Rolling Stone - 12/11/03, p.136Ranked #178
in Rolling Stone's "The 500 Greatest Albums Of All Time"
Adapter: Pat Seeger.
Personnel: Roger McGuinn (vocals, guitar, electric 12-string guitar); David Crosby, Gene Clark (vocals, guitar); Chris Hillman (vocals, electric bass); Michael Clark (drums).
Audio Mixer: Vic Anesini.
Liner Note Authors: Dave Swaney; Johnny Rogan.
Recording information: 01/20/1965-11/29/1966.
Photographers: Guy Webster; Sandy Speiser.
Formed in Los Angeles in 1964, the Byrds hit with their first single, a vibrant take on Bob Dylan's "Mr.Tambourine Man," in 1965, introducing the term "folk-rock" into the pop vocabulary. With a sound marked by soaring, multi-part harmonies and 12-string Rickenbacker guitar, the Byrds racked up several more hits over the next two years, including a chart-topping interpretation of Pete Seeger's "Turn, Turn, Turn." GREATEST HITS concentrates on the band's glory days before personnel changes and internal disputes, combined with changing musical fashions, caused their popularity to dwindle in the late '60s (though they helped create country-rock on the Gram Parsons-aided SWEETHEART OF THE RODEO in 1968). The Byrds' sound and spirit lives on in the music of the countless artists whom they inspired, and in fine retrospectives like this one.