The Byrds – Turn Turn Turn

First Hit #1: December 4, 1965

I don’t like the Byrds very much. Which is odd, since they were innovators in the folk rock field and I normally like folk rock. It’s also odd because I normally like the guitar work of their songs. But, when it comes to their major #1s in 1965, their Dylan cover and, in this case, their bible cover – the lyrics are taken from the Book of Ecclesiastes, and are credited to no less than that first rock star King Solomon – they share the same basic problem, they’re just such a sweet band. I don’t mean that as a compliment, the nice, non-threatening vocal harmonies drown the words in honey, leading to songs that just sound overly saccharine and weak. There are glimmers of good here and there – the guitar work, especially – but I just can’t abide the syrupy sound of the band itself.

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