This gets 5 stars because it is one of the greatest debut albums in rock history, a true groundbreaker which redefined how rock & pop could sound thereafter. The Byrds were the band who wanted to be America's version of the Beatles & it has to be said that no band before or since possessed a better creative understanding of what their mentors were up to. This band realised from the start that the Beatles offered a musical template that they first tried to imitate & in doing so discovered that it was open to what they thought to introduce into the mix. The sound is by turns fresh, exuberant, magical, exciting & at times positively joyful- but always intelligent & in Jim (or Roger as he is now known) McGuinn they had a genius arranger who had previously worked with Bobby Darin & Judy Collins in that capacity, among others. I could write a short book about this brilliant record, but not here. Suffice to say that this album has to be a prominent feature on heaven's jukebox.
I must admit to one particular disappointment with the remastered version & that concerns the stereo mix of the title track, in which McGuinn's legendary opening guitar motif is restricted to just the one stereo channel- a poor decision in that it diminishes its impact. Perhaps Sony/Columbia might like to consider remastering the mono singles (previously assembled on 2 albums issued in the early 1980s) in order that we might all appreciate just how remarkable 'Mr. Tambourine Man' sounded back in 1965 when the full force of that guitar figure came over the radio. I wish . . .