Search - Byrds :: Turn Turn Turn

Turn Turn Turn
Turn Turn Turn
Genres: Folk, Pop, Rock, Classic Rock
  •  Track Listings (18) - Disc #1

Arriving just months after the folk-rock call to arms of their brilliant debut, the Byrds' second album closely follows the same formula, but what a formula: durable American folksongs (from Pete Seeger, Bob Dylan, and eve...  more »


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CD Details

All Artists: Byrds
Title: Turn Turn Turn
Members Wishing: 6
Total Copies: 0
Label: Sony
Release Date: 4/30/1996
Album Type: Original recording reissued, Original recording remastered
Genres: Folk, Pop, Rock, Classic Rock
Styles: Oldies, Folk Rock
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaCD Credits: 1
UPCs: 074646484623, 5099748370624

Arriving just months after the folk-rock call to arms of their brilliant debut, the Byrds' second album closely follows the same formula, but what a formula: durable American folksongs (from Pete Seeger, Bob Dylan, and even Stephen Foster) and their own strong originals are laced with the band's keening vocal harmonies and chiming guitars in a mix since institutionalized as a perennial rock dialect. With Seeger's classic title song, the Byrds brought Ecclesiastes onto the charts, importing the urban folk movement's social and political consciousness to the pop mainstream. If the album couldn't repeat the revelatory impact of its predecessor, it's still an earful, from Gene Clark's urgent, ardent "It Won't Be Wrong" to Dylan's contemplative "Lay Down Your Weary Tune." Meticulously remastered, this restored version also boasts unreleased tracks and B-sides, including "She Don't Care About Time," noteworthy for a 12-string solo lifted from Bach. --Sam Sutherland

CD Reviews

Turn! Turn! Turn! -- What A Follow-Up!
Lover of the Bayou | Louisiana, U.S. | 05/08/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)

"What a follow-up! The Byrds only released two albums and a handful of singles with Gene Clark--until a rather abysmal reunion in the early 1970's--but what a couple of albums they are! "Mr. Tambourine Man," their first release, would of course be hailed as one of the penultimate folk-rock records, with the group so aptly adapting the songs of Bob Dylan and Pete Seeger to a radio-friendly audience. Yet, for me, it's not how the group performs the title track or selected covers on that LP, or how they equally master "Lay Down Your Weary Tune," "The Times They Are A-Changin" or Stephen Foster's "Oh! Susannah" on this its sequel, but the quality of their original material, the bulk of which was penned by Gene Clark! Clark's amazing "I'll Feel a Whole Lot Better" has become a rock and roll classic, and "Here Without You" beautifully exemplifies its composer's darker, poetic side on The Byrds' debut recording. With the success of that LP under their belts, the group would appear to offer more of the same with "Turn! Turn! Turn!" but Clark would emerge as an even more powerful force with compositions "Set You Free This Time," "She Don't Care About Time" and the hauntingly brilliant "The World Turns All Around Her!" Lesser known track "If You're Gone" would precede Clark's last songwriting credit on a Byrds recording with "Eight Miles High" on their "Fifth Dimension" LP. With Clark's departure, group members David Crosby and Roger McGuinn would be allowed to spread their wings and soar as celebrities and songwriters in their own right, and Crosby's ultimate departure would likewise permit bassist Chris Hillman to step forward before leaving to form The Flying Burrito Brothers, Souther, Hillman and Furay and the Desert Rose Band, then completing a musical full-circle by again reuniting with Clark and McGuinn for two releases and a brief tour. It having been common practice in the early to mid 1960's for session musicians to play on the company predicted hits, such would be the case with much of "Mr. Tambourine Man," but The Byrds would prove themselves to be competent enough musicians and capable performers that this would not be the case with subsequent releases. I love every line-up that's existed of The Byrds, from Gene Clark to Gram Parsons and John York to Clarence White and Skip Battin, with drummer Gene Parsons himself providing exceptional all-around musicianship and serving as a steadying force while the group forged its way into country-rock after a brief dalliance with psychedlic music. But again coming full-circle, it would be their first two LPs from the folk-rock years that hold the dearest place in my heart and serve as the best starting points for future Byrds fans."
Musical Freedom Amidst a Time of Unrest and Division
Bud | Seminole, Texas, USA | 12/23/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)

