BYRDWATCHER: A Field Guide to the Byrds of Los Angeles



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NEVER BEFORE
(Murray Hill/CBS Special Products A21143; 1987)

Track Listing

Credits:
Released on LP December 1987; rereleased with additional tracks on CD August 1989. Produced by Nick Shaffran and Bob Hyde. Compilation and annotation by Bob Hyde. 1987 tracks remixed by Jim Dickson & Lawrence Wendelken and mastered by Bernie Grundman. 1989 tracks remixed by Roger McGuinn & Ken Robertson and mastered by Ken Robertson. Art Direction & Design: Don Brown/Pictographics.

Personnel:

On all tracks except as noted:

The Byrds v. 1.0
Jim McGuinn: vocals, 12 string lead guitar, 6 string guitar
Gene Clark: vocals, tambourine
David Crosby: vocals, 6 string guitar, some 12 string guitar
Chris Hillman: bass, mandolin
Michael Clarke: drums, percussion

On "Triad," "It Happens Each Day," "Lady Friend," "I Know My Rider," "Psychodrama City," "Don't Make Waves":

The Byrds v. 2.0
Jim McGuinn: vocals, 12 string lead guitar, 6 string guitar
David Crosby: vocals, 6 string guitar, some 12 string guitar
Chris Hillman: vocals, bass, mandolin
Michael Clarke: drums, percussion

On "Flight 713" and "Moog Raga":

The Byrds v. 3.1
Jim McGuinn: vocals, 12 string lead guitar, 6 string guitar
Chris Hillman: vocals, bass, mandolin
Michael Clarke: drums, percussion




Each song on Never Before is an outtake from an album session, and is discussed in detail with the contemporaneous album. At the end of this analysis is a list showing where to find the discussion of each song.

The 1987 release of Never Before on vinyl was greeted eagerly by Byrds fans. At last, the legendary RCA version of "Eight Miles High" was available, as was the RCA version of "Why," one great lost single, "Lady Friend," and five outtakes never heard before on legitimate releases. The LP also contained stereo versions of "Mr. Tambourine Man" and "I Knew I'd Want You." All ten tracks were remixed and remastered by Lawrence Wendelken and Jim Dickson, the band's original manager, and a major contributor to their early sound.
In '89, Never Before was released on CD with seven additional tracks, remixed by Ken Robertson with the help of Roger McGuinn. These included the single versions of "Why?" and "She Don't Care About Time," as well as weaker material like "Psychodrama City" and the instrumentals "Flight 713" and "Moog Raga."
Most of the tracks sounded great, and several had never been available to the general public. The package was well-annotated, and included a useful sessionography. But it wasn't perfect: "Lady Friend" features egregious drum overdubs that change the sound of the song completely. Other tracks were also embellished, such as "It Happens Each Day," on which Crosby redid some vocals and added an extra part.
Compiler Bob Hyde claimed in the liner notes that CBS had "released everything of value we could find after four years of combing the CBS archives," but there were considerably more outtakes by the time of The Byrds Boxed Set in 1990, though not from the '65 - '67 period. A few more tracks from that era finally appeared on the 1996 Sony reissues. In light of these other previously unreleased cuts, the 46 minute track length of Never Before starts to look a bit chintzy.
Despite these flaws, at the time of its release, Never Before was certainly a boon for collectors and fans. After the release of the boxed set, however, the collection became considerably less essential, and with the 1997 reissue of Notorious Byrd Brothers, it will have been rendered redundant except for "Flight 713," an insignificant instrumental.


ALBUM SESSIONS FROM WHICH EACH TRACK ORIGINATES:

Mr. Tambourine Man:

"Mr. Tambourine Man" by Bob Dylan:
Previously unreleased stereo mix. Also appears on The Byrds Boxed Set and 1996 reissue.

"I Knew I'd Want You" by Gene Clark:
Previously unreleased stereo mix. Also appears on The Byrds Boxed Set and 1996 reissue.

"She Has A Way" by Gene Clark:
Previously unreleased version. Also appears on The Byrds Boxed Set. 1996 reissue contains different version. In the Beginning contains earlier demo version.


Turn! Turn! Turn!:

"It's All Over Now, Baby Blue" by Bob Dylan:
Previously unreleased song. Also appears on The Byrds Boxed Set. 1996 reissue contains different version.

"She Don't Care About Time" by Gene Clark:
Original mono version appeared only on single B-side and Original Singles: 1965 - 1967. Previously unreleased stereo mix. Mono mix of this version appears on 1996 reissue. The Byrds Boxed Set contains different version.

"Never Before" aka "The Day Walk" by Gene Clark:
Previously unreleased song. A different stereo mix appears on The Byrds Boxed Set and 1996 reissue.


Fifth Dimension:

"Eight Miles High" by Gene Clark, Jim McGuinn & David Crosby:
Previously unreleased RCA version. Also appears on the 1996 reissue.

"Why" by Jim McGuinn & David Crosby:
Previously unreleased RCA version. Also appears on the 1996 reissue.

"Why":
Original mono version appeared only on single B-side and Original Singles: 1965 - 1967. Previously unreleased stereo mix. Also appears on The Byrds Boxed Set and 1996 reissue.

"I Know My Rider," traditional, arranged by McGuinn, Clark, & Crosby:
Previously unreleased song. A different stereo mix appears on The Byrds Boxed Set and 1996 reissue.

"Psychodrama City" by David Crosby:
Previously unreleased song. A different stereo mix, with the guitar intro restored, appears on The Byrds Boxed Set and 1996 reissue.

Younger Than Yesterday:

"It Happens Each Day" by David Crosby:
Previously unreleased song. Some new vocals added by Crosby. A different stereo mix appears on The Byrds Boxed Set and 1996 reissue.

"Lady Friend" by David Crosby:
Original version appeared only on single A-side and UK-only release Original Singles, Vol. Two: 1967 - 1969. Previously unreleased stereo mix with overdubbed drums. A different stereo mix, without overdubs, appears on The Byrds Boxed Set and 1996 reissue.

"Don't Make Waves" by Jim McGuinn and Chris Hillman:
Original version appeared only on single B-side and UK-only release Original Singles, Vol. Two: 1967 - 1969. Previously unreleased stereo mix. Also appears on 1996 reissue. Alternate version appeared on soundtrack LP, Don't Make Waves (MGM, 1967).


Notorious Byrd Brothers:

"Triad" by David Crosby:
Previously unreleased as a Byrds song. Also appears on The Byrds Boxed Set and the 1997 reissue.

"Moog Raga" (Instrumental) by Roger McGuinn:
Previously unreleased. Also appears on The Byrds Boxed Set and the 1997 reissue.

"Flight 713" (Instrumental) by Roger McGuinn:
Previously unreleased. Does not appear on the 1997 reissue.


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Mr. Tambourine Man | Turn! Turn! Turn! | Fifth Dimension | Younger | Notorious | Sweetheart | Dr. Byrds | Ballad | (Untitled) | Byrdmaniax | Farther Along | Byrds | Beginning | Never Before | Box | NEXT CHAPTER







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