Talk:Mr. Tambourine Man/GA1

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GA Review[edit]

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Reviewer: Philcha (talk) 09:01, 23 October 2009 (UTC)

The rules for GA reviews are stated at Good Article criteria. I usually do reviews in the order: coverage; structure; detailed walk-through of sections (refs, prose, other details); images (after the text content is stable); lead (ditto). Feel free to respond to my comments under each one, and please sign each response, so that it's clear who said what.

When an issue is resolved, I'll mark it with  Done. If I think an issue remains unresolved after responses / changes by the editor(s), I'll mark it Not done. Occasionally I decide one of my comments is off-target, and strike it out --

BTW I've occasionally had edit conflicts in review pages, and to reduce this risk I'd be grateful if you'd let me know when you're most active, so I can avoid these times. --Philcha (talk) 09:01, 23 October 2009 (UTC)


  • I think the article over-simplifies the influence of The Byrd's version on folk rock. Folk_rock#Antecedents summarises roots that go back to the 1930s(!), Lead Belly in the late 1940s seems to have influenced the way guitar is used, there were other antecedents in the 1950s, and a fusion of The Beatles and Dylan was already in the air - and Bob Dylan's fusion albums 1964-1966 (Electric Dylan controversy). Personally (OR alert!) I'd regard The Mamas & Papas as having a somewhat folk rock style. I've also noticed that in all sorts of fields the genre is identified and named after the first few exemplars have already become notable, sometimes with quite a lag (see e.g. 4X). Obvioulsy you don't want a short history of folk rock, but just enough to place The Byrds' influence in context. More about this under "Structure". --Philcha (talk) 10:16, 23 October 2009 (UTC)
Well, firstly I take your points about perhaps fleshing out the history of The Byrds cover. For example, Jim McGuinn (the lead singer on The Byrds' cover) was specifically trying to pitch his vocal in the musical gap that he saw between John Lennon's voice and Dylan's voice, trying to create a bridge between The Beatles and Dylan. So, perhaps this is worth mentioning in the article, although an in-depth look into The Byrds place in the evolution of Folk-rock is probably more relevant to the main Byrds' page than to this article, I would’ve thought. Likewise, as you point out, a short history of Folk-rock is not really required for this article.
However, I would say that I'm not sure the article does oversimplify The Byrds contribution to the evolution of Folk-rock. You really can't overestimate the influence of The Byrds cover of "Mr. Tambourine Man". It's widely regarded as the moment that Folk-rock came into being, that is, a clear fusion of folk style, folk chord changes and socially conscious or intellectual lyrics with a Rock backing. It was also a massive hit, reaching #1 in almost every country it was released in, and was thus extremely influential on the global music scene of the time. As such, The Byrds are generally regarded as pioneering the Folk-rock sub-genre and by proxy, initiating the Folk-rock boom of the mid-1960s. Sure, there were influences such as Pete Seeger and The Beatles on The Byrds’ work but their cover represents by far the earliest example of folk music being tied to a rock beat with rock instrumentation, predating similar recordings by groups like The Turtles, Barry McGuire and the We Five by many months.
As for The Mamas & the Papas, yes I would agree that they had a Folk rock sound early on but they didn't release a Folk-rock styled single until November 1965 with California Dreamin', almost a year after The Byrds had recorded the hit version of "Mr. Tambourine Man". In fact, since there are studio recordings of The Byrds rehearsing "Mr. Tambourine Man" dating from mid-1964 and that they were also playing the song in live concerts during this time, The Byrds had minted the new sub-genre of Folk-rock a good year before most of their contemporaries jumped on the bandwagon.
As an aside, I also have to say the fact that both the Folk_rock#Antecedents and Folk_rock#1960s_origins section of the main Folk-rock article fails to mention The Byrds is ludicrous, especially since The Byrds consisted of ex-members of the Chad Mitchell Trio and The New Christy Minstrels, both of whom are mentioned in that section. I will have to remedy this over the next day or two because that article is simply not painting an accuarate picture of the evolution of Folk-rock in the mid-sixties. I would also reject the notion, suggested in that article, that The Mamas & the Papas are the successors to those "collegiate folk" groups because although there was certainly an influence carried through to their music, the vast majority of the Mamas & Papas' material is totally apolitical. --Kohoutek1138 (talk) 14:41, 24 October 2009 (UTC)
You have plenty of material then, subject to have good refs of course. I agree with your general drift that it's a important to decide which article handles the details on each of these points and which article summarise or even omit. You know the field much better than I do, and it's ultimately your decision. My impression from looking around it is:
  • The Byrds' recording of Mr. Tambourine Man made a big enough hit to cause the folk rock genre to be given a name (see my earlier comments, e.g about the gestation of 4X).
  • The vocal sound Jim McGuinn aimed for could be a feature of just this recording, or of The Byrds, or influential folk rock - I have no idea.
  • It sounds important that The Byrds consisted of ex-members of the Chad Mitchell Trio and The New Christy Minstrels. While I my own guess is that the details should be in The Byrds, your outline also suggests that their background contributed to their recording of Mr. Tambourine Man using a style quickly labelled "folk rock". So their musical background sounds relevant to this article, although there's no need to go into bio details, a one-liner might do.
  • Folk rock says clearly that The Beatles with significant influence, especially Harrison's guitar style in his own compositions. If that's accurate and sourced, it seems important.
  • How about Dylan's electric arrangements from 1964 onwards?
  • Your call about whether the other earlier 1960s groups rate a mention, or any of the 1950s or even earlier antecedents.
  • My comment about The Mamas & the Papas was just a throw-away.
The main point is that The Byrd produced the defining moment in their recording of Mr. Tambourine Man, but there were antecedents. --Philcha (talk) 16:02, 24 October 2009 (UTC)
OK, there's some very good points for me to take on board and consider there, so thank you for that. I think you're right that the individual members' folk backgrounds should at least be touched upon and the Beatles influence on McGuinn's vocal style and the band's music (they only picked up electric instruments after seeing A Hard Day's Night, for example) should definitely be explored in the article. McGuinn pitching his vocal style somewhere between Lennon and Dylan's voice is relevant not only for "Mr. Tambourine Man" but for at least the first three years of the band's recorded output, so that definitely warrants a mention I think.
You're also spot on when you say that The Byrds' cover was a big enough hit for the term Folk-rock to be given a name. Indeed, it was in the American music press's reviews of the "Mr. Tambourine Man" single that the term was first coined, so that needs to be mentioned too. As for The Byrds' influencing Dylan's own electric versions of the song post-1965, that's an interesting angel and I admit that I've no idea, so that warrants some research. References won't be an issue for me in this article so I'll get something together and get it added to The Byrds' version section at some point tomorrow. --Kohoutek1138 (talk) 17:45, 24 October 2009 (UTC)
  • 1960s commentary would be nice, but possibly difficult to get hold of. Desirable but not a deal-breaker. --Philcha (talk) 10:16, 23 October 2009 (UTC)
I could definitely provide contemporary music press commentary on The Byrds' version of the song if you think it would be useful? Maybe Rlendog can dig up some for Dylan's version. --Kohoutek1138 (talk) 18:11, 7 November 2009 (UTC)


