The story

“Mr. Tambourine Man” is released, and the folk-rock revolution is on


Released on June 21, 1965, the Byrds’ debut album, Mr. Tambourine Man, marked the beginning of the folk-rock revolution. In just a few months, the Byrds had become a household name, with a #1 single and a smash-hit album that married the ringing guitars and backbeat of the British Invasion with the harmonies and lyrical depth of folk to create an entirely new sound.

Perhaps someone else could have listened to the bright guitar lines of the Beatles’ “Ticket To Ride” and to Bob Dylan’s original “Mr. Tambourine Man” and had the idea of somehow combining the two, but neither of those recordings existed when the Byrds’ Roger McGuinn devised his group’s new sound. Newly signed to Columbia Records, the Byrds had access to an early demo version of “Mr. Tambourine Man” even before their label-mate Bob Dylan had had a chance to record it for his own upcoming album. On January 20, 1965, they entered the studio to record what would become the title track of their debut album and, incidentally, the only Bob Dylan song ever to reach #1 on the U.S. pop charts. Aiming consciously for a vocal style in between Dylan’s and Lennon’s, McGuinn sang lead, with Gene Clark and David Crosby providing the complex harmony that would, along with McGuinn’s jangly electric 12-string Rickenbacker guitar, form the basis of the Byrds’ trademark sound.

That sound, which would influence countless groups from Big Star to the Bangles in decades to come, had an immediate and profound impact on the Byrds’ contemporaries, and even on the artists who’d inspired it in the first place. “Wow, man, you can even dance to that!” was Bob Dylan’s reaction to hearing what the Byrds’ had done with “Mr. Tambourine Man.” Just days before the hugely influential album of the same name was released to the public on June 21, 1965, Dylan himself would be in a New York recording studio with an electric guitar in his hands, putting the finishing touches on “Like A Rolling Stone” and setting the stage for his controversial “Dylan goes electric” performance at the Newport Folk Festival just one month later.


It’s the 56th Anniversary of The Byrds’s Mr. Tambourine Man

On June 21, 1965, the debut album from The Byrds, called Mr. Tambourine Man was released. This particular album is said to have marked the beginning of the folk-rock revolution. The two-sided album had six tracks on each side, and contained band originals and song covers, one of which was "Mr. Tambourine Man," originally by Bob Dylan. The album was a great success, and.

You can hear the band’s 1966 performance of the song over here.

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Contents

Composition and recording

"Mr. Tambourine Man" was written and composed in early 1964, at the same approximate time as "Chimes of Freedom," which Dylan recorded later that spring for his album Another Side of Bob Dylan. [1] [2] Dylan began writing and composing "Mr. Tambourine Man" in February 1964, after attending Mardi Gras in New Orleans during a cross-country road trip with several friends, and completed it sometime between the middle of March and late April of that year after he had returned to New York. [1] Nigel Williamson has suggested in The Rough Guide to Bob Dylan that the influence of Mardi Gras can be heard in the swirling and fanciful imagery of the song's lyrics. [3] Journalist Al Aronowitz has claimed that Dylan completed the song at his home, but folk singer Judy Collins, who later covered the song, has stated that Dylan completed the song at her home. [1] Dylan premiered the song the following month at a May 17 concert at London's Royal Festival Hall. [1]

Dylan first recorded "Mr. Tambourine Man" a few weeks later, on June 9, with Tom Wilson producing, during the Another Side of Bob Dylan session. [1] [4] The take, recorded with Ramblin' Jack Elliott, was cut from the album because Dylan felt the song was special and their performance did not do it justice. [1] Sometime that month he also recorded a publisher demo of the song at Witmark Music. [5] More than six months passed before Dylan re-recorded the song, again with Wilson in the producer's chair, during the final Bringing It All Back Home session on January 15, 1965, the same day that "Gates of Eden," "It's Alright, Ma (I'm Only Bleeding)," and "It's All Over Now, Baby Blue" were recorded. [1] [6] It was long thought that the four songs were each recorded in one long take. [7] However, in the biography Bob Dylan: Behind the Shades, Clinton Heylin relates that the song required six attempts, possibly because of difficulties in working out the playoffs between Dylan's acoustic guitar and Bruce Langhorne's electric lead. [1] The final take was selected for the album, which was released on March 22, 1965. [1] [7]

In his book Keys to the Rain: The Definitive Bob Dylan Encyclopedia, Oliver Trager describes "Mr. Tambourine Man" as having a bright, expansive melody, [8] with Langhorne's electric guitar accompaniment, which provides a countermelody to the vocals, being the only instrumentation besides Dylan's acoustic guitar and harmonica. [9] Author Wilfred Mellers has noted that although the song is in the key of D major, it is harmonized as if it were in a Lydian G major, giving the song a tonal ambiguity that enhances the dreamy quality of the melody. [10] Unusually, rather than beginning with the first verse, the song begins with an iteration of the chorus: [8]

