The Byrds’ Greatest Hits

Released August 7, 1967
Recorded January 20, 1965 – December 8, 1966
Studio Columbia Studios, Hollywood, CA
Genre Rock, pop, folk rock, psychedelic rock
Length 32:17
Label Columbia
Producer Terry Melcher, Allen Stanton, Gary Usher

The Byrds’ Greatest Hits is the first greatest hits album by the American rock band The Byrds and was released in August 1967 on Columbia Records (see 1967 in music). It is the top-selling album in The Byrds’ catalogue and reached #6 on the Billboard Top LPs chart, but failed to break into the UK Albums Chart. The album provides a summary of The Byrds’ history during Gene Clark and David Crosby’s tenure with the band and also functions as a survey of the group’s hit singles from 1965 to 1967, a period when the band had its greatest amount of success on the singles chart.[5] Most of the band’s U.S. A-sides from this period are included on the album, along with three of their more important album tracks: “I’ll Feel a Whole Lot Better”, “The Bells of Rhymney”, and “Chimes of Freedom”. The three U.S. singles from this period that are not included on the album are “Set You Free This Time”, “Have You Seen Her Face” and “Lady Friend” (although these songs have been included as bonus tracks on various CD reissues of the album). All of the songs included on the original Greatest Hits album can also be found on the band’s first four albums, Mr. Tambourine Man, Turn! Turn! Turn!, Fifth Dimension and Younger Than Yesterday.

The eight tracks on The Byrds’ Greatest Hits that had been singles peaked at the following positions on the Billboard Hot 100: “5D (Fifth Dimension)” #44; “All I Really Want to Do” #40; “Mr. Spaceman” #36; “My Back Pages” #30; “So You Want to Be a Rock ‘n’ Roll Star” #29; “Eight Miles High” #14; “Turn! Turn! Turn!” #1; and “Mr. Tambourine Man” #1. In addition, four of the singles included on the album had charted in the United Kingdom, peaking at the following positions on the UK Singles Chart: “Turn! Turn! Turn!” #26; “Eight Miles High” #24; “All I Really Want to Do” #4; and “Mr. Tambourine Man” #1. In particular, the “Eight Miles High”, “Turn! Turn! Turn!”, and “Mr. Tambourine Man” singles were widely influential during the 1960s, a time when singles, at least in pop music, were as important in their own right as albums, and generally more so. “Turn! Turn! Turn!” summed up the decade’s counter-cultural values as much as “Blowin’ in the Wind”, “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction” or “All You Need Is Love”, while “Mr. Tambourine Man” and “Eight Miles High” helped to introduce the subgenres of folk rock and psychedelic rock respectively into the popular music of the day.

The Byrds’ Greatest Hits was released on August 7, 1967 in the United States (catalogue item CL 2716 in mono, CS 9516 in stereo) and October 20, 1967 in the United Kingdom (catalogue item BPG 63107 in mono, SBPG 63107 in stereo). The album was certified Gold by the Recording Industry Association of America within a year of its release, eventually being certified platinum on November 21, 1986.

In 2003, the album was ranked at #178 on Rolling Stone magazine’s list of The 500 Greatest Albums of All Time, although it was dropped when the list when was updated in 2012.

Track listing

Side one

“Mr. Tambourine Man” (Bob Dylan) – 2:29
“I’ll Feel a Whole Lot Better” (Gene Clark) – 2:32
“The Bells of Rhymney” (Idris Davies, Pete Seeger) – 3:30
“Turn! Turn! Turn! (To Everything There Is a Season)” (Book of Ecclesiastes/Pete Seeger) – 3:49
“All I Really Want to Do” (Bob Dylan) – 2:04
“Chimes of Freedom” (Bob Dylan) – 3:51

Side two

“Eight Miles High” (Gene Clark, Jim McGuinn, David Crosby) – 3:34
“Mr. Spaceman” (Jim McGuinn) – 2:09
“5D (Fifth Dimension)” (Jim McGuinn) – 2:33
“So You Want to Be a Rock ‘n’ Roll Star” (Jim McGuinn, Chris Hillman) – 1:50
“My Back Pages” (Bob Dylan) – 3:08

1991 reissue bonus tracks

“Jesus Is Just Alright” (Arthur Reynolds) – 2:08
“Chestnut Mare” (Roger McGuinn, Jacques Levy) – 5:07
“I Trust” (Roger McGuinn) – 3:17
“Lady Friend” (David Crosby) – 2:35
“Lay Lady Lay” (Bob Dylan) – 3:16
“Ballad of Easy Rider” (Roger McGuinn) – 2:02
“Glory, Glory” (Arthur Reynolds) – 4:03
1999 reissue bonus tracks[edit]
“It Won’t Be Wrong” (Jim McGuinn, Harvey Gerst) – 1:58
“Set You Free This Time” (Gene Clark) – 2:49
“Have You Seen Her Face” (Chris Hillman) – 2:40


The Byrds

Jim McGuinn – guitar, vocals
Gene Clark – tambourine, vocals (guitar on 1999 bonus tracks 12-13, harmonica on 1999 bonus track 13)
David Crosby – guitar, vocals
Chris Hillman – electric bass, vocals
Michael Clarke – drums

Additional personnel

Jerry Cole – rhythm guitar on “Mr. Tambourine Man”
Larry Knechtel – electric bass on “Mr. Tambourine Man”
Hal Blaine – drums on “Mr. Tambourine Man”
Leon Russell – electric piano on “Mr. Tambourine Man”
Van Dyke Parks – organ on “5D (Fifth Dimension)”
Hugh Masekela – trumpet on “So You Want to Be a Rock ‘n’ Roll Star”
unknown – organ on “My Back Pages”

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia