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Mr. Tambourine Man is the debut album by the American folk-rock band, The Byrds. It peaked at #6 on the Billboard Top Pop Albums chart, staying on the charts for 38 weeks; it also went to #7 in Great Britain. The single of the same name, Bob Dylan's "Mr. Tambourine Man," had been released on April 12, 1965, and went to #1 on both the Billboard Hot 100 and in the UK; another single and Dylan cover from the album, "All I Really Want to Do," just made the Top 40, peaking at #40.
The single instantly established the band on both sides of the Atlantic, introducing the new genre of folk rock. Its most distinctive features were the vocal harmonies of Gene Clark, Jim McGuinn and David Crosby, and McGuinn's twelve-string Rickenbacker guitar playing (which complemented the lyric's "jingle jangle morning"). This combination became the band's signature sound in this early period.
Of the album tracks, most of the band originals were penned by Clark, the group's central songwriter over its first eighteen months of existence, including "Here Without You" and "I'll Feel a Whole Lot Better" (the latter becoming a rock and roll standard, inspiring many cover versions).
There was also an abundance of Dylan material, with three songs taken from his Another Side of Bob Dylan LP, leading to accusations of the band being too reliant on his work. Other covers included an expansive arrangement of Pete Seeger's "The Bells Of Rhymney", stressing the band's folk music roots, and Vera Lynn's war years standard "We'll Meet Again," given a very sardonic reading influenced by the song's appearance in the final scene of Stanley Kubrick's movie Dr. Strangelove.
The label had replaced most of the band with session musicians for the single and its b-side, "I Knew I'd Want You," with only McGuinn allowed to play on the tracks, although Clark and Crosby did sing on the two tracks. By the time the album was recorded, the group had polished their sound to producer Terry Melcher's satisfaction, and The Byrds themselves played on the remaining tracks.
01."Mr. Tambourine Man" (Bob Dylan) –2:29
02."I'll Feel a Whole Lot Better" (Gene Clark) –2:32
03."Spanish Harlem Incident" (Bob Dylan) –1:57
04."You Won't Have to Cry" (Gene Clark/Jim McGuinn) –2:08
05."Here Without You" (Gene Clark) –2:36
06."The Bells of Rhymney" (Idris Davies/Pete Seeger) –3:30
07."All I Really Want to Do" (Bob Dylan) –2:04
08."I Knew I'd Want You" (Gene Clark) –2:14
09."It's No Use" (Gene Clark/Jim McGuinn) –2:23
10."Don't Doubt Yourself, Babe" (Jackie DeShannon) –2:54
11."Chimes of Freedom" (Bob Dylan) –3:51
12."We'll Meet Again" (Ross Parker/ Hughie Charles) –2:07
13."She Has a Way" (Gene Clark) – 2:25
14."I'll Feel a Whole Lot Better" [Alternate Version] (Gene Clark) – 2:28
15."It's No Use" [Alternate Version] (Gene Clark/Jim McGuinn) – 2:24
16."You Won't Have to Cry" [Alternate Version] (Gene Clark/Jim McGuinn) – 2:07
17."All I Really Want to Do" [Single Version] (Bob Dylan) – 2:02
18."You and Me" [Instrumental] (David Crosby/Gene Clark/Jim McGuinn) – 2:11