Mr. Tambourine Man (Reissue Edition with Bonus Tracks)
Inspired by the Beatles to pick up electric instruments, and fueled with the poetic visions of Bob Dylan, the Byrds were among the most inventive and influential groups of the 1960s, adding Los Angeles to the British Invasion and becoming the face of “folk-rock,” a term not always embraced by the people to which it applied. With three strong singers in Roger McGuinn, David Crosby and Gene Clark, the group added gorgeous counterpart harmonies to the simple, elegant melodies that reflected ageless folk songs and Beatlesque pop. The Bob Dylan penned title track slimmed down to one verse and given its signature 12-string guitar riff convinced the world it was OK that Dylan also went electric, and the band’s continued exploration of his catalog (“Spanish Harlem Incident,” “Chimes of Freedom,” “All I Really Want to Do”) further blurred the lines between folk and rock until the two were inseparable. Gene Clark’s “I’ll Feel A Whole Lot Better,” “Here Without You” and “I Knew I’d Want You” established him as the band’s chief writer. The deluxe edition includes several alternate versions that while not superior to the released takes, offer intriguing variations on well-known themes.