THE BYRDS – “We’ll Meet Again”

Here’s the great thing about The Byrds when they started: they’d hit upon a pop sound so vital and viral that every song on their first album could sound the same and you knew they sounded the same because they just had to. They’d heard “jingle-jangle morning”, and sung it, and then taken it as Chapter 1 Verse 1 of their personal pop Book of Genesis – everything sounds just like that phrase says it will.

So Mr. Tambourine Man is samey and eclectic at the same time. The joy is in hearing every song-style – dream folk, political ballads, bad lover pop, sad lover pop or wartime schmalz – heightened and ripened by those sunburst guitars. Although “We’ll Meet Again” is almost a step too far: a loopy but (in Anglophile ’65) just about logical choice which first time had my jaw flopping in laughter and wonder and my finger twitching at the FFWD. They’re doing it as a joke – the queeny Vera Lynn voices, the “hay-ay-ay” mock chorus, the bored-now fuzz-fade – and in the end the quality of the song rests on the way those guitars jingle-jangle even their holders’ intentions into reverse, and turn something throwaway into something pop.