Mr. Tambourine Man (album)

Mr. Tambourine Man is the debut studio album by the American rock band the Byrds and was released on June 21, 1965, by Columbia Records.[1] The album is characterized by the Byrds' signature sound of Jim McGuinn's[nb 2] 12-string Rickenbacker guitar and the band's complex harmony singing.[2] The material on the album mostly consists of cover versions of folk songs, primarily composed by Bob Dylan, and originals written or co-written by singer Gene Clark.[3] Along with the Dylan-penned single of the same name, Mr. Tambourine Man established the band as an internationally successful act[4] and is widely regarded by critics as representing the first effective American challenge to the chart dominance of the Beatles and other British Invasion bands during the mid-1960s.[3][5]

Mr. Tambourine Man
Studio album by
ReleasedJune 21, 1965 (1965-06-21)
RecordedJanuary 20, March 8 – April 22, 1965
StudioColumbia, Hollywood
GenreFolk rock
ProducerTerry Melcher
The Byrds chronology
Mr. Tambourine Man
Turn! Turn! Turn!
Singles from Mr. Tambourine Man
  1. "Mr. Tambourine Man"
    Released: April 12, 1965
  2. "All I Really Want to Do"
    Released: June 14, 1965
Alternate cover
Cover of the 1974 Embassy Records reissue[nb 1]

The album was also influential in popularizing the musical subgenre known as folk rock, by melding intelligent lyrical content with electric guitars and a rock backbeat.[4][2] The term "folk rock" was first coined by the American music press to describe the Byrds' sound in mid-1965, around the same time that the Mr. Tambourine Man album was released.[6] The band's hybrid of a British Invasion beat, jangly guitar playing, and poetic or socially conscious lyrics influenced a number of acts in the mid-1960s and has also been influential on successive generations of musicians.[3][7][8]

The album peaked at number 6 on the Billboard Top LPs chart and reached number 7 in the United Kingdom. It is the band's most successful album on either chart.[9][10] The "Mr. Tambourine Man" single was released ahead of the album in April 1965 and reached number one on the Billboard Hot 100 and the UK Singles Chart.[10][11] A second single, "All I Really Want to Do", also a Dylan cover, was moderately successful in the U.S., but fared better in the UK, where it reached the top ten.[10][11]

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