The Byrds

The Essential Byrds

The Byrds, that seminal L.A. folk-rock band that accomplished nearly as much as the Beatles did to broaden the palette of rock music during the 1960s, has never sounded better than on this double-disc compilation of digitally remastered songs in 5.1 sound. Everything you might expect is here: “Mr. Tambourine Man,” “I’ll Feel a Whole Lot Better,” “Turn! Turn! Turn!,” “Wasn’t Born to Follow,” “Chestnut Mare,” and so on. Even so, there are a few nice surprises: Gene Clark’s tunes “She Don’t Care About Time” and “Set You Free This Time,” and David Crosby’s final bow with the group, the single “Lady Friend.” Roger McGuinn’s 12-string electric Rickenbacker chimes magnificently throughout, of course. But McGuinn’s innovative use of synthesizers and reintroduction of country roots into mainstream rock are also inescapably significant and represented here.