Byrds Play Dylan [2001]

The Byrds Play Dylan [2001]

by The Byrds
     
 

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He had the songs, they had the sound. Together they invented folk-rock, and the foundation of the genre can be found here in its glorious flowering and eventual fruition. The Byrds became both stars and rock icons with their 1965 recording of Bob Dylan's "Mr. Tambourine Man." Over the next six years, the band would record more of Dylan's

Overview

He had the songs, they had the sound. Together they invented folk-rock, and the foundation of the genre can be found here in its glorious flowering and eventual fruition. The Byrds became both stars and rock icons with their 1965 recording of Bob Dylan's "Mr. Tambourine Man." Over the next six years, the band would record more of Dylan's classic songs, all of which are collected in this historically significant compilation. Amazingly, the Byrds got the new sound down from the start; early interpretations of "Chimes of Freedom," "Lay Down Your Weary Tune," "Spanish Harlem Incident," and "All I Really Want to Do" perfectly mate Beatles-pop with Dylan's literate message, all carried along by Roger McGuinn's trademark 12-string guitar lines and the group's soaring vocal harmonies. Later renditions possess similar power, from the brilliant transformation of "My Back Pages" and the proto-country-rock kick of "You Ain't Going Nowhere" and "Nothing Was Delivered" to the rockish drive of "Positively 4th Street" and "This Wheel's on Fire." The Byrds certainly carved their own identity apart from Dylan, but the combination of the two consistently produced sonic gold.

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Richie Unterberger
The Byrds' unsurpassed ability, at least most of the time, to arrange and interpret Bob Dylan songs was but one facet of their greatness. Still, it was an important facet, and this 20-track collection of Dylan covers gathers most of the evidence in one place (though it doesn't have versions of "Mr. Tambourine Man" and "The Times They Are A-Changin'" from The Preflyte Sessions). There are 20 tracks, but that doesn't quite mean 20 Dylan songs; a number of these are represented by both a studio version and an alternate take or live performance, though fortunately the multiple readings are spaced far enough from each other to avoid undue redundancy. As far as the contents go, about half of a dozen of these cuts are undisputedly among the best Dylan covers ever, including "Mr. Tambourine Man," "All I Really Want to Do," "Chimes of Freedom," "My Back Pages," and "Spanish Harlem Incident." Most of the others are well done and satisfying at the least, though some aren't so hot, like "Lay Lady Lay" and "Just Like a Woman." It's strange that it's sequenced so that rather than leading off with their "Mr. Tambourine Man," the most important and famous recording in all of folk-rock, that cut appears sixth, but that's a small reservation. Nothing here is previously unreleased, though about half a dozen were not issued until long after they were recorded, on rarity compilations, the group's box set, and expanded CD editions of their original LPs. Those rarities, for the curious who might not have kept up with all those reissues, include an early studio version of "The Times They Are A-Changin'," live versions of "Chimes of Freedom" and "It's Alright Ma (I'm Only Bleeding)" from the late '60s and early '70s, the 1971 studio outtake "Just Like a Woman," the 1965 studio outtake "It's All Over Now, Baby Blue," an alternate take of "Lay Lady Lay," and a 1990 recording of "Paths of Victory" by a reunited version of the Byrds.
Rolling Stone - Mark Kemp
Lots of folks cover Bob Dylan, but nobody plays him like the Byrds did.... [Their] early symbiotic relationship with Dylan was integral to his becoming the poet laureate of popular music.

Product Details

Release Date:
02/01/2008
Label:
Sbme Special Mkts.
UPC:
0886972361222
catalogNumber:
723612
Rank:
22420

Related Subjects

Tracks

  1. All I Really Want to Do
  2. Chimes of Freedom
  3. It's All Over Now, Baby Blue
  4. Lay Down Your Weary Tune
  5. Lay Lady Lay
  6. Mr. Tambourine Man
  7. My Back Pages
  8. Nothing Was Delivered
  9. Postively 4th Street
  10. Spanish Harlem Incident
  11. The Times They Are A-Changin'
  12. This Wheel's on Fire
  13. You Ain't Goin' Nowhere
  14. It's Alright Ma (I'm Only Bleeding)
  15. Just Like a Woman
  16. Lay Lady Lay
  17. The Times They Are A-Changin'
  18. Mr. Tambourine Man
  19. Chimes of Freedom
  20. Paths of Victory

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