Preflyte (2cd) Double CD, Original recording remastered
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For a start the track listing above is incorrect. CD 1 has 20 track, not 18, the last two being You Showed Me (inst.) and The Times They Are A Changin' (inst.) and CD two only has 28 tracks, 21. You Movin Boston, 22. She Has A Way, 23. You Movin The Reason Why and 24. It's No Use are not on it, I have no idea where this discrepancy comes from. There was a 7" of You Movin/Boston that came out at the same time as the Preflyte Sessions but were versions that were not included on it so perhaps Floating World meant to include them here and then didn't.
So to what is here. Well, there's all the stuff from the various releases under the Preflyte title down the years and the sound quality is very high and is clearly taken wholesale from the 2006 remastered Preflyte Sessions as the track order is identicle. Then there's the interesting bit, The Columbia demo reel and a trio of other unreleased songs. The sound quality of the demo reel is not as good as the rest, nor is it as compressed and full as the remasters, but it is still a good quality recording and I prefer to hear it in its natural state, i mean these are demos and temptation to over-produce them would put too much emphasis on what is a working sketch. But they're great versions, they really are.
Perhaps even more interesting is the final three songs. Two Crosby solo tracks, the first his brilliant rewrite/hat-tip/expansion of Mannish Boy and the second a fully realized demo of Everybody's Been Burned that is even more beautiful than the Byrds take. Then there's a single, wonderful Gene Clark solo song, and for these alone this is a great release.
Sadly though the package doesn't live up to the music. There is a fair attempt to do right, a perfunctary retelling of the early Byrd history, but it's not much of a read and hasn't been checked for mistakes. The packaging looks like a bootleg with the cover snaffled from the inside of the original Preflyte release.
There is no writing credits for any of the tracks provided nor any dates, so i have no idea if for instance Crosby's demo of Everybody's Been Burned is contemporanious with the rest of the material.
So get it, it's great and the fullest version yet. It's also very good value and there are some interesting pictures in it, but it's not perfect.
The pre-hit Byrds are caught on tape refining and discovering their new sound, soon to become famous worldwide with "Mr Tambourine Man". A cute early version of that is included as are alternative versions of favourites like "Here Without You" and "You Won't Have To Cry". The real attraction for me are the songs the Byrds chose not to record when they became huge stars. "The Airport Song" is a rare example of David Crosby's early vocal sound and a wistful tune as well. "For Me Again" is classic Gene Clark and its a shame it was left off the Byrds first real album. The much covered "You Showed Me" is also here in its original form (long before the Turtles)."The Reason Why" is also charming and Beatle influenced.
Overall an excellent package - the embryonic Byrds just before take off. Enjoy
I really love albums that contains demos & unreleased songs. I find it fascinating, to listen to how these songs evolve & alter.
If you like this record, you should check out "Bob Dylan Bootleg Series 1-3" , "This life & music of Richard Thompson" & "The Buffalo Springfield Boxset"
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