The Byrds – Younger Than Yesterday (1967)

LPFrontCover1So you want to be a Rock N Roll star …

The Byrds  were an American rock band formed in Los Angeles, California in 1964. The band underwent multiple lineup changes throughout its existence, with frontman Roger McGuinn (known as Jim McGuinn until mid-1967) remaining the sole consistent member. Although they only managed to attain the huge commercial success of contemporaries like the Beatles, the Beach Boys, and the Rolling Stones for a short period in the mid-1960s, the Byrds are today considered by critics to be nearly as influential as those bands. Their signature blend of clear harmony singing and McGuinn’s jangly twelve-string Rickenbacker guitar was “absorbed into the vocabulary of rock” and has continued to be influential.

Initially, the band pioneered the musical genre of folk rock as a popular format in 1965, by melding the influence of the Beatles and other British Invasion bands with contemporary and traditional folk music on their first and second albums, and the hit singles “Mr. Tambourine Man” and “Turn! Turn! Turn!”. As the 1960s progressed, the band was influential in originating psychedelic rock and raga rock, with their song “Eight Miles High” and the albums Fifth Dimension (1966), Younger Than Yesterday (1967) and The Notorious Byrd Brothers (1968). They also played a pioneering role in the development of country rock, with the 1968 album Sweetheart of the Rodeo representing their fullest immersion into the genre.

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The original five-piece lineup of the Byrds consisted of Jim McGuinn (lead guitar, vocals), Gene Clark (tambourine, vocals), David Crosby (rhythm guitar, vocals), Chris Hillman (bass guitar, vocals), and Michael Clarke (drums). This version of the band was relatively short-lived; by early 1966, Clark had left due to problems associated with anxiety and his increasing isolation within the group. The Byrds continued as a quartet until late 1967, when Crosby and Clarke also departed. McGuinn and Hillman decided to recruit new members, including country rock pioneer Gram Parsons, but by late 1968, Hillman and Parsons had also exited the band. McGuinn elected to rebuild the band’s membership; between 1968 and 1973, he helmed a new incarnation of the Byrds that featured guitarist Clarence White, among others. McGuinn disbanded the then-current lineup in early 1973 to make way for a reunion of the original quintet. The Byrds’ final album was released in March 1973, with the reunited group disbanding later that year.

The Byrds1967

Several former members of the band went on to successful careers of their own, either as solo artists or as members of such groups as Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young, the Flying Burrito Brothers and the Desert Rose Band. In 1991, the Byrds were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, an occasion that saw the five original members performing together for the last time. Gene Clark died of a heart attack later that year, while Michael Clarke died of liver failure in 1993. McGuinn, Crosby, and Hillman remain active.

Singles

Younger Than Yesterday is the fourth studio album by the American rock band the Byrds and was released on February 6, 1967 on Columbia Records (see 1967 in music). It saw the band continuing to integrate elements of psychedelia and jazz into their music, a process they had begun on their previous album, Fifth Dimension. In addition, the album captured the band and record producer Gary Usher experimenting with new musical textures, including brass instruments, reverse tape effects and an electronic oscillator.

The album also marked the emergence of the band’s bass player Chris Hillman as a talented songwriter and vocalist. Prior to Younger Than Yesterday, Hillman had only received one shared writing credit with the Byrds, but this album saw him credited as the sole composer of four songs and a co-writer of “So You Want to Be a Rock ‘n’ Roll Star”.[5] Byrds expert Tim Connors has remarked that two of Hillman’s compositions on Younger Than Yesterday exhibited country and western influences and thus can be seen as early indicators of the country rock experimentation that would feature—to a greater or lesser degree—on all of the Byrds’ subsequent albums.

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Upon release, the album peaked at number 24 on the Billboard Top LPs chart and reached number 37 on the UK Albums Chart. It was preceded by the “So You Want to Be a Rock ‘n’ Roll Star” single in January 1967, which reached the Top 30 of the Billboard Hot 100.[10] Two additional singles taken from the album, “My Back Pages” and “Have You Seen Her Face”, were also moderately successful on the Billboard singles chart. However, none of the singles taken from the album charted in the United Kingdom. Music critics Richie Unterberger and David Fricke have both remarked that although it was largely overlooked by the public at the time of its release, the album’s critical standing has improved over the years and today Younger Than Yesterday is considered one of the Byrds’ best albums. The title of Younger Than Yesterday is derived from the lyrics of “My Back Pages”, a song written by Bob Dylan, which was covered on the album. (wikipedia)

