Entertainment Weekly (6/28-7/5/96, p.106) - "...illustrates why the best Byrds music still inspires musicians....And while time hasn't enhanced the group's forays into psychedelia...there are enough keepers to make you forgive their occasional tendency to fly into walls." - Rating: B
Q (7/96, p.134) - 4 Stars - Excellent - "...the group's secret weapon was Gene Clark....His knowing twist on songs of teen heartbreak...have a blissful surge to them....Clark's ballads...are some of the most mature, restrained bits of music to emerge from this adolescent era..."
Melody Maker (5/11/96, p.50) - Recommended - "...[Pete] Seeger's `Turn Turn Turn,' whose fervent serenity sums up the paradox at the core of The Byrds, is the second LP's cornerstone, but again Clark's exquisite ballads grip like filigreed silver handcuffs..."
Musician (8/96, p.90) - "I like the sound better here. The guitar interplay emerges with greater warmth and clarity, without over-thinning the wash..."
Goldmine - Very Good
The Byrds: David Crosby (guitar, vocals); Jim McGuinn (12-string guitar, vocals); Chris Hillman (bass, vocals); Michael Clarke (drums); Gene Clark (tambourine, vocals).
Reissue producer: Bob Irwin.
Recorded between June 28, 1965 and November 1, 1965.
Includes original release notes by Derek Taylor and new liner notes by David Fricke and Johnny Rogan.
All songs have been digitally remastered using a 20-Bit Super Mapping system.
More of a companion piece than a follow-up to their debut, TURN! TURN! TURN! established The Byrds' place in the puzzle that was American rock & roll in the mid-'60s, but not for reasons commonly attributed to it. On the one hand, this was another batch of songs furthering the California folk-rock boom. "Turn! Turn! Turn!," the band's second (and final) number one single, was Pete Seeger's musical interpretation of proverbs from the Book Of Ecclesiastes; "Oh Susannah" was a 19th century minstrels' tune; "He Was A Friend Of Mine" was a folk standard; and, as was a norm for the early Byrds, there were a couple of Bob Dylan songs.
Yet the application of The Byrds' sound to these long-known songs gave each of them a new, wholly different life. "He Was A Friend Of Mine" included additional Roger McGuinn lyrics that allude to John F. Kennedy's assassination, turning a mournful standard into a personalized declaration. "Oh! Susannah" was updated at a break-neck rock & roll tempo. The title track became a snapshot, evoking the turbulent '60s as much as it did the Bible. In short, this album depicted The Byrds as an early work in progress, already capable of defying the public's perception of their artistry, and stretching further with every note.