Hey! Mr. Tambourine Man, play a song for me, I'm not sleepy and there is no place I'm going to. Hey! Mr. Tambourine Man, play a song for me, In the jingle-jangle morning I'll come following you. [11]

Interpretations

William Ruhlmann, writing for the Allmusic website, has suggested the following interpretation of the song's lyrics: "The time seems to be early morning following a night when the narrator has not slept. Still unable to sleep, though amazed by his weariness, he is available and open to Mr. Tambourine Man's song, and says he will follow him. In the course of four verses studded with internal rhymes, he expounds on this situation, his meaning often heavily embroidered with imagery, though the desire to be freed by the tambourine man's song remains clear." [12]

There has been speculation that the song is about drugs such as LSD or marijuana, particularly with lines such as "take me on a trip upon your magic swirling ship" and "the smoke rings of my mind." [1] [2] [9] Dylan has always denied the song is about drugs, [13] and though he was using marijuana at the time the song was written, he was not introduced to LSD until a few months later. [1] [2] [14] Other commentators have interpreted the song as a call to the singer's spirit or muse, or the singer's search for transcendence. [2] [14] [15] [16] [17] In particular, biographer John Hinchey has suggested in his book Like a Complete Unknown that the singer is praying to his muse for inspiration Hinchey notes that ironically the song itself is evidence the muse has already provided the sought-after inspiration. [15] Mr. Tambourine Man has also been interpreted as a symbol for Jesus Christ and for the Pied Piper of Hamelin. [12] The song may also reference gospel music, with Mr. Tambourine Man being the bringer of religious salvation. [17]

Dylan has cited the influence of Federico Fellini's movie La strada on the song, [8] [18] while other commentators have found echoes of the poetry of Arthur Rimbaud. [1] [19] [20] Author Howard Sounes has identified the lyrics "in the jingle jangle morning I'll come following you" as having been taken from a Lord Buckley recording. [18] Bruce Langhorne, who performs guitar on the track, has been cited by Dylan as the inspiration for the tambourine man image in the song. [8] Langhorne used to play a giant, four-inch-deep "tambourine" (actually a Turkish frame drum), and had brought the instrument to a previous Dylan recording session. [1] [9] [21] [22]

Other releases

The Bringing it All Back Home version of "Mr. Tambourine Man" was included on Bob Dylan's Greatest Hits in 1967 and several later Dylan compilation albums, including Biograph, Masterpieces, and The Essential Bob Dylan. [12] [23] The two June 1964 recordings, one with Ramblin' Jack Elliott and the other at Witmark Music, have been released on The Bootleg Series Vol. 7: No Direction Home and The Bootleg Series Vol. 9: The Witmark Demos 1962–1964, respectively. [12] [24] Outtakes from the January 15, 1965 recording session were released on The Bootleg Series Vol. 12: The Cutting Edge 1965–1966 in 2015.

The song has been in Dylan's live concert repertoire ever since it was written, [8] usually as a solo acoustic song, and live performances have appeared on various concert albums and DVDs. An early performance, recorded during a songs workshop at the Newport Folk Festival on July 24, 1964 is included in both Murray Lerner's film The Other Side of the Mirror [25] and the DVD release of Martin Scorsese's documentary No Direction Home. [26] A live performance at New York's Philharmonic Hall dating from October 31, 1964, appeared on The Bootleg Series Vol. 6: Bob Dylan Live 1964, Concert at Philharmonic Hall. [12] During his appearance at the Newport Folk Festival on July 25, 1965, after he was heckled by acoustic folk music fans during his electric set, Dylan returned to play acoustic versions of "Mr. Tambourine Man" and "It's All Over Now, Baby Blue" [27] [28] this performance of "Mr. Tambourine Man" is also included in The Other Side of the Mirror. [25]

A live version from Dylan's famous May 17, 1966, concert in Manchester, England (popularly but mistakenly known as the Royal Albert Hall Concert) is included on The Bootleg Series Vol. 4: Bob Dylan Live 1966, The "Royal Albert Hall" Concert. [29] Dylan's August 31, 1969 performance of the song at the Isle of Wight Festival appears on Isle of Wight Live, part of the 4-CD deluxe edition of The Bootleg Series Vol. 10: Another Self Portrait (1969–1971). Dylan also played the song as part of his evening set at the August 1, 1971, Concert for Bangladesh, a benefit concert organized by George Harrison and Ravi Shankar. That performance is included on The Concert For Bangladesh album, although it was excluded from the film of the concert. [30] Another live version, from the Rolling Thunder Revue tour of 1975, is on The Bootleg Series Vol. 5: Bob Dylan Live 1975, The Rolling Thunder Revue, while an electric band version from 1978 is on Bob Dylan at Budokan. [31] [32]


“Mr. Tambourine Man” is released, and the folk-rock revolution is on - HISTORY

The Byrds version is based on Bob Dylan's demo of the song that he recorded during sessions for his 1964 album Another Side of Bob Dylan (Dylan's version was not yet released when The Byrds recorded it). It was The Byrds manager, Jim Dickson, who brought in the demo and asked them to record it - the group refused at first because they thought it didn't have any hit potential. When The Byrds did record it, they took some lyrics out and added a 12-string guitar lead.