"To quote the original liner notes of The Byrds' second album, "Protests growled briefly and died in great, wheezing gasps. The Byrds, unfettered, looked the other way and sang love songs." In 1965, America was beginning to enter a time of vehement political and social division and if anyone was looking for a song that flawlessly described the time, the title track of this album was a Godsend...literally. Originally taken by Pete Seeger from the 3rd chapter of Ecclesiastes in the Bible, 'Turn! Turn! Turn!' was such a powerful anthem for all involved in the social unrest--both weary politicians and youths burning their draft cards--that the other songs on the album did not need to consist of other political messages. The Byrds decided one anthem was enough, and filled "Turn! Turn! Turn!" with great songs about love and searches for personal enlightenment.
The group's debut "Mr. Tambourine Man" had been largely carried by vocalist Gene Clark's creative originals, and four Bob Dylan covers among others. Clark's songs also carry "Turn! Turn! Turn!" when it comes to the creative output of the bandmembers, but Roger (Jim) McGuinn was establishing himself as the counterpart to Clark's work. The love songs he co-wrote, 'It Won't Be Wrong' and 'Wait and See' (co-authored by budding Byrd David Crosby) were not up to the standards of those set by Gene Clark, but his arranging of folk standards and 12-string Rickenbacker playing show his influence. McGuinn brilliantly turns an old folk song 'He Was A Friend Of Mine' into a beautiful lament for John F. Kennedy, the additional lyrics McGuinn added delicately describing the tragic assassination of a president. Also a nice move is the jangle of 'Oh Susannah,' which features great interplay between McGuinn's Rickenbacker and Michael Clarke's drum kit. 'Satisfied Mind' is one of the best covers the Byrds ever did, sincere and simple, and covers of 'The Times They Are-A Changing' and 'Lay Down Your Weary Tune' helped convince Dylan himself that the group was a solid talent. He told McGuinn "Up until I heard this ['Lay Down Your Weary Tune'] I thought you were just another immitator."
But Gene Clark again eclipses with his love songs; one of the most creative ballad writers of all time, Clark's songs were never cliched or tongue-in-cheek, and always down-to-Earth. 'If You're Gone' has to be one of his most moving vocal performances ever. 'Set You Free This Time' and 'The World Turns All Around Her' display the kind of songwriting the pop world needs today. His 'She Don't Care About Time' single is fortunately included as a bonus track on this remaster, along with another Clark masterpiece 'The Day Walk,' better known as 'Never Before.'
The "Turn! Turn! Turn!" album was a make it or break it for the Byrds; during this short time they rivalled the Beatles, and the massive success of the title track solidified their stance, if only for a brief time. But the other ten songs were what proved the group's talent, avoiding sophomore slumps and delivering some of the 60s greatest music."
A flawed, transitional album now ready to be fixed
aaron | Canada | 01/19/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Of the original Byrds reissue series from 1996 and 1997, "Turn! Turn! Turn!" benefits more than most. The original 1965 LP was a baffling mixture of pure, undistilled brilliance and obvious filler, with little rhyme or reason. The album found the boys pushing subtly in virtually all of the directions they would take in their next few albums, whilst still retaining close ties to their first record, the brilliant and massively popular 'Mr Tambourine Man'.
Too often this album is stigmatized as being too similar to that record. That really isn't true; although the instrumental approach is similar on a few songs, the Byrds sound markedly different here. The exception, of course, is the omnipresent (and astonishing) title track, one of the most advanced pop productions of its time. Boasting complex, tightly woven vocal and instrumental harmonies, unique and unexpected time changes, and the most philosophical rock lyrics that had been aired to that point, it's indisputably a classic of considerable proportions. However, subtler indications of the group's evolution were present too: the band had grown as an instrumental unit, with drummer Michael Clarke's showing surprising proficiency just one example. And in McGuinn's picking were hints of the acoustic sound that would appear on the album. And, most of all, the delivery was august, earnest. It was a harbinger of what was to come.
