500 Greatest Songs of All Time
The Byrds, 'Mr. Tambourine Man'
Writer: Bob Dylan
Producer: Terry Melcher
Released: May '65, Columbia
13 weeks; No. 1
The only Byrd to play on the band's first hit was Roger McGuinn, whose chiming 12-string Rickenbacker guitar became folk rock's defining sound. Everything else came from L.A. session players, including drummer Hal Blaine and bassist Larry Knechtel of Phil Spector's Wrecking Crew. But the rest of the Byrds soon caught up, and as the song was breaking, a curious Dylan checked out the band at Ciro's, a Los Angeles club. Reportedly, he didn't recognize some of his own songs in their electrified versions.
Appears on: Mr. Tambourine Man (Columbia/Legacy)