The Byrds: Original Singles A’s and B’s 1965 – 1971
Though they might be best known for their covers, The Byrds navigated a music path from folk to rock to psychedelia to country as reflected on their new two-disk collection, Original Singles A’s and B’s 1965 – 1971. The album contains a staggering 52 tracks including such well-known classics as “Mr. Tambourine Man” and “Turn! Turn! Turn!”as well as such lesser-known gems as “He Was A Friend Of Mine,” “Set You Free This Time,” and “Everybody’s Been Burned.”
They might be best known for their popular covers of Dylan tunes such as “My Back Pages” and “It’s All Over Now, Baby Blue,” but The Byrds proved they could write too with hits like “So You Want To Be A Rock ‘N’ Roll Star” and “I’ll Feel A Whole Lot Better.” But what might be most interesting about this collection is hearing their music develop and shift styles over time. The band evolved over the years with singer and guitarist Roger McGuinn remaining the only consistent member, as the lineup changed along with their sound at times featuring musicians such as David Crosby, Chris Hillman, and Gram Parsons. The 25 B sides are particularly interesting in another side of the band along with uncharacteristic A sides like: “Psychodrama City” and “What’s Happening?!?!,” which have a pronounced Grateful Dead feel and the Beatlesesque “She Don’t Care About Time.”
The collection is great in that it goes beyond the “jingle-jangle” harmonic hit songs and shows another side of this very influential band and their progression through the years.