The Second Disc

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Tomorrow Is A Long Ways Away: The Byrds’ “Preflyte” Expanded For U.K. Reissue

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On November 10, 1964, The Byrds inked a deal with Columbia Records.  Or more accurately, Jim (later Roger) McGuinn, Gene Clark and David Crosby signed to Columbia Records, with Michael Clarke and Chris Hillman officially joining the roster later.  But before that auspicious major label signing, The Byrds’ bags were packed, pre-flyte, it was zero hour…and after that day, they were destined to be high as a kite…eight miles high.  (Pardon the mixing of musical metaphors.)  The band’s pre-Columbia days have been anthologized over the years almost as extensively as their “official” catalogue, with the earliest release coming in 1969 on Together Records, simply titled Preflyte (Together ST-T-1001).  The recordings were compiled in 1988 for the CD era in an expanded version by Rhino Records as In the Beginning (Rhino CD 70244), also including some rare Elektra sides from the band’s days as The Beefeaters.  Other assorted tracks trickled out over the years, and in 2001, Sundazed issued a 2-CD, 40-track version, The Preflyte Sessions (SC 11116).  On February 27, the U.K.’s Floating World Records will assay these early Byrds tracks as Preflyte Plus, retaining the 40 tracks on The Preflyte Sessions but adding an additional eight songs.

The first 40 tracks on Preflyte Plus are identical to the 2001 Sundazed issue, compiled by Roger McGuinn and Bob Irwin.  You’ll hear embryonic versions of some familiar songs, produced by Jim Dickson at Los Angeles’ World Pacific Studios, including “You Showed Me” (the McGuinn/Clark composition later popularized by The Turtles) and “Mr. Tambourine Man,” the group’s first Columba hit.  Dino Valenti’s oft-recorded “Get Together” premiered on the Sundazed set in a solo rendition by the young David Crosby, the singer who first caught Dickson’s attention.  Four of Crosby’s early solo performances are included. It was at the famed Troubadour that Crosby first sang with McGuinn and Clark, and in short order he introduced them to Dickson.  They were christened The Jet Set, although a brief liaison with Elektra Records led to a British Invasion-leaning single (“Please Let Me Love You”/”Don’t Be Long”) under the name The Beefeaters.   David Fricke’s copious liner notes to the Sundazed edition indicate that there’s still confusion as to whether Michael Clarke or Chris Hillman joined the group next, but either way, The Beefeaters vanished and The Jet Set’s rank expanded to five.  The Byrds was soon born.

Columbia Records’ Terry Melcher re-cut six of the World Pacific tracks for the band’s first two major label albums: “It’s No Use,” “Here Without You,” I Knew I’d Want You,” “You Won’t Have to Cry,” “It Won’t Be Wrong (Don’t Be Long)” and “She Has a Way.”  The latter languished in the vaults for nearly thirty years.  All of the original versions of these songs are present on Preflyte Plus.

What new tracks have been added to Floating World’s reissue?  Hit the jump, and you’ll also find a full track listing with discographical info, and a pre-order link!

According to the label, Preflyte Plus promises to include eight “never before out bonus tracks” from the “demo reel mixed by Jim Dickson” before his death in 2011 at the age of 80.  These include unreleased takes of “Mr. Tambourine Man” and “You Showed Me” plus more unheard World Pacific-era tracks including “She’s the Kind of Girl,” “Everybody’s Been Burned” and “I’m Just a Young Man.”  (“Everybody’s Been Burned” was re-recorded for The Byrds’ Younger than Yesterday LP, and “She’s the Kind of Girl” reunited The Byrds on Roadmaster, a solo album by its writer, Gene Clark.)

Floating World’s website assures that the 2-CD set has been remastered and redesigned; there’s no word yet on whether David Fricke’s excellent essay will be reprinted or new liner notes have been penned.  The complete track listing follows, along with a pre-order link!  Preflyte Plus is due in the U.K. on February 27.  (Amazon U.S. is currently showing a February 7 release date, which will likely be pushed back a few weeks until shortly after the album drops in the United Kingdom.)

The Byrds, Preflyte Plus (Floating World Records, 2012)

CD 1

  1. The Reason Why
  2. You Won’t Have To Cry
  3.  She Has A Way
  4. You Showed Me
  5. Here Without You
  6. Don’t Be Long
  7. I Knew I’d Want You
  8. Boston
  9. Tomorrow Is A Long Ways Away
  10. For Me Again
  11. It’s No Use
  12. You Movin’
  13. Please Let Me Love You
  14. Airport Song
  15. Mr. Tambourine Man
  16. She Has a Way
  17. I Knew I’d Want You
  18. Boston
  19. You Showed Me
  20. The Times They Are A Changin’

CD 2

  1. The Only Girl I Adore
  2. Tomorrow Is A Long Ways Away
  3. You Showed Me
  4. I Knew I’d Want You
  5.  You Won’t Have To Cry
  6. Mr. Tambourine Man
  7. Willie Jean
  8. Come Back Baby
  9. Jack Of Diamonds
  10. Get Together
  11. She Has A Way
  12. Here Without You
  13. For Me Again
  14. It’s No Use
  15. You Movin’
  16. Boston
  17. She Has A Way
  18. You Movin’
  19. Reason Why
  20. It’s No Use
  21. Tomorrow Is A Long Time (Demo)
  22. You Won’t Have To Cry (Demo)
  23. You Showed Me (Demo)
  24. I Knew I’d Want You (Demo)
  25. Mr Tambourine Man (Demo)
  26. She’s The Kind Of Girl (Demo)
  27. I’m Just A Young Man (Demo)
  28. Everybody’s Been Burned (Demo)

CD 1, Tracks 1-2, 14-15 & CD 2, Tracks 3-4, 12-13, 15-17 previously issued on Preflyte, Together LP ST-T-1001, 1969
CD 1, Tracks 3, 8, 10-12, 16-20 & CD 2, Tracks 9-11, 18-20 first issued on The Preflyte Sessions, Sundazed CD SC 11116, 2001
CD 1, Tracks 4-7, 9, 13 & CD 2, Tracks 2, 5-6, 14 previously issued on In the Beginning, Rhino CD 70244, 1988
CD 2, Tracks 1, 7-8 previously issued on Early L.A., Together LP ST-T-1014, 1971
CD 2, Tracks 21-28 previously unreleased

Written by Joe Marchese

January 20, 2012 at 10:05

6 Responses

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  1. Tnx, didn’t know that label yet …


    January 20, 2012 at 10:21

  2. Great news for obsessve Byrds fans like yours truly, but I wonder how many more times we’ll be asked to buy the same music with the inducement of a few added tracks.

    In addition to the listed reissues of “Preflyte,” there was a single-disc UK reissue on Poptones in 2001 consisting of the original eleven tracks, and it appears that it was remastered independently of the Sundazed reissue that same year. Worth seeking out.


    January 20, 2012 at 11:24

  3. any Gene Clark Byrds stuff is fine with me!


    January 20, 2012 at 12:00

  4. there was an interview with Tim Buckley many years ago where he said he had been called in to overdub (re-do and replace) Roger McGuinn’s guitar work…don’t recall which sessions


    January 20, 2012 at 22:51

  5. [uzine]

    January 23, 2012 at 13:03

    • Details coming soon!

      Joe Marchese

      January 23, 2012 at 13:44

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