There Is a Season

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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - David McGee
During their creative apex in the mid- and late '60s, the Byrds invented a new musical language by marrying strains of rock, folk, blues, and country. Throughout their near-decade of existence, they were a band of vision and inventiveness, gifted instrumentalists blessed with a dynamic, savvy leader in James Roger McGuinn -- and good luck in being in the right place at the right time -- all of which allowed them to make a towering contribution to American rock 'n' roll. The subject of one of the first box sets of the CD era now out of print, the Byrds are also the first to be honored with a second, newly conceived boxed overview. There Is a Season is a more thorough ...
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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - David McGee
During their creative apex in the mid- and late '60s, the Byrds invented a new musical language by marrying strains of rock, folk, blues, and country. Throughout their near-decade of existence, they were a band of vision and inventiveness, gifted instrumentalists blessed with a dynamic, savvy leader in James Roger McGuinn -- and good luck in being in the right place at the right time -- all of which allowed them to make a towering contribution to American rock 'n' roll. The subject of one of the first box sets of the CD era now out of print, the Byrds are also the first to be honored with a second, newly conceived boxed overview. There Is a Season is a more thorough document of the band's journey, with 99 cuts over four discs, comprehensive annotation, and an exquisite remastering job. Making it even more essential for even casual Byrds fans, the collection features a terrific DVD featuring eight TV appearances -- including one powerful live performance, of "I'll Feel a Whole Lot Better," that honors the late Gene Clark's vocal authority -- that are a kick to see again, even when the musicians are playing unplugged electric instruments and lip-synching. Beginning pre-Byrds, when the group went by the names the Jet Set and the Beefeaters and in the latter incarnation released one single on Elektra, which is included here, the four audio discs follow the Byrds' amazing history, from their 1965 breakout with "Mr. Tambourine Man" which brought Bob Dylan's songs into the pop mainstream well ahead of "Like a Rolling Stone" through the psychedelia of "5D Fifth Dimension" and "Universal Mind Decoder" and on through McGuinn's reinvention of the group as a country band on '68's Sweetheart of the Rodeo, when they prefigured the alt-country movement by a couple of decades or so and numbered Gram Parsons and progressive bluegrass pioneer Clarence White among their personnel. This was a natural evolution -- the country flavoring of the 1966 hit single, "Mr. Spaceman," illustrates that McGuinn was on to something. Disc 4 includes several live cuts from various shows in 1970 and 1973, but the real eye-opener is a live track on Disc 2, a haunting version of McGuinn's wrenching reflections on JFK's assassination, "He Was a Friend of Mine," from a 1967 Swedish radio broadcast. Even McGuinn has said that the Byrds were not a good live band, but the evidence here suggests otherwise. There Is a Season charts the artistic course of one of the era's most prescient groups, one whose impressive body of work still resonates with mind-expanding depth and soul. This box is one for the ages.
All Music Guide - Richie Unterberger
