Tracks

The Byrds break out on their own terms

The Byrds

I'll Feel a Whole Lot Better

Columbia

Release Date: June 13th, 1965

Words by: Roland Ellis
June 26th, 1965

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The Byrds were all about the Dylan covers in the early days. "Mr. Tambourine Man" had been a massive hit single (the title of which was also used for the groups' debut album); and "All I Really Want To Do" was issued as the band's second single. They were onto a winning formula: throw a UK beat music sound behind a Dylan track and set sail for the top of the charts.

But The Byrds harboured songwriting aspirations of their own. If their public face was synonymous with Dylan, their b-side collective persona was the story of Clark, McGuinn and Crosby trying to push their own writing prowess toward a recognised status of its own.

The Byrds break out on their own terms

"I'll Feel A Whole Lot Better" marked the first time The Byrds really cut through on their own terms. The song barely made an impression on the Billboard charts, reaching only as high as 103. But it served an alternate purpose: it convinced Columbia Records that The Byrds were more than just voices for other people's songs.

Written by Gene Clark, who also sings lead vocal, "I'll Feel A Whole Lot Better" retains the McGuinn signature guitar sound that made the group's rendition of "Mr. Tambourine Man" so distinctive. Crosby's vocal harmonies also feature prominently here.

Rolling Stone magazine would later rank "I'll Feel A Whole Lot Better" at number 234 on their list of the 500 greatest songs of all time.

Listen below to the A-Side of "I'll Feel A Whole Lot Better".

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