Thursday, July 06, 2006

57. The Byrds - Mr. Tambourine Man (1965)

Track Listing

1. Mr Tambourine Man
2. I'll Feel A Whole Lot Better
3. Spanish Harlem Incident
4. You Won't Have To Cry
5. Here Without You
6. Bells Of Rhymney
7. All I Really Want To Do
8. I Knew I'd Want You
9. It's No Use
10. Don't Doubt Yourself Babe
11. Chimes Of Freedom
12. We'll Meet Again


This is a very fun album. The Byrds come up with the quintessential 60's sound of folk/rock while revolutionising the mean by having quite deep lyrics on what is essentially a rock album. They are essential not only in this but also in inspiring Mr. Dylan to go electric. He listened to the Byrds and though "hang-on, you can do rock and have good lyrics at the same time", the Byrds prove it in a sequence of Dylan covers, the most famous being the title track.

Other than its influence it is a very fun album to listen to. The sound is extremely full, almost Phil Spectorish in the "wall of sound" tradition, the harmonics are superb as well as the playing. The Byrds went on to write better music and make better albums but none was such a revelation as this one. Even the final track We'll Meet Again is brilliant stuff.

The Byrds sound like nothing else at the time. Their only fault is that at the first listen through they sound a bit samey and the songs are hard to tell apart. Only later as you start distinguishing the lyrics and chords of each song do you really start telling them apart and you realise that it is actually quite a diverse but cohesive album. Honestly, I really liked it, it's the hippiest thing to listen too in a summer afternoon.

Stream it from Napster or buy it from Amazon UK or US.

Track Highlights

1. Mr. Tambourine Man
2. We'll Meet Again
3. I'll Feel A Whole Lot Better
4. Here Without You

Final Grade



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From Wiki:

Mr. Tambourine Man is the debut album by the American folk-rock band, The Byrds. It peaked at #6 on the Billboard Top Pop Albums chart, staying on the charts for 38 weeks; it also went to #7 in Great Britain. The single of the same name, Bob Dylan's "Mr. Tambourine Man," had been released on April 12, 1965, and went to #1 on both the Billboard Hot 100 and in the UK; another single and Dylan cover from the album, "All I Really Want to Do," just made the Top 40, peaking at #40.

The single instantly established the band on both sides of the Atlantic, introducing the new folk-rock sub-genre into rock and roll which would quickly become America's answer to the British Invasion of 1964. The distinctive features of that single, the vocal harmonies of Gene Clark, Jim McGuinn, and David Crosby, along with McGuinn's embodiment of the "jingle-jangle" suggested by the lyrics on his twelve-string Rickenbacker guitar, became the signature sounds of the band during this early period.

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