"Kudos to Roger McGuinn for taking on 'Tambourine Man,' which didn't knock us out when we first heard it," Byrds bass player Chris Hillman said in a Songfacts interview. "Bob Dylan had written it in a very countrified groove, a straight 2/4 time signature, and Roger takes the song home and works with it, puts it in 4/4 time, so you could dance to it. Bob heard us do it and said, 'Man, you could dance to this!' It really knocked him over and he loved it."

Only three of the five members of the Byrds performed on this song: Roger McGuinn sang lead and played lead guitar Gene Clark and David Crosby did the vocal harmonies.

Session musicians were brought in to play the other instruments, since the band was just starting out and wasn't deemed good enough yet by their management. The session musicians who played on this song were the Los Angeles members of what came to be known as "The Wrecking Crew" when drummer Hal Blaine used that term in his 1990 book. This group of about 50 players ended up on many hit songs of the era.

In addition to Blaine, studio pros who played on "Mr. Tambourine Man" were:

Bill Pitman - guitar
Jerry Cole - guitar
Larry Knechtel - bass
Leon Russell - piano

The Byrds who didn't play on this one were bass player Chris Hillman and drummer Michael Clarke.

This was The Byrds' first single. In a 1975 interview with Let It Rock, Roger McGuinn explained how the unrefined sound of this song came about. Said McGuinn: "To get that sound, that hit sound, that 'Mr. Tambourine Man' sound, we just ran it through the electronics which were available to us at that time, which were mainly compression devices and tape delay, tape-sustain. That's how we got it, by equalizing it properly and aiming at a specific frequency.

For stereo-buffs out there who noticed that 'Mr. Tambourine Man' in stereo isn't really stereo, by the way, that's because when Terry Melcher, the producer, first started mixing records he didn't know how to mix stereo, and so he made all the singles up to 'Turn Turn Turn' mono. The label is misrepresentative. See, when Columbia Records signed us, they didn't know what they had. So they gave production to someone low on the totem-pole-which was Terry Melcher who was Doris Day's son who was getting a token-job-in-the-mailroom sort of thing. They gave him the Byrds and the Byrds were supposed to flunk the test."

This was inspired by a folk guitarist named Bruce Langhorne. As Dylan explained: "Bruce was playing with me on a bunch of early records. On one session, [producer] Tom Wilson had asked him to play tambourine. And he had this gigantic tambourine. It was, like, really big. It was as big as a wagon wheel. He was playing and this vision of him playing just stuck in my mind."

Dylan never told Langhorne about it (Bruce had to read about it in the Biograph album liner notes, like the rest of us). He wrote the song and recorded a version with Rambling Jack Elliot that got to the Byrds (known as the Jet Set at the time) before it was ever put on a record.

The Byrds recorded this under a one-single deal with Columbia Records that Miles Davis helped secure. Davis, who was signed to Columbia, knew a friend of the band's manager, and as a favor called Columbia boss Goddard Lieberson to ask for the deal. Davis made that case that it was the kind of music young people were listening to.

The Byrds never met Davis, but they did cover his song "Milestones."

While many interpreted the song as a thinly veiled drugs record, McGuinn had other ideas. Having joined the Eastern cult religion Subud just 10 days prior to entering the studio, he saw the song as "a prayer of submission." McGuinn told The Byrds' biographer, Johnny Rogan, in 1997: "Underneath the lyrics to 'Mr. Tambourine Man,' regardless of what Dylan meant, I was turning it into a prayer. I was singing to God and I was saying that God was the Tambourine Man and I was saying to him, 'Hey God, take me for a trip and I'll follow you.'"

He put it this way in 1971 when he spoke with Record Mirror: "To me the 'Tambourine Man' was Allah, the eternal life force – it was almost an Islamic concept."

