The Byrds
Mr. Tambourine Man


4.5
superb

Review

by Atari CONTRIBUTOR (110 Reviews)
April 30th, 2014 | 19 replies


Release Date: 1965 | Tracklist

Review Summary: The Byrds kick off their career with one of the most fundamental and influential albums of the '60s.

Back in 1964, a very special band was formed out of Los Angeles by the name of The Byrds; a band whose importance in music remains undeniable to this day. Although their main inspirations were The Beatles and Bob Dylan, their decision to mix traditional folk with rock music was unheard of at the time and would go on to influence countless bands for years to come. However, it’s not just their impact on music that makes them significant, it’s their genuine talent and charm.

There’s just something instantly likeable about The Byrds. The band’s subtle, yet alluring vocal harmonies add the extra charisma to their folk-rock sound; factor in Gene Clark’s knack for songwriting and you have quite the winning crowd pleaser. Although Bob Dylan is partially responsible for the album’s success (he wrote three of the songs including the title track), The Byrd’s also wrote original material that was quite substantial in its own right. The second track ‘I’ll Feel a Whole Lot Better’ was written by Clark and is a prime example of the band’s appeal to the masses --the jangly 12-string guitar tones and sing-along choruses being prevalent throughout.

However, it’s also worth mentioning their first single, ‘Mr. Tambourine Man’ and the impact it had on the band’s success. After the song reached number one on the charts it launched them into a successful career that would spawn some of the most impressive albums of the ‘60s. And even though “Mr. Tambourine Man” isn’t The Byrds’ most experimental album, its seamless blend of folk and rock is like candy to the ears. Due to the fantastic vocal tradeoffs of Clark, McGuinn, and Crosby, each song feels like a home run as they completely kill it behind the microphone. Some songs have a much softer vocal style, while others sound strikingly similar to Bob Dylan. Either way, they manage to hit all the right notes on their impressively consistent debut.

Whether you’re a rock junkie or folk is your usual cup of tea, you really can’t go wrong with “Mr. Tambourine Man”. Its influence on music is inescapable and it has aged like the finest of wines. What listener’s will find here are twelve tracks with no shortage of witty lyricism or complex vocal harmonies. So sit back in your favorite chair, kick up your tired feet, and prepare to be transfixed by an album that had a huge role in the creation of folk rock. A true ‘60s essential.



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user ratings (99)
Chart.
4
excellent

Comments:Add a Comment 
Atari
Contributing Reviewer
April 30th 2014


20063 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

couldn't believe this didn't have a review, one of my favorite '60s bands.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pj8ZxlcBuEU (full album stream)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=to-RVV_3anw (I'll Feel A Whole Lot Better}

Digging: Trophy Eyes - Mend, Move On

TheSpaceMan
April 30th 2014


2611 Comments


this is a really well written and enthusiastic review man, nice job. I've never looked into these guys
before but I should listen to this

KILL
April 30th 2014


72082 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

fuck yea been really into the byrds lately, more the later 60s stuff but this is sweet too, great review too

Digging: Steve Hackett - Out of the Tunnel's Mouth

Atari
Contributing Reviewer
April 30th 2014


20063 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

@SpaceMan, thank you sir. If you check them out you'll have to let me know what you think!

Cheers KILL. What's your favorite album by them?

wabbit
April 30th 2014


7020 Comments


nice review


never listened to these guys / where's the best place to start?

Atari
Contributing Reviewer
April 30th 2014


20063 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

thanks man, honestly this is a great album to start with for this band. I'd be surprised if you didn't dig it

manosg
April 30th 2014


6498 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Glad to see The Byrds on the front page; one of those bands that flourished in the 60s but disappeared in the 70s.

Great review man, flows very naturally.

Digging: Monster Magnet - Milking The Stars

wabbit
April 30th 2014


7020 Comments


this is so lovely [7]



Atari
Contributing Reviewer
April 30th 2014


20063 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

cheers manosg :] yeah this is a lovely album indeed

menawati
Contributing Reviewer
April 30th 2014


16112 Comments


hell yes Byrds

Digging: H.P. Lovecraft - H.P. Lovecraft II

Atari
Contributing Reviewer
May 1st 2014


20063 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Site needs more love of the '60s!

TheSpaceMan
May 1st 2014


2611 Comments


60s had some sexy jams, rivals the best of the 70s to a point where I cant even pick a preference between the two decades... it just boils down to whether I perfer psych or prog and I cant decide on that either lol

KILL
May 1st 2014


72082 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Cheers KILL. What's your favorite album by them?

definitely younger than yesterday atm, so many jams

Atari
Contributing Reviewer
May 1st 2014


20063 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Sweet. I liked that one but need to spin it again soon. The notorious byrd brothers is pretty great too

thelastsignal
May 6th 2014


1499 Comments


Nice review, man. I don't anything about these guys, but it sounds pretty cool. I will have to check it out at some point, although I haven't listened to much older stuff since my childhood.

Digging: Achilles - Hospice

Atari
Contributing Reviewer
May 6th 2014


20063 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

thanks for taking the time to read it man! A lot of these 60s bands don't get enough attention around these parts

Dunwich
June 3rd 2014


494 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0 | Sound Off

God damn it, how could this review slip through without me knowing? Great job Atari, hats off. The Byrds, man. People tend to forget just how great, brilliant and influental these guys are.

Atari
Contributing Reviewer
June 3rd 2014


20063 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

haha thanks man i appreciate it! And I agree they were extremely influential but sadly a lot of people on this site overlook them. Awesome debut

KILL
June 18th 2014


72082 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

band never fails to lift my spirits!

when ur gooooooooone



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