The Byrds - Mr. Tambourine Man
A Sneak Peek...
And this time, the song that became a huge hit not by its original writer and created a whole new musical genre.
On January 20, 1965, "The Byrds" recorded their version of Bob Dylan's "Mr. Tambourine Man". It was later included on the band's first album, released later that year, in June 1965.
Dylan released the song on his fifth album "Bringing It All Back Home", on March 22, 1965, meaning, two months after "The Byrds" recorded it. How did this happen you ask?
The Byrds manager Jim Dickson, brought a demo version of the song to the studio. The demo recorded by Bob Dylan during the sessions for his fourth album "Another Side of Bob Dylan" from 1964. "The Byrds" based their version on the demo version that did not found it's way to Dylan's fourth album. It turned out that the song was recorded by them before it was released by Dylan himself.
The band members initially refused to record the song, as they thought it had no potential to succeed. Finally, the song was recorded after dropping some of the lyrics written by Dylan and with the addition of Roger McGuinn's iconic 12-string guitar, with the single itself being released on April 12, 1965.
It is interesting to note that the band itself did not play the song, except for Jim McGuinn who sang and played guitar and Gene Clark and David Crosby who sang background vocals. The reason for this was that the band was then only at the beginning of its journey, and its managers thought they were not good enough yet to make the recording, therefore invited professional studio players to perform the craft.
The first single from the band's first album became a hysterical hit that changed the face of rock forever and created a new folk-rock musical genre. This song also constituted the first worthy American response to the unchallenged control of British bands in the music world at the time.
Another amazing statistic about this song, is that it is one of the only songs that has entered the list of the 500 greatest songs of all time by "Rolling Stone" magazine twice. once as performed by "The Byrds" and the second time performed by Bob Dylan. In this case "The Byrds" surpassed Dylan when they reached 79th place on the list, compared to Dylan's 107th place.