Friday, February 8, 2013

Song of the Week: The Byrds -- It's All Over Now, Baby Blue

We close today with not one, but two -- that's right, TWO - versions of The Byrds performing It's All Over Now, Baby Blue. The blue version is an unreleased recording by the original line-up of The Byrds (Roger McGuinn, David Crosby, Chris Hillman, Gene Clark and Michael Clarke). It was recorded in Los Angeles in 1965, about the same time the Beckett Quintet recorded the song in the same town, and was slated to be the perfect pitched band's 3rd single on Columbia Records. The Byrds and their manager, Terry Melcher, were unsatisfied with the recording as a single and instead turned to another song which Roger McGuinn had been arranging, Turn, Turn, Turn. Somehow the Byrd's early version of It's All Over Now Baby Blue never got past a preview showing on a local LA radio station. Never even made it to an album. D'oh!

Roger McGuinn returned to Bob Dylan's song four years later in 1969. But this was a very different Byrds band. David Crosby was now a founding member of Crosby, Stills and Nash (yuck), Chris Hillman and Michael Clarke left to found The Flying Burrito Brothers with interim Byrds-alum, Gram Parsons. And Gene Clark was making some striking records with Doug Dillard. The version of the The Byrds who recorded this song were Clarence White, John York, Gene Parsons and, of course, McGuinn. This version did see the light of day in both the film and soundtrack for Easy Rider. Much slower, and much more countrified. It's still pretty cool and this line-up of The Byrds showed they could harmonize just about as well as the original line-up.