Like its predecessor Mr. Tambourine Man, Turn! Turn! Turn! epitomised the folk-rock genre, continuing the successful mix of vocal harmony and jangly twelve-string Rickenbacker electric guitar from Roger McGuinn. The lead single and title track, a Pete Seeger adaptation of text from the Book of Ecclesiastes, had been arranged earlier by McGuinn in a chamber-folk style, when he had worked with singer Judy Collins - his arrangement for the Byrds version used the strident folk-rock style of the band's previous hits. The band chose two more Dylan covers for the album, The Times They Are a-Changin' and a previously unreleased song, "Lay Down Your Weary Tune". McGuinn had increased his songwriting output, David Crosby received his first writing credit, but the prolific Clark still contributed most of the Byrds' originals. Chris Hillman suggested the cover of "Satisfied Mind," a country and western chart-topper for Porter Wagoner in 1955, the first sign of the band's interest in country music, and as on the previous LP, Turn! ended with a tongue-in-cheek number, this time a send-up of Stephen Foster's 19th century classic, "Oh! Susannah," arranged by McGuinn.
This would be the last full Byrds album to feature the participation of Gene Clark until the ill-fated reunion album of the original quintet, in 1973.
Turn! Turn! Turn! was remixed and remastered at 20-bit resolution as part of the Columbia/Legacy Byrds series, reissued in an expanded form on April 30, 1996, with seven bonus tracks, including three alternates and the Clark b-side "She Don't Care About Time".
|December 6, 1965||Columbia||LP||US||CL 2454||Original mono release.|
|CS 9254||Original stereo release.*|
|April 30, 1996||Columbia/Legacy||CD||US||CK 64846||Reissue containing seven bonus tracks and a stereo remix of the entire album.*|
|May 6, 1996||UK||COL 4837062|
|* The album's title track and "He Was a Friend of Mine" was never mixed into stereo and appears in mono on all stereo releases of the album.|
The first four Byrds albums had sold so well, and the master tapes used so much that they were at least two, if not three generations down from the original. In most cases, a first-generation master no longer existed. They were basically played to death; they were worn out, there was nothing left of them.
He further states:
Each album is taken from the original multi-tracks, where they exist, which is in 95% of the cases. We remixed them exactly as they were, without taking any liberties, except for the occasional song appearing in stereo for the first time.
Irwin's assertions that no liberties were taken have been proven false in a couple of instances. For one, the vocals on most of the album's songs are mixed noticeably higher than they were on the original mixes. The fades are different on almost every song as well.
Many fans enjoy the remixed album because it's very close to the original mix in most cases and offers noticeably better sound quality. However, there are also a lot of fans who dismiss the remix as revisionist history and prefer to listen to the original mix on vinyl or the 1987 CD release.