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The Byrds [Box Set]

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The Byrds 10/23/1990

Review

When the four-CD Byrds set was first released in 1990, it was something of a landmark in Columbia Records' history on several counts. For starters, it was the first box set ever released by Columbia Records' pop division (as opposed to its jazz division) devoted to a noncurrent act (that is, they'd already issued boxes on Bob Dylan and Bruce Springsteen, but both of them were active artists), and there had been boxes of sorts on Miles Davis and some other jazz figures, but their place in music history was already a given, whereas the Byrds, to Columbia Records' management and a lot of mainstream critics and even most listeners not attuned to their history, were "nothing" but a defunct rock act. In a sense, this set was a long-overdue declaration of their importance, in addition to being the first good-sounding CD incarnation of their work ever to come from Columbia. For five years or more prior to that, listeners had been forced to endure poorly mastered, inadequate CDs of their work. It took this project, plus the work of a lot of people behind the scenes and an unending stream of complaints from consumers, to get the label to find the right source tapes and then treat them right in digitizing them. In the decade and a half since its release, the Byrds box has receded in obvious importance as the group's entire catalog was subsequently upgraded and many of the rarities and outtakes in this set appended as bonus tracks on those separate CDs of their albums. But it remains the best overview of their history ever assembled, despite a few minor flaws in its content. One suspects, for instance, that had Bob Irwin, who oversaw the later upgrading of the group's albums, been producing this box, there might be a few tracks predating the hit of "Mr. Tambourine Man," from the group's Elektra recordings (as "the Beefeaters"), or their demos as the Jet Set; and maybe the audio portion of their live set from The Big TNT Show or perhaps a track or two from the Monterey Pop Festival; and, conversely, two or three fewer tracks representing the Skip Battin/Gene Parsons lineup of the band. But strangely enough, along with British CBS' double-LP History of the Byrds and the more recent Essential Byrds, this four-disc set is one of only three attempts at doing a comprehensive history of the group, and it's still got all of the competition beat right out of the starting gate, and well worth owning. ~ Bruce Eder
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  1. # Track Artist Length
  2. 1 Mr. Tambourine Man The Byrds 2:15
  3. 2 I'll Feel a Whole Lot Better The Byrds 2:30
  4. 3 Chimes of Freedom The Byrds 3:49
  5. 4 She Has a Way The Byrds 2:28
  6. 5 All I Really Want to Do The Byrds 2:2
  7. 6 Spanish Harlem Incident The Byrds 1:56
  8. 7 The Bells of Rhymney The Byrds 3:30
  9. 8 It's All Over Now, Baby Blue The Byrds 2:54
  10. 9 She Don't Care About Time [Previously Unreleased][Alternate Take] The Byrds 2:29
  11. 10 Turn! Turn! Turn! (To Everything There Is a Season) The Byrds 3:51
  12. 11 It Won't Be Wrong The Byrds 1:56
  13. 12 Lay Down Your Weary Tune The Byrds 3:28
  14. 13 He Was a Friend of Mine The Byrds 2:8
  15. 14 The World Turns All Around Her The Byrds 2:13