As there was a four-CD box set of the Byrds back in 1990, the point of putting out another four-CD Byrds box set about 15 years later wasn't all that clear, unless it was a mercenary exercise to get more mileage of the band's durable catalog. Yet appear this 2006 box set did, with many of the same tracks that had appeared on the 1990 Byrds box set, though there are some appreciable differences. The span of There Is a Season is a little wider, taking in some of the demos they recorded prior to the "Mr. Tambourine Man" single, and also fitting in a couple of Gene Clark songs from their 1973 reunion album. While all the hit singles and most of the group's most popular album tracks are on both sets, the secondary songs filling out the boxes vary, with There Is a Season putting out some material that wasn't officially issued until after the 1990 box set on expanded CD editions of their albums and Live at the Fillmore West February 1969. Conversely, the earlier box set has some LP cuts and obscurities that failed to make the cut for There Is a Season. Of course, There Is a Season does contain a lot of significant, and often great, folk-rock music; no package with 99 Byrds songs could fail to do that. As for what it offers the serious Byrds collector -- who's probably at least as apt to consider buying this as a general Byrds fan -- there isn't all that much. There are five previously unissued tracks, none of them extraordinary, including a 1967 Swedish radio version of "He Was a Friend of Mine," a couple live September 1970 Fillmore East performances, and a couple live cuts from February 1970. There are oddities from soundtracks and live compilation albums, including the Candy soundtrack version of "Child of the Universe," "Nothin' to It" done by the Byrds on the early-'70s album Earl Scruggs: His Family and Friends, and a couple live 1973 performances from the Banjoman movie. It's well-sequenced enough that it does give a solid sense of the band's growth and accomplishment through their folk-rock, psychedelic, and country-rock phases, though there's no getting around the fact that it starts to get steadily less exciting after it passes the halfway point. The big added attraction on There Is a Season is not on the CDs, but on the bonus DVD disc, which contains ten TV clips of the group from 1965-1967. All of these, mind you, are mimed and not live, but it's still a fun if brief, lasting just 26 minutes assortment of glimpses of the band in their most creative era on U.S., U.K., and Swedish programs. Even here, however, there could have been room for improvement, as there's some more interesting footage of the Byrds from this era, including their live set in the mid-'60s movie The Big TNT Show and versions of "Long Tall Sally" and "Not Fade Away" neither of which they released on record in any form. Is this nitpicking? Probably. But if you're going to lay out more than 50 dollars for an anthology that likely contains some or much material you already own, you have the right to make the point.
Rolling Stone - Gavin Edwards
The Byrds are still among the most underrated bands in rock history.

The Byrds are still among the most underrated bands in rock history.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 9/26/2006
  • Label: Sony
  • UPC: 696998642423
  • Catalog Number: 986424
  • Sales rank: 64,335


Disc 1
  1. 1 The Only Girl I Adore - The Jet Set (2:26)
  2. 2 Please Let Me Love You - The Beefeaters (2:23)
  3. 3 Don't Be Long - The Beefeaters (1:56)
  4. 4 The Airport Song (2:03)
  5. 5 You Movin' (2:08)
  6. 6 You Showed Me (2:04)
  7. 7 Mr. Tambourine Man (2:32)
  8. 8 I'll Feel a Whole Lot Better (2:34)
  9. 9 You Won't Have to Cry (2:10)
  10. 10 Here Without You (2:39)
  11. 11 The Bells of Rhymney (3:33)
  12. 12 All I Really Want to Do (2:05)
  13. 13 I Knew I'd Want You (2:17)
  14. 14 Chimes of Freedom (3:54)
  15. 15 She Has a Way (2:27)
  16. 16 It's All Over Now, Baby Blue (3:05)
  17. 17 Turn! Turn! Turn! (To Everything There Is a Season) (3:52)
  18. 18 It Won't Be Wrong (2:00)
  19. 19 Set You Free This Time (2:51)
  20. 20 The World Turns All Around Her (2:15)
  21. 21 The Day Walk (3:03)
