The BYRDS – ” Mr Tambourine Man ” Classic Albums

Posted: November 20, 2017 in ALBUMS, MUSIC
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'Mr. Tambourine Man'

“Wow, man, you can even dance to that!” said Bob Dylan when he heard the Byrds‘ heavily harmonized, electric twelve-string treatments of his material. The Byrds‘ tender-but-tough debut defined folk rock with Pete Seeger and Dylan covers, Los Angeles studio savvy and punchy, ringing guitars. Its influence on generations of “jangly” rock and roll makes it one of the Sixties most visionary albums and while the Dylan songs got most of the ink, their originals (“I’ll Feel A Whole Lot Better”) were just as great.

Released in 1965, this highly influential folk-rock album was The Byrd’s first LP, and it remains my personal favourite next to the Notorious Byrd Brothers . Though, of course, not every song on it was actually released as a single, every one of them is a hit. This debut album features Jim (Roger) McGuinn, Gene Clark, David Crosby, Chris Hillman and Michael Clarke. The line-up of the Byrds changed regularly but some of these musicians also achieved success with other groups, too numerous to mention here. The style is generally described as folk-rock, but there is more to it than that.
The title track of this album was their first and biggest hit, going all the way to number one on both sides of the Atlantic.

The Byrds heavily covered tracks which were written by Bob Dylan throughout their recording career (in which they were able to bring their own special brand of harmony to one of the greatest song writing talents of all time), and four of them appear on here, including ‘Mr. Tambourine Man’, which both the British and American public took to the top of the charts, and the follow-up single: ‘All I Really Want to Do’, which peaked at no.4. It’s success was made all the more respectable when you consider that it was having to compete against another version by an up and coming girl singer known as Cher.

For me though, the album’s real highlight is an original: ‘I’ll Feel a Whole Lot Better’, written by the band’s founding member Gene Clark, and one of The Byrd’s greatest songs.

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