It was a simple idea: take the folk song structure, wed it to a Beatle beat and count it off. That was the concept Jim McGuinn and Gene Clark were pursuing in clubs on the Sunset Strip when they met David Crosby. Together, these three young veterans of the folk scene recruited Chris Hillman and Michael Clarke to form one of the most influential rock bands of the Twentieth Century. While they began as an innovative folk-rock hybrid, their adventurous muse took them on many musical paths, creating raga rock and country rock along the way. With Jim, later Roger McGuinn as the constant, the group played on through many lineup shifts and left an indelible mark on popular music.

From the start, the Byrds were known for stellar songs, both those from their own pens as well as carefully chosen covers. Their debut single, a streamlined 4/4 version of Bob Dylan's "Mr. Tambourine Man," was a massive hit and a clarion call to the folk generation to move forward. Among those who answered the call was Dylan himself, who was soon expanding his artistic presentation beyond'solo voice, acoustic guitar and harmonica to a full electric band approach. The Byrds' distinctive instrumental sound, led by McGuinn's chiming electric 12-string Rickenbacker guitar, provided a blueprint for countless groups and even influenced their mentors, the Beatles (listen to the slyly-titled "And Your Bird Can Sing" to hear the Liverpool lads' tribute to the California combo). Vocally, the Byrds were a powerhouse, capable of multi-part harmony and possessing three distinctive lead vocalists in McGuinn, Clark, and Crosby. Though they would'soon split apart, the impact of the initial lineup's big bang reverberates to this day.

What is truly remarkable about the Byrds is how readily they adapted to both personnel changes and the rapid musical evolution of the 1960s. Subsequent members Gram Parsons, Clarence White, Gene Parsons, Skip Battin, and John York all brought new and vital elements to the band. The group was also tuned to outside sources, incorporating strains of Ravi Shankar's sitar and John Coltrane's saxophone in "Eight Miles High," for example. They packed a lifetime of melodic innovation into a decade before moving on to new challenges. Sundazed is honored to present these seminal recordings, sourced from the original analog tapes, so that their singular music may live on.

Check out this blog entry of Roger McGuinn talking about Sundazed!

Byrds, The

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Byrds, The - Lazy Days / Reputation 7" single
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Item #: S 189 -

    Recorded during the earliest period of the Sweetheart of the Rodeo sessions, these March 1968 Nashville recordings are presented here for the first time ever in their unique mono mixes. Originally intended for potential single release on Columbia Records, "Lazy Days" features a previously unheard instrumental track (with Roger McGuinn on six- string electric) while "Reputation" showcases a previously unheard vocal take by Gram Parsons and Chris Hillman. Includes:Lazy Days • Reputation ...

    Byrds, The - The Preflyte Sessions 2-CD Set
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    Item #: SC 11116 -

      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...

      Byrds, The - Sanctuary III LP
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      Item #: LP-SUND-5066 -

        Laden with outtakes, alternate versions and rarites from the Ballad of Easy Rider and Untitled sessions, the third volume of our Sanctuary series spotlights Clarence White's fretboard genius. Vinyl debut for all tracks; annotation by Roger McGuinn and John York!Cut by Kevin Gray at Cohearent Audio. Includes: Ballad Of Easy Rider (alt. mix) • Oil In My Lamp (alt. version) • Mae Jean Goes To Hollywood • Fido (alt. mix) • Lover Of The Bayou (studio) • White’s Lightning Pt. 1 • All The Things...

        Byrds, The - Sanctuary: Rarities - LP
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        Item #: LP 5061 -

          The ringing sound of the Byrds - a band that created at least three rock 'n' roll genres (folk-rock, raga-rock and country-rock) would make any red-blooded music fan reach for the nearest tambourine to beat the jingle-jangle daylights out of it. Sanctuary collects all of the best rarities, alternate takes and 45-only sides into one goose pimple-inducing package, guaranteed to make anyone with a pulse "Feel A Whole Lot Better." Most tracks have never before appeared on vinyl!Cut by Kevin Gray...

          Byrds, The - Sanctuary II LP
          Price: $28.98
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          Item #: LP 5065 -

            A new vinyl collection of rare Byrds recordings! With an emphasis on the group's instrumental prowess and exclusive interviews with Roger McGuinn, Chris Hillman and John York, Sanctuary II collects outtakes and unissued material from the legendary Younger Than Yesterday, Notorious Byrd Bros. and Dr. Byrds & Mr. Hyde sessions. A High-Definition Vinyl pressing of forgotten gems! Cut by Kevin Gray at Cohearent Audio.Includes: Universal Mind Decoder (instrumental) • Draft Morning (alternate...