  22. 22 If You're Gone (2:47)
  23. 23 The Times They Are A-Changin' (1:56)
  24. 24 She Don't Care About That (2:32)
  25. 25 Stranger in a Strange Land (3:03)
Disc 2
  1. 1 Eight Miles High (3:37)
  2. 2 Why (3:01)
  3. 3 5D (Fifth Dimension) (2:35)
  4. 4 Wild Mountain Theme (2:32)
  5. 5 Mr. Spaceman (2:12)
  6. 6 I See You (2:40)
  7. 7 What's Happening?!?! (2:37)
  8. 8 I Know My Rider (2:46)
  9. 9 So You Want to Be a Rock 'N' Roll Star (2:08)
  10. 10 Have You Seen Her Face (2:42)
  11. 11 Renaissance Fair (1:54)
  12. 12 Time Between (1:55)
  13. 13 Everybody's Been Burned (3:07)
  14. 14 My Back Pages (3:10)
  15. 15 It Happens Each Day (2:47)
  16. 16 He Was a Friend of Mine (2:39)
  17. 17 Lady Friend (2:33)
  18. 18 Old John Robertson (1:52)
  19. 19 Goin' Back (3:28)
  20. 20 Draft Morning (2:43)
  21. 21 Wasn't Born to Follow (2:04)
  22. 22 Tribal Gathering (2:04)
  23. 23 Dolphin's Smile (2:01)
  24. 24 Triad (3:31)
  25. 25 Universal Mind Decoder (3:27)
Disc 3
  1. 1 You Ain't Goin' Nowhere (2:35)
  2. 2 I Am a Pilgrim (3:39)
  3. 3 The Christian Life (2:29)
  4. 4 You Don't Miss Your Water (3:49)
  5. 5 Hickory Wind (3:32)
  6. 6 One Hundred Years from Now (2:53)
  7. 7 Lazy Days (3:18)
  8. 8 Pretty Polly (3:34)
  9. 9 This Wheel's on Fire (3:54)
  10. 10 Drug Store Truck Drivin' Man (3:54)
  11. 11 Candy (3:38)
  12. 12 Child of the Universe (3:11)
  13. 13 Pretty Boy Floyd (2:48)
  14. 14 Buckaroo (2:04)
  15. 15 King Apathy III (3:13)
  16. 16 Sing Me Back Home (3:05)
  17. 17 Lay Lady Lay (3:18)
  18. 18 Oil in My Lamp (2:03)
  19. 19 Tulsa County (2:48)
  20. 20 Jesus Is Just Alright (2:10)
  21. 21 Chestnut Mare (5:08)
  22. 22 Just a Season (3:52)
  23. 23 Kathleen's Song (2:39)
  24. 24 All the Things (4:56)
Disc 4
  1. 1 Lover of the Bayou (3:39)
  2. 2 Positively 4th Street (3:06)
  3. 3 Old Blue (3:30)
  4. 4 It's Alright Ma (I'm Only Bleeding) (2:52)
  5. 5 Ballad of Easy Rider (2:10)
  6. 6 You All Look Alike (3:08)
  7. 7 Nashville West (2:12)
  8. 8 Willin' (3:13)
  9. 9 Black Mountain Rag (1:19)
  10. 10 Baby What You Want Me to Do (3:48)
  11. 11 I Trust (4:03)
  12. 12 Take a Whiff (On Me) (2:56)
  13. 13 Glory, Glory (4:00)
  14. 14 Byrdgrass (1:44)
  15. 15 Pale Blue (2:23)
  16. 16 I Wanna Grow Up to Be a Politician (2:03)
  17. 17 Nothin' to It (1:39)
  18. 18 Tiffany Queen (2:42)
  19. 19 Farther Along (2:58)
  20. 20 Bugler (3:08)
  21. 21 Mr. Tambourine Man (2:59)
  22. 22 Roll Over Beethoven (3:02)
  23. 23 Full Circle (2:43)
  24. 24 Changing Heart (2:43)
  25. 25 Paths of Victory (3:10)
Disc 5
  1. 1 Mr. Tambourine Man
  2. 2 I'll Feel a Whole Lot Better
  3. 3 All I Really Want to Do
  4. 4 Turn! Turn! Turn! (To Everything There Is a Season)
  5. 5 It Won't Be Wrong
  6. 6 Set You Free This Time
  7. 7 So You Want to Be a Rock 'N' Roll Star
  8. 8 Mr. Tambourine Man
  9. 9 Eight Miles High
  10. 10 Mr. Spaceman
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Album Credits

Performance Credits
The Byrds Primary Artist
Earl Scruggs Banjo
Chris Hillman Mandolin, Bass Guitar
Gram Parsons Guitar, Keyboards, Vocals
Michael Clarke Drums
David Crosby Guitar, Vocals
Kevin Kelly Drums
Roger McGuinn Guitar, Vocals
Eric White Harmonica
Technical Credits
John Jackson Art Direction
Clarence White Composer
Chris Hillman Composer, Author
Pete Seeger Composer, Adaptation
Chuck Berry Composer
Gene Clark Composer, Author
Crosby & Nash Author
Bob Dylan Composer
Gram Parsons Composer
Tom Petty Liner Notes
Elvis Presley Composer
Gene Parsons Composer
Rick Danko Composer
Lloyd Green Author
David Crosby Composer
Jim Dickson Author
Jacques Levy Composer
Gary Louris Liner Notes
Roger McGuinn Composer, Liner Notes, Author
David Fricke Essay
Howard Fritzson Art Direction
Vic Anesini Mastering
A. Reid Reynolds Composer
J. "Superslim" Lomax III Composer
Harvey Gerst Composer
Traditional Composer