  • (comment) You've picked a tricky subject, as the first cover was at least as important as the original. That will produce trade-offs about alternative ways of structure material that is shared by or overlaps the Dylan and Byrds versions. --Philcha (talk) 10:16, 23 October 2009 (UTC)
  • I'm not sure of the best place for the Dylan-Byrds version played at the Orbison tribute. Since it was a collaboration, it seem wrong to place it under either of the original artists. Possibly under "Other covers"? --Philcha (talk) 10:16, 23 October 2009 (UTC)
  • I don't think "Critical reception" is quite the right title, as it covers "retroviews" and "greatest evers" rather than contemporary reviews, which may be hard to get hold of. Perhaps "Legacy".
  • If we go for "Legacy", that might be a good a place for the contributions to the recognition of folk rock - my quick read around suggests to me that there were many contributions, but The Byrds's recording of Mr. Tambourine Man provided the defining moment. --Philcha (talk) 10:16, 23 October 2009 (UTC)
  • Since section "Other covers" includes e.g. literary references as well as records and performances, perhaps "Covers and other references"? --Philcha (talk) 10:16, 23 October 2009 (UTC)
    • Thank you for your comments. I need to digest them a bit, but I am curious as to any ideas you have regarding restructuring. My thought had been that the lead addresses the importance of both the Dylan and Byrds versions, and then discuss each one individually. It seems to make sense to discuss Dylan's first, since the background to the song fits within the Dylan section. Of course, some items within the Dylan section (i.e., some of the live performances) come after the Byrds' release chronologically, but I think it would be confusing to jump back and forth on a chronological basis. The only alternative I can think of is to deal with the background first, then a section on the Dylan release, then a section on the Byrds release (although the latter could perhaps be reversed if that makes sense). But if you have any better ideas, I am happy to hear them. I agree with you on the other points. Rlendog (talk) 13:55, 23 October 2009 (UTC)
      The lead should only summarise the main text, so everything that's in the lead needs to be covered (with refs) in the main text, although not necessarily in the same order - see WP:LEAD. --Philcha (talk) 15:29, 23 October 2009 (UTC)
      • Absolutely. What I meant was that by summarizing the article, the lead addresses the importance of both versions of the song, before the rest of the article goes into more detail, whether chronologically or via some other stucture. Rlendog (talk) 16:21, 23 October 2009 (UTC)
        I prefer to check the lead after all the main text work has been completed - that's how I also work when editing, and have been teased for whipping leads up in 15 mins. :-) --Philcha (talk) 18:11, 23 October 2009 (UTC)
        Certainly. But I think we should work on the body of the article under the assumption that before this process is complete the lead will give an adequate summary of the material. Making that assumption, readers of the article will have an introduction to song in both the Dylan and Byrds contexts before reaching the more detailed body of the article. I think that would help alleviate the structural issue, so that, with the Byrds and Dylan having been covered in summary form, we can focus in the body on each topic individually, which I think would be the least confusing presentation for readers. Rlendog (talk) 19:36, 24 October 2009 (UTC)
        I took a time to think about this,as I normally deal with the lead last, after the main text is stable. It looks as if the song's place in the birth of folk rock is a moderately complex issue, too much for the lead to handle except very briefly (e.g. "The success of the Byrds version led to the created the creation of the label folk rock, although the genre developed over the preceding decades"). So I think some part of the main text must explain the process in enough deatail at least to provide wikilinks to other parts of the process. --Philcha (talk) 07:03, 25 October 2009 (UTC)
OK, I'm guessing that The Byrds section would be the logical place for a brief history of Folk-rock? Although, as pointed out previously, Folk-rock as a separate sub-genre pretty much begins with the Byrds' cover of this song but I could put something together about their influences and roots, plus a sentence or two about other bands that sprang up during the Folk-rock boom (The Turtles, Sonny & Cher, The Mamas & the Papas etc, etc). What do you think? --Kohoutek1138 (talk) 10:58, 25 October 2009 (UTC)
My impression is that: folk rock does the heavy lifting, goes as far as back as it goes; The Byrds identifies their recordings in this style, shows the members' history with other groups that contributed to the genre, and more briefly other influences on their publicising the genre; and the Tambourine Man article prioritises the hit that publicised the genre, and recent and direct influences on The Byrd's recording of this song. Naturally that's provisional, dependent what the sources say.
At present (would be wrong), Dylan appears as the writer and as a 1960s contributor as folk rock. That's why I'm inclined to do the whole folk issue under "Legacy", which is shared, than in a section specific to Dylan or to The Byrds - but I could be proved wrong. --Philcha (talk) 12:21, 25 October 2009 (UTC)
That makes sense. We would obviously have a sentence or two in the lead addressing the song'e importance to folk rock, but then we could have a paragraph in the Legacy section dealing with the issue in more detail. Rlendog (talk) 13:22, 25 October 2009 (UTC)
Kohoutek1138 appears to have expanded the folk rock mention a bit, so there is now a short paragraph. I am wondering if we should leave that paragraph in The Byrds section or move it to the Legacy section. Also, the article still states (with sources) that this release effectively created the genre of folk rock. I am wondering if we need to change "effectively created" to "popularized" the genre of folk rock. Rlendog (talk) 01:15, 27 October 2009 (UTC)
"effectively created" suggests to me that The Byrds produced something distinct from the precursors, while "popularized" suggests the enthusiasts had a defined but possibly not labelled genre, and The Byrds introduced the genre to a larger audience. This is for the editors who know the subject. :-) --Philcha (talk) 08:18, 27 October 2009 (UTC)
