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The Byrds

Mr. Tambourine Man

few debut singles in the history of rock and roll have had the immediate and overwhelming impact of the byrds' version of bob dylan's 'mr tambourine man' marrying a beatleslike 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 and 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 birds 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 12string guitar was the group's backbone characterising 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 openminded image the byrds kicked down the door to a new sound called folkrock many would soon follow

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