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The Complete Columbia Albums Collection
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  • Personnel: Jim McGuinn (vocals, guitar, 12-string guitar, synthesizer); Gene Parsons (vocals, guitar, steel guitar, harmonica, drums); Roger McGuinn (vocals, guitar, banjo, synthesizer); Chris Hillman (vocals, guitar, mandolin); Skip Battin (vocals, piano); Kevin Kelly (vocals, drums); David Crosby, John York (vocals); John Hartford (guitar, banjo, fiddle); Lloyd Green, Sneaky Pete, Jay Dee Maness (steel guitar); Byron Berline (fiddle); Paul Polena (strings, reeds, horns); Larry Knechtel (piano, organ); Earl Ball (piano); Jon Corneal, Michael Clarke (drums); Jim Seiter (tambourine, percussion).
  • Additional personnel: Clarence White (vocals, guitar, electric guitar, mandolin); Gene Clark (vocals, harmonica, tambourine); Van Dyke Parks (vocals, harmonica); Vern Gosdin (acoustic guitar); Hugh Masekela (horns).
  • Liner Note Author: Johnny Rogan.
  • Photographer: Guy Webster.
  • The Byrds were one of the most progressive and exciting band in '60s rock, with no peers outside the Stones-Beatles-Beach Boys triumvirate. This box set, which collects their original Columbia albums, represents over 90-percent of their career, basically everything they released, all 12 albums (aside from their 1973 reunion album recorded for Asylum). This material was frequently astonishing at the time, and still is, ranging from their debut single "Mr. Tambourine Man" through the bracing folk-rock of their first two LPs, growing psychedelia and experimentation during 1966 and 1967, then a sudden detour into country-rock and mellow pop for the rest of the '60s. Whether early linchpins Gene Clark and David Crosby were a part of the lineup or not, the Byrds with Roger McGuinn at the helm always featured tuneful songwriting and accomplished musicianship, qualities which shine through brightly on this collection. Each album comes in a replica LP sleeve, and the package includes all the bonus tracks (plus the liner notes from Johnny Rogan) that were originally included with the mid-'90s expanded reissues; also included is the two-disc Sweetheart of the Rodeo expanded edition, with rehearsals and alternate takes. ~ John Bush
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