Album #57 – Mr. Tambourine Man
This album opened the door to one of my favorite movements in rock history, the folk-rock movement. Without this album, there would be no Simon & Garfunkel and no Crosby, Stills & Nash as we know them. This album influenced R.E.M.’s early sound as well as Tom Petty and countless other artists. The title track was the bands first #1 single and the first folk-rock single. That single alone brought attention to folk-rock. The harmonies of The Byrds are similar to those of The Beatles only more angelic. The 12-string Rickenbacker guitar played by Roger McGuinn was a new sound at the time. It revolutionized the guitar and how it could be played. I love the sound a Rickenbacker makes. It is known as Jangle rock, which is one of my favorite forms of rock. It is very different. The guitar sounds simple yet percussive. Many other bands have used this form of guitar including The Smiths and R.E.M. This album also showcases the group’s ability to cover other songwriter’s songs, particularly those of Bob Dylan. The title track along with Spanish Harlem Incident, All I Really Want To Do and Chimes of Freedom are all covered and made better by The Byrds. There are also a few originals including I’ll Feel A Whole Lot Better written by the bands tambourine and rhythm guitar player Gene Clark who passed away in 1991. The three members are all still living. They are Roger McGuinn, David Crosby and Chris Hillman. Drummer Michael Clarke died in 1993. McGuinn, Crosby and Hillman all tour separately and have never reunited. But, they don’t need to. This album has done enough on it’s own to influence more than any album on the list has so far. This album not only brought forth a new genre of music but also a new, unique guitar style and sound. For that, this album is essential. Other highlights include: The Bells of Rhymney and We’ll Meet Again. Overall, I give this album 4 out of 5.
Next: Highway 61 Revisited by Bob Dylan!!!