Comments: 69

  • Wayne Clark from Perth Wa I really think Its outrageous that this song Is listed on "Song Facts" as a Byrds song, when anyone who knows anything about music, knows that this Is one of the greatest songs ever written by Bob.
    Just because the Byrds cleverly copied the Beatles use of a 12 string Rickenbacker, cut 3 verses out completely and had a hit with It, does Not make them the original authors !
    Besides that obvious fact, Dylans stream of conciousness poetry and mind blowing original lyrics far outshine the Byrds effort In my humble opinion.
  • Art from Nm The reason only Roger McGuinn was used to play his 12 String Guitar in the recording of Mr. Tambourine Man was that he had a unique finger picking style that was studio quality enough for the record producers to allow him in the studio. I don't think that,as good as they were, that the Wrecking Crew could have easily duplicated McGuinn's sound which catapulted The Byrds into International Stardom after the release of Tambourine Man!
  • Jennifur Sun from Ramona Wish I could just touch that 12 string. Loved the sound of it, wish I could hear it in person.
  • Barry from Sauquoit, Ny On November 13th 1966, Noel Harrison performed "Mr. Tambourine Man" on the CBS-TV program 'The Ed Sullivan Show'.
    His covered version of the song appeared on his self-titled album, 'Noel Harrison'*, and on the LP he also covered three other Dylan songs. Mr. Harrison passed away on October 13th, 2013 at the age of 79.
    * The album had a unique cover photo, it was of Mr. Harrison sitting in a kitchen refrigerator reading a book.
  • Barry from Sauquoit, Ny On July 7th 1965, the Byrds performed "Mr. Tambourine Man" on the ABC-TV week-day afternoon program 'Where The Action Is'.
    At the time the song was in its second week at #3 on Billboard's Hot Top 100 chart fourteen days earlier on June 23rd, 1965 it had peaked at #1 .
    Between 1965 and 1970 the group had sixteen Top 100 records two made the Top 10 and they both reached #1, the other was "Turn! Turn! Turn!" for 3 weeks later in 1965 on November 28th.
    Their next highest charted record was "Eight Miles High" it peaked at #14 on May 15th, 1966.
  • Barry from Sauquoit, Ny On May 11th 1965, the Byrds performed "Mr. Tambourine Man" on the NBC-TV program 'Hullabaloo' this also marked their debut appearance on national television.
    Two days earlier on May 9th, 1965 it entered Billboard's Hot Top 100 chart at position #87. .
    The same week it entered the Top 100, the Four Tops also entered the chart at #67 with "I Can't Help Myself" and that would be the record that preceded and then succeeded "Mr. Tambourine" at #1 on the Top 100.
  • Barry from Sauquoit, Ny On June 23rd 1965, the Byrds performed "Mr. Tambourine Man" on the ABC-TV program 'Shindig!'.
    At the time of this appearance on 'Shindig!' the song was at #1 on Billboard's Hot Top 100 chart.
    And it stayed on the Top 10 for 7 weeks (and spent 13 total weeks on the Top 100).
    (see the next post below).
  • Barry from Sauquoit, Ny On December 12th 1965 the Byrds performed "Mr. Tambourine Man " on the CBS-TV program 'The Ed Sullivan Show'.
    Seven months earlier on May 9th it entered Billboard's Top 100 chart and on June 20th peaked at #1 (for 1 week) and spent 13 weeks on the Top 100.
    "I Can't Help Myself" by the Four Tops preceded at #1 and then succeeded it at #1.
    And on July 22nd it reached #1 (for 2 weeks) on the United Kingdom's Singles chart.
  • Coy from Palestine, Tx According to "Highway 61 Revisited" by Colin Irwin when Dylan heard the Byrds version of his song it inspired him to try and have a hit record on the top of the charts. This led to "Like a Rolling Stone". Dylan was actually trying to match the Byrds version of his own record with a hit himself! McGuinn was the only Byrd who was professional enough to record and sing on the single, since he had been the lead guitarist and arranger for Bobby Darin prior to the Byrds.
  • Bert from Florida 1. "Mr. Tambourine Man" has only one definition >> LSD.

Dylan's version is all about the poetry. Someone above said the Byrds left out the first verse because it was too drugy. Seems to me they left out a lot of verses in order to create a commercially viable song and they succeeded like nobody's business. Hell they created a brand new genre. However, no one can take away the beauty of the words of the original, poetry pure and simple and frankly I don't giver a damn if it's about drugs or just being tired in club somewhere, its a revelation and it inspried a whole generation of singer song writers.

More Songfacts:

All I Wanna DoSheryl Crow

"All I Wanna Do" by Sheryl Crow started with the first line from an obscure poem called "Fun" that read, "All I wanna do is have some fun."


Interpretations

William Ruhlmann, writing for the AllMusic Web site, has suggested the following interpretation of the song's lyrics: "The time seems to be early morning following a night when the narrator has not slept. Still unable to sleep, though amazed by his weariness, he is available and open to Mr. Tambourine Man's song, and says he will follow him. In the course of four verses studded with internal rhymes, he expounds on this situation, his meaning often heavily embroidered with imagery, though the desire to be freed by the tambourine man's song remains clear." ⎘]

While there has been speculation that the song is about drugs such as LSD or marijuana, particularly with lines such as "take me on a trip upon your magic swirling ship" and "the smoke rings of my mind", Ώ] ΐ] Η] Dylan has always denied the song is about drugs. Script error: No such module "Footnotes". Though he was using marijuana at the time the song was written, Dylan was not introduced to LSD until a few months later. Ώ] ΐ] ⎙] Other commentators have interpreted the song as a call to the singer's spirit or muse, or the singer's search for transcendence. ΐ] ⎙] ⎚] ⎛] ⎜] In particular, biographer John Hinchey has suggested in his book Like a Complete Unknown that the singer is praying to his muse for inspiration Hinchey notes that ironically the song itself is evidence the muse has already provided the sought-after inspiration. ⎚] Mr. Tambourine Man has also been interpreted as a symbol for Jesus Christ and for the Pied Piper of Hamelin. ⎘] The song may also reference gospel music, with Mr. Tambourine Man being the bringer of religious salvation. ⎜]