J.B. York Composer
C.B. White Arranger
W.L. Guthrie Composer
C.J. King Composer
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010


    This new set is lovely and lavish, easily worth 5 stars, but a more accurate title might be "The Johnny Rogan Box." Rogan, in his fine Byrds biography "Timeless Flight Revisited" (2001), came down pretty hard on the first (1990) boxed set. Compilers McGuinn & Irwin, apparently chastised, seem to have assembled this new collection with his remarks as guide. Rogan was especially upset that the first box offered a mere 6 Gene Clark songs, so this one near overdoses with 17. He suggested McGuinn had been stingy on Clark to make room for the later albums, so "Easy Rider," "Byrdmaniax" and "Farther Along" are trimmed to footnotes. He felt Crosby "would definitely" have preferred `What's Happening' over `Hey Joe,' so that switch is made here (tho Crosby opted for `Hey Joe' at Montery Pop '67). Rogan questioned the inclusion of all Dylan covers, so four are cut: the stellar `Spanish Harlem Incident,' plus "Nothing Was Delivered,' `Just Like A Woman,' and `Lay Down Your Weary Tune'. He preferred the single over album take of `All I Really Want To Do," and even that is here. Rogan thought the 1990 black box too "somber", so this one is fire engine red. The imaginative artwork sequence of the 4 jewel case covers he declared "tacky," so this set has none (the CDs attach to the inside box covers). He complained the 1990 book had "a dearth of colour photos", so the new book is awash with them - at the expense of hard information like discography, personnel, and track comments. But Rogan aside, there are other differences... "Seasons" casts a wider net than the 1990 box by including the "Preflyte" sessions, "Fillmore`69" (SF) album, 1973 "Byrds" reunion album, and others. Among the new things: Disk 4's `Tambourine Man' and `Roll Over Beethoven' are from the 1973 soundtrack for "Banjoman". `He Was A Friend of Mine' is live on Swedish radio, 1967. `Nothin' To It' is from "Earl Scruggs: His Family & Friends". `Byrdgrass' is the hidden track on expanded "Byrdmaniax" minus (unfortunately) some classic studio talk (Eric White asks McGuinn to "stick your foot out" to indicate the harmonica part). `Baby What You Want Me To Do' and `I Trust' are live from Fillmore East (NY), 1970. `You All Look Alike' and `Nashville West' are live at Queens College (as are `Willin'/'Black Mountain Rag', taken from the first box). `Lazy Days' is a new (but inferior) alternate take. `Pretty Polly' is the great alternate take on 2-disk "Legacy Sweetheart". `Child of the Universe' is the overdub from the "Candy" soundtrack, a nice surprise with horns that make it sound like something from the Beatles' "Sgt. Pepper" album. ERRORS: 'Kathleen's Song' is actually the "Byrdmaniax" track, not the "Expanded (Untitled)" alternate take as stated in the book. But since "Byrdmaniax" is now apparently dropped from the Legacy catalogue, it is good to have the original 'Kathleen' here. Another curious (apparent) mistake is the slamming door after 'Wasn't Born To Follow' the "Notorious" booklet says this is actually the start of that album's next track, 'Get To You' (where it represents rejection of the 1965 Byrds in England) . Six tracks are monaural singles : All I really Want To Do, Turn!Turn!Turn!/ She Don't Care About Time, Why, Lady Friend/ Old John Robertson. Disks 1 & 2 are a serious tour of the first 5 albums through "Notorious". Disks 3 & 4 spot check the remaining albums, with some generous (and welcome) stretches of the later Byrds in concert. The DVD has ten TV appearances by the 1965-67 Byrds (Performing: Mr. Tambourine Man, Feel A Whole Lot Better, All I Really Want To Do, Turn! Turn! Turn!, It Won't Be Wrong, Set You Free This Time, -- and with 4 Byrds -- So You W

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