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The Preflyte Sessions

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iTunes Review

The Preflyte Sessions compiles a rich expansion of 1969’s Preflyte collection of demos. These recordings were tracked and mixed by Jim Dickson in 1964 at World Pacific Studios in Los Angeles before the band dropped their first single, “Mr. Tambourine Man,” which shows up here in two versions — an intimate acoustic demo and an electric one where Michael Clark provides an alternate military marching beat (an instrumental take of “You Showed Me” has him playing on cardboard boxes). You can really hear Gene Clark, Roger McGuinn, David Crosby and Chris Hillman finding their footing as musicians and discovering their voices as songwriters and singers as the uncanny chemistry of their vocal harmonies begins to solidify. The Preflyte Sessions boasts 40 tracks (16 of which were previously unreleased) with four early David Crosby recordings including a gossamer version of Chet Powers’ “Get Together.” Gene Clark’s “The Reason Why” reveals that the band was influenced by Bo Diddley as well as the Beatles, whose Merseybeat sound seeps into “Tomorrow Is a Long Ways Away” and “The Only Girl I Adore.” Witness the birth of folk rock.

Customer Reviews

The most comprehensive collection of the Byrds' pre-Columbia recordings ever assembled

Before turning rock ‘n’ roll on its ear in the spring of ‘65, the Byrds spent countless hours creating and refining their unique sound at LA’s World Pacific Studios. Hear history literally in the making as McGuinn, Crosby, Clark, Hillman and Clarke record newborn, spine-tingling versions of classics-to-be like “Mr. Tambourine Man,” “You Won’t Have To Cry,” “I Knew I'd Want You” and “Here Without You” as well as lost gems such as “The Reason Why,” “Tomorrow Is A Long Ways Away” and “You Showed Me” (later a smash for the Turtles). This is the most comprehensive collection of the Byrds' pre-Columbia recordings ever assembled. Preflyte Sessions set is filled with 40 World Pacific Studio recordings circa 1964 and '65; tracks include all cuts found on the original Together-label Preflyte album, plus unissued and alternate versions from both the acoustic and electric Byrds' sessions, early David Crosby demo recordings, and the rare pre-Byrds Jet Set recording of "The Only Girl I Adore." The Preflyte Sessions features a historical essay by Rolling Stone Senior Editor David Fricke – based on new interviews with Roger McGuinn, Chris Hillman, original Byrds' manager Jim Dickson and others present at the sessions. The Byrds' Preflyte Sessions captures the newly-kindled fire and enthusiasm of one of the most legendary and influential groups of all time.


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,...
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