  16. 15 The Day Walk (Never Before) The Byrds 2:59
  17. 16 The Times They Are A-Changin' [Cover] The Byrds 2:16
  18. 17 5D (Fifth Dimension) The Byrds 2:33
  19. 18 I Know My Rider The Byrds 2:42
  20. 19 Eight Miles High The Byrds 3:33
  21. 20 Why The Byrds 2:57
  22. 21 Psychodrama City The Byrds 3:20
  23. 22 I See You The Byrds 2:35
  24. 23 Hey Joe (Where You Gonna Go) The Byrds 2:23
  25. 1 Mr. Spaceman The Byrds 2:9
  26. 2 John Riley The Byrds 2:58
  27. 3 Roll over Beethoven The Byrds 2:10
  28. 4 So You Want to Be a Rock 'N' Roll Star The Byrds 2:3
  29. 5 Have You Seen Her Face The Byrds 2:41
  30. 6 My Back Pages The Byrds 3:5
  31. 7 Time Between The Byrds 1:53
  32. 8 It Happens Each Day The Byrds 2:42
  33. 9 Renaissance Fair The Byrds 1:51
  34. 10 Everybody's Been Burned The Byrds 3:5
  35. 11 The Girl with No Name The Byrds 1:48
  36. 12 Triad The Byrds 3:28
  37. 13 Lady Friend The Byrds 2:34
  38. 14 Old John Robertson [45 Version] The Byrds 1:49
  39. 15 Goin' Back [LP Version] The Byrds 3:25
  40. 16 Draft Morning The Byrds 2:37
  41. 17 Wasn't Born to Follow The Byrds 2:2
  42. 18 Dolphin's Smile The Byrds 1:57
  43. 19 Reputation [Cover] The Byrds 3:6
  44. 20 You Ain't Going Nowhere [Cover] The Byrds 2:33
  45. 21 The Christian Life [Cover] The Byrds 2:27
  46. 22 I Am a Pilgrim The Byrds 3:37
  47. 23 Pretty Boy Floyd [Cover] The Byrds 2:33
  48. 24 You Don't Miss Your Water [Cover] The Byrds 3:47
  49. 1 Hickory Wind The Byrds 3:29
  50. 2 Nothing Was Delivered [Cover] The Byrds 3:21
  51. 3 One Hundred Years from Now The Byrds 2:52
  52. 4 Pretty Polly The Byrds 2:50
  53. 5 Lazy Days The Byrds 3:25
  54. 6 This Wheel's on Fire The Byrds 4:39
  55. 7 Nashville West The Byrds 2:27
  56. 8 Old Blue The Byrds 3:21
  57. 9 Drug Store Truck Drivin' Man The Byrds 3:50
  58. 10 Bad Night at the Whiskey The Byrds 3:20
  59. 11 Lay Lady Lay The Byrds 3:16
  60. 12 Mae Jean Goes to Hollywood The Byrds 2:41
  61. 13 The Ballad of Easy Rider The Byrds 2:1
  62. 14 Oil in My Lamp The Byrds 2:1
  63. 15 Jesus Is Just Alright The Byrds 2:8
  64. 16 Way Beyond the Sun The Byrds 2:55
  65. 17 Tulsa County The Byrds 2:46
  66. 18 Deportee (Plane Wreck at Los Gatos) The Byrds 3:48
  67. 19 Lover of the Bayou The Byrds 4:25
  68. 20 Willin' The Byrds 3:14
  69. 21 Black Mountain Rag (Soldier's Joy) The Byrds 1:12
  70. 22 Positively 4th Street The Byrds 3:4
  71. 1 Chestnut Mare The Byrds 5:5
  72. 2 Just a Season The Byrds 3:49
  73. 3 Kathleen's Song The Byrds 2:34
  74. 4 Truck Stop Girl The Byrds 3:18
  75. 5 Just Like a Woman The Byrds 3:57
  76. 6 Stanley's Song The Byrds 3:10
  77. 7 Glory, Glory The Byrds 3:57
  78. 8 I Trust The Byrds 3:17
  79. 9 I Wanna Grow Up to Be a Politician The Byrds 2:1
  80. 10 Green Apple Quick Step The Byrds 1:45
  81. 11 Tiffany Queen The Byrds 2:39
  82. 12 Bugler The Byrds 3:4
  83. 13 Lazy Waters The Byrds 3:31
  84. 14 Farther Along The Byrds 2:56
  85. 15 White's Lightning The Byrds 2:33
  86. 16 Turn! Turn! Turn! (To Everything There Is a Season) The Byrds 3:50
  87. 17 Mr. Tambourine Man The Byrds 5:23
  88. 18 He Was a Friend of Mine The Byrds 2:26
  89. 19 Paths of Victory The Byrds 3:7
  90. 20 From a Distance The Byrds 3:12
  91. 21 Love That Never Dies The Byrds 3:52

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