGuinn and Gene Clark and released on elpee and cassette in January 1979 in the US and Canada (Capitol, SW-11910), Australia (Capitol, ST-11910) and Japan (Capitol, ECS-81181) with lyrics innersleeve; reached #39 on the US charts. Re-issued on compact disc in the US (Capitol). Re-issued on compact disc on October 17, 1990 in Japan (Capitol, TOCP-6387). Re-released on expanded compact disc on July 24, 2001 in the US (One Way, 34232) with 3 bonus tracks. Re-released on super high material compact disc on March 24, 2016 in Japan (Capitol, TYCP-80046).
Who Taught The Night / One More Chance / Won’t Let You Down / Street Talk / City // Skate Date / Givin’ Herself Away / Deeper In / Painted Fire / Let Me Down Easy. Co-credited to Roger McGuinn featuring Gene Clark and released on elpee and cassette in January 1980 in the US (Capitol, ST/4XT-12043), the UK (Capitol, E-ST 12043) and Australia (ST/TC-ST-12043) with lyrics innersleeve; reached #136 on the US charts. Re-issued on compact disc in 1996 in the US (One Way, S21-18503).
MORNING SKY (1982)
Tomorrow Is A Long Time / Taker / Here Today And Gone Tomorrow / Morning Sky / Ripple // Good Time Charlie’s Got The Blues / Don’t Let Your Sweet Love Die / Mexico / It’s Happening To You / Hickory Wind. Released on elpee in 1982 in the US (Sugar Hill, SH-3729). Re-issued on compact disc in 1991 in the US (Sugar Hill).
DESERT ROSE (1984)
Why You Been Gone So Long / Somebody’s Back In Town / Wall Around Your Heart / Rough And Rowdy Ways / Desert Rose // Running The Roadblocks / I Can’t Keep You In Love With Me / Treasure of Love / Ashes of Love / Turn Your Radio On. Released on elpee in November 1984 in the US (Sugar Hill, SH-3743).
Somebody’s Back In Town (1984)
b/w Desert Rose. Released on 7-inch single in Canada (Stony Plain, 1034).
Running The Roadblocks (1985)
b/w Turn Your Radio On. Released on 7-inch single in 1985 in the US (Sugar Hill, SH-4106).
BAKERSFIELD BOUND (1996)
Playboy / Which One Is To Blame / Close Up The Honky Tonks / Brand New Heartache / Congratulations, Anyway / It’s Not Love (But It’s Not Bad) / He Don’t Deserve You Anymore / There Goes My Love / My Baby’s Gone / The Lost Highway / Time Goes So Slow / Just Tell Me Darlin’ / Bakersfield Bound. Credited to Chris & Herb, released on compact disc on May 21, 1996 in the US (Sugar Hill, SUH-3850).
LIKE A HURRICANE (1998)
Back’s Against The Wall / Angel’s Cry / Sooner Or Later / Carry Me Home / Run Again / Second Wind / When You Walk In The Room / Like A Hurricane / Living On The Edge / Forgiveness / I’m Still Alive / Heaven’s Lullaby. Released on compact disc on June 16, 1998 in the US (Sugar Hill, SHCD-3878).
WAY OUT WEST (2002)
Backporch Boy / There You Go / Invitation to the Blues / No Longer a Sweetheart of Mine / Problems / Better Man Than That / The Old Cross Road / Sugar Cane / After All Is Said and Done / You Done Me Wrong / Save the Last Dance For Me / Are You Missing Me? / That’s The Way It Was / You’re Learning / Our Love It Don’t Come Easy / Good Year / Backporch Boy (Outro). Co-credited to Herb Pedersen and released on compact disc on June 4, 2002 in the US (Narada, 11978).
THE OTHER SIDE (2005)
Eight Miles High / True Love / Drifting / The Other Side / Heaven Is My Home / Touch Me / The Wheel / True He’s Gone / Heavenly Grace / It Doesn’t Matter / Missing You / The Water Is Wide / I Know I Need You / Our Savior’s Hands. Released on compact disc on June 21, 2005 in the US (Sovereign Artists, 400501) and the UK (Cooking Vinyl, COOKCD-341).
AT EDWARDS BARNS (2010)
Live tracks: Going Up Home / Love Reunited / Turn, Turn, Turn (To Everything There is A Season) / If I Could Only Win Your Love / Tu Cancion/ Our Savior’s Hands / Wheels / Have You Seen Her Face / Eight Miles High / Together Again / Desert Rose / Sin City / The Cowboy Way / Wait A Minute / Heaven’s Lullaby. Credited to Chris Hillman & Herb Pedersen, recorded live in 2009 and released on compact disc in 2010 in the US (Rounder).
SIX DAYS ON THE ROAD (2015)
Live tracks: Intro / Safe At Home / Down In The Churchyard / Time Between / High Fashion Queen / Colorado / Fallen Eagle / Christine’s Tune / Follow Me Through / Blue Morning / Six Days On The Road / Move Me Real Slow / So You Want To Be A Rock ‘n’ Roll Star. Credited to Chris Hillman & Friends, recorded live in 1975 and released on compact disc in 2015 (All Access).
BIDIN’ MY TIME (2017)
Bells of Rhymney / Bidin’ My Time / Given All I Can See / Different Rivers / Here She Comes Again / Walk Right Back / Such Is The World That We Live In / When I Get A Little Money / She Don’t Care About Time / New Old John Robertson / Restless / Wildflowers. Released on compact disc in 2017 in the US (Rounder).
THE ASYLUM YEARS (2018)
Step On Out / Slippin’ Away / Falling Again / Take It On The Run / Blue Morning / Witching Hour / Down In The Churchyard / Love Is The Sweetest Amnesty / Midnight Again / (Take Me In Your) Lifeboat / Nothing Gets Through / Fallen Favorite / Quits / Hot Dusty Roads / Heartbreaker / Playing The Fool / Lucky In Love / Rollin’ And Tumblin’ / Ain’t That Peculiar / Clear Sailin’. Released on compact disc in 2018 in the US (Omnivore).
LIVE AT THE BOTTOM LINE 1977 (2018)
Live tracks: Hot Burrito #2 / Slippin’ Away / Take It On The Run / Rise And Fall / Love Is The Sweetest Amnesty / Nothing Gets Through / Rollin And Tumblin / Fallen Eagle / Sin City / (Take Me In Your) Lifeboat / Playing The Fool / Heartbreaker / Witching Hour / It Doesn’t Matter – Bound To Lose / Mystery Train. Recorded live on November 5, 1977 and released on compact disc on June 1, 2018 in Europe (Rox Vox).