Dylan has cited the influence of Federico Fellini's movie La Strada on the song, Ζ] ⎝] while other commentators have found echoes of the poetry of Arthur Rimbaud. Ώ] ⎞] ⎟] Author Howard Sounes has identified the lyrics "in the jingle jangle morning I'll come following you" as having been taken from a Lord Buckley recording. ⎝] Bruce Langhorne, who performs guitar on the track, has been cited by Dylan as the inspiration for the tambourine man image in the song. Ζ] Langhorne used to play a giant, four-inch-deep "tambourine" (actually a Turkish frame drum), and had brought the instrument to a previous Dylan recording session. Ώ] Η] ⎠] ⎡]


The Byrds – Mr. Tambourine Man (1965)

Mr. Tambourine Man is the debut album by the American folk rock band the Byrds and was released in June 1965 on Columbia Records (see 1965 in music). The album, along with the single of the same name, established the band as an internationally successful rock act and was also influential in originating the musical style known as folk rock. The term “folk rock” was, in fact, first coined by the U.S. music press to describe the band’s sound in mid-1965, at around the same time that the “Mr. Tambourine Man” single reached the top of the Billboard chart The single and album also represented the first effective American challenge to the dominance of The Beatles and the British Invasion during the mid-1960s.

The album peaked at number 6 on the Billboard Top LPs chart and reached number 7 in the United Kingdom. The Bob Dylan penned “Mr. Tambourine Man” single was released ahead of the album in April 1965, reaching number 1 on both the Billboard Hot 100 and the UK Singles Chart.[6][7] A second single from the album, “All I Really Want to Do”, also a Dylan cover, was moderately successful in the U.S., but fared better in the United Kingdom, where it reached the Top 10.

Prior to forming the Byrds in 1964, most of the members of the band had come from a folk and roots music background, rather than a rock and roll one. Lead guitarist Jim McGuinn had been a solo folk singer and sideman with various professional folk groups, as had singer and songwriter Gene Clark. Clark and McGuinn first met in early 1964 at The Troubadour folk club in Los Angeles and, after discovering a mutual love of the Beatles, formed a Peter and Gordon-style duo, playing Beatles’ covers, Beatlesque renditions of traditional folk songs, and some self-penned material. The duo soon added another folk singer, David Crosby, to the line-up and named themselves the Jet Set. Over the coming months, bass player Chris Hillman, whose musical background was more oriented towards bluegrass music than folk, and drummer Michael Clarke were both added to the group. The Jet Set were signed to Columbia Records on November 10, 1964 and changed their name to the Byrds over Thanksgiving that year.

On January 20, 1965, the band, along with a group of L.A. session musicians later known as the Wrecking Crew, entered Columbia Recording Studios in Hollywood to record the Bob Dylan song “Mr. Tambourine Man” as their debut single. Released in April 1965, with the Clark-penned song “I Knew I’d Want You” on its B-side, the single was an immediate hit, reaching number 1 on both the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 chart and the UK Singles Chart. In addition, the electric rock band treatment that the Byrds and producer Terry Melcher had given “Mr. Tambourine Man” effectively created the template for the musical subgenre of folk rock.


For the most part, Mr. Tambourine Man consisted of two types of songs: band originals, primarily penned by Clark, who was the group’s main songwriter during its first eighteen months of existence, and covers of modern folk songs, composed primarily by Dylan. The album opens with its Dylan-penned title track, which had been a big international hit for the group, prior to the album’s release. Band biographer Johnny Rogan has noted that the two most distinctive features of the Byrds’ rendition of “Mr. Tambourine Man” are the vocal harmonies of Clark, McGuinn and Crosby, and McGuinn’s jangling twelve-string Rickenbacker guitar playing (which complemented the phrase “jingle jangle morning” found in the song’s lyric). This combination of 12-string guitar work and complex harmony singing became the band’s signature sound during their early period.[4] Music critic Richie Unterberger has also noted that the success of the Byrds version of “Mr. Tambourine Man” saw an explosion of Byrds imitators and emulators having hits on the American and British charts during 1965 and 1966.

Another Dylan cover, “All I Really Want to Do”, was the first song to be recorded for the album, following the “Mr. Tambourine Man” and “I Knew I’d Want You” session. Melcher felt confident that the band’s then-unissued debut single would be, at the very least, a regional hit and so he brought the Byrds back into the studio on March 8, 1965 to record a follow-up.[18] This March 8 recording session yielded the version of “All I Really Want to Do” that appears on the album, but the song was re-recorded on April 14, and it was this later take that graced the A-side of the band’s second Columbia single release.

