A little late to add to the summer book list, but just in time for the early – ahem – “bird” holiday shoppers, The Byrds: 1964-1967, a large-format, 400-page collectible art book, is curated by the three surviving founding members of the band, Roger McGuinn, Chris Hillman and David Crosby.
The Byrds exploded when they performed a cover of “Mr. Tambourine Man” in 1965, introduced Bob Dylan’s songs to new audiences and launched a career that would lead them to become one of the most influential pop-rock bands of all time and eventually the Rock and Roll Hall of Famers. Showcasing their distinctive harmonies and McGuinn’s innovative 12-string Rickenbacker guitar work, the group never stopped experimenting, incorporating folk, country and jazz influences into a fresh mix that helped define an era.
McGuinn, Hillman and Crosby now come together not to perform, but to present a tabletop book that offers a unique visual history of the group’s formative era. Featuring more than 500 images from legendary photographers such as Henry Diltz, Curt Gunther, Jim Marshall, Linda McCartney and Guy Webster, The Byrds: 1964-1967 also includes restored images from the Columbia Records archives and the personal archives of the band’s original manager .
“Being in The Byrds was a detour on my dream of being a folk singer,” McGuinn said in a statement. It was a very special trip and one that I will always keep in my heart.”
The book features ongoing commentary, with reminiscences by McGuinn, Hillman and Crosby of the group, the era and their late bandmates Gene Clark and Michael Clarke. Available in standard and three other sizes, it’s a truly unique collector’s item for Byrds fans and any collector of photo books depicting the iconic 1960s pop culture.
The Byrds: 1964-1967 is available in four editions. Each is an oversized 10.5″ x 13″ large format presentation with more than 500 photographs on 400 pages. All versions are printed in Italy on 200gsm premium art paper and feature thread-sewn binding and a quarter-bound sleeve. The standard edition retails for $125 and is limited to 3,000 copies worldwide.
Other options include a “Deluxe Edition” autographed by McGuinn and Hillman, which comes in a custom-fitted slipcase and is limited to just 1,600 copies worldwide with a retail price of US$350. The “Super Deluxe Edition” also bears Crosby’s signature, comes in a custom clamshell case, has four gold plated edges and is limited to 800 pieces worldwide and retails at $475. Finally, the “Super Deluxe Edition with Fine Art Print” is hand-signed by the three, comes in a clamshell case with gold-plated rims, and is limited to just 75 copies worldwide and retails for $1,700. The hammer of a price tag is balanced by a selection of three exclusive limited edition 11 x 14 inch fine art prints; McGuinn photographed by Diltz in 1967, Hillman photographed by Barry Feinstein in 1965, or Crosby photographed by Marshall in 1965.
All versions of the book due for September are now available for pre-order with additional information at byrdsbook.com. Given the limited quantities of each release, there’s a chance they’ll sell out, especially when people realize that the holidays will be here sooner or later.
VINYL OF THE WEEK
Keep an eye on this spot as we’ll be checking out new or upcoming vinyl from a variety of artists each week. It can be a reissue of a groundbreaking recording, a special edition, or a new collection from a legendary act. This week it’s a new compilation from two brothers who helped shape the future of rock ‘n’ roll.
THIRD EYE BLIND: ‘A COLLECTION’
In 2006, Third Eye Blind released a greatest hits compilation, A Collection. On Friday, coincidentally the same day that the alt-rock formation is scheduled to play at The Mann Center as part of their 25th anniversary tour, the compilation will debut on double LP vinyl.
Chosen from the Bay Area band’s first three studio albums, released between 1997 and 2003, the set’s 19 tracks feature their greatest singles mixed in with some rarities and fan favorites. In addition to the 180 gram vinyl double LP set, a special orange vinyl version is also available exclusively from selected stationary retailers.
The self-titled Third Eye Blind debut went six times platinum in the US, where it spent more than 100 weeks on the Billboard 200. The first side of “A Collection” brings together all five singles from the album, including “How’s It Going to Be”, “Graduate” and “Semi-Charmed Life”, the band’s highest-charting single. Released in July 1997, the song topped the modern rock charts in August and later that year went gold and was named Modern Rock Track of the Year by the Billboard Music Awards.
Another key track from the debut included on “A Collection” is “Jumper,” one of 3EB’s biggest songs that has also been hailed as an anti-bullying anthem, particularly in the LGBTQ community. Frontman Stephan Jenkins was originally about the suicide of a friend, which led to the band becoming vocal supporters of suicide prevention.
Following on from this, the band have collaborated with Smith & Cult this year to celebrate their 25th anniversary by creating a range of nail polishes named after songs from their six-time platinum debut. The colors are: Jumper, London, God of Wine, Semi-Charmed and The Background. Third Eye Blind donates 100% of proceeds from the Jumper shade to True Colors United, the non-profit organization founded by Cyndi Lauper that implements innovative solutions to youth homelessness that focus on the unique experiences of LGBTQ youth.
The band’s second and third albums, Blue (1999) and Out of the Vein (2003), contribute ten songs to A Collection. Standouts include the Top 20 hit “Never Let You Go” and the singles “10 Days Late” and “Blinded (When I See You)”. The set also delivers deep cuts to “Wounded,” “God of Wine,” and the version of “Slow Motion” that includes lyrics. Rounding out the set is a selection of rarities including Tattoo of The Sun, the B-side of Semi-Charmed Life, and My Time in Exile, which appeared in the Japanese version of Out of the Vein .’
‘A Collection’ is available online and in stores from all reputable retailers that stock vinyl.
To contact music columnist Michael Christopher, email email@example.com. Also visit his blog at www.thechroniclesofmc.com.