AdYounger Than Yesterday was somewhat overlooked at the time of its release during an intensely competitive era that found the Byrds on a commercial downslide. Time, however, has shown it to be the most durable of the Byrds’ albums, with the exception of Mr. Tambourine Man. David Crosby, Roger McGuinn, and especially Chris Hillman come into their own as songwriters on an eclectic but focused set blending folk-rock, psychedelia, and early country-rock. The sardonic “So You Want to Be a Rock & Roll Star” was a terrific single; “My Back Pages,” also a small hit, was the last of their classic Dylan covers; “Thoughts and Words,” the flower-power anthem “Renaissance Fair,” “Have You Seen Her Face,” and the bluegrass-tinged “Time Between” are all among their best songs. The jazzy “Everybody’s Been Burned” may be Crosby’s best composition, although his “Mind Gardens” is one of his most excessive. (by Richie Unterberger)

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Except the song “Mind Gardens”, this whole album is another flawless masterpiece by The Byrds. All the songs are hook filled and the whole album is very much in the vein of The Beatles’ Revolver – a lot of dreamy songs, backward guitars, avant garde instrumentation and Beatlesque harmonies especially the song “Have You Seen Her Face” – which is very Beatlesque. It also features their next best (after Mr Tambourine Man of course) Dylan cover – My Back Pages. Beautiful singing with jangly guitar tones make it a fresh listen even now. The confessional Everybody’s Been Burned is another major highlight. But still compared to their previous album, I would consider it a tad restrained – the previous album oozed freedom and experimentation where as this one sounds a little restrained overall. Nevertheless, it is a brilliant album and a great release for 1967, which also had so many other iconic albums. (Adithya Paikray)

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Personnel:
Michael Clarke (drums)
David Crosby (guitar, vocals)
Chris Hillman (bass, vocals)
Jim McGuinn (vocals, guitar)
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Vern Gosdin (guitar)
Hugh Masekela (horns)
Clarence White (guitar)

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Tracklist:
01. So You Want To Be A Rock ‘N’ Roll Star (McGuinn/Hillman) 2.06
02. Have You Seen Her Face (Hillman) 2.41
03. C.T.A. – 102 (McGuinn/Hippard) 2.28
04. Renaissance Fair (Crosby/McGuinn) 1.52
05. Time Between (Hillman) 1.55
06. Everybody’s Been Burned (Crosby) 3.06
07. Thoughts And Words (Hillman) 2.58
08. Mind Gardens (Crosby) 3.19
09. The Byrds My Back Pages (Dylan) 3.09
10. The Girl With No Name (Hillman) 1.50
11. Why (McGuinn/Crosby) 2.47
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12 It Happens Each Day (Crosby) 2.46
13. Don’t Make Waves (McGuinn/Hillman) 1.38
14. My Back Pages (Alternate Version) (Dylan) 2.44
15. Mind Gardens (Alternate Version) (Crosby) 3.47
16. Lady Friend (Crosby) 7.40
17. Old John Robertson (Single Version) R. McGuinn, C. Hillman Rate

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More from The Byrds:
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So you want to be a rock ‘n’ roll star?
Then listen now to what I say
Just get an electric guitar
Then take some time and learn how to play

And with your hair swung right
And your pants too tight
It’s gonna be alright

Then it’s time to go downtown
Where the agent man won’t let you down
Sell your soul to the company
Who are waiting there to sell plasticware

And in a week or two
If you make the charts
The girls’ll tear you apart

The price you paid for your riches and fame
Was it all a strange game?
You’re a little insane

The money, the game and the public acclaim
Don’t forget what you are
You’re a rock ‘n’ roll star

The Byrds – Live At The Boston Tea Party (1969)

FrontCover1The Byrds /bɜːrdz/ were an American rock band formed in Los Angeles, California in 1964. The band underwent multiple lineup changes throughout its existence, with frontman Roger McGuinn (known as Jim McGuinn until mid-1967) remaining the sole consistent member. Although they only managed to attain the huge commercial success of contemporaries like the Beatles, the Beach Boys, and the Rolling Stones for a short period in the mid-1960s, the Byrds are today considered by critics to be nearly as influential as those bands. Their signature blend of clear harmony singing and McGuinn’s jangly twelve-string Rickenbacker guitar was “absorbed into the vocabulary of rock” and has continued to be influential.

Initially, the band pioneered the musical genre of folk rock as a popular format in 1965, by melding the influence of the Beatles and other British Invasion bands with contemporary and traditional folk music on their first and second albums, and the hit singles “Mr. Tambourine Man” and “Turn! Turn! Turn!”. As the 1960s progressed, the band was influential in originating psychedelic rock and raga rock, with their song “Eight Miles High” and the albums Fifth Dimension (1966), Younger Than Yesterday (1967) and The Notorious Byrd Brothers (1968). They also played a pioneering role in the development of country rock, with the 1968 album Sweetheart of the Rodeo representing their fullest immersion into the genre.