The abundance of Dylan material on the album—with three songs taken from the Another Side of Bob Dylan album alone—led to accusations of the band being too reliant on his material.[20] However, the Dylan covers, including “Chimes of Freedom”, “All I Really Want to Do”, and “Spanish Harlem Incident”, in addition to the title track, remain among the Byrds’ best-known recordings.

Another cover which stressed the band’s folk music roots was Idris Davies and Pete Seeger’s “The Bells of Rhymney”. The song, which told the sorrowful tale of a coal mining disaster in Wales, was a relative newcomer to the band’s repertoire at the time of recording, having only been worked up in March 1965, during the Byrds’ residency at Ciro’s nightclub on the Sunset Strip. Although the song had a somewhat sombre theme, it became one of the band’s most popular numbers during their residency at Ciro’s. The band’s cover of “The Bells of Rhymney” was also influential on the Beatles, particularly George Harrison, who co-opted McGuinn’s guitar riff and incorporated it into his composition “If I Needed Someone” from the Rubber Soul album.
The album’s distinctive front cover fisheye lens photograph of the band was taken by Barry Feinstein and has, according to author Christopher Hjort, become an acknowledged classic since its release. The back cover featured liner notes, written in the form of an open letter to a friend, by Columbia Records’ publicist Billy James. In addition, the back cover also featured a black and white photograph, taken by the Byrds’ manager Jim Dickson, of the band on stage with Bob Dylan at Ciro’s nightclub in L.A. (by wikipedia)

One of the greatest debuts in the history of rock, Mr. Tambourine Man was nothing less than a significant step in the evolution of rock & roll itself, demonstrating that intelligent lyrical content could be wedded to compelling electric guitar riffs and a solid backbeat. It was also the album that was most responsible for establishing folk-rock as a popular phenomenon, its most alluring traits being Roger McGuinn’s immediately distinctive 12-string Rickenbacker jangle and the band’s beautiful harmonies. The material was uniformly strong, whether they were interpreting Bob Dylan (on the title cut and three other songs, including the hit single “All I Really Want to Do”), Pete Seeger (“The Bells of Rhymney”), or Jackie DeShannon (“Don’t Doubt Yourself, Babe”). The originals were lyrically less challenging, but equally powerful musically, especially Gene Clark’s “I Knew I’d Want You,” “I’ll Feel a Whole Lot Better,” and “Here Without You” “It’s No Use” showed a tougher, harder-rocking side and a guitar solo with hints of psychedelia. (by Richie Unterberger)

Personnel:
Gene Clark (guitar, tambourine, vocals)
Michael Clarke (drums)
David Crosby (guitar, vocals)
Chris Hillman (bass)
Jim McGuinn (lead guitar, vocals)
+
on “Mr. Tambourine Man” + “I Knew I’d Want You “:
Jerry Cole (guitar)
Larry Knechtel (bass)
Leon Russell (piano)
Hal Blaine (drums)


Tracklist:
01. Mr. Tambourine Man (Dylan) 2.34
02. I’ll Feel A Whole Lot Better” (Gene Clark) 2.36
03. Spanish Harlem Incident (Dylan) 2.01
04. You Won’t Have To Cry (Clark/McGuinn) 2.12
05. Here Without You (Clark) 2.40
06. The Bells Of Rhymney (Davies/Seeger) 3.35
07. All I Really Want To Do (Dylan) 2.08
08. I Knew I’d Want You (Clark) 2.18
09. It’s No Use (Clark/McGuinn) 2.29
10. Don’t Doubt Yourself, Babe (DeShannon) 2.59
11. Chimes Of Freedom (Dylan) 3.55
12. We’ll Meet Again (Parker/Charles) 2.19
+
13. She Has A Way (Clark) 2.29
14. I’ll Feel A Whole Lot Better (alternate version) (Clark) 2.32
15. It’s No Use (alternate version) (Clark/McGuinn) 2.24
16. You Won’t Have To Cry” (alternate version) (Clark/McGuinn) 2.07
17. All I Really Want To Do (Single version) (Dylan) 2.02
18. You And Me (Instrumental) (Crosby/Clark/McGuinn) 2.11


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June 20, 1965: The Byrds' version of Dylan's "Mr. Tambourine Man" goes to #1 on the US Hot 100 singles chart. It would spend one week at the top. and the "folk rock" phenomenon was born.

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The Byrds Mr. Tambourine Man

I Love It Loud! Today in Rock n Roll History обновил(-а) фото профиля.

I Love It Loud! Today in Rock n Roll History

June 25, 1967: With "Sgt. Pepper" sitting at #1 in both the US and the UK, The Beatles hit another high-point in their career when they performed a new John Lennon song, "All You Need Is Love" live from Abbey Road studios for an estimated worldwide audience of 400 million people. The band performed the song as Britain's contribution to a program called "Our World", the first live global television program linked by satellite.

