My attempt to blog all of the entries from the book 1001 Albums to Hear Before You Die
Brief Background: Mr. Tambourine Man, the debut album from The Byrds, was recorded in early 1965 and released in the middle of that year. Session musicians were used for the song “Mr. Tambourine Man” and “I Knew I’d Want You”, which were recorded ahead of the album. The idea was that the band was so new they hadn’t yet had their parts down. By the time the rest of the album was recorded, they were thought to be competent enough.
What I think: The Hippies have arrived: As an outsider this album to me marks the beginning of the Hippie counterculture, and while the counterculture wasn’t anywhere neear fully formed idea, this sounds at least marks their birth. From here on things would never be the same….
I’ve always really enjoyed The Byrds and am kind of surprised that I never listened to this album. The big songs here “Mr. Tambourine Man”, “I’ll Feel A Whole Lot Better” and “All I Really Want to Do” (“Tambourine” and “All I Really Want to Do” are Dylan covers) are really the highlights of the album, but everything else isn’t far behind. Their version of Pete Seeger’s “The Bells of Rhymney” is splendid and the cover of “Chimes of Freedom” (another Dylan song) is strikingly beautiful. The one complaint I have for the album is that the sound doesn’t really vary from song to song, you get what they are good at… jangly twelve string guitar, tambourine and three part harmonies.
Do I agree or disagree with the writers as to this being an album you must listen to? There is no doubt this album should be here. It brought rock music back to America and influenced the rest of the music to come in the sixties and then made it’s mark in the seventies (Tom Petty) and the eighties (R.E.M., Bangles and many more).
Rating (Out of 5): 4.5
Amazon Review (Out of 5):4.5
Is this my first time hearing this album? Yes (46/61)
Percentage of Albums that are new to me: 75%