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Tuesday, October 25, 2011

"Mr. Tambourine Man"

The Byrds - Mr. Tambourine Man (1965)

The less said of Shatner, the better.

Lots of interesting trivia on this one. Bob Dylan wrote and recorded this song, but it was The Byrds that took it to Number 1. Upon hearing their version, Dylan excitedly became interested in "going electric", which he did later that year. The band was not interested in recording it, even after changing up the beat and making it rock. The song is considered one of the prototypical songs of the Folk Rock style. Jangling guitars, poetic lyrics, all that 60s swirl coming together. Even though The Bird would eventually go on to be on of the most respected bands of the 60s, at the time, their record company didn't really trust them. For this, their first single, The only member of the band playing an instrument was Roger McGuinn on his 12 string guitar. The rest of the instruments were played by studio session extraordinaries, The Wrecking Crew. The vocals are all members of The Byrds.

The recording is in Stereo. The bass lives in the left side with the guitars coming out of the right. The tambourine also only shows up on the left side. Drums and vocals are mixed in the middle. The lead and harmony vocals are "soft". I don't mean quiet I mean they feel like a warm blanket, or something like that. They are the opposite of edgy. Most of the song is a relaxed folky thing, but the drum runs at 1:30 and 1:47 as well as the lead guitar and bass duo at the beginning and ending of the song give a hint to the edge that the 60s had as well.

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