The problem with assembling a collection that tells the story of the Byrds and still contains their best songs is that by the end, when only Roger McGuinn was left from the original lineup, the band was simply a whole lot less interesting than it was at the beginning. To tell the group's story correctly -- to be definitive -- means including songs like "America's Great National Pastime" from the winding-down era of the Byrds, at the expense of including much better earlier material like Gene Clark's "She Don't Care About Time." True, this anthology has the group's biggest hits, and even some songs that weren't hits but should have been, like David Crosby's gorgeous "Lady Friend," but it also includes several tracks from the band's uninspired end run, which makes the sequence feel like it loses air as it goes on, until the tire is left totally flat. Good history, but not necessarily a good listening experience. The autumnal version of the Byrds was a great live band, however, and a bonus disc with four live performances almost redeems this package. ~ Steve Leggett, Rovi
Track samples provided courtesy of iTunes
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