Saturday, February 11, 2012

The Byrds - Younger Than Yesterday

The Byrds – Younger Than Yesterday
Columbia, 1967
Acquired: Half Price Books, Used, 2011
Price: $2.50

SPEAKING OF THE BYRDS! I only remembered that I’d recently acquired this album when I was looking up that cover of “My Back Pages” for that last post and WOULDN’T YOU KNOW! IT HAS THEIR COVER OF “MY BACK PAGES” TACKED ON THE SECOND SIDE! See, my problem with the Byrds is that I see them as a sort of yoked up cover band. Though they have plenty of songs that are their own, and I heard Sweetheart of the Rodeo during my alt-country kick years back and dug on that, and “Eight Miles High” and all that, I still haven’t ever been able to get past the fact that their best known songs are Bob Dylan songs. I know there’s a whole musical history of people popularizing songs written by other people, but in the case of pop music I just read it as a red flag. Well, most of the time. And sure, their version of “Mr. Tambourine Man” and “All I Really Want to Do” are probably better than Bobby D’s, technically, zeitgeistly, whatever, but in the end I don’t think there’s really a qualitative judgment to be made. Or maybe there is. Who cares? Anyway, there’s a whole chunk of musical history that is totally alien to me, and that’s folk rock, which the Byrds basically chaperoned into the musical history books. My boss, a massive music nerd of the classical school (read: 60s/70s/prog-rock) gave me a lesson about the Byrds one day and it sort of convinced me to revisit them. Now I just have these little chunks of history floating around in my brain involving Gene Clark and David Crosby and Gram Parsons and I have no way of sorting it out other than reading a book (or diligently combing the Wikipedia). I don’t care enough yet, but someday soon I will! ANYWAY, going from what I know about the Byrds, I know that this is one of their famous albums. I guess all their albums are famous though. Or most of them, probably. The 60s ones, given how apparently influential they were. The psychedelic influences start coming out and really weirding it up about halfway through. Still, I don’t have any reference (other than “Mr. Tambourine Man”) for how this fits into their discography, and though this record stands fine on its own, it would benefit from being a specific piece in a specific puzzle.

"Have You Seen Her Face" was my favorite tune from the record. Pop majesty all up in this jam!

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