Some of those involved with Columbia's Byrds box urged the producers to use tracks by the Jet Set, the Beefeaters, the pre-Byrds David Crosby, and the Hillmen; instead, they chose to weigh it down with a lot of later, Skip Battin-era tracks. So Raven Records has done the job instead, gathering together the major pre-Byrds and early Byrds-related tracks in one place: David Crosby's bluesy "Willie Gene" and "Come Back Baby"; the pre-Byrds Jet Set trio's Beatles-esque "The Only Girl I Adore" (complete with "yeah-yeah"'s) from the Early L.A. album; the Hillmen's bluegrass version of Dylan's "When the Ship Comes In"; and the Byrds/Beefeaters' "It Won't Be Wrong" from Elektra. But the producers haven't stopped with obvious stuff like that. They've also included David Hemmings' rendition of Gene Clark's "Backstreet Mirror" from the all-but-forgotten Jim Dickson-produced, Byrds-backed David Hemmings Happens; Jackie DeShannon's previously unissued demo recording of "Splendor in the Grass," backed by the Byrds; the Fred Neil-Gram Parsons "Ya Don't Miss Your Water" off of Neil's 1971 Other Side of This Life album; the International Submarine Band's lost Columbia single; rare single cuts by Dillard & Clark; and tracks by Clarence White, Skip Battin, Gene Parsons, and McGuinn, Clark & Hillman. Hemmings' "Anathea," even with his non-singing out in front, manages to achieve a trippy decadence through the Byrds playing and Dickson's production. Most of the rest gets far afield of the original Byrds, although "Ya Don't Miss Your Water" has a dark, brooding, ominous feel that makes it well worth owning, the Doug Dillard-Gene Clark stuff is always welcome, and the early International Submarine Band songs sound a lot more Beatles-esque (and punkier) than anything on their subsequent Safe at Home album.
1 Willie Gene David Crosby
2 Come Back Baby David Crosby
3 The Only Girl I Adore Jet Set
4 When the Ship Comes In Hillmen
5 It Won't Be Wrong (Don't Be Long) Beefeaters
6 Anathea David Hemmings
7 Splendour in the Grass Jackie DeShannon, Byrds
8 Back Street Mirror David Hemmings
9 You Don't Miss Your Water Fred Neil, Gram Parsons
10 Sum Up Broke International Subma ...
11 One Day Week International Subma ...
12 Why Not Your Baby? Dillard & Clark Exp ...
13 Lyin' Down the Middle Dillard & Clark Exp ...
14 Don't Be Cruel Dillard & Clark Exp ...
15 Runaway Country Dillard, Doug Expedition
16 Just a Season Terry Melcher, Byrds ...
17 Captain Video Skip Battin, Byrds
18 Why Have You Been Gone So Long? Clarence White, Ry Cooder ...
19 Ode to Billie Joe [#] Clarence White ...
20 Melodies from a Bird in Flyght (For Clarence) Gene Parsons
21 Hot Burrito #1 Gene Parsons
22 Don't You Write Her Off McGuinn, Clark & Hillman
23 Won't Let You Down McGuinn, Clark & Hillman
24 Turn Your Radio On