The Byrds 1965

The original five-piece lineup of the Byrds consisted of Jim McGuinn (lead guitar, vocals), Gene Clark (tambourine, vocals), David Crosby (rhythm guitar, vocals), Chris Hillman (bass guitar, vocals), and Michael Clarke (drums). This version of the band was relatively short-lived; by early 1966, Clark had left due to problems associated with anxiety and his increasing isolation within the group. The Byrds continued as a quartet until late 1967, when Crosby and Clarke also departed. McGuinn and Hillman decided to recruit new members, including country rock pioneer Gram Parsons, but by late 1968, Hillman and Parsons had also exited the band. McGuinn elected to rebuild the band’s membership; between 1968 and 1973, he helmed a new incarnation of the Byrds that featured guitarist Clarence White, among others. McGuinn disbanded the then-current lineup in early 1973 to make way for a reunion of the original quintet. The Byrds’ final album was released in March 1973, with the reunited group disbanding later that year.

The Byrds 1969_02

Several former members of the band went on to successful careers of their own, either as solo artists or as members of such groups as Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young, the Flying Burrito Brothers and the Desert Rose Band. In 1991, the Byrds were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, an occasion that saw the five original members performing together for the last time. Gene Clark died of a heart attack later that year, while Michael Clarke died of liver failure in 1993. McGuinn, Crosby, and Hillman remain active. (by wikipedia)

And here´s a pretty good bootleg from their “Dr.Byrds And Mr.Hyde” period:

The new line up could set stages on fire, especially with White’s lead playing but missed the vocal quality of the original band. (die-augenweide.de)

Listgen and enjoy to one of the finest bands from the Werstoast !!!

Recorded live at the Boston Tea Party, Boston February 22nd 1969

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Personnel:
Roger McGuinn (guitar, vocals)
Gene Parsons (drums, vocals)
Clarence White (guitar, vocals)
John York (bass, vocals)

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Tracklist:
01. You Ain’t Going Nowhere (Dylan) 3.24
02. He Was A Friend Of Mine (Traditional) 3.23
03. Old Blue (McGuinn) 3.36
04. Long Black Veil (Traditional) 3.27
05. Goin’ Back (King/Goffin) 3.47
06. Get Outta My Life Woman (McGuinn/Toussaint) 3.21
07. Ballad Of Easy Rider (McGuinn) 2.48
08. Jesus Is Just Alright (Reynolds) 3.23
09. Mr. Spaceman (McGuinn) 3.05
10. This Wheel’s On Fire (Dylan/Danko) 4.42
11. Lay Lady Lay (Dylan) 3.22
12. The Time Between (Hillman) 2.08
13. My Back Pages (Dylan) 2.33
14. Whacha Want Me To Do (Traditional) 3.25
15. Big City Bride (Traditional) 2.14
16. It’s All Over Now, Baby Blue (Dylan) 4.20
17. Way Beyond The Sun (Traditional) 2.56
18. Turn, Turn, Turn (Traditional/Seeger) 1.53
19. Mr. Tambourine Man (Dylan) 2.31
20. I Shall Be Released (Dylan) 3.16
21. Drug Store Truck Drivin’ Man (McGuinn/Parsons) 3:23
22. Nashville West (Parsons/White) 2.01

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More from The Byrds:
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The Byrds – Reunion Concert In San Francisco (1978)

FrontCover1.jpgIn early 1978, three of the founding members of the Byrds – Roger McGuinn, Gene Clark, and Chris Hillman – were touring the West Coast with a show in which they each played short solo sets before concluding the show as a trio, performing a handful of Byrds classics. The shows were so well received that the trio would later land a record deal and record a pair of new albums, but on February 9, 1978, fans who came to see McGuinn, Clark & Hillman at the Boarding House in San Francisco got a special surprise.

David Crosby joined his former Byrds bandmates on-stage for eight numbers, delivering a memorable performance that was the closest thing to a reunion of the original Byrds most of the audience would ever see, with only drummer Michael Clarke missing on-stage. The show was recorded by a local radio station, and Live at the Boarding House: The Historic Radio Broadcast preserves this oft-bootlegged show…

Clark performs “Silver Raven” and “Release Me Girl,” followed by Hillman singing “Bound to Fail” and “It Doesn’t Matter,” while McGuinn tackles “The Ballad of Easy Rider” and “Jolly Roger.” Then the trio teams up for three songs before Crosby takes the stage, and the foursome performs a number of Byrds favorites, including “Turn! Turn! Turn!” “Mr Tambourine Man,” “Eight Miles High,” and “Feel a Whole Lot Better.”

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If the performances are sometimes less than perfect, there’s a spontaneity and passion in this recording that makes it clear the artists really did feel something special was happening, and this was a stronger and more heartfelt reunion of one of the great American bands of the ’60s than the tremendously disappointing studio reunion that took place in 1973. Live at the Boarding House: The Historic Radio Broadcast is a rumpled treasure for Byrds fans who cherished their harmonies most of all. (The CD skips the concert opening numbers by Gene Clark for reasons unknown, though.) (by Mark Deming)

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Personnel:
Gene Clark (vocals, guitar)
Chris Hillman  (vocals, guitar, mandolin)
Roger McGuinn (vocals, guitar)
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David Crosby (vocals on 08. – 16.)