Philcha is correct, The Byrds produced something distinct from their precursors. Their recording of "Mr. Tambourine Man" created folk-rock as we know it today and was the seed from which the whole mid-1960s folk-rock boom grew. It was a fusion of two existing styles, sure, but the fusion itself is what was original about it. The Byrds role in originating folk-rock is well documented and an almost universally accepted fact amongst commentators on the history of rock and pop music. For example, I was reading a book just last night about Simon & Garfunkel's career and yet again, the book laid out a brief history of folk-rock and cited The Byrds recording of "Mr. Tambourine Man" as the genesis of the whole genre. It's a widely accepted fact. Perhaps I should dig up some additional references to support this sentence, what do you think? I'm sure I won't have any trouble finding additional references but it might be good just in case it gets challenged.
Personally, I would leave the phrase "effectively created" in place rather than changing it to "created" for two reasons; firstly, as has been pointed out, their were antecedents to the style, perhaps most notably The Animals' recording of "The House of the Rising Sun", and secondly because Dylan's experimentation with rock instruments on Bringing It All Back Home (recorded during the same month as The Byrds' cover of "Mr. Tambourine Man") and his "going electric" at the Newport Folk Fesitival (at around the same time as The Byrds' cover hit the #1 spot on the Billboard charts) were also influential on the genre.
However, it should also be remembered that The Byrds were pretty influential on Dylan himself, almost certainly influencing his decision to use rock instrumentation on Bringing It All back Home. Dylan had come to see The Byrds rehearse in late 1964, before they were signed to Columbia Records, and was impressed with their electrified versions of his material, commenting "wow, you can almost dance to that!" upon hearing their rendition of his song "The Times They Are a-Changin'". Dylan also appeared on stage live with the band during their pre-fame residency at Ciro's nightclub in late 1964. Hearing what The Byrds had done to his material must've played some part in his decision to start using electric instruments on his own records, I would've said. --Kohoutek1138 (talk) 12:55, 27 October 2009 (UTC)
OK, there's enough material on this theme. Now back to the GA review. How much of this detail should be here and how much in related articles. --Philcha (talk) 14:17, 27 October 2009 (UTC)
Well, just to add my two-pence worth (although Rlendog might disagree with me here), I think some mention of The Byrds role in originating the folk-rock genre is certainly valid for the "Legacy" section and so is Dylan and The Animals influence on the genre. However, I would also say that Dylan's version of "Mr. Tambourine Man" (the song in question here) is not really a folk-rock record. Well, at least, not in my opinion. It does feature Bruce Langhorne's electric lead guitar in the background but it's essentially just Dylan and an acoustic guitar. There are no drums, electric bass or organ on the record for instance and I would suggest that there are better examples of a folk-rock sound in Dylan's music of the period like "Subterranean Homesick Blues" or "She Belongs to Me". So, it's a tricky one. Yes, some mention should be made I feel but it should also avoid confusing the reader by intimating that Dylan's recording of the song was influential on folk-rock. I don't believe it was; Dylan himself and his "going electric" certainly were but not his recording of this specific song. --Kohoutek1138 (talk) 16:18, 27 October 2009 (UTC)
I agree that Dylan's version is not folk rock (and I'm not sure I'd put She Belongs to Me there either). And in my view, once Dylan truly went electric, he abandoned folk, so that wasn't folk rock either. But I am not sure what is supported by sources in this regard. In any case, Mr. Tambourine Man's influence on folk rock is really through The Byrds rather than Dylan other than an ancillary role. So right now we have some information on The Byrds' version's influence on folk rock in "The Byrds" section. If we have nothing more to say on the folk rock subject, then my view would be to leave it as is. If there is more to add, especially if it revolves around Dylan, we can add that to the Legacy section. I'll check my Dylan sources tonight. Rlendog (talk) 18:25, 27 October 2009 (UTC)
I did find some Dylan references to creating folk rock, but I am not sure they warrant moving the folk rock paragraph out of The Byrds section. One of the references is a quote from Dylan in response to the press creating the term "folk rock" to describe The Byrds' "Mr. Tambourine Man": "Folk rock? I never even said that word. It has a hard gutter sound. Circussy atomsphere. It's nose thumbing. Sounds like you're looking down on what it is ... fantastic, great music." So if we want to include that, it would fit well within the portion of The Byrds section discussing folk rock. The other is a quote from Al Aronowitz regarding the Beatles and Dylan meeting: "The Beatles' magic was in their sound, Bob's magic was in his words. After they met, The Beatles words got grittier and Bob invented folk/rock." Since this quote is not specifically regarding "Tambourine Man", I'm not sure we need to include it at all. At most it can be used as a counterargument to the statement that The Byrds' version of Tambourine Man created folk rock (although of course one interpretation of that quote could be that Dylan created folk rock by writing "Mr. Tambourine Man" for The Byrds to cover, so I am not sure this quote would add anything to the article at all. Rlendog (talk) 01:47, 28 October 2009 (UTC)
(undent) Just realised the ball back's in my court. OK, Dylan was not a strong influence on folk rock. The next 2 questions are: did Mr. Tambourine Man invented folk rock or was it the defining moment in a longer process with a string of antecedents; and how did the newly-defining genre develop after Mr. Tambourine Man, e.g. did the genre follow the style of Mr. Tambourine Man closely or was it just one of the styles that emerged in folk rock, etc. --Philcha (talk) 08:27, 1 November 2009 (UTC)
I wouldn't say The Byrds' version "invented" folk rock, no, but it was the defining moment, both from the point of view of establishing the template the folk-rock boom of '65 & '66 would follow and for the sub-genre first being named. As previously stated, there were antecedents, particularly in 1964 while The Byrds were forming; The Animals' "House of the Rising Sun", The Beatles' Rickenbacker work on A Hard Day's Night, the minor chord songwriting of The Beau Brummels and the 12-string jangle of The Searchers but the template for folk-rock was forged from these elements by The Byrds themselves.
