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"It Won't Be Wrong"

1966 Dutch picture sleeve.
Single by The Byrds
from the album Turn! Turn! Turn!
B-side "Set You Free This Time"
Released February 18, 1966
Format 7" single
Recorded September 10, September 14 – September 16, 1965, Columbia Studios, Hollywood, CA
Genre Folk rock, Rock
Length 1:58
Label CBS
Writer(s) Jim McGuinn, Harvey Gerst
Producer Terry Melcher
The Byrds singles chronology
"Set You Free This Time"
(1966)
"It Won't Be Wrong"
(1966)
"Eight Miles High"
(1966)

"It Won't Be Wrong" is a song by the American folk rock band The Byrds and was the second track on their 1965 album, Turn! Turn! Turn! (see 1965 in music).[1] The song was written by band member Jim McGuinn and his friend, Harvey Gerst.[2] The song had initially been issued under the alternate title of "Don't Be Long" as the B-side of a single that The Byrds had released, under the pseudonym The Beefeaters, on Elektra Records in October 1964.[3][4] By the time the song was re-recorded for The Byrds' second Columbia Records album, its title had been changed to "It Won't Be Wrong".[4]

After its appearance on the Turn! Turn! Turn! album, "It Won't Be Wrong" was selected as the B-side for The Byrds' "Set You Free This Time" single in January 1966.[1] However, after initially poor sales of that single, Columbia Records in America began promoting the B-side instead, resulting in "It Won't Be Wrong" charting at #63 on the Billboard Hot 100.[5]

In the United Kingdom, after the NME had stated in their review of "Set You Free This Time" that the B-side was the best track on the single, CBS Records went a step further and actually re-released the single on February 18, 1966 with "It Won't Be Wrong" as the A-side.[6][1] This re-issuing of essentially the same single, albeit with its A-side and B-side inverted, twice within the space of two weeks caused confusion amongst Radio DJs over which of the two songs they should play and contributed to the single's failure to chart in the UK.[6]

The song was written in 1964 by Jim McGuinn and Harvey Gerst, a friend of McGuinn's from his days as a folk singer at The Troubadour folk club in West Hollywood, California.[2][7] Lyrically the song is a relatively simplistic appeal for a lover to submit to the singer's romantic advances.[8] Musically, however, the guitar riff after each verse foreshadows the raga experimentation of "Eight Miles High" and "Why", both of which would be recorded within three months of the Columbia version of "It Won't Be Wrong".[9][10]

Author Johnny Rogan describes the Columbia Records recording of the song as featuring "a driving beat, strident guitars and improved harmonies, that transform the sentiments of the song from an ineffectual statement to a passionate plea."[11] Compared to the earlier recording of the song, as released by The Beefeaters, the version included on the Turn! Turn! Turn! album sounded far more accomplished and exciting.[11]

The band performed the song on the U.S. TV shows Where The Action Is and Shivaree during 1966 but there's little evidence to suggest that the song was played regularly during the band's 1960s and 1970s live concerts.[12][13][14] However, the song was performed by a reformed line-up of The Byrds featuring Roger McGuinn, David Crosby and Chris Hillman in January 1989.[14]

In addition to its appearance on The Byrds' second album, "It Won't Be Wrong" also appears on several Byrds' compilations, including The Original Singles: 1965–1967, Volume 1, The Very Best of The Byrds, The Byrds, The Essential Byrds, There Is a Season and the expanded and remastered edition of The Byrds' Greatest Hits.[15] The original Elektra Records version of the song (titled "Don't Be Long") can be found on the In the Beginning, Byrd Parts and The Preflyte Sessions albums, as well as on the There Is a Season box set.[16][17][18][19]

References

  1. ^ a b c Rogan, Johnny. (1998). The Byrds: Timeless Flight Revisited. Rogan House. pp. 541-545. ISBN 0-95295-401-X.  
  2. ^ a b Hjort, Christopher. (2008). So You Want To Be A Rock 'n' Roll Star: The Byrds Day-By-Day (1965-1973). Jawbone Press. p. 67. ISBN 1-90600-215-0.  
  3. ^ "Byrds Discography". ByrdWatcher: A Field Guide to the Byrds of Los Angeles. http://ebni.com/byrds/refdiscogbyrds.html. Retrieved 2009-12-07.  
  4. ^ a b Rogan, Johnny. (1996). Turn! Turn! Turn! (1996 CD liner notes).  
  5. ^ "The Byrds chart data". Ultimate Music Database. http://www.umdmusic.com/default.asp?Lang=English&Search=Byrds&Where=Bands. Retrieved 2009-07-28.  
  6. ^ a b Rogan, Johnny. (1998). The Byrds: Timeless Flight Revisited. Rogan House. p. 156. ISBN 0-95295-401-X.  
  7. ^ Rogan, Johnny. (1998). The Byrds: Timeless Flight Revisited. Rogan House. p. 40. ISBN 0-95295-401-X.  
  8. ^ "It Won't Be Wrong Lyrics". The Byrds Lyrics Page. http://die-augenweide.de/byrds/songi/it_wont_be_wrong.htm. Retrieved 2009-12-07.  
  9. ^ "Turn! Turn! Turn!". ByrdWatcher: A Field Guide to the Byrds of Los Angeles. http://ebni.com/byrds/lpttt.html. Retrieved 2009-12-07.  
  10. ^ Rogan, Johnny. (1998). The Byrds: Timeless Flight Revisited. Rogan House. pp. 619-620. ISBN 0-95295-401-X.  
  11. ^ a b Rogan, Johnny. (1998). The Byrds: Timeless Flight Revisited. Rogan House. p. 144. ISBN 0-95295-401-X.  
  12. ^ Rogan, Johnny. (1998). The Byrds: Timeless Flight Revisited. Rogan House. p. 616. ISBN 0-95295-401-X.  
  13. ^ Hjort, Christopher. (2008). So You Want To Be A Rock 'n' Roll Star: The Byrds Day-By-Day (1965-1973). Jawbone Press. p. 83. ISBN 1-90600-215-0.  
  14. ^ a b Rogan, Johnny. (1998). The Byrds: Timeless Flight Revisited. Rogan House. pp. 591-615. ISBN 0-95295-401-X.  
  15. ^ "It Won't Be Wrong Album Appearances". Allmusic. http://www.allmusic.com/cg/amg.dll?p=amg&sql=33:gz5rxxtjldje. Retrieved 2009-12-07.  
  16. ^ Rogan, Johnny. (1998). The Byrds: Timeless Flight Revisited. Rogan House. p. 549. ISBN 0-95295-401-X.  
  17. ^ Baker, Glen A. (1998). Byrd Parts (1998 CD liner notes).  
  18. ^ Fricke, David. (2001). The Preflyte Sessions (2001 CD liner notes).  
  19. ^ Irwin, Bob. (2006). There Is a Season (2006 CD liner notes).  
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