The Byrds were musical pioneers and a great album-producing band, but they were also masters of the form in terms of singles. At the time of the Byrds' formation, singles were still king, and it was the only way for a band to make an impact. The Byrds put out singles from the start with "Mr. Tambourine Man," a consciousness-raising track recorded in late 1964. Aside from the incredible fusion of folk and rock, Original Singles, Vol. 1 (1965-1967) has a real sound to it. Part of this has to do with producer Terry Melcher's excellent production -- blending the Beach Boys' "Don't Worry, Baby" with elements of the Beatles. Through tracks like "Turn, Turn, Turn," "Feel a Whole Lot Better," "Eight Miles High," "So You Want to Be a Rock & Roll Star," and numerous others -- including B-sides -- the Byrds showed themselves able to encapsulate their complete musical direction in two hit singles. A rare feat indeed.
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AllMusic Review by Matthew Greenwald