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Tracklist:

Chris Hillman:
01. Bound To Fall (Brewer/Mastin) 2.38
02. It Doesn’t Matter (Hillman/Roberts) 2.31

Roger McGuinn:
03. Ballad Of The Easy Rider (mcGuoinn) 2:11
04. Jolly Roger (McGuinn/Levy) 2.57

Gene Clark, Chris Hillman, Roger McGuinn:
05. Chestnut Mare (McGuinn/Levy) 6.10
06. Crazy Ladies (Clark/Kaye) 3.42
07. The Train Leaves Here This Morning (Clark/Dillard) 4.04

The Byrds with David Crosby:
08. Mr Tambourine Man (Dylan) 7.05
09. You Ain’t Going Nowhere (Dylan) 4.50
10. Turn! Turn! Turn! (Seeger) 2.59
11. Knockin’ On Heaven’s Door (Dylan) 5.18
12. Bye Bye Baby (Hippard/McGuinn) 3.52
13. So You Want To Be A Rock ‘n’ Roll Star (McGuinn/Hillman) 2.38
14. Interlude 0.38
15. Eight Miles High (Clark/Crosby/McGuinn) 5.05
16. I’ll Feel A Whole Lot Better (When You’re Gone) (Clark) 3.33

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The Byrds – Fifth Dimension (1966)

FrontCover1Fifth Dimension is the third album by the American folk rock band The Byrds and was released in July 1966 on Columbia Records. Most of the album was recorded following the February 1966 departure of the band’s principal songwriter Gene Clark. In an attempt to compensate for Clark’s absence, guitarists Jim McGuinn and David Crosby stepped into the breach and increased their songwriting output. In spite of this, the loss of Clark resulted in an uneven album that included a total of four cover versions and an instrumental. However, the album is notable for being the first by The Byrds not to include any songs written by Bob Dylan, whose material had previously been a mainstay of the band’s repertoire.[

The album peaked at #24 on the Billboard Top LPs chart and reached #27 on the UK Albums Chart. Two preceding singles, “Eight Miles High” and “5D (Fifth Dimension)”, were included on the album, with the former just missing the Top 10 of the Billboard singles chart. Additionally, a third single taken from the album, “Mr. Spaceman”, managed to reach the U.S. Top 40. Upon release, Fifth Dimension was widely regarded as the band’s most experimental album to date and is today considered influential in originating the musical genre of psychedelic rock. (by wikipedia)

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Although the Byrds’ Fifth Dimension was wildly uneven, its high points were as innovative as any rock music being recorded in 1966. Immaculate folk-rock was still present in their superb arrangements of the traditional songs “Wild Mountain Thyme” and “John Riley.” For the originals, they devised some of the first and best psychedelic rock, often drawing from the influence of Indian raga in the guitar arrangements. “Eight Miles High,” with its astral lyrics, pumping bassline, and fractured guitar solo, was a Top 20 hit, and one of the greatest singles of the ’60s. The minor hit title track and the country-rock-tinged “Mr. Spaceman” are among their best songs; “I See You” has great 12-string psychedelic guitar solos; and “I Come and Stand at Every Door” is an unusual and moving update of a traditional rock tune, with new lyrics pleading for peace in the nuclear age. At the same time, the R&B instrumental “Captain Soul” was a throwaway, “Hey Joe” not nearly as good as the versions by the Leaves or Jimi Hendrix, and “What’s Happening?!?!” the earliest example of David Crosby’s disagreeably vapid hippie ethos. These weak spots keep Fifth Dimension from attaining truly classic status. (by Richie Unterberger)

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Personnel:
Michael Clarke (drums)
David Crosby (guitar, vocals)
Chris Hillman (bass, vocals)
Jim McGuinn (guitar, vocals)
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Gene Clark (vocals on 07., 12., 15. + 16.); tambourine on 15., harmonica on 09.)
Van Dyke Parks (organ on 01.)

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Tracklist:
01. 5D (Fifth Dimension) (McGuinn) 2.33
02. Wild Mountain Thyme (Traditional) 2.30
03. Mr. Spaceman (McGuinn) 2.09
04. I See You (McGuinn/Crosby) 2.38
05. What’s Happening?!?! (Crosby) 2.35
06. I Come And Stand At Every Door (Hikmet) 3.03
07. Eight Miles High (Clark/McGuinn/Crosby) 3.34
08. Hey Joe (Where You Gonna Go) (Roberts) 2.17
09. Captain Soul (McGuinn/Hillman/Clarke/Crosby) 2.53
10. John Riley (Traditional) 2.57
11. 2-4-2 Fox Trot (The Lear Jet Song) (McGuinn) 2.12
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12. Why (Single version) (McGuinn/Crosby) 2.59
13. I Know My Rider (I Know You Rider) (Traditional) 2.43
14. Psychodrama City (Crosby) 3.23
15. Eight Miles High (alternate RCA version] (Clark/McGuinn/Crosby) 3.19
16. Why (alternate RCA version) (McGuinn/Crosby) 2.40
17. John Riley (instrumental) (Traditional) 16.53

