Opening the iTunes Store.If iTunes doesn't open, click the iTunes application icon in your Dock or on your Windows desktop.Progress Indicator
Opening the iBooks Store.If iBooks doesn't open, click the iBooks app in your Dock.Progress Indicator

iTunes is the world's easiest way to organize and add to your digital media collection.

We are unable to find iTunes on your computer. To preview and buy music from The Essential Byrds by The Byrds, download iTunes now.

Already have iTunes? Click I Have iTunes to open it now.

I Have iTunes Free Download
iTunes for Mac + PC

The Essential Byrds

Open iTunes to preview, buy, and download music.

iTunes Review

Although the 1967 set The Byrds’ Greatest Hits is a great introductory compilation, The Essential Byrds digs deeper into a nest of songs that span 1965 to 1971. Offering a generous 33 tracks, this set seamlessly ranges from the band’s bowl-cut, harmony-laden, 12-stringed folk-rock to the post–Gram Parsons, longhaired country-rock era (which Byrds fans jokingly refer to as The Beards). The Essential Byrds opens with a cover of Bob Dylan’s ode to Bruce Langhorne, “Mr. Tambourine Man.” (Reportedly, The Byrds didn’t even want to cover it at first; it was pushed on them by Columbia Records.) The following “I’ll Feel a Whole Lot Better” can be regarded as one of the first tracks providing a window into the genius songwriting of the late, great Gene Clark. But it’s the psychedelic anthem “Eight Miles High” that shone a light on Roger McGuinn approximating John Coltrane’s modal notes with his 12-string Rickenbacker. And while the jovial “Mr. Spaceman” is thought to be The Byrds' first foray into country-rock, it was the Parsons–penned “Hickory Wind” that changed everything.

Customer Reviews

Excellent compilation

I am a relatively new fan of the Byrds. After years of singing along to their hit "Turn! Turn! Turn (To Everything There is a Season)" when it played on the radio, I decided to buy this to acquaint myself with many of their other songs (both hits and fan favorites) and was very pleased. It's an entertaining collection which expanded and intensified my respect for Roger McGuinn's band and, best of all, had my foot tapping from beginning to end. Recommended!

I like the Byrds!

These are classics! Go Byrds!

Country Rockers Extraordinaire

The Byrds were both totally of their time - the 60's country/folk/rock - and at the same time way ahead of the curve. Their instrumental sounds were unique, rhythms complex, their harmonies perfect, and words both fun and poignant. One of the most influential country/rock groups, led by the brilliant Roger McGuinn, they collaborated with all the greats, and were precursors of groups like Wilco. You probably couldn't count how many covers of their music have been done by other country rockers over the last 40 years. This album is a great representative of some of their finest output. Beyond the legendary Turn, Turn, Turn, don't miss My Back Pages, I'll Feel a Whole Lot Better, Chimes of Freedom, Bells of Rhymney, All I Really Want To Do, Lover of the Bayou, So You Wan to Be a Rock 'n Roll Star...then go check out all the deeper cuts on other albums [they were prolific] and enjoy.


Formed: 1964 in Los Angeles, CA

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s

Although they only attained the huge success of the Beatles, Rolling Stones, and the Beach Boys for a short time in the mid-'60s, time has judged the Byrds to be nearly as influential as those groups in the long run. They were not solely responsible for devising folk-rock, but they were certainly more responsible than any other single act (Dylan included) for melding the innovations and energy of the British Invasion with the best lyrical and musical elements of contemporary folk music. The jangling,...
Full Bio

Top Albums and Songs by The Byrds