Stunning Byrds 45rpm Box Set From Sundazed

Wow! Leave it to Sundazed to pull off the ultimate Christmas gift for Byrdmaniax-not that any of them will wait until then to devour this quintuple 45rpm box set. All of these A and B sides were originally conceived of as the “next” Byrds single, but for one reason or another, were shelved. Now Sundazed has resurrected them with fabulous sound and impeccable, sumptuous packaging.

The tunes are: “Chimes of Freedom”/”The Bells of Rhymney,” “It's All Over Now, Baby Blue”/”She Don't Care About Time,” “The Times They Are A-Changin'”/”She Has a Way,” “I Know My Rider”/”Psychodrama City,” and “My Back Pages”/”It Happens Each Day.”

There's more to the story than just mono mixes. While early Byrds albums were mixed for both mono and stereo, when it was originally decided to issue “Chimes of Freedom,” and “The Bells of Rhymney” as a single, new mixes were ordered that would punch through more effectively on the radio. They punch through dramatically on a modern stereo system too, revealing individual musical lines with breathtaking clarity and depth.

For “It's All Over Now, Baby Blue” and “She Don't Care About Time,” we get totally different performances than the more familiar ones, with an early elegant reading of “She Don't Care About Time,” and a choppier, raw take on “It's All Over Now, Baby Blue,” that was considered “unrealized” by the band and manager Jim Dickson, but which sound more like what a rock band would come up with today.

The second single is a very different take on “The Times They Are A-Changin'” and a version of “She Has a Way” recorded during the Mr. Tambourine Man sessions and mixed to mono but removed from the album, and so hasn't been heard before in mono. “The Times They Are A-Changin' is bright, brash and big. It sounds like what AM radio would demand back then and it makes a powerful statement today too.

Single 5 is an early version of “My Back Pages” with McGuinn's 12 string played through a Leslie cabinet with rotating speaker. It sounds very different from what is probably burned into your brain.

There's more to discover here, and thanks to Bob Irwin's annotation, all is revealed. These mixes are not just big, they have incredible clarity and spaciousness-precisely what was needed to present music on AM radio-but they also have a surprising elegance and boldness. If you're a fan of McGuinn's 12 string sound, I don't think I've heard it better presented texturally than on these discs. You can almost grab ahold and chew on it.

Each single comes packaged in a heavy stock full color sleeve with rare, archival photos so fabulous, they make this box worth owning even if you don't own a turntable. What's in the grooves makes buying one worth it just to play these small sonic slabs of '60s musical history.

Thanks, Sundazed for this limited edition treat that will set you back a more than reasonable $24.98. Get it while you can!

sophia123's picture

This is such a nice idea for a Christmas present. 45rpm Box set will answer my problem. - David Contarino