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The Byrds – Turn! Turn! Turn! (1965)

LPFrontCover1Turn! Turn! Turn! is the second album by the folk rock band The Byrds and was released in December 1965 on Columbia Records. Like its predecessor, Mr. Tambourine Man, the album epitomized the folk rock genre and continued the band’s successful mix of vocal harmony and jangly twelve-string Rickenbacker guitar. The album’s lead single and title track, “Turn! Turn! Turn!”, was a Pete Seeger adaptation of text from the Book of Ecclesiastes that had previously been arranged in a chamber-folk style by the band’s lead guitarist Jim McGuinn, while working with folksinger Judy Collins. The arrangement that McGuinn used for The Byrds’ version utilized the same folk rock style as the band’s previous hit singles.

The album peaked at #17 on the Billboard Top LPs chart and went to #11 in the United Kingdom. The “Turn! Turn! Turn!” single preceded the album by two months and topped the chart in the United States. Another single taken from the album, “Set You Free This Time”, was less successful and failed to break into the U.S. Top 50. The album marked an increase in McGuinn’s songwriting output and rhythm guitarist David Crosby received his first writing credit on a Byrds’ album. However, the band’s prolific songwriter Gene Clark still contributed most of the original material. The album also included two Bob Dylan covers: “The Times They Are a-Changin'” and the then unreleased song, “Lay Down Your Weary Tune”. Turn! Turn! Turn! would be the last Byrds’ album to feature the full participation of Gene Clark until the release of the original quintet’s 1973 reunion album, Byrds. (by wikipedia)

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The Byrds’ second album, Turn! Turn! Turn!, was only a disappointment in comparison with Mr. Tambourine Man. They couldn’t maintain such a level of consistent magnificence, and the follow-up was not quite as powerful or impressive. It was still quite good, however, particularly the ringing number one title cut, a classic on par with the “Mr. Tambourine Man” single. Elsewhere, they concentrated more on original material, Gene Clark in particular offering some strong compositions with “Set You Free This Time,” “The World Turns All Around Her,” and “If You’re Gone.” A couple more Bob Dylan covers were included, as well, and “Satisfied Mind” was their first foray into country-rock, a direction they would explore in much greater depth throughout the rest of the ’60s. (by Richie Unterberger)

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Personnel:
Gene Clark (guitar, harmonica, vocals)
Mike Clark (drums)
David Crosby (guitar, vovals)
Chris Hillman (bass, vocals)
Jim McGuinn (guitar, vocals)

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Tracklist:
01. Turn ! Turn! Turn! (To Everything There Is A Season) (*) 3.54
02. It Won’t Be Wrong (McGuinn) 2.02
03. Set You Free This Time (Clark) 2.53
04. Lay Down Your Weary Tune (Dylan) 3.34
05. He Was A Friend Of Mine (Traditional) 2.34
06. The World Turns All Around Her (Clark) 2.17
07. Satisfied Mind (Hayes/Rhodes) 2.30
08. If You’re Gone (Clark) 2.49
09. The Times They Are A-Changin’ (Dylan) 2.22
10. Wait And See (McGuinn/Crosby) 2.23
11. Oh! Susannah (Traditional) 3.13
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12. The Day Walk (Never Before) (Clark) 3.00
13. She Don’t Care About Time (Single Version) (Clark) 2.29
14. The Times They Are A-Changin’ (First Version) (Dylan) 1.54
15. It’s All Over Now, Baby Blue (Version 1) (Dylan) 3.03
16. She Don’t Care About Time (Version 1) (Clark) 2.35
17. The World Turns All Around Her (Alternate Mix) (Clark) 2.12
18. Stranger In A Strange Land (Instrumental) (Crosby) 3.04

(*) Words From The Book Of Ecciesiastes, Adaptation and music by Pete Seeger

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Singles

To everything – turn, turn, turn
There is a season – turn, turn, turn
And a time to every purpose under heaven

A time to be born, a time to die
A time to plant, a time to reap
A time to kill, a time to heal
A time to laugh, a time to weep

A time to build up, a time to break down
A time to dance, a time to mourn
A time to cast away stones
A time to gather stones together
A time of love, a time of hate
A time of war, a time of peace
A time you may embrace
A time to refrain from embracing

A time to gain, a time to lose
A time to rend, a time to sew
A time to love, a time to hate
A time of peace, I swear it’s not too late!

The Byrds – Mr. Tambourine Man (1965)

LPFrontCover1Mr. Tambourine Man is the debut album by the American folk rock band the Byrds and was released in June 1965 on Columbia Records (see 1965 in music). The album, along with the single of the same name, established the band as an internationally successful rock act and was also influential in originating the musical style known as folk rock. The term “folk rock” was, in fact, first coined by the U.S. music press to describe the band’s sound in mid-1965, at around the same time that the “Mr. Tambourine Man” single reached the top of the Billboard chart The single and album also represented the first effective American challenge to the dominance of The Beatles and the British Invasion during the mid-1960s.

