This is a Bob Dylan song, originally – if just barely. By 1965, Bob Dylan was so universally regarded as a brilliant lyricist with a terrible voice that record studios were in… Read More
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Hey, Mr. Tambourine Man, play a song for meI'm not sleepy and there ain't no place I'm goin' toHey, Mr. Tambourine Man, play a song for meIn the jingle jangle morning, I'll come followin' youTake me for a trip upon your magic swirlin' shipAll my senses have been strippedAnd my hands can't feel to gripAnd my toes too numb to stepWait only for my boot heels to be wanderin'I'm ready to go anywhere, I'm ready for to fadeUnto my own paradeCast your dancing spell my wayI promise to go under itHey, Mr. Tambourine Man, play a song for meI'm not sleepy and there ain't no place I'm goin' toHey, Mr. Tambourine Man, play a song for meIn the jingle jangle morning I'll come followin' you
This is a Bob Dylan song, originally – if just barely. By 1965, Bob Dylan was so universally regarded as a brilliant lyricist with a terrible voice that record studios were in an all-out race to cover his best songs.
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This hit the height of insanity with The Byrds, a promising group of young folk singers who hadn’t yet put out an album as a group. In August 1964, the band’s manager Jim Dickson acquired a demo of Dylan testing out “Mr. Tambourine Man” in the studio. The Byrds spent months tinkering with the instrumentals, working to shape the rambling lyrics into a dance-hall hit.
Their master take of “Mr. Tambourine Man” was recorded on January 20, 1965, only five days after Dylan made his final studio recording of “Mr. Tambourine Man.” Dylan’s version came out on album on March 22, 1965, but his studio elected to go with a different song (“Subterranean Homesick Blues”) as the first single off the album. As a result, on April 12, 1965, the Byrds were able to release their version as a pre-album single before Dylan’s could come out.
With its brilliant composition and perfect timing, the Byrds” version immediately shot to #1 in the USA and UK, a first for any Bob Dylan-written song. Dylan never bothered to release his version as a single.