Some people regard the Byrds as an American version of the Beatles but although there are some similarities, I don't. They didn't write all their own songs and their interest in folk and country music was much greater than that of the Fab Four. This eclectic 1965 album, with added bonus tracks, is a case in point. The line-up for this album, produced by Terry Melcher, was Jim McGuinn, Gene Clark, David Crosby, Chris Hillman and Michael Clarke.
The title track, a huge American pop hit but only a minor UK hit, is a cover of a Pete Seeger song. Pete's song was not really original - he had taken the lyrics from the bible and adapted them to create the song. It had been recorded by several folk singers including Judy Collins, but the Byrds made it into a pop song.
Bob Dylan was a strong influence. The original album contained two of his songs, Lay down your weary tune and The times they are a-changing. You get those here, plus It's all over now baby blue and an alternative version of The times they are a-changing. Dylan was a major influence on Gene Clark, who wrote three songs for the original album plus others that appear as bonus tracks.
The album also includes a cover of Satisfied mind, the first country song to be covered by the Byrds. Satisfied mind was originally a country hit for Porter Wagoner, whose other country hits included Green green grass of home (turned into a pop hit by Tom Jones), but whose most important contribution to popular music was to bring Dolly Parton out of obscurity and make her into a star.
The most unlikely song to be included here is Oh Susannah, the traditional folk song, which the Byrds update nicely for the sixties.
The eclectic nature of this album may not please everybody, but if you have broad musical tastes, this is a real treat. If not, you may find that you like some tracks and not others.