The album peaked at number 6 on the Billboard Top LPs chart and reached number 7 in the United Kingdom. The Bob Dylan penned “Mr. Tambourine Man” single was released ahead of the album in April 1965, reaching number 1 on both the Billboard Hot 100 and the UK Singles Chart.[6][7] A second single from the album, “All I Really Want to Do”, also a Dylan cover, was moderately successful in the U.S., but fared better in the United Kingdom, where it reached the Top 10.

Singles

Prior to forming the Byrds in 1964, most of the members of the band had come from a folk and roots music background, rather than a rock and roll one. Lead guitarist Jim McGuinn had been a solo folk singer and sideman with various professional folk groups, as had singer and songwriter Gene Clark. Clark and McGuinn first met in early 1964 at The Troubadour folk club in Los Angeles and, after discovering a mutual love of the Beatles, formed a Peter and Gordon-style duo, playing Beatles’ covers, Beatlesque renditions of traditional folk songs, and some self-penned material. The duo soon added another folk singer, David Crosby, to the line-up and named themselves the Jet Set. Over the coming months, bass player Chris Hillman, whose musical background was more oriented towards bluegrass music than folk, and drummer Michael Clarke were both added to the group. The Jet Set were signed to Columbia Records on November 10, 1964 and changed their name to the Byrds over Thanksgiving that year.

On January 20, 1965, the band, along with a group of L.A. session musicians later known as the Wrecking Crew, entered Columbia Recording Studios in Hollywood to record the Bob Dylan song “Mr. Tambourine Man” as their debut single. Released in April 1965, with the Clark-penned song “I Knew I’d Want You” on its B-side, the single was an immediate hit, reaching number 1 on both the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 chart and the UK Singles Chart. In addition, the electric rock band treatment that the Byrds and producer Terry Melcher had given “Mr. Tambourine Man” effectively created the template for the musical subgenre of folk rock.

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For the most part, Mr. Tambourine Man consisted of two types of songs: band originals, primarily penned by Clark, who was the group’s main songwriter during its first eighteen months of existence, and covers of modern folk songs, composed primarily by Dylan. The album opens with its Dylan-penned title track, which had been a big international hit for the group, prior to the album’s release. Band biographer Johnny Rogan has noted that the two most distinctive features of the Byrds’ rendition of “Mr. Tambourine Man” are the vocal harmonies of Clark, McGuinn and Crosby, and McGuinn’s jangling twelve-string Rickenbacker guitar playing (which complemented the phrase “jingle jangle morning” found in the song’s lyric). This combination of 12-string guitar work and complex harmony singing became the band’s signature sound during their early period.[4] Music critic Richie Unterberger has also noted that the success of the Byrds version of “Mr. Tambourine Man” saw an explosion of Byrds imitators and emulators having hits on the American and British charts during 1965 and 1966.

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Another Dylan cover, “All I Really Want to Do”, was the first song to be recorded for the album, following the “Mr. Tambourine Man” and “I Knew I’d Want You” session. Melcher felt confident that the band’s then-unissued debut single would be, at the very least, a regional hit and so he brought the Byrds back into the studio on March 8, 1965 to record a follow-up.[18] This March 8 recording session yielded the version of “All I Really Want to Do” that appears on the album, but the song was re-recorded on April 14, and it was this later take that graced the A-side of the band’s second Columbia single release.

The abundance of Dylan material on the album—with three songs taken from the Another Side of Bob Dylan album alone—led to accusations of the band being too reliant on his material.[20] However, the Dylan covers, including “Chimes of Freedom”, “All I Really Want to Do”, and “Spanish Harlem Incident”, in addition to the title track, remain among the Byrds’ best-known recordings.

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Another cover which stressed the band’s folk music roots was Idris Davies and Pete Seeger’s “The Bells of Rhymney”. The song, which told the sorrowful tale of a coal mining disaster in Wales, was a relative newcomer to the band’s repertoire at the time of recording, having only been worked up in March 1965, during the Byrds’ residency at Ciro’s nightclub on the Sunset Strip. Although the song had a somewhat sombre theme, it became one of the band’s most popular numbers during their residency at Ciro’s. The band’s cover of “The Bells of Rhymney” was also influential on the Beatles, particularly George Harrison, who co-opted McGuinn’s guitar riff and incorporated it into his composition “If I Needed Someone” from the Rubber Soul album.
The album’s distinctive front cover fisheye lens photograph of the band was taken by Barry Feinstein and has, according to author Christopher Hjort, become an acknowledged classic since its release. The back cover featured liner notes, written in the form of an open letter to a friend, by Columbia Records’ publicist Billy James. In addition, the back cover also featured a black and white photograph, taken by the Byrds’ manager Jim Dickson, of the band on stage with Bob Dylan at Ciro’s nightclub in L.A. (by wikipedia)

