The Byrds – Younger Than Yesterday

ARTIST: The Byrds  220px-YoungerYesterdayCover
TITLE: Younger Than Yesterday
SINGLES: So You Want to Be a Rock ‘n’ Roll Star (#29), My Back Pages (#30), Have You Seen Her Face (#74)
OTHER SONGS YOU MAY KNOW: Only if you’re a Byrds freak.
LINEUP: Jim McGuinn, David Crosby, Chris Hillman, Michael Clarke with Clarence White and Hugh Masekela sitting in on a track or two.
WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT: The Byrds mature, and release an album with several influences such as jazz and country. Hillman’s songs that solidify the album.

SOME WORDS, PHRASES AND CLAUSES ABOUT THIS RECORD: This record presents the Byrds as a band moving away from folk-rock and into jazz, country and some psychedelia. Chris Hillman placed three cuts on the record, and he brought a country influence and a nice, different voice to the lineup.

McGuinn’s sardonic lead single, “So You Want to Be A Rock ‘n’ Roll Star” is brilliant, and has Hugh Maskela’s trumpet adding a needed touch of freneticism to the already energetic performance. The best track though is Crosby’s “Renaissance Fair”, where the Byrds’ instrumental strengths are paired with gorgeous harmonies.

Still, Crosby included a real clunker, which could have been replaced with some cuts left off for B-sides or later singles, and again it was a short album at just 11 tracks. The tension between Crosby and McGuinn was starting to burble, as both men wanted as many songs as possible on the records, and also wanted the singles.

NOTES & MINUTIAE: This album included “Why”, which was a B-side of “Eight Miles High”. They re-recorded it for some reason, and it’s a bit neutered here. Many speculate it was because Crosby put up a fit since he wrote half the song.

IS THERE A DELUXE VERSION: Yes, with b-sides, a soundrack cut, and singles.

GRADE: A-: You can skip Crosby’s clunker and it’d be a classic record.


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