This meshing of a Beatles beat, jangly guitar playing and intellectual or socially conscious lyrics was copied by almost every other folk-rock hit of 1965 and 1966; The Turtles' "It Ain't Me Babe", Simon & Garfunkel's "The Sounds of Silence", Barry McGuire's "Eve of Destruction", We Five's "You Were on My Mind" and Cher's "All I Really Want to Do" to name just a few. To muddy the waters somewhat, many of these artists actually first heard The Byrds' while the band were playing a hugely successful residency at Ciro's on the Sunset Strip in early 1965 before the release of "Mr. Tambourine Man", but still, it was the single release of that song that crystallized the sound of folk-rock and spread it across the globe. Even The Beatles themselves (who were big fans of The Byrds) adopted some folk-rock stylings on their next album, Rubber Soul, as evidenced by songs like "Nowhere Man", "If I Needed Someone" and "I'm Looking Through You".
It's worth noting that the folk-rock genre did mutate after 1966 and move away from this rather limiting, jangly template but the influence of The Byrds could still be heard in the early 70s folk-rock of bands like Fairport Convention and even into the 80s with bands like R.E.M. Of course, it wasn't just The Byrds' recording of "Mr. Tambourine Man" that was influential, subsequent folk-rock hits by the band, like "All I Really Want to Do" and "Turn! Turn! Turn!", as well as their first two folk-rock flavoured albums, were probably equally influential on the genre but it's "Mr. Tambourine Man" that was the landmark because it was first. I should also point out that The Byrds influence during their early years extends beyong folk-rock too; Jim McGuinn’s jangly 12-string sound has been influential on countless bands from many different genres right up to the present day. Indeed, in the modern era, any band that has a jangly guitar sound is immediately compared to The Byrds but we’re getting off of the point a little here.
You might find this brief, one paragraph history of folk-rock from the Allmusic website useful link. --Kohoutek1138 (talk) 15:02, 1 November 2009 (UTC)
I note that we've been discussed this issue for 8 days. If there's a disagreement between Rlendog and Kohoutek1138, you have 7 days to settle it. Otherwise it would be good to resolve the place of Mr. Tambourine Man in folk rock and then get on with the GA review. --Philcha (talk) 15:18, 1 November 2009 (UTC)
I don't believe that there is a disagreement between Rlendog and myself. As far as I'm aware we're both in total agreement, aren't we Rlendog? Ha ha...8 days of discussion - I have to say, I'm not really sure why we keep going over this. Initially it was to flesh out the folk-rock legacy of The Byrds' recording of "Mr. Tambourine Man" but I'm certain there's no disagreement between us both regarding this. We're just pondering how much to put into the article. I've added a fair bit myself already but maybe some of the info I provided in my last (rather lengthy) reply should be added to "The Byrds version" section too? By the way, just so you know Philcha, Epeefleche has been doing a little bit of copyediting on the article at my request. --Kohoutek1138 (talk) 16:15, 1 November 2009 (UTC)
I don't believe there is any disagreement. I am fine with keeping the folk rock influence where it is, although I would be okay moving it to the Legacy section if anyone feels strongly that it should be moved. Rlendog (talk) 00:46, 2 November 2009 (UTC)
OK, I've added a lot more information about the folk music history of the individual members of The Byrds to the relevant section and I've also added a couple of paragraphs to the "Legacy" section about the impact on popular music that their version of "Mr. Tambourine Man" had. I think that this is enough on this subject now and hopefully you agree Philcha. I think we should move on with the rest of the GA review now that this has been addressed. --Kohoutek1138 (talk) 14:08, 6 November 2009 (UTC)
I agree we should move on with the rest of the GA review. After quick skim through, the main problem is the volume of material, and I can can see bits that look more relevant on articles, e.g on The Byrds. I suggest one or both of you should copy the current version on to a User sub-page so you can save text & refs for use elsewhere - my sandbox is more like a construction yard :-) --Philcha (talk) 16:40, 6 November 2009 (UTC)
I have saved it to User:Rlendog/Sandbox2. Rlendog (talk) 17:47, 6 November 2009 (UTC)
OK, now I'm officially confused. I thought that you wanted extra info on the folk careers of the individual Byrds and the impact that their version of "Mr. Tambourine Man" made to folk rock Philcha? I agree that some of this information is arguably more relevant to other articles but it was only added in the first place at your suggestion. --Kohoutek1138 (talk) 18:58, 6 November 2009 (UTC)
IMO you've now gone a little too far the other way. But wait's until we get to the relevant sections, then see if we work out a summary. --Philcha (talk) 20:43, 6 November 2009 (UTC)
Ha! Well, I'm an all or nothing kinda guy I guess! ;-) Feel free to purge any info you deem unnecessary. I'm not gonna get precious about it. My main concern is factual accuracy, so if you do decide to delete any of the info I've added, just be careful not to leave the article in a way that gives an inaccurate representation of events. I'll leave it to you to do as you see fit. --Kohoutek1138 (talk) 00:17, 7 November 2009 (UTC)
    • The initial conception of the song belongs to Dylan, so I'd place that version first although he issued his recording later. And I agree that all Dylan's performaces and recording should be in the "Dylan" section, and likewise for The Byrds - except for the Dylan-Byrds version played at the Orbison tribute, which might be regarded technically as a cover, distinct from the 2 originals. Could you not have picked a simpler subject? :-) --Philcha (talk) 15:29, 23 October 2009 (UTC)
      As I said, the genesis of folk rock looks quite long and complex (as often), and in this case Dylan was one of the major influences while The Byrds recorded the version that defining the genre. --Philcha (talk) 15:29, 23 October 2009 (UTC)
Surely Dylan released his recording first, in March 1965? Byrds' single released in April 1965. Mick gold (talk) 23:34, 1 November 2009 (UTC)
That's right, Dylan's version appeared first on Bringing It All back Home but it's the Byrds' version that was influential on folk-rock. Dylan's own recording wasn't, by and large, although the other electric tracks on Bringing It All Back Home definitely were. --Kohoutek1138 (talk) 18:58, 6 November 2009 (UTC)