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One of the greatest debuts in the history of rock, Mr. Tambourine Man was nothing less than a significant step in the evolution of rock & roll itself, demonstrating that intelligent lyrical content could be wedded to compelling electric guitar riffs and a solid backbeat. It was also the album that was most responsible for establishing folk-rock as a popular phenomenon, its most alluring traits being Roger McGuinn’s immediately distinctive 12-string Rickenbacker jangle and the band’s beautiful harmonies. The material was uniformly strong, whether they were interpreting Bob Dylan (on the title cut and three other songs, including the hit single “All I Really Want to Do”), Pete Seeger (“The Bells of Rhymney”), or Jackie DeShannon (“Don’t Doubt Yourself, Babe”). The originals were lyrically less challenging, but equally powerful musically, especially Gene Clark’s “I Knew I’d Want You,” “I’ll Feel a Whole Lot Better,” and “Here Without You”; “It’s No Use” showed a tougher, harder-rocking side and a guitar solo with hints of psychedelia. (by Richie Unterberger)

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Personnel:
Gene Clark (guitar, tambourine, vocals)
Michael Clarke (drums)
David Crosby (guitar, vocals)
Chris Hillman (bass)
Jim McGuinn (lead guitar, vocals)
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on “Mr. Tambourine Man” + “I Knew I’d Want You “:
Jerry Cole (guitar)
Larry Knechtel (bass)
Leon Russell (piano)
Hal Blaine (drums)

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Tracklist:
01. Mr. Tambourine Man (Dylan) 2.34
02. I’ll Feel A Whole Lot Better” (Gene Clark) 2.36
03. Spanish Harlem Incident (Dylan) 2.01
04. You Won’t Have To Cry (Clark/McGuinn) 2.12
05. Here Without You (Clark) 2.40
06. The Bells Of Rhymney (Davies/Seeger) 3.35
07. All I Really Want To Do (Dylan) 2.08
08. I Knew I’d Want You (Clark) 2.18
09. It’s No Use (Clark/McGuinn) 2.29
10. Don’t Doubt Yourself, Babe (DeShannon) 2.59
11. Chimes Of Freedom (Dylan) 3.55
12. We’ll Meet Again (Parker/Charles) 2.19
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13. She Has A Way (Clark) 2.29
14. I’ll Feel A Whole Lot Better (alternate version) (Clark) 2.32
15. It’s No Use (alternate version) (Clark/McGuinn) 2.24
16. You Won’t Have To Cry” (alternate version) (Clark/McGuinn) 2.07
17. All I Really Want To Do (Single version) (Dylan) 2.02
18. You And Me (Instrumental) (Crosby/Clark/McGuinn) 2.11

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The Byrds – Brooklyn (1970)

FrontCover1I noticed some Clarence White-era Byrds earlier and it reminded me of that huge stash of sb’s that came out several years back. To my knowledge, the bulk of these recordings were source by someone close to the group, possible in their employ. I can’t say that for certain though. There were quite a number of shows, just about all from the Clarence period which is just fine with me.

I had the pleasure of seeing them at that time in NYC’s Central Park with Van The Man as support. An amazing concert needless to say! Anyway, it seems not all of the leaked sb’s got around back then so I thought I’d offer one up.

This show took place at the short lived 46th St. Rock Palace in Brooklyn, NYy in the fall of 1970. It was later reopened as Banana Fish Garden which, aside from having concerts, hosted some used for the Don Kirshner’s Rock Concert TV Show. Anyway, I think this will be of much interest as it does not appear to circulate and is supposed to have been sourced from the masters right to cdr so it doesn’t get much better. (by davmar)

Recorded live at the 46th Street Rock Palace, Brooklyn, NY; October 23, 1970.
Very good soundboard.

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Personnel:
Skip Battin (bass, vocals)
Roger McGuinn (guitar, vocals)
Gene Parsons (drums, vocals)
Clarence White (guitar, vocals)

Booklet1Tracklist:
01. Lover Of The Bayou (McGuinn/Levy) 2.55
02. You Ain’t Goin’ Nowhere (Dylan) 3.05
03. I Trust (McGuinn) 4.22
04. My Back Pages (Dylan) 2.30
05. Baby What You Want Me To Do (Reed) 4.42
06. Truck Stop Girl (George/Payne) 4.19
07. Black Mountain Rag (Berline) 2.19
08. Mr Tambourine Man (Dylan) 3.03
09. Take A Whiff On Me (Traditional) 3.15
10. Ballad Of Easy Rider (McGuinn/Dylan) 2.07
11. Jesus Is Just Alright (Reynolds) 3.07
12. Eight Miles High (Clark/McGuinn/Crosby) 14.03
13. Hold It () 2.05

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Thanks to davmar for sharing this previously uncirculated soundboard on Dime.

