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Definitive Collection
Definitive Collection
Genres: Country, Pop, Rock, Classic Rock
  •  Track Listings (29) - Disc #1

1995 compilation on Columbia featuring 25 of the influentialfolk-rocker's best on one disc & a bonus CD with live versions of four tracks, 'Lover Of The Bayou', 'Eight MilesHigh', 'Mr. Tambourine Man' & 'Mr. Spaceman'. 29 ...  more »


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CD Details

All Artists: Byrds
Title: Definitive Collection
Members Wishing: 0
Total Copies: 0
Label: Sony
Release Date: 2/1/1996
Album Type: Import
Genres: Country, Pop, Rock, Classic Rock
Styles: Oldies, Folk Rock, Country Rock, Psychedelic Rock
Number of Discs: 2
SwapaCD Credits: 2
UPCs: 5099748054890, 766484757020


Album Description
1995 compilation on Columbia featuring 25 of the influentialfolk-rocker's best on one disc & a bonus CD with live versions of four tracks, 'Lover Of The Bayou', 'Eight MilesHigh', 'Mr. Tambourine Man' & 'Mr. Spaceman'. 29 tracks total, with the main disc also including the hit studio versions of the last three listed, plus 'Turn! Turn! Turn!','So You Want To Be A Rock 'N' Roll Star', 'Jesus Is JustAlright' and 'Chestnut Mare'. Sony.

CD Reviews

Mark | Santa Monica, CA | 08/04/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)

"Although the album contents as listed above suggest a single CD, this is actually a two CD set. The first disk of 25 studio cuts runs 72:58, and a second disk of 4 live performances from '(Untitled)' clocks in at 24:56.

The first CD is probably the best single disk compilation to cover the band's entire career, and despite some curious choices it is for the most part very good listening. I love the opening programming sequence of the 5 "Tambourine" album cuts, and that promising start is sustained with growing excitement for most of the disk -- at least through "Sweetheart's" 'You Ain't Goin' Nowhere'.

The only album not covered is "Dr. Byrds", which is represented by the overdubbed single 'Lay Lady Lay' issued in that period. It failed to make the original "Dr. Byrds" album in any form, and whatever your opinion of that single (which many find either hugely impressive or disasterous), omission of 'This Wheel's on Fire' (especially), 'Drug Store Truck Drivin' Man', or something from "Dr. Byrds" is for me a significant stumble -- after which the program loses momentum and fails (in my opinion) to adequately convey the quality of the later albums.

'America's Great National Pastime' especially is an unworthy conclusion to a Byrds career retrospective. Almost anything else from "Farther Along" would have been more satisfying.

Still I have to admit enjoying the way this program laces the obligatory cuts with unexpected choices like 'Lay Lady Lay' and 'I Trust'. This makes for a fresh listening experience to USA fans, where the first of these did not chart and the second was never issued as a single.

The sound quality is good but a little short of first rate, so I suspect these were compiled from European EQ masters rather than the originals. In fact there's a production error tip-off: the slamming door that opens 'Get To You' on "Notorious Byrd Brothers" appears here at the end of 'Wasn't Born To Follow'; the engineeer thought it closed the latter track instead of opening the former. Clearly, he was working from an EQ copy of the "Notorious" album, not the song's master. And 'Lady Friend' is a rarity, the original monaurel single, which may interest collectors. It sounds fine and you probably won't notice the monaurel track without headphones.

The second disk of live performances from "(Untitled)" is an entertainingly edited little excerpt that seamlessly melds 'Lover of the Bayou' and 'Mr. Tambourine Man' into a continuous performance, followed by the 16 mimute 'Eight Miles High' jam; as on "(Untitled)" the jam ends with a bridge song and McGuinn's farewell -- but this disk then edits in "Mr. Spaceman" as an encore brought on by the cheering crowd.

Overall I found this an entertaining album worth buying even for Byrds fans who have everything. The sheer volume of material rates four stars at the least. It's a nice alternate program for those times when you're in the mood for the Byrds from a fresh perspective, and not a bad introductory album.

I also like having a 25 minute Byrds live mini-concert on a separate disk.

However, as a full career retrospective of this band's long run on Columbia, "Definitive Collection" fails to beat out the 2 CD set "The Essential Byrds".