Composition and recording[edit]

(Dylan version)

  •  Done As the first sentence mentions 2 songs, I think the 2nd sentence needs to start "Dylan began writing the song"Mr. Tambourine Man" ..." to avoid ambiguity. ---Philcha (talk) 18:03, 6 November 2009 (UTC)
  •  Done Can you give at least the month & year of Mardi Gras 1964, as Mardi Gras is just before Ash Wednesday, which is a moveable feast. --Philcha (talk) 18:03, 6 November 2009 (UTC)
  •  Done Needed fix The Rough Guide to Bob Dylan (2nd ediution ed) --Philcha (talk) 18:03, 6 November 2009 (UTC)
  •  Done "Journalist Al Aronowitz has said that Dylan completed the song at his home, as has folk singer Judy Collins, who later covered the song" loks clumsy. How about e.g. "Both journalist Al Aronowitz and folk singer Judy Collins, who later covered the song, said that Dylan completed the song at his home" - or even cut " who later covered the song" and incl Collin's in the list at "Other covers and references". --Philcha (talk) 18:03, 6 November 2009 (UTC)
Done. I've implemented the above three suggestions. According to the New Orleans Public Library website, Mardi Gras 1964 was on February 11, so I've specified that the song was started during February 1964 since that should be a safe bet. --Kohoutek1138 (talk) 00:36, 7 November 2009 (UTC)
I rephrased the 3rd one. The point wasn't that both claimed the song was completed at Aronowitz' home, but each claimed the song was completed at his/her home. Rlendog (talk) 02:51, 7 November 2009 (UTC)
Thanks, guys. --Philcha (talk) 07:51, 7 November 2009 (UTC)
  •  Done In the 2nd para, what is the relevance of the the chicks D wanted to impress ("several people he wanted to impress, including Judy Collins, Patty Elliott (the ex-wife of Ramblin' Jack Elliott), and Sara Lowndes, whom Dylan would later marry"). --Philcha (talk) 18:03, 6 November 2009 (UTC)
I have no idea myself but perhaps Rlendog can explain it.--Kohoutek1138 (talk) 01:47, 7 November 2009 (UTC)
I probably went overboard on the trivia. I removed the statement. Rlendog (talk) 02:52, 7 November 2009 (UTC)
Thanks. --Philcha (talk) 07:51, 7 November 2009 (UTC)
  •  Done Why no w-link on Bringing It All Back Home? --Philcha (talk) 18:03, 6 November 2009 (UTC)
Only because it has already been linked to in the very first sentence of the article and I didn't want to overlink.--Kohoutek1138 (talk) 01:47, 7 November 2009 (UTC)
Oh, that little bit I leave to the end :-) --Philcha (talk) 07:51, 7 November 2009 (UTC)
  •  Done DAB link in "Langhorne's electric guitar .." - and his forename(s) would be good. Just noticed Bruce Langhorne in the last para. The first instance should have w-link & full name, and the 2nd just the surname w/o w-link. --Philcha (talk) 18:03, 6 November 2009 (UTC)
Done.--Kohoutek1138 (talk) 01:47, 7 November 2009 (UTC)
  • (comment) "dropped D tuning, capoed" is technical, but I expect guitarists understand it and non-guitarists would bewildered by a explanation. --Philcha (talk) 18:03, 6 November 2009 (UTC)
Good point. I think this should be removed then because knowing what open tuning Dylan used and where he placed the capo doesn't really serve to enhance the article. I'll remove it for now but we could reinstate it if Rlendog feels that it's necessary.--Kohoutek1138 (talk) 01:47, 7 November 2009 (UTC)
I'm fine with it out. The one benefit to including it is that most musical descriptions are necessarily subjective, and this is one objective description of the music. Rlendog (talk) 02:55, 7 November 2009 (UTC)
  •  Done "Structurally, the song is unusual for the fact that, rather than beginning with the first verse, the song begins with ..." could be abbreviated. e.g. "Unusually, the song begins with ...". --Philcha (talk) 18:03, 6 November 2009 (UTC)
Done.--Kohoutek1138 (talk) 01:47, 7 November 2009 (UTC)
Thanks. --Philcha (talk) 07:51, 7 November 2009 (UTC)
  •  Done Re "Though amazed by his weariness, the narrator is unable to sleep and wants to hear Mr. Tambourine Man's song.[9] The narrator believes that the song will fulfill his desire to be set free"
    •  Done The narrator's "desire to be set free" - from what? --Philcha (talk) 18:03, 6 November 2009 (UTC)
  •  Done Subject to resolving that, could the sentences "Though amazed by his weariness, the narrator is unable to sleep and wants to hear Mr. Tambourine Man's song.[9] The narrator believes that the song will fulfill his desire to be set free" be combined, e.g. "Though weary, the narrator is unable to sleep and wants to hear Mr. Tambourine Man's song, believing that the song will fulfill his desire to be set free." --Philcha (talk) 18:03, 6 November 2009 (UTC)
Yes it could and I've altered these sentences accordingly. I'll let Rlendog comment on what the singer wants to be set free from.--Kohoutek1138 (talk) 01:47, 7 November 2009 (UTC)
The source is not specific "In the course of four verses studded with internal rhymes, he expounds on this situation, his meaning often heavily embroidered with imagery, though the desire to be freed by the tambourine man's song remains clear." Rlendog (talk) 03:09, 7 November 2009 (UTC)
OK. --Philcha (talk) 07:51, 7 November 2009 (UTC)
  •  Done "The song (in its complete version) has evoked speculation about its meaning and theme" looks redundant - the rest of the para outlines various interpretations. --Philcha (talk) 18:03, 6 November 2009 (UTC)
Agreed. I'll remove this sentence.--Kohoutek1138 (talk) 01:47, 7 November 2009 (UTC)
Fixed LSD link because it wasn't working properly. The reason it wasn't w-linked originally was to avoid overlinking - it's already linked to in the article lead.--Kohoutek1138 (talk) 01:47, 7 November 2009 (UTC)
