There Is a Season

There Is a Season

5.0 1
by The Byrds
     
 
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

Overview

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.

Editorial Reviews

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.

Product Details

Release Date:
09/26/2006
Label:
Sony
UPC:
0696998642423
catalogNumber:
986424
Rank:
199739

Related Subjects

Tracks

Disc 1

  1. The Only Girl I Adore
  2. Please Let Me Love You
  3. Don't Be Long
  4. The Airport Song
  5. You Movin'
  6. You Showed Me
  7. Mr. Tambourine Man
  8. I'll Feel a Whole Lot Better
  9. You Won't Have to Cry
  10. Here Without You
  11. The Bells of Rhymney
  12. All I Really Want to Do
  13. I Knew I'd Want You
  14. Chimes of Freedom
  15. She Has a Way
  16. It's All Over Now, Baby Blue
  17. Turn! Turn! Turn! (To Everything There Is a Season)
  18. It Won't Be Wrong
  19. Set You Free This Time
  20. The World Turns All Around Her
  21. The Day Walk
  22. If You're Gone
  23. The Times They Are A-Changin'
  24. She Don't Care About That
  25. Stranger in a Strange Land

Disc 2

  1. Eight Miles High
  2. Why
  3. 5D (Fifth Dimension)
  4. Wild Mountain Theme
  5. Mr. Spaceman
  6. I See You
  7. What's Happening?!?!
  8. I Know My Rider
  9. So You Want to Be a Rock 'N' Roll Star
  10. Have You Seen Her Face
  11. Renaissance Fair
  12. Time Between
  13. Everybody's Been Burned
  14. My Back Pages
  15. It Happens Each Day
  16. He Was a Friend of Mine
  17. Lady Friend
  18. Old John Robertson
  19. Goin' Back
  20. Draft Morning
  21. Wasn't Born to Follow
  22. Tribal Gathering
  23. Dolphin's Smile
  24. Triad
  25. Universal Mind Decoder

Disc 3

  1. You Ain't Goin' Nowhere
  2. I Am a Pilgrim
  3. The Christian Life
  4. You Don't Miss Your Water
  5. Hickory Wind
  6. One Hundred Years from Now
  7. Lazy Days
  8. Pretty Polly
  9. This Wheel's on Fire
  10. Drug Store Truck Drivin' Man
  11. Candy
  12. Child of the Universe
  13. Pretty Boy Floyd
  14. Buckaroo
  15. King Apathy III
  16. Sing Me Back Home
  17. Lay Lady Lay
  18. Oil in My Lamp
  19. Tulsa County
  20. Jesus Is Just Alright
  21. Chestnut Mare
  22. Just a Season
  23. Kathleen's Song
  24. All the Things

Disc 4

  1. Lover of the Bayou
  2. Positively 4th Street
  3. Old Blue
  4. It's Alright Ma (I'm Only Bleeding)
  5. Ballad of Easy Rider
  6. You All Look Alike
  7. Nashville West
  8. Willin'
  9. Black Mountain Rag
  10. Baby What You Want Me to Do
  11. I Trust
  12. Take a Whiff (On Me)
  13. Glory, Glory
  14. Byrdgrass
  15. Pale Blue
  16. I Wanna Grow Up to Be a Politician
  17. Nothin' to It
  18. Tiffany Queen
  19. Farther Along
  20. Bugler
  21. Mr. Tambourine Man
  22. Roll Over Beethoven
  23. Full Circle
  24. Changing Heart
  25. Paths of Victory

Disc 5

  1. Mr. Tambourine Man
  2. I'll Feel a Whole Lot Better
  3. All I Really Want to Do
  4. Turn! Turn! Turn! (To Everything There Is a Season)
  5. It Won't Be Wrong
  6. Set You Free This Time
  7. So You Want to Be a Rock 'N' Roll Star
  8. Mr. Tambourine Man
  9. Eight Miles High
  10. Mr. Spaceman

Album Credits

Performance Credits

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 H. 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
A. Reid Reynolds   Composer
J. "Superslim" Lomax   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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There Is a Season 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
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