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There Is a Season

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The Byrds 9/26/2006

Review

As there was a four-CD box set of the Byrds back in 1990, the point of putting out another four-CD Byrds box set about 15 years later wasn't all that clear, unless it was a mercenary exercise to get more mileage of the band's durable catalog. Yet appear this 2006 box set did, with many of the same tracks that had appeared on the 1990 Byrds box set, though there are some appreciable differences. The span of There Is a Season is a little wider, taking in some of the demos they recorded prior to the "Mr. Tambourine Man" single, and also fitting in a couple of Gene Clark songs from their 1973 reunion album. While all the hit singles and most of the group's most popular album tracks are on both sets, the secondary songs filling out the boxes vary, with There Is a Season putting out some material that wasn't officially issued until after the 1990 box set (on expanded CD editions of their albums and Live at the Fillmore West February 1969). Conversely, the earlier box set has some LP cuts and obscurities that failed to make the cut for There Is a Season. Of course, There Is a Season does contain a lot of significant, and often great, folk-rock music; no package with 99 Byrds songs could fail to do that. As for what it offers the serious Byrds collector -- who's probably at least as apt to consider buying this as a general Byrds fan -- there isn't all that much. There are five previously unissued tracks, none of them extraordinary, including a 1967 Swedish radio version of "He Was a Friend of Mine," a couple live September 1970 Fillmore East performances, and a couple live cuts from February 1970. There are oddities from soundtracks and live compilation albums, including the Candy soundtrack version of "Child of the Universe," "Nothin' to It" (done by the Byrds on the early-'70s album Earl Scruggs: His Family and Friends), and a couple live 1973 performances from the Banjoman movie. It's well-sequenced enough that it does give a solid sense of the band's growth and accomplishment through their folk-rock, psychedelic, and country-rock phases, though there's no getting around the fact that it starts to get steadily less exciting after it passes the halfway point. The big added attraction on There Is a Season is not on the CDs, but on the bonus DVD disc, which contains ten TV clips of the group from 1965-1967. All of these, mind you, are mimed and not live, but it's still a fun (if brief, lasting just 26 minutes) assortment of glimpses of the band in their most creative era on U.S., U.K., and Swedish programs. Even here, however, there could have been room for improvement, as there's some more interesting footage of the Byrds from this era, including their live set in the mid-'60s movie The Big TNT Show and versions of "Long Tall Sally" and "Not Fade Away" (neither of which they released on record in any form). Is this nitpicking? Probably. But if you're going to lay out more than 50 dollars for an anthology that likely contains some or much material you already own, you have the right to make the point. ~ Richie Unterberger
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  1. # Track Artist Length
  2. 1 The Only Girl I Adore The Byrds 2:24
  3. 2 Please Let Me Love You The Byrds 2:23
  4. 3 Don't Be Long The Byrds 1:54
  5. 4 The Airport Song The Byrds 2:1
  6. 5 You Movin' The Byrds 2:6
  7. 6 You Showed Me The Byrds 2:2
  8. 7 Mr. Tambourine Man The Byrds 2:30
  9. 8 I'll Feel a Whole Lot Better The Byrds 2:32
  10. 9 You Won't Have to Cry The Byrds 2:8
  11. 10 Here Without You The Byrds 2:36
  12. 11 The Bells of Rhymney The Byrds 3:29
  13. 12 All I Really Want to Do [Single Version] The Byrds 2:2
  14. 13 I Knew I'd Want You The Byrds 2:15
  15. 14 Chimes of Freedom The Byrds 3:51
  16. 15 She Has a Way The Byrds 2:25
  17. 16 It's All Over Now, Baby Blue The Byrds 3:3
  18. 17 Turn! Turn! Turn! (To Everything There Is a Season) The Byrds 3:49
  19. 18 It Won't Be Wrong The Byrds 1:58
  20. 19 Set You Free This Time The Byrds 2:49
  21. 20 The World Turns All Around Her The Byrds 2:12
  22. 21 The Day Walk (Never Before) The Byrds 3:0
  23. 22 If You're Gone The Byrds 2:45
  24. 23 The Times They Are A-Changin' [Withdrawn Version] The Byrds 1:54
