Columbia CK 9516
1. Mr. Tambourine Man
2. I’ll Feel A Whole Lot Better
3. The Bells of Rhymney
(I. Davies / P. Seeger)
4. Turn! Turn! Turn!
(Words from the Book of Ecclesiastes – Adaptation
and Music by Pete Seeger)
5. All I Really Want To Do
6. Chimes of Freedom
Songs 1-6 Produced by Terry Melcher
7. Eight Miles High
(G. Clark / J. McGuinn / D. Crosby)
8. Mr. Spaceman
9. 5 D (Fifth Dimension)
Songs 7-9 Produced by Allen Stanton
10. So You Want To Be A Rock ‘N’ Roll Star
(J. McGuinn / C. Hillman)
11. My Back Pages
Songs 10-11 Produced by Gary Usher
Notes taken from the original analog release
Digitally remastered for compact disc by Frank Decker.
Things are happening so incredibly fast.
Was it really three or four generations ago that The Byrds came along and helped turn the whole pop music scene around? Were they conservative then? Or now? Whatever, their thing was beautiful and heavy and will be as it is. Lasting. There will be this big nostalgia binge, and because so many people were part of what happened, and because they were an overwhelming part of a larger renaissance, the Byrds will be revered. It is too early for that now because the Byrds are still happening and very, very valuable. But it is good to be nostalgic, and necessary to find ones rung and so much good was the start of so many better things happening and about to happen. So why not?
They were five where they are now four, and all of West Coast hippidom, which is to say Los Angeles because San Francisco was yet to become as it is, was catalyzed by their sound. The Byrds brought them down from their canyon hideouts, in from their beach shelters, from Big Sur camps – and Mexican communes, down from Sierra and Mojave anonymities, to dance and be together and realize how strong their numbers were. They came in rags and velvet, leather and denim, on foot and motorcycle and in Rolls, boots and chains and moccasins, and the L.A. press was exasperated and delighted.
The Byrds played loud, but with beauty and transcendent smoothness. The dance floor at Ciro’s was jammed. Thousand showed up at the Palladium where an enormous caricature of Lawrence Welk slowly waving a giant baton greeted everyone and the rent-a-cops wondered how everyone could be so happy and have such fun on Coca-Cola and lemonade.
McGuinn made someone a lot of money by wearing those funny looking Ben Franklin glasses; a wonderfully gentle, thoroughly human man named Derek Taylor began to gather a new circle of friends and admirers with his logical perspective on the nonsense swirling around them, and the Beatles were quoted as saying their favorite American group was The Byrds; Dylan got onstage with them at Ciro’s to blow his harp straight into the dancing melee below as David Crosby smiled benignly at the whole scene; “Mr. Tambourine Man” made number one. Then there was the first album and a not-so-successful trip to England. The Byrds were there.
Someone in the label department at “Billboard” worked overtime to come up with the term folk-rock so that everyone would know what was going down in case they didn’t want to think about it too much. And it stuck because no one ever had the time to try to change the words or pose an organized “Why?” There was just too much else important happening.
Off the hot streets of Los Angeles, even as other revolutions were finally gaining notice a few miles south in Watts, they would scatter themselves in a darken studio and bend to the task of reaching into millions of homes, cars, dormitories, coffee shops, bars, bordellos, prisons, camps, insane asylums – minds.
Lots, some because of folks like the Byrds, has gone down since. With them and with us. The disc herein, if you let it, will tell you a great deal. About the Byrds, about changes, about yourself. You ought to realize that the Byrds and what they have to say mean a great deal to you.
Sometimes things happen so fast that we lose track of what is really the most valuable.
– Dave Swaney