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The Byrds

It was a simple idea: take the folk song structure, wed it to a Beatle beat and count it off. That was the concept Jim McGuinn and Gene Clark were pursuing in clubs on the Sunset Strip when they met David Crosby. Together, these three young veterans of the folk scene recruited Chris Hillman and Michael Clarke to form one of the most influential rock bands of the Twentieth Century. While they began as an innovative folk-rock hybrid, their adventurous muse took them on many musical paths, creating raga rock and country rock along the way. With Jim, later Roger McGuinn as the constant, the group played on through many lineup shifts and left an indelible mark on popular music.

From the start, the Byrds were known for stellar songs, both those from their own pens as well as carefully chosen covers. Their debut single, a streamlined 4/4 version of Bob Dylan’s “Mr. Tambourine Man,” was a massive hit and a clarion call to the folk generation to move forward. Among those who answered the call was Dylan himself, who was soon expanding his artistic presentation beyond solo voice, acoustic guitar and harmonica to a full electric band approach. The Byrds’ distinctive instrumental sound, led by McGuinn’s chiming electric 12-string Rickenbacker guitar, provided a blueprint for countless groups and even influenced their mentors, the Beatles (listen to the slyly-titled “And Your Bird Can Sing” to hear the Liverpool lads’ tribute to the California combo). Vocally, the Byrds were a powerhouse, capable of multi-part harmony and possessing three distinctive lead vocalists in McGuinn, Clark and Crosby. Though they would soon split apart, the impact of the initial lineup’s big bang reverberates to this day.

What is truly remarkable about the Byrds is how readily they adapted to both personnel changes and the rapid musical evolution of the 1960s. Subsequent members Gram Parsons, Clarence White, Gene Parsons, Skip Battin and John York all brought new and vital elements to the band. The group was also tuned to outside sources, incorporating strains of Ravi Shankar’s sitar and John Coltrane’s saxophone in “Eight Miles High,” for example. They packed a lifetime of melodic innovation into a decade before moving on to new challenges. Sundazed is honored to present these seminal recordings, sourced from the original analog tapes, so that their singular music may live on.
Releases by this Artist:

Artist: The Byrds
Format: LP

Artist: The Byrds
Format: LP

Artist: The Byrds
Format: LP

Artist: The Byrds
Format: LP

Artist: The Byrds
Format: compact disc

Artist: The Byrds
Format: LP

Artist: The Byrds
Format: 7" (vinyl)

Artist: The Byrds
Format: 10" (vinyl)

Artist: The Byrds
Format: LP

Artist: The Byrds
Format: LP

Artist: The Byrds
Format: LP

Artist: The Byrds
Format: LP

Artist: The Byrds
Format: LP

Artist: The Byrds
Format: LP

Artist: The Byrds
Format: 7" (vinyl)

Artist: The Byrds
Format: compact disc

Artist: The Byrds
Format: LP

Artist: The Byrds
Format: 7" (vinyl)

Artist: The Byrds
Format: digital download

Artist: The Byrds
Format: digital download

Artist: The Byrds
Format: LP

Artist: The Byrds
Format: digital download

Artist: The Byrds
Format: digital download

Artist: The Byrds
Format: LP