The Byrds

Ballad Of Easy RiderBallad Of Easy Rider
Chestnut MareUntitled
Eight Miles HighFifth Dimension
Goin' BackThe Notorious Byrd Brothers
He Was A Friend Of MineTurn! Turn! Turn!
I'll Feel A Whole Lot BetterMr. Tambourine Man
Mr. Tambourine ManMr. Tambourine Man
My Back PagesYounger Than Yesterday
She Don't Care About TimeTurn! Turn! Turn!/She Don't Care...
Wasn't Born To FollowThe Notorious Byrd Brothers

(Gene Clark, Roger McGuinn, Chris Hillman, Michael Clarke, David Crosby)



Byrds playlist



Contributor: Colin Duncan

I spent a long time playing every Byrds track to get to this final list. True! Have I done justice to The Byrds? I hope so. But I know there will be some other Byrdmaniax who would come up with a quite different list. Indeed, I came up with another list of ten, but Toppermost rules are ten only. I know I won’t please Gram Parsons’ fans, because I don’t include any track from Sweetheart Of The Rodeo, the album often credited as the first country rock album. Mr. Tambourine Man, the first record I owned, is a must. Still as fresh sounding as the first day I played it. If you’ve ever seen a Roger McGuinn concert, it’s great when he plays a Dylan version of Mr. Tambourine Man, then plays I Want To Hold Your Hand and shows how he came up with this new sounding version by combining the sounds.

This ability to do something different with a Dylan song was acknowledged by Dylan and I also have to include My Back Pages. I’m a great fan of Gene Clark, the Byrd who wouldn’t fly, and include the B sides of Mr. Tambourine Man and Turn! Turn! Turn! – I’ll Feel A Whole Lot Better and She Don’t Care About Time. Gene Clark is a great writer and for me I’ll Feel A Whole Lot Better might be the greatest Byrds’ song.

Two Goffin/King tracks, but I’ve got to include them. Goin’ Back is beautiful, perhaps the highpoint in Byrds playing together and Wasn’t Born To Follow illustrates Clarence White’s guitar playing and became part of the soundtrack for Easy Rider, whose stunning title track I also include. Eight Miles High, Chestnut Mare and He Was A Friend Of Mine show how talented and diverse a writer Roger McGuinn is, being able not only to write alone but with different people. Also, The Byrds could do something different in taking a traditional song such as He Was A Friend Of Mine to a higher, stunning level.

These Byrds could fly and hopefully the tracks listed here will last forever.


The Byrds wikipedia

The Byrds biography (Apple Music)

TopperPost #29

1 Comment

  1. Peter Viney
    Jul 26, 2013

    Excellent list, and if these were the only ten Byrds tracks I could have, I’d be content. But if I wanted to tweak it slightly, I might replace He Was A Friend Of Mine, and She Don’t Care About Time. I’d need something from Sweetheart Of The Rodeo, and Dr Byrds & Mr Hyde. I’d take any track from Sweetheart Of The Rodeo, but if only one, Nothing Is Delivered. Then Dr Byrds and Mr Hyde would be Drug Store Truck Driving Man. OK, This Wheel’s On Fire is a brilliant version, but there’s enough Dylan connection in the list already.
    Ah, but I couldn’t not have So You Want To Be A Rock & Roll Star (Younger Than Yesterday). I can’t see any to take out now. It’ll have to be eleven. According to Roger McGuinn the screaming is from a Byrds concert at Bournemouth Winter Gardens. According to those who attended, it couldn’t have been, as few were there and they went down badly. Other sources say it’s the BBC News film recording of The Beatles at Bournemouth Winter Gardens, which places my breathing somewhere on the soundtrack.
    At one time in the 70s, I’d have chosen the very long Eight Miles High live from Untitled, a whole side of the double LP, but my patience has decreased, and the length of the single is right.

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