Doh! --Philcha (talk) 07:51, 7 November 2009 (UTC)
  •  Done "Alternatively, the song has been interpreted as a call to the singer's spirit ... " - how amount e.g. "Other commentators have interpreted the song has as a call to the singer's spirit ..."? --Philcha (talk) 18:03, 6 November 2009 (UTC)
Done.--Kohoutek1138 (talk) 01:47, 7 November 2009 (UTC)
  •  Done "The singer is praying to his muse for inspiration; ironically the song itself is evidence that the muse has already provided the sought-after inspiration" does not seem to add much - I'd remove it. --Philcha (talk) 18:03, 6 November 2009 (UTC)
I'll leave this in for the moment until Rlendog's had a chance to comment because it seems to me to be a valid and arguably important point in the context of the song’s lyrics. It's also supported by two references, so it's presumably an interpretive view point held by more than one commentator.--Kohoutek1138 (talk) 01:47, 7 November 2009 (UTC)
I think this interpretation is an important one that several authors bring up - that the song is Dylan's prayer to his muse for inspiration. One author went further noting that the song is not only the prayer but the answer to the prayer, i.e., the quality of the song is such that it is proof that muse has answered the prayer. The invocation to the muse is also an interpretation that comes up with several Dylan songs from this era, such as She Belongs to Me and Love Minus Zero/No Limit, albeit in different contexts. Rlendog (talk) 03:21, 7 November 2009 (UTC)
OK, you're the experts. --Philcha (talk) 09:30, 10 November 2009 (UTC)
  •  Done I don't understand "Another interpretation is that the song is a reflection of the audience's demands of the singer, in which case Dylan himself is symbolized by Mr. Tambourine Man" and the source's "Was Dylan reflecting the desire he felt from his own audience, so that he, in effect, was the tambourine man?" (allmusic) seems no more clear. Since we have more than enough intepretations, I'd cut this one. --Philcha (talk) 18:03, 6 November 2009 (UTC)
Again, I'll defer to Rlendog on this.--Kohoutek1138 (talk) 01:47, 7 November 2009 (UTC)
I cut it. Rlendog (talk) 03:21, 7 November 2009 (UTC)
  •  Done Is "The poetry of 19th century French poet Arthur Rimbaud is a major influence on the song" Dylan's comments or someone else's? --Philcha (talk) 18:03, 6 November 2009 (UTC)
I'm not sure about this song specifically but I do know that Rimbaud was definitely a big influence on Dylan's lyrics during this period particularly and in fact, up until at least the release of his 1976 album Desire. Dylan has spoken of Rimbaud's influence on his work a number of times. It's one of the reasons why Dylan's lyrics were deemed by many as a continuation of the literary style and experimentation pioneered by Beat Generation writers like Ginsberg, Kerouac and Ferlinghetti. Perhaps Rlendog can confirm whether it was Dylan or another commentator who suggested that the lyrics of "Mr. Tambourine Man" were specifically influenced by Rimbaud.--Kohoutek1138 (talk) 01:47, 7 November 2009 (UTC)
    • I don't have anything to indicate Dylan acknowledging Rimbaud's influence on this particular song. There are sources that claim that Dylan was familiar with Rimbaud's work at the time though and several authors have commented on Rimbaud's influence on this song and some others of this period. And the Heylin reference goes a little further, quoting Dylan on Feb. 10 1964 during the Mardi Gras roadtrip: "Rimbaud is where it's at. That's the kind of stuff that means something. That's the kind of writing I'm going to do." Rlendog (talk) 16:27, 7 November 2009 (UTC)
    Your comments sound as like Rimbaud is more appropriate to Dylan in general rather than to this specific song. --Philcha (talk) 19:58, 7 November 2009 (UTC)
    Rimbaud has been cited as an influence on several songs from this period, one of which is "Mr. Tambourine Man" (and "Chimes of Freedom", written on the same trip, is the other one that gets a lot of mentions). So I think Rimbaud is appropriate specifically to the song. Rlendog (talk) 21:26, 7 November 2009 (UTC)
    Rlendog, are you sure your last comment wasn't WP:SYN. Your previous comment said, "I don't have anything to indicate Dylan acknowledging Rimbaud's influence on this particular song." --Philcha (talk) 21:51, 7 November 2009 (UTC)
    I do not have anything quoting Dylan acknowledging the Rimbaud influence on the song. But Tamarin's article states that "It's been called an homage to Rimbaud and 'rock's paean to psychedelia". And Heylin states "In "Mr. Tambourine Man" the singer certainly seems to be searching for that 'dereglement de tous le sens' of which Rimbaud wrote so eloquently. It is this that will open him up to the unknown, and through which he must follow the Rimbaudian seer onto his magic swirlin' ship (Dylan's version of Rimbaud's drunken boat)." So published authors have drawn attention to Rimbaud's influence on the song, even if I don't have a quote from Dylan explicitly acknowledging it. Rlendog (talk) 22:25, 7 November 2009 (UTC)
  •  Done Depending on the comment about Rimbaud, I might suggest arranging the influences. --Philcha (talk) 18:03, 6 November 2009 (UTC)
    Now we know who cited Rimbaud, I suggest placing Dylan's comments first (La strada and, instead of "... is a major influence ... Another influence ..." e.g. Dylan described the influence of Federico Fellini's movie La strada on the song, while other commentators found echoes of the poetry of Arthur Rimbaud." --Philcha (talk) 22:35, 9 November 2009 (UTC)
    I rephrased along these lines. Rlendog (talk) 01:30, 10 November 2009 (UTC)
    Thanks. --Philcha (talk) 09:30, 10 November 2009 (UTC)