For the broadcast, the band was seated on stools, accompanied by a small studio orchestra. They were surrounded by friends and acquaintances seated on the floor, who sang along with the refrain during the fade-out. These guests included Mick Jagger, Eric Clapton, Marianne Faithfull, Keith Richards, Keith Moon, Graham Nash, Mike McGear, Patti Boyd and Jane Asher

The performance was not completely live: the Beatles, the orchestra, and guests were overdubbing onto a pre-recorded rhythm track consisting of piano, harpsichord, drums and backing vocals, recorded the day before. The producers of "Our World" were initially unhappy about the use of backing tracks, but it was insisted upon by Martin, who said that "we can't just go in front of 350 million people without some work". The Beatles hadn't performed live in almost a year and were understandably nervous about it.

The segment was aired in black and white it would be colorized in 1996 for The Beatles Anthology. "All You Need Is Love" would be released as a single on July 7, 1967.


Other covers and references [ edit ] [ edit | edit source ]

"Mr. Tambourine Man" has been covered by many artists over the years, including at least 13 versions recorded in 1965 alone. [8]  The Brothers Four recorded a commercial version before the Byrds, but were unable to release it due to licensing issues. [80]  In addition, notable recordings of the song have been made byOdetta, Judy Collins, Stevie Wonder, The Four Seasons, The Barbarians, and Chad and Jeremy. [12]  Other artists who have covered the song include Alvin and the Chipmunks (1965), The Beau Brummels (1966), The Lettermen (1966), Kenny Rankin (1967), Melanie (1968), Gene Clark (1984), Les Fradkin (2007), Bob Sinclar(2009), Jack's Mannequin (2012), and The Flowers of Hell (2012). [8] [81] [82]  William Shatner also covered the song in a spoken-word recitation on his 1968 album,The Transformed Man. [8] [81]  A reunited line-up of The Byrds, featuring Roger McGuinn, Chris Hillman, and David Crosby, performed "Mr. Tambourine Man" with Dylan at a Roy Orbison tribute concert on February 24, 1990. This live performance of the song was included on the 1990 box set, The Byrds. [56]  At the October 1992 Bob Dylan 30th anniversary tribute concert at Madison Square Garden, McGuinn performed the song, backed by Tom Petty, Mike Campbell, and Benmont Tench, among others. [8] [81] [83]

The song has been translated and recorded in a number of languages. Müslüm Gürses has covered the song with different lyrics written in Turkish. The Turkish version of the song was called Hayat Berbat. [84]  It was translated into Romanian by Florian Pittiş, and sung by Pasărea Colibri on their 1995 album În căutarea cuibului pierdut. [85]  There are also at least two Brazilian Portuguese versions of the song, covered by Zé Ramalho and Zé Geraldo on their Zé Ramalho canta Bob Dylan and Catadô de Bromélias albums respectively. [86] [87]

"Mr. Tambourine Man" has also been referenced in books and film, including Tom Wolfe's nonfiction novel The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test, [88]  Stephen King's book Carrie, [89]  the film Dangerous Minds, [90] [91] [92]  and the documentary film Gonzo: The Life and Work of Dr. Hunter S. Thompson. The subject of the latter film, journalist Hunter S. Thompson, had "Mr. Tambourine Man" played at his funeral and dedicated his novel Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas to Dylan because of the song. [93] [94]  The song was also performed by Pete Townshend at the funeral of Neil Aspinall, The Beatles' road manager and personal assistant. [95] [96]

"Mr. Tambourine Man" is one of seven Dylan songs whose lyrics were reset for soprano and piano (or orchestra) by John Corigliano for his song cycle Mr. Tambourine Man: Seven Poems of Bob Dylan. [97]


Frank Beacham's Journal

Released on this day in 1965 — 56 years ago — the Byrds' debut album, Mr. Tambourine Man, marked a critical beginning of the folk-rock revolution.

In just a few months, the Byrds had become a household name, with a #1 single and a smash-hit album that married the ringing guitars and backbeat of the British Invasion with the harmonies and lyrical depth of folk to create an entirely new sound.

Perhaps someone else could have listened to the bright guitar lines of the Beatles' "Ticket To Ride" and to Bob Dylan's original "Mr. Tambourine Man" and had the idea of somehow combining the two, but neither of those recordings existed when the Byrds' Roger McGuinn devised his group's new sound.

Newly signed to Columbia Records, the Byrds had access to an early demo version of "Mr. Tambourine Man" even before their label-mate, Bob Dylan, had a chance to record it for his own upcoming album.

On January 20, 1965, they entered the studio to record what would become the title track of their debut album and, incidentally, the only Bob Dylan song ever to reach #1 on the U.S. pop charts.

Aiming consciously for a vocal style in between Dylan's and Lennon's, McGuinn sang lead, with Gene Clark and David Crosby, providing the complex harmony that would, along with McGuinn's jangly electric 12-string Rickenbacker guitar, form the basis of the Byrds' trademark sound.