The sprightly, springlike touch of their first album is missing, and 'Turn Turn Turn' is, in fact, a surprisingly bleak affair. The Dylan covers here, for example, are from the sessions for the vitriolic, pious affair, 'The Times They are A-Changin', whereas the ones on the previous album had been intended for the playful, personal, and melodic 'Another Side of Bob Dylan'. The Byrds here turn in a surprisingly grungy take on 'Lay Down Your Weary Tune', for example, with a bleary edge helped along by beautiful and unusual harmonies. Elsewhere, the solemn cover of Porter Wagoner's 'Satisfied Mind' is graced by hair-raising choral harmonies, with the verses changed and one removed, totally altering the song's message. Crosby's harmony, in particular, has a haunting shiver to it. And the traditional song, 'He Was a Friend of Mine', is retrofitted by McGuinn with new lyrics about JFK, nimble bass runs by Chris Hillman, and another lovely harmony from Crosby.
This is to say nothing of the original material, which on all but one song is first-rate. In particular, Gene Clark turns in three mournful, low-key masterpieces with 'Set You Free This Time' (boasting a surprisingly dense lyric and a sparse solo vocal), 'The World Turns All Around Her' and 'If You're Gone'. The latter features unsual droning octave harmonies from McGuinn and Crosby, which closely foreshadow the psychedelia to come on the Byrds' next trio of albums. There is also a trippy edge to the McGuinn number 'It Won't Be Wrong', a moving, urgent plea graced with brilliant, piercing guitar work and insistent time and mood changes. It even has a country-ish bridge and, in a slightly less 'pop' arrangement, might have fit well on 1968's 'Notorious Byrd Brothers' LP. Even 'The World Turns All Around Her' is subtly psychedelic and mildly experimental, being a modal, celtic- sounding song that could have passed for an Irish mountain ballad. (An alternate take is included, but besides an unintentionally goofy bongo track, it's no different.)
The original LP boasted 11 songs, and the first 8 were almost uniformly brilliant and strikingly innovative. In fact, to this point the album is arguably superior to 'Mr Tambourine Man', the LP that preceded it. However, 'Turn Turn Turn' falls apart towards the end, thanks to a trio of too-haphazard efforts. Why the Byrds decided to include the three songs they did when far better, unreleased material was available (I'll discuss that in a moment) is a minor mystery.
The take of 'The Times They Are A-Changin' is dripping with irony and ennui, and is essentially worthless. The argument that this song could not be effectively covered as an upbeat folk-rock tune is proven false by the far superior (and EARLIER), punkish alternate take included on this CD. McGuinn sings with abandon, and contributes an interesting, vaguely trippy guitar refrain. Even so, it's far from a masterpiece, but it's hardly one of Dylan's stronger songs anyway, despite its popularity. Its preachy nature and vitriol doesn't translate well to the Byrds in any format.
After the awful stab at 'Times', the Byrds move on to the pleasant but insubstantial McGuinn-Crosby ballad, 'Wait and See'. It's about as strong as some of the more obscure numbers on 'A Hard Day's Night', but one expects more from the Byrds at this point. And the original LP ended with a mildly interesting (but overlong) humorous stab at Stephen Foster's 'Oh! Susannah', which is nicely played in the verses and choruses but breaks too long for McGuinn to play an irritating solo refrain.
"Turn! Turn! Turn" almost doesn't work as an album because of these three misfires. And "If You're Gone", while beautiful and sad, is too low-key to end the album. The remedy is on this CD, which vastly improves the original lineup. The eerie, occasionally jaunty Gene Clark tune 'The Day Walk' would have been excellent album fodder, although this album is somewhat unpolished (the vocals are a bit dissonant, and Hillman's bass is out of tune). It's strange and moving, and somewhat similar to David Crosby's later 'It Happens Each Day'. Also included is the untouchably brilliant Clark B-side, 'She Don't Care About Time', one of the early Byrds' best songs (and perhaps THE best), a lyrically fascinating , intensely romantic folk-rocker. The alternate take features intriguing, foreboding piano work from Terry Melcher, a nicer vocal mix, and a more ramshackle presentation. It's almost as good as the original.
Nonetheless, the two Clark outtakes could have ended the original LP in style, and the Byrds could have tacked on 'Oh Susannah' as a cozy joke and had an airtight 11-track opus far superior to Mr Tambourine Man. Sadly, they opted not to, resulting in this album's poor reputation when it could have been regarded as a masterpiece.
That being said, this album is a flawed but essential effort."