Other releases[edit]

  •  Done " ... he has said that it is the only song he ever tried to write another of" looks clumsy. How about e.g. " ... the only song he tried to imitate in another composition"? --Philcha (talk) 21:25, 6 November 2009 (UTC)
Hmmm...this is tricky. I agree that the sentence as it stands is clumsy and needs changing but I don't believe that Dylan meant that he'd tried to "imitate" the song in subsequent compositions. I've always taken Dylan's comments on this subject to mean that he'd tried to write a song in a similar style or write a song that was as artistically successful. To me, "imitation" is the wrong word here.--Kohoutek1138 (talk) 02:53, 7 November 2009 (UTC)
I rephrased, using Dylan's actual quote. The quote itself is clumsy, but as a quote it should be okay. Rlendog (talk) 16:45, 7 November 2009 (UTC)
Yeah, blame the source :-)
Now the final sentence "However, he did not succeed and eventually gave up" looks redundant (and has the same ref). --Philcha (talk) 20:03, 7 November 2009 (UTC)
Oops. Missed that. That sentence is gone now. Rlendog (talk) 21:28, 7 November 2009 (UTC)
Is it just me or does this sentece now scan as grammatically incorrect? I think it's because Dylan's actual quote is sort of grammatically incorrect and it's making the whole sentence look awkward. I propose adding a "[of]" at the end of the quote, so the whole sentence would look like this:- The song has always been a personal favorite of Dylan's, and he has said that "it's the only song I tried to write 'another one' [of]", although he did not succeed. - what's the consensus on this? Does this improve it?.--Kohoutek1138 (talk) 14:56, 8 November 2009 (UTC)
The sentence is grammatically incorrect, but that is because Dylan's quote is. I would not want to tamper with the direct quote though. If it is less awkward, perhaps we can get rid of the phrase after the quote, or make that phrase a separate sentence. Rlendog (talk) 15:19, 8 November 2009 (UTC)
I know what you mean about tampering with Dylan's direct quote. I'm not sure that removing the "although he did not succeed" part will make much different though...and besides, it's kind of important to keep it in.--Kohoutek1138 (talk) 19:56, 8 November 2009 (UTC)
I guess that's as much as we can improve that passage. --Philcha (talk) 22:44, 9 November 2009 (UTC)
  •  Done "Re the song has been in Dylan's live concert repertoire ever since it was written":
    •  Done It may be irrelevant, as the section is about recordings. Just about every performer varies the treatment from one performance to another, so if you don't restrict "Other releases" to recordings you'd get hundreds of performance of the Stones in (I Can't Get No) Satisfaction, and several dozen of Bohemian Rhapsody by Queen. --Philcha (talk) 21:25, 6 November 2009 (UTC)
    •  Done The sentence is unclear. The source is dated 2004, so that can only support "... to 2004".
Although the article is primarily about recordings I don't believe it's exclusively so. The article is about the song itself but naturally dwells on the recording because that is by far the most well known version and thus, the definitive version. For instance, the comments about the song's lyrics are relative to the song, not just to the 1965 recording. Obviously, as you rightly point out, you wouldn't want to go into detail about every performance of the song but a general overview of how often it's been performed provides important information on how much Dylan thinks of it, as well as how popular it is among his audience. The same thing would still apply if Dylan had stopped performing the song in the late 60s - it's relevant because it tells us something about Dylan's own attitude to it. Mentioning its live performance history also provides important historical context which is always important for a Wikipedia article. --Kohoutek1138 (talk) 02:53, 7 November 2009 (UTC)
Might be best to give the date of the last cited concert. --Philcha (talk) 08:04, 7 November 2009 (UTC)
Well, there's plenty of detailed Dylan set lists available on the web if you know where to look but I'm not sure whether they would meet WP:Verify criteria. For example, the website has a set list entry for a gig in Cardiff, Wales on April 28, 2009 where Dylan performed the song. Check it out here and see what you think.--Kohoutek1138 (talk) 14:05, 7 November 2009 (UTC)
I seem what you mean - it's all blogs and ticket sales pages. Leave the text as is. --Philcha (talk) 14:56, 7 November 2009 (UTC)
  •  Done What's the significance of the phrase "At Dylan's final 1960s appearance"? --Philcha (talk) 21:25, 6 November 2009 (UTC)
Dylan returned to the Newport Folk Festival in 2002 (and again included "Mr. Tambourine Man" in his set). Originally this sentence said "his last performance at the Newport Folk Festival" but as someone rightly pointed out on the article's talk page Dylan returned to the Newport Folk Festival some 37 years later. This return to Newport is covered further down in this section.--Kohoutek1138 (talk) 02:53, 7 November 2009 (UTC)
The sentence ""At Dylan's final 1960s appearance ..." is ambiguous: (a) D performed other songs at Newport later in the 1960s; (b) D never performed at all at Newport later in the 1960s. --Philcha (talk) 08:46, 7 November 2009 (UTC)
Thanks. --Philcha (talk) 22:44, 9 November 2009 (UTC)
  •  Done "Dylan again performed "Mr. Tambourine Man" at the Newport Folk Festival 37 years later, on August 3, 2002" has a similar problem. Did D perform other songs at Newport in the meantime? --Philcha (talk) 08:46, 7 November 2009 (UTC)
No, Dylan played the Newport Folk Festival in 1965 and then didn't return until the 2002 appearance. To be clear, the fact that he played "Mr. Tambourine Man" both times is interesting but not necessarily significant in itself.--Kohoutek1138 (talk) 14:05, 7 November 2009 (UTC)