That sound, which would influence countless groups from Big Star to the Bangles in decades to come, had an immediate and profound impact on the Byrds' contemporaries, and even on the artists who'd inspired it in the first place.

"Wow, man, you can even dance to that!" was Bob Dylan's reaction to hearing what the Byrds' had done with "Mr. Tambourine Man."

Just days before the hugely influential album of the same name was released to the public on June 21, 1965, Dylan himself would be in a New York recording studio with an electric guitar in his hands, putting the finishing touches on "Like A Rolling Stone" and setting the stage for his controversial "Dylan goes electric" performance at the Newport Folk Festival just one month later.

Roger McGuinn, New York City, February, 1995

Posted by Frank Beacham on June 21, 2021 at 06:20 AM in Music | Permalink

Tags: Mr. Tambourine Man, Roger McGuinn, The Byrds

Comments

Released on this day in 1965 — 56 years ago — the Byrds' debut album, Mr. Tambourine Man, marked a critical beginning of the folk-rock revolution.

In just a few months, the Byrds had become a household name, with a #1 single and a smash-hit album that married the ringing guitars and backbeat of the British Invasion with the harmonies and lyrical depth of folk to create an entirely new sound.

Perhaps someone else could have listened to the bright guitar lines of the Beatles' "Ticket To Ride" and to Bob Dylan's original "Mr. Tambourine Man" and had the idea of somehow combining the two, but neither of those recordings existed when the Byrds' Roger McGuinn devised his group's new sound.

Newly signed to Columbia Records, the Byrds had access to an early demo version of "Mr. Tambourine Man" even before their label-mate, Bob Dylan, had a chance to record it for his own upcoming album.

On January 20, 1965, they entered the studio to record what would become the title track of their debut album and, incidentally, the only Bob Dylan song ever to reach #1 on the U.S. pop charts.

Aiming consciously for a vocal style in between Dylan's and Lennon's, McGuinn sang lead, with Gene Clark and David Crosby, providing the complex harmony that would, along with McGuinn's jangly electric 12-string Rickenbacker guitar, form the basis of the Byrds' trademark sound.

That sound, which would influence countless groups from Big Star to the Bangles in decades to come, had an immediate and profound impact on the Byrds' contemporaries, and even on the artists who'd inspired it in the first place.

"Wow, man, you can even dance to that!" was Bob Dylan's reaction to hearing what the Byrds' had done with "Mr. Tambourine Man."

Just days before the hugely influential album of the same name was released to the public on June 21, 1965, Dylan himself would be in a New York recording studio with an electric guitar in his hands, putting the finishing touches on "Like A Rolling Stone" and setting the stage for his controversial "Dylan goes electric" performance at the Newport Folk Festival just one month later.


Roger McGuinn’s ‘Mr. Tambourine Man’ a classic

Hearing Brian Wilson sing “Surfer Girl” in concert.

Listening to America’s Gerry Beckley from the fifth row as he sings “Sister Golden Hair. ”

Seeing Tom Johnston of the Doobie Brothers rock out to “China Grove.”

Hearing great songs in person sung in their original versions by the artists who made them famous has always appealed to me. And now I can cross another one off my list: Hearing Roger McGuinn of The Byrds sing “Mr. Tambourine Man” in person.

I know it’s a Bob Dylan song. And certainly one can argue that hearing Bob Dylan sing it would be hearing “Mr. Tambourine Man” in its original form. Dylan released the song in March 1965 and The Byrds’ version was released in April 1965.

But it’s the harmonies of McGuinn, Gene Clark and David Crosby – and the birth of what we now know as “folk rock” – on The Byrds version of the song that I remember from my childhood.

So it was a real kick to hear McGuinn sing it Thursday, June 12, 2014, at the Colonial Theatre in Phoenixville, Pennsylvania, nearly 50 years after the song was first released by The Byrds.

These days, it’s just McGuinn and his guitars on stage. And that’s enough. He did two, 45- minutes sets at the Colonial. McGuinn is a great storyteller, and not only with his song lyrics. Throughout the performance he prefaced almost every song with a story explaining the genesis of the song. To me, that’s gold for those artists who have been around for decades – to mix in the actual history of the songs that have become historic.

That’s the premise behind “The Vinyl Dialogues” – to get the accurate historical details and perspectives about albums and songs directly from the artists who made that history.

It would be great to get McGuinn on the record for Volume II of “The Vinyl Dialogues.” I like his 1976 solo album, “Cardiff Rose.”

McGuinn was just coming off Dylan’s “Rolling Thunder Revue” tour in 1975 and I’ve love to hear the details of the creative process that he was experiencing in the lead-up to the making and release of “Cardiff Rose.” McGuinn touched on that a little bit when he told a story during the Colonial performance about how he got Joni Mitchell’s song “Dreamland” to include on “Cardiff Rose.”

Living, breathing rock and roll history in a live concert. It doesn’t get much better than that.


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The Yardbirds Story - Pt. 3 - 1965/66 - Big Hits & America Calling

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