Monday, December 3, 2012

Dylan Cover #64 The Byrds- "Mr Tambourine Man"

Continuing our Monday's Dylan Cover Series, each December we spice it up a little.  This year we are going to look at a band that gained it's fame by covering Dylan right out of the gate, The Byrds.  The first cover to be examined is "Mr. Tambourine Man". 

Thoughts on Original:
C'mon...really?  Iconic, one of his best known songs.  A poetic marvel, beautifully played etc etc...essays are written on this song consistently.  I won't say much more, but will note that I read somewhere this is the one song Dylan actually tried to work with again, create another version or something, my mind is a bit clouded now, but I will look up that reference and link it when I find it...if not take my word for it and enjoy the damn song:  

Thoughts on Cover Band:
So this month we will tackle The Byrds. In complete fairness I am not a big fan of the group at all.  Never owned any of their albums, never had my parents play them for me or anything like that.  In fact once I got into Dylan I started to resent them slightly in the sense that they made the bard more palpable to the mainstream and I originally thought there was something wrong with that.  Growing older and wiser I realized they are just musicians and massive fans of Dylan and actually helped Dylan reach a stature that catapulted his career.  They were vital in Dylan's rise in popularity and I am assuming his bank account but I could be wrong about that...anyway, more next week.  
Thoughts on Cover:
Using this tune as the title track to their first album The Byrds instantly became the biggest Dylan supporters out there and kicked off Folk Rock officially.  Reaching number 1 it is a masterpiece with Roger McGuinn's 12 string Rickenbacker guitar.  The vocal harmonies of McGuinn, David Crosby and Gene Clark is exquisite adding layers to the listen.  One interesting note is none of the original Byrds except McGuinn play on the #1 single recording as there are session musicians filling in.  Pretty crazy boy band shenanigans with that, but it worked and it was a huge hit, even more popular then the original...maybe even better then the original.....

Grade: A+     

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