Do we need the 2002 Newport performance? It seems more about repairing the relationship between Dylan and Newport than about the song. --Philcha (talk) 14:56, 7 November 2009 (UTC)
Well, I would've said no, we don't need it. However, if it's removed we still need the caveat about Dylan's 1965 appearance being his last of the 1960s, since another editor has already queried this on the article talk page. I'll let Rlendog have his say about this before I remove it though.--Kohoutek1138 (talk) 18:18, 7 November 2009 (UTC)
I think we can take that out. I also reworded the opening sentence so it just refers to Dylan's performance at Newport on July 29, 1965 without saying it was his final performance there. Rlendog (talk) 21:41, 7 November 2009 (UTC)
Fine, thanks. --Philcha (talk) 22:44, 9 November 2009 (UTC)
  •  Done Bob Dylan concert review – Newport Folk Festival, Aug. 3, 2002 gives me 2 concerns:
    • You'd have to make a strong case for citing a blog, as WP:RS is generally against them, see also WP:SPS. I admit this piece looks like the work of a competent reviewer, but you'll generally struggle to get a blog post accepted until the source meets at least 1 of: (a) a good reputation in more formally published media (full-time editor, etc.) and you can show that the author is actually the person that's claimed; or (b) it's not really a blog, because the blog technology is used by a formal publication with an professional editor, e.g. the New York Times and IIRC The Guardian and The Times have "blog" sections that are written by full-time journalists and controlled by the editor, but are published online rather than in dead trees. Can you find a more "offical" source? (FWIW I have a love-hate with WP:RS, but I don't think discussing that would help you much). --Philcha (talk) 21:25, 6 November 2009 (UTC)
Oops! Good call. I was the one who found that referance and I was under the impression that it was the blog part of the official Bob Dylan site - which is wrong. Yes, this source isn't good enough and must be changed. I'll have a look to see if I can find a better source to cite. Perhaps Rlendog might also try to dig up a better reference.--Kohoutek1138 (talk) 02:53, 7 November 2009 (UTC)
I replaced the link to one on Dylan's official site. Rlendog (talk) 16:38, 7 November 2009 (UTC)
And after all that, the item was cut :-/ --Philcha (talk) 22:44, 9 November 2009 (UTC)
    • "reprising his 1965 appearance"? If you mean Dylan was trying to replicate the 1965 performance, I didn't see that in the blog entry. --Philcha (talk) 21:25, 6 November 2009 (UTC)
No, reprising is probably not the right word. Dylan was in no way trying to replicate his earlier historic performances as Newport. I just meant that was playing at Newport like he had done in 1965. I'll remove this part of the sentence beacuse it doesn't really add anything anyway.--Kohoutek1138 (talk) 02:53, 7 November 2009 (UTC)
Well spotted. I've added a supporting inline reference.--Kohoutek1138 (talk) 02:53, 7 November 2009 (UTC)
I've removed the Murry Lerner movie mention because that's already been covered just a paragraph earlier, so it's duplication of information. I've added a reference to support the appearance in Scorsese's No Direction Home and relocated this sentence to follow the earlier mention of Lerner's film. It makes sense to place it there since they both feature the same footage. You might wanna check the reference but I think it'll be OK.--Kohoutek1138 (talk) 02:53, 7 November 2009 (UTC)
I think the sentences, "That performance is included in Murray Lerner's film ... also be seen in Martin Scorsese's documentary No Direction Home" look clumsy, and would be combined, e.g. "That performance is included in Murray Lerner's film The Other Side of the Mirror.[1], and in Martin Scorsese's documentary No Direction Home.[2]" --Philcha (talk) 08:46, 7 November 2009 (UTC)
OK, I've done this.--Kohoutek1138 (talk) 14:05, 7 November 2009 (UTC)
Thanks. --Philcha (talk) 14:56, 7 November 2009 (UTC)
  •  Done Last 2 sentences both end "Another live version ... " ("Another live version from Dylan's famous May 17, 1966 ..." and "Another live version from the Rolling Thunder Revue tour of 1975 ...". --Philcha (talk) 08:46, 7 November 2009 (UTC)
I've changed the first of these two sentences to "A live version..." instead. Hopefully that's better.--Kohoutek1138 (talk) 14:05, 7 November 2009 (UTC)
Thanks. --Philcha (talk) 14:56, 7 November 2009 (UTC)

The Byrds' version[edit]

Discussion of structure & chronology

 Done What do folks think about adding an audio sample of The Byrds' version of "Mr. Tambourine Man" to the relevant single infobox, like in the Dylan one? I'm thinking of a clip that shows McGuinn's Bach-inspired guitar intro and as much of the first chorus as Wikipedia media guidelines will allow? This might be useful in demonstrating the differences between the two versions as well as the sound of folk rock.--Kohoutek1138 (talk) 20:26, 8 November 2009 (UTC)

If it's from a reliable source and have no copyright issues, it would be a great addition. --Philcha (talk) 21:49, 8 November 2009 (UTC)
I've added a media sample of The Byrds' version. I couldn't include McGuinn's intro because 10% of 2:29 isn't very long, so all I had time to include was a brief snippet of the first chorus. Still, I think it's worth having since it demonstrates the "rocking up" of the song, the band's harmonies and McGuinn's jangling guitar sound. --Kohoutek1138 (talk) 21:37, 9 November 2009 (UTC)
Good choice. --Philcha (talk) 23:29, 9 November 2009 (UTC)
It occurred to me, while listening to the Dylan sound clip and The Byrds one, that The Byrds changed the time signature of the song from 3