The Byrds

Wasn't Born to Follow

Composed by Carole King / Gerry Goffin

Song Review by

One of the great lesser known Gerry Goffin and Carol King songs, “Wasn’t Born To Follow” is a magnificent amalgamation of rather “hippie” sentiment and country song writing. Sung by Roger McGuinn, the song is a lovely moment in The Notorious Byrd Brothers, and it reflects the group’s more rural influence which has dated far less than their more psychedelic leanings. The lyrics are tremendous, commenting on the need for escape and independence. The Byrds play the song with supreme modesty, but not because they feel the song is rather too straightforward – rather because they recognise the beauty of the purest forms of American music. “Wasn’t Born To Follow” is certainly in that tradition.

Appears On

Year Artist/Album Label Time AllMusic Rating
The Notorious Byrd Brothers 1968 Sony Music Distribution
Easy Rider 1969
Original Soundtrack
Universal Music 2:03
The Best of the Byrds: Greatest Hits, Vol. 2 1972 Columbia 2:03
The Byrds 1973 Flashback Records / SOI
No Image 1973 CBS Records
No Image 1990
Various Artists
The Best of Country Rock [K-Tel] 1991
Various Artists
K-Tel Distribution 2:03
Collection [Castle] 1992 Castle Music Ltd.
Definitive Collection 1995 Columbia 2:07
Expanded Edition Album Sampler, Vol. 2 1997 Columbia 2:04
Full Flyte (1965-1970) 1998 Raven 2:05
Ultimate Byrds 1998 Legacy / Columbia/Legacy 2:02
The Essential Byrds 2003 Columbia / Legacy 2:03
The Collection [Sony] 2004 Sony Music Distribution 2:07
The Songwriter Collection 2006
Various Artists
Sony Music Distribution 2:02
Very Best of the Byrds [2006] 2006 Columbia / Sony Music Distribution 2:03
There Is a Season 2006 Legacy / Columbia/Legacy / Sony BMG 2:04
Collection [BMG/Camden] 2007 Sony Music Distribution 2:04
Original Album Classics [2008] 2008 Columbia 2:03
The Complete Columbia Albums Collection 2011 Columbia / Legacy / Sony Music / Sony Music Entertainment 2:03
Les Trésors du Rock de Philippe Manoeuvre 2013
Various Artists
EMI 2:02
Turn! Turn! Turn! The Byrds: Ultimate Byrds Collection 2015 Sony Music
Eight Miles High: The Best Of The Byrds Camden / Camden International 2:03
No Image
Original Soundtrack
Geffen 2:03
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