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The Essential Byrds

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The Essential Byrds

Artist: Byrds (Recorded By)

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Label: Columbia/Legacy
Album: The Essential Byrds
# Song Title   Time
1)    Mr. Tambourine Man
2)    I'll Feel a Whole Lot Better
3)    All I Really Want to Do
4)    Chimes of Freedom
5)    Turn! Turn! Turn! (To Everything There Is a Season)
6)    She Don't Care About Time - (single version)
7)    It Won't Be Wrong
8)    Set You Free This Time
9)    He Was a Friend of Mine
10)    Eight Miles High
11)    5D (Fifth Dimension)
12)    Mr. Spaceman
13)    So You Want to Be a Rock & Roll Star
14)    Have You Seen Her Face
15)    Renaissance Fair
16)    My Back Pages
1)    Lady Friend
2)    Old John Robertson - (single version)
3)    Goin' Back
4)    Natural Harmony
5)    Wasn't Born to Follow
6)    You Ain't Going Nowhere
7)    Hickory Wind
8)    This Wheel's on Fire
9)    Drug Store Truck Drivin' Man
10)    Ballad of Easy Rider
11)    Jesus Is Just Alright
12)    Lover of the Bayou - (live)
13)    Chestnut Mare
14)    Glory, Glory
15)    I Wanna Grow Up to Be a Politician
16)    Tiffany Queen
17)    Farther Along

Performer Notes
  • The Byrds include: Roger McGuinn, David Crosby, Gram Parsons, Clarence White (vocals, guitar); Chris Hillman (vocals, bass); Gene Clark (vocals); Michael Clarke, Gene Parsons (drums).
  • Producers include: Terry Melcher, Allen Stanton, Gary Usher, Bob Johnston, Jim Dickson.
  • Compilation producer: Bob Irwin.
  • Recorded between 1965 & 1971. Includes liner notes by Alan Bisbort.
  • Adapter: Pat Seeger.
  • Recording information: 01/20/1965-07/25/1971.
  • Photographers: Guy Webster; Don Hunstein.
  • Unknown Contributor Roles: Chris Hillman; Clarence White; Kevin Kelley ; David Crosby; Gene Clark; Gram Parsons; John York; Michael Clarke ; Roger McGuinn; Skip Battin.
  • Arranger: C.C. White.
  • While the all-killer no-filler single-disc The Byrds' Greatest Hits remains the best distillation of their classic songs, The Essential Byrds is a smartly assembled double dose, including all 14 of the 1965-1967 tracks on Greatest Hits, but expanding its reach into their entire Columbia output, going as far as the early '70s. Inevitably, that means that disc two -- which goes, roughly, from mid-1967 to 1971 -- isn't as good as the first half, and that the last four tracks in particular are by far the least impressive, tagged on mostly so that the release spans the Byrds' entire Columbia catalog. That's a small reservation considering that the two-fer adds many first-rate songs not on Greatest Hits, from non-hit singles like "Lady Friend" and "Goin' Back" to standout album cuts like "Renaissance Fair," "Natural Harmony," "Jesus Is Just Alright," and "Chestnut Mare." There are no surprises here; even the songs that eluded inclusion on albums for many years, like the early B-side "She Don't Care About Time" and "Lady Friend," have been commonly available in the CD era. And it's true that this misses some other fine album tracks that could have stood with pride alongside those selected, like "I Knew I'd Want You," "John Riley," and "Dolphin's Smile." Within the confines of the two-CD format, though, it's a very well-chosen career overview. [The 2011 3.0 edition adds a third disc with six additional tracks: "Spanish Harlem Incident," "I Knew I'd Want You," "The World Turns All Around Her," "I See You," "Change Is Now," and "One Hundred Years from Now."] ~ Richie Unterberger

Professional Reviews
Uncut (p.126) - 5 stars out of 5 - "[T]he 44 tracks cover just about every important nook and cranny of The Byrds' illustrious career..."

Format:CD (0 Disc); Stereo
Country:United States
Studio/Live: Studio
Release Date:1 April, 2003
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