Entertainment Weekly - 6/28-7/5/96, p.106
"...illustrates why the best Byrds music still inspires musicians....And while time hasn't enhanced the group's forays into psychedelia...there are enough keepers to make you forgive their occasional tendency to fly into walls." - Rating: B+
Q - 7/96, p.1345 Stars
- Indispensable - "...The Byrds took a plane to the knots and gnarls in the orginals and fashioned records that smoothly embodied the romance of rebellion and the exhilaration of escape..."
Melody Maker - 5/11/96, p.50
Recommended - "...'Mr. Tambourine Man' gave them both a Number One single and a record worthy of their sound, which was blue sky and tears of milk..."
Musician - 8/96, p.90
"I like the sound better here. The guitar interplay emerges with greater warmth and clarity, without over-thinning the wash..."
NME (Magazine) - 5/11/96, p.467 (out of 10)
- "...The Byrds...took rock music on an astral flight which everybody from Big Star to REM to John Squire have never come down from. MR. TAMBOURINE MAN...still bears up..."
The Byrds: David Crosby (vocals, guitar); Jim McGuinn (vocals, 12-string guitar); Chris Hillman (vocals, bass); Gene Clark (vocals, tambourine); Michael Clarke (drums).
Reissue producer: Bob Irwin.
Recorded between January 20, 1965 and April 22, 1965.
Includes original liner notes by Billy James, and new liner notes by David Fricke and Johnny Rogan.
All songs have been digitally remastered using a 20-Bit Super Mapping system.
Few debut singles in the history of rock & roll have had the immediate and overwhelming impact of The Byrds' version of Bob Dylan's "Mr. Tambourine Man." Marrying a Beatles-like electric jangle to Dylan's insight and folky melody (in many ways, breaking Dylan into the pop market), it not only forecast the band's influence on the future of pop music but reestablished an American rock & roll presence in the face of the British Invasion. The album of the same name, released in June of 1965, was a shotgun blast before the canon roar that Dylan's HIGHWAY 61 REVISITED (released just two months later) would become.
As much as Bob Dylan was an overwhelming influence on the young Byrds--four of the twelve tracks on MR. TAMBOURINE MAN were Dylan songs--his contributions were only a part of what made the band special. The chiming sound of McGuinn's 12-string guitar was the group's backbone, characterizing The Byrds' presence in a way few rock instrumentalists had done until then. Gene Clark proved to be a mighty songwriter in his own right--"I'll Feel A Whole Lot Better" has stood the test of time better than any other track here. Yet, what distinguished The Byrds and MR. TAMBOURINE MAN most was that they couldn't be easily pigeonholed. Combining disparate musical backgrounds and openly reconstructing everything from a British wartime standard ("We'll Meet Again") to a Jackie DeShannon pop tune ("Don't Doubt Yourself, Babe") in their own open-minded image, the Byrds kicked down the door to a new sound called folk-rock. Many would soon follow.