SkipBattinThis entry is dedicated to Skip Battin
(February 18, 1934 – July 6, 2003)

Skip Battin died on the evening of July 6, 2003
of complications from Alzheimer’s disease

The Byrds – In The Studio (1965 – 1966)

FrontCover1This release on Capricorn Recordings appears to be a copy of Journals, Vol 9, a sort of Best Of from the ‘Journals’ mammoth 8-CD project.

Comprising alternate versions, false starts, and backing tracks of songs from The Byrds’ first three LPs, you’re not going to turn to this for casual listening. But as academic documents of major groups go, this is first-rate, with 70 minutes of music, sparkling sound, and a chance to hear the group polishing their material in the studio. No radically different takes or arrangements surface, but aficionados will be especially interested in the appearance of the backing track to “Stranger In A Strange Land,” a long-rumored Byrds original that had never even appeared on bootleg before. – AllMusic.com

Thanks to DrBanan for sharing the tracks on the net.

Excellent quality studio recordings (mostly backing tracks) from between January 1965 and May 1966

InTheStudio1965Personnel:
Gene Clark (tambourine, guitar, harmonica, vocals)
Michael Clarke (drums)
David Crosby (guitar, vocals)
Chris Hillman (bass, guitar, mandolin, vocals)
Roger McGuinn (guitar, banjo, vocals)

BackCoverTracklist:
01. Mr Tambourine Man [1, 2, 19, 20] (Dylan) 7.20
02. I Knew I’d Want You [1] (Clark) 2.12
03. It’s No Use [5, 6] (Clark/McGuinn) 3.28
04. The Bells Of Rhymney [1, 2] (Seeger/Davies) 4.35
05. I’ll Feel A Whole Lot Better [1, 2] (Clark) 4.40
06. It’s All Over Now, Baby Blue [2-4] (Dylan) 6.46
07. The World Turns All Around Her [14, 15] (Clark) 2.50
08. It’s All Over Now, Baby Blue [7] (Dylan) 0.45
09. It Won’t Be Wrong [5-8] (McGuinn/Gerst) 5.30
10. Satisfied Mind [17, 18] (Hayes/Rhodes) 3.14
11. Set You Free This Time [1-4, 18] (Clark) 4.19
12. Stranger In A Strange Land [1, 2, 9, 10] (Crosby) 8.20
13. Wait And See [23-26] (McGuinn/Crosby) 6.01
14. 5D (Fifth Dimension) [18-26] (McGuinn) 10.39

Note: Take numbers in brackets.

The Byrds live in Louisville, KY 1965

The Byrds live in Louisville, KY 1965

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The Byrds – Same (Reunion Album) (1973)

FrontCover1In 1972, Roger McGuinn’s final version of the Byrds unceremoniously broke up, but the following year the group briefly reunited — surprisingly enough, with the classic original lineup of McGuinn, Gene Clark, Michael Clarke, David Crosby, and Chris Hillman. However, if most of the participants meant for this to be anything more than a one-shot get-together, you couldn’t tell from listening to the resulting album; Byrds never sounds much like a Byrds album, absent McGuinn’s chiming 12-string guitar and the group’s striking harmonies (the Byrds’ twin aural calling cards). Much of the original material, especially David Crosby’s, sounds like cast-offs from their other projects. And what sort of a Byrds album features two Neil Young covers and not a single Bob Dylan tune? In all fairness, Byrds has its moments: Gene Clark’s “Full Circle” and “Changing Heart” are great songs from the group’s least-appreciated member, and McGuinn’s “Born to Rock ‘n’ Roll” is a top-notch rock anthem. But for the most part, Byrds sounds like a competent but unexciting country-rock band going through their paces, rather than the work of one of the best and most innovative American bands of the 1960s. (by Mark Deming)

Inlet1Personnel:
Gene Clark (guitar, harmonica, tambourine, vocals)
Michael Clarke (drums, congas, percussion)
David Crosby (guitar, vocals)
Chris Hillman (bass, guitar, mandolin, vocals)
Roger McGuinn (guitar, banjo, synthesizer, vocals)
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Johnny Barbata (drums on 07.)
Wilton Felder (electric bass on 07.)
Dallas Taylor (congas, tambourine)

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Tracklist:
01. Full Circle (G. Clark) 2.43
02. Sweet Mary (McGuinn/Levy) 2.55
03. Changing Heart (G. Clark) 2.42
04. For Free (Mitchell) 3.50
05. Born To Rock ‘n’ Roll (McGuinn) 3.12
06. Things Will Be Better (Hillman/Taylor) 2.13
07. Cowgirl In The Sand (Young) 3.24
08. Long Live The King (Crosby) 2.17
09. Borrowing Time (Hillman/Lala) 2.00
10. Laughing (Crosby) 5.38
11. (See the Sky) About To Rain (Young) 3.49

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