History of The Byrds

History of The Byrds is a double album compilation by the American rock band the Byrds and was released on May 18, 1973 by CBS Records (see 1973 in music).[1] The compilation was released exclusively in Europe and the UK, peaking at number 47 on the UK Albums Chart, but it was also available in the United States as an import.[2][3]

History of The Byrds
Greatest hits album by
ReleasedMay 18, 1973
RecordedJanuary 20, 1965 – July 27, 1971
GenreRock, pop, folk rock, psychedelic rock, country rock
ProducerTerry Melcher, Allen Stanton, Gary Usher, Bob Johnston, Jim Dickson, Chris Hinshaw, the Byrds
The Byrds chronology
History of The Byrds
Return of The Byrds


History of The Byrds provides a chronological survey of the band's career from 1965 to 1971, a period when they were signed to Columbia Records.[3] It begins with the Byrds' debut single on Columbia, "Mr. Tambourine Man", and culminates with their final single release for the label, "America's Great National Pastime".[1][4] The album features the first appearance on an LP of the non-album single "Lady Friend" and the 1965 B-side "She Don't Care About Time".[3][5][6]

It was issued to coincide with the reunion of the original members of the Byrds and the release of a reunion album, titled Byrds, in March 1973. However, none of the tracks from the 1973 reunion album were included on History of The Byrds, due to that album having appeared on Asylum Records rather than on Columbia.[1] At the time of its release, History of The Byrds was the most comprehensive overview of the band's recorded output available.[3] Every variation of the Byrds' ever changing lineup is represented within the album's song selection and as such, it provides a survey of the band's musical journey from their days as folk rock and psychedelic rock pioneers through to their later exploration of country rock.[7] Many of the band's biggest selling singles are included, along with a number of their best known album tracks. Consequently, the album includes musical contributions from all of the key players in the Byrds' convoluted history, including Gene Clark, David Crosby, Chris Hillman, Gram Parsons, Clarence White, and the group's only consistent member, Roger McGuinn.

The album's front cover made use of a David Gahr photograph featuring the last lineup of the Byrds to be represented on the album: Roger McGuinn, Skip Battin, Gene Parsons, and Clarence White.[8] The same photograph had already been used for the cover of the U.S. compilation album The Best of The Byrds: Greatest Hits, Volume II just six months earlier.[8] The back cover included liner notes by Kim Fowley and the inside gatefold sleeve of the double vinyl LP featured Pete Frame's "Byrds Family Tree".[3] This intricately detailed flowchart traced the group's roots and complicated membership history over the years.[1] The very first pressing of this double LP mentioned the Byrds English fan club's (run by Chrissie Oakes) name and address in the middle of the family tree.

Despite being one of the band's biggest selling compilations in Europe, History of The Byrds went out of print in the early 1990s and has never been released on CD.

Track listingEdit

Side 1Edit

  1. "Mr. Tambourine Man" (Bob Dylan) – 2:20
  2. "Turn! Turn! Turn!" (Book of Ecclesiastes/Pete Seeger) – 3:49
  3. "She Don't Care About Time" (Gene Clark) – 2:28
  4. "Wild Mountain Thyme" (traditional, arranged Roger McGuinn, Chris Hillman, Michael Clarke, David Crosby) – 2:29
  5. "Eight Miles High" (Gene Clark, Roger McGuinn, David Crosby) – 3:35
  6. "Mr. Spaceman" (Roger McGuinn) – 2:08
  7. "5D (Fifth Dimension)" (Roger McGuinn) – 2:32

Side 2Edit

  1. "So You Want to Be a Rock 'n' Roll Star" (Chris Hillman, Roger McGuinn) – 2:03
  2. "Time Between" (Chris Hillman) – 1:56
  3. "My Back Pages" (Bob Dylan) – 3:05
  4. "Lady Friend" (David Crosby) – 2:30
  5. "Goin' Back" (Carole King, Gerry Goffin) – 3:26
  6. "Old John Robertson" (Chris Hillman, Roger McGuinn) – 1:51
  7. "Wasn't Born to Follow" (Carole King, Gerry Goffin) – 2:02

Side 3Edit

  1. "You Ain't Goin' Nowhere" (Bob Dylan) – 2:33
  2. "Hickory Wind" (Gram Parsons, Bob Buchanan) – 3:30
  3. "Nashville West" (Gene Parsons, Clarence White) – 2:30
  4. "Drug Store Truck Drivin' Man" (Roger McGuinn, Gram Parsons) – 3:52
  5. "Gunga Din" (Gene Parsons) – 3:01
  6. "Jesus Is Just Alright" (Arthur Reid Reynolds) – 2:09
  7. "Ballad of Easy Rider" (Roger McGuinn, Bob Dylan) – 2:01
    • NOTE: Bob Dylan is not officially credited as a songwriter on "Ballad of Easy Rider".[9]

Side 4Edit

  1. "Chestnut Mare" (Roger McGuinn, Jacques Levy) – 5:10
  2. "Yesterday's Train" (Gene Parsons, Skip Battin) – 3:32
  3. "Just a Season" (Roger McGuinn, Jacques Levy) – 3:52
  4. "Citizen Kane" (Skip Battin, Kim Fowley) – 2:35
  5. "Jamaica (Say You Will)" (Jackson Browne) – 3:25
  6. "Tiffany Queen" (Roger McGuinn) – 2:40
  7. "America's Great National Pastime" (Skip Battin, Kim Fowley) – 2:56



  1. ^ a b c d Hjort, Christopher. (2008). So You Want To Be A Rock 'n' Roll Star: The Byrds Day-By-Day (1965-1973). Jawbone Press. p. 320. ISBN 1-906002-15-0.
  2. ^ Brown, Tony. (2000). The Complete Book of the British Charts. Omnibus Press. p. 130. ISBN 0-7119-7670-8.
  3. ^ a b c d e "History of The Byrds". Allmusic. Retrieved 2010-01-16.
  4. ^ Rogan, Johnny. (1998). The Byrds: Timeless Flight Revisited. Rogan House. pp. 541–545. ISBN 0-9529540-1-X.
  5. ^ "She Don't Care About Time album appearances & review". Allmusic. Retrieved 2010-01-16.
  6. ^ "Lady Friend album appearances". Allmusic. Retrieved 2010-01-16.
  7. ^ "The Byrds Biography". Allmusic. Retrieved 2010-01-17.
  8. ^ a b Hjort, Christopher. (2008). So You Want To Be A Rock 'n' Roll Star: The Byrds Day-By-Day (1965-1973). Jawbone Press. pp. 308–309. ISBN 1-906002-15-0.
  9. ^ Rogan, Johnny. (1998). The Byrds: Timeless Flight Revisited. Rogan House. pp. 298–299. ISBN 0-9529540-1-X.