  25. 24 She Don't Care About Time [Single Version] The Byrds 2:29
  26. 25 Stranger in a Strange Land [Instrumental] The Byrds 3:4
  27. 1 Eight Miles High The Byrds 3:34
  28. 2 Why [Single Version] The Byrds 2:58
  29. 3 5D (Fifth Dimension) The Byrds 2:33
  30. 4 Wild Mountain Thyme The Byrds 2:30
  31. 5 Mr. Spaceman The Byrds 2:9
  32. 6 I See You The Byrds 2:38
  33. 7 What's Happening?!?! The Byrds 2:35
  34. 8 I Know My Rider The Byrds 2:43
  35. 9 So You Want to Be a Rock 'N' Roll Star The Byrds 2:5
  36. 10 Have You Seen Her Face The Byrds 2:39
  37. 11 Renaissance Fair The Byrds 1:52
  38. 12 Time Between The Byrds 1:53
  39. 13 Everybody's Been Burned The Byrds 3:3
  40. 14 My Back Pages The Byrds 3:8
  41. 15 It Happens Each Day The Byrds 2:44
  42. 16 He Was a Friend of Mine The Byrds 2:36
  43. 17 Lady Friend The Byrds 2:30
  44. 18 Old John Robertson [Single Version] The Byrds 1:50
  45. 19 Goin' Back The Byrds 3:26
  46. 20 Draft Morning The Byrds 2:43
  47. 21 Wasn't Born to Follow The Byrds 2:4
  48. 22 Tribal Gathering The Byrds 2:4
  49. 23 Dolphin's Smile The Byrds 1:59
  50. 24 Triad The Byrds 3:29
  51. 25 Universal Mind Decoder [Instrumental] The Byrds 3:27
  52. 1 You Ain't Going Nowhere The Byrds 2:33
  53. 2 I Am a Pilgrim The Byrds 3:40
  54. 3 The Christian Life [Gram Parsons Vocal Version][Cover] The Byrds 2:29
  55. 4 You Don't Miss Your Water [Cover][Gram Parsons Vocal Version] The Byrds 3:49
  56. 5 Hickory Wind The Byrds 3:32
  57. 6 One Hundred Years from Now [Gram Parsons Vocal Version] The Byrds 2:52
  58. 7 Lazy Days [Alternate Take][Alternate Version] The Byrds 3:16
  59. 8 Pretty Polly [Alternate Take][Alternate Version] The Byrds 3:33
  60. 9 This Wheel's on Fire [Alternate Take][Alternate Version] The Byrds 3:53
  61. 10 Drug Store Truck Drivin' Man The Byrds 3:54
  62. 11 Candy The Byrds 3:38
  63. 12 Child of the Universe [Candy Soundtrack Version] The Byrds 3:11
  64. 13 Pretty Boy Floyd [Cover] The Byrds 2:48
  65. 14 Buckaroo [Instrumental] The Byrds 2:5
  66. 15 King Apathy III The Byrds 3:14
  67. 16 Sing Me Back Home The Byrds 3:4
  68. 17 Lay Lady Lay [Alternate Version][Alternate Take] The Byrds 3:18
  69. 18 Oil in My Lamp [Alternate Version][Alternate Take] The Byrds 2:3
  70. 19 Tulsa County The Byrds 2:48
  71. 20 Jesus Is Just Alright The Byrds 2:8
  72. 21 Chestnut Mare The Byrds 5:6
  73. 22 Just a Season The Byrds 3:52
  74. 23 Kathleen's Song [Alternate Take][Alternate Version] The Byrds 2:40
  75. 24 All the Things [Alternate Take][Alternate Version] The Byrds 4:57
  76. 1 Lover of the Bayou The Byrds 3:39
  77. 2 Positively 4th Street The Byrds 3:7
  78. 3 Old Blue The Byrds 3:30
  79. 4 It's Alright Ma (I'm Only Bleeding) The Byrds 2:53
  80. 5 Ballad of Easy Rider The Byrds 2:11
  81. 6 You All Look Alike The Byrds 3:8
  82. 7 Nashville West [Instrumental] The Byrds 2:12
  83. 8 Willin' The Byrds 3:13
  84. 9 Black Mountain Rag (Soldier's Joy) [Instrumental] The Byrds 1:18
  85. 10 Baby, What You Want Me to Do The Byrds 3:48
  86. 11 I Trust The Byrds 4:4
  87. 12 Take a Whiff on Me The Byrds 2:54
  88. 13 Glory, Glory The Byrds 4:1
  89. 14 Byrdgrass [Instrumental] The Byrds 1:42
  90. 15 Pale Blue The Byrds 2:21
  91. 16 I Wanna Grow Up to Be a Politician The Byrds 2:3
  92. 17 Nothin' to It [Instrumental] The Byrds 1:38
  93. 18 Tiffany Queen The Byrds 2:40
  94. 19 Farther Along The Byrds 2:57
  95. 20 Bugler The Byrds 3:6
  96. 21 Mr. Tambourine Man [Banjoman Soundtrack Version] The Byrds 2:59
  97. 22 Roll Over Beethoven [Banjoman Soundtrack Version] The Byrds 3:2
  98. 23 Full Circle The Byrds 2:43
  99. 24 Changing Heart The Byrds 2:43
  100. 25 Paths of Victory The Byrds 3:10
  101. 1 Mr. Tambourine Man [DVD] The Byrds null:null
  102. 2 I'll Feel a Whole Lot Better [DVD] The Byrds null:null
  103. 3 All I Really Want to Do [DVD] The Byrds null:null
  104. 4 Turn! Turn! Turn! (To Everything There Is a Season) [DVD] The Byrds null:null
  105. 5 It Won't Be Wrong [DVD] The Byrds null:null
  106. 6 Set You Free This Time [DVD] The Byrds null:null
  107. 7 So You Want to Be a Rock 'N' Roll Star [DVD] The Byrds null:null
  108. 8 Mr. Tambourine Man [DVD] The Byrds null:null
  109. 9 Eight Miles High [DVD] The Byrds null:null
  110. 10 Mr. Spaceman [DVD] The Byrds null:null

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