Thursday, April 30, 2009

The Byrds- Mr. Tambourine Man (1965)

Although they only attained the huge success of the Beatles, Rolling Stones, and the Beach Boys for a short time in the mid-'60s, time has judged the Byrds to be nearly as influential as those groups in the long run. They were not solely responsible for devising folk-rock, but they were certainly more responsible than any other single act (Dylan included) for melding the innovations and energy of the British Invasion with the best lyrical and musical elements of contemporary folk music. The jangling, 12-string guitar sound of leader Roger McGuinn's Rickenbacker was permanently absorbed into the vocabulary of rock. They also played a vital role in pioneering psychedelic rock and country-rock, the unifying element being their ... Read More...

1 Mr. Tambourine Man Dylan 2:21 2 I'll Feel a Whole Lot Better Clark 2:34 3 Spanish Harlem Incident Dylan 2:00 4 You Won't Have to Cry Clark, McGuinn 2:09 5 Here Without You Clark 2:38 6 The Bells of Rhymney Davies, Seeger 3:33 7 All I Really Want to Do Dylan 2:05 8 I Knew I'd Want You Clark 2:16 9 I'ts No Use Clark, McGuinn 2:25 10 Don't Doubt Yourself, Babe DeShannon 2:57 11 Chimes of Freedom Dylan 3:53 12 We'll Meet Again Charles, Parker 2:10
13 She Has a Way Clark 2:27 14 I'll Feel a Whole Lot Better Clark 2:30 15 It's No Use Clark, McGuinn 2:26 16 You Won't Have to Cry Clark, McGuinn 2:10 17 All I Really Want to Do Dylan 2:05 18 You and Me [instrumental] Clark, Crosby, McGuinn 2:12
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. [The CD reissue adds six less impressive (but still satisfying) bonus tracks and alternate takes from the same era.]
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