THE BYRDS - 'Mr Tambourine Man' (CBS BPG 62571) August 1965
It's been almost two years since I wrote about The Byrds on 'Flower Bomb Songs' which is quite a long time not to mention my favourite group of all time. I recently remastered my original mono copy of their debut album on CBS. The sleeve is thick, folded and laminated. They just don't or can't manufacture record sleeves like they did in the 60s. Accept no substitute!
Leader McGuinn says: "What I'm doing now is a continuation of my love for music. Superficially, the form may have changed slightly, but the essence is the same. In other words, the harmonies-fourths, fifths-are the same, as well as the kinds of rhythms that are used and the chord changes.
The instrumentation is changing somewhat to meet the nuclear expansion and the jet age. I used to like folk music, just straight folk music without electric guitar, drums and bass. I think that although the folk instruments are changing, it's still folk music. Actually, you can call it whatever you like."
Besides 'Mr Tambourine Man', the other Dylan tunes they do are 'All I Really Want To Do', 'Chimes Of Freedom' and 'Spanish Harlem Incident'. Lately, when they do 'Chimes' in a club, McGuinn announces "We'd like to dedicate this next song to Donovan."
'We'll Meet Again' they dedicate to Peter Sellers, Slim Pickens and Stanley Kubrick. 'The Bells Of Rhymney' is dedicated to Pete Seeger. Initially, you get a great shock hearing this song about a Welsh mine disaster being sung this way, as you watch a few dozen people doing the twistfrugwatusijerk and the endless nameless variations. But as soon as you see how right it is you see the words become the thoughts of people who would never have heard those words from any other source.
Jackie De Shannon wrote 'Don't Doubt Yourself, Babe'. Tunes on the album written by Gene Clark: 'I'll Feel A Whole Lot Better', 'Here Without You', 'I Knew I'd Want You' and in collaboration with Jim McGuinn: 'You Won't Have To Cry' and 'It's No Use'.
(Billy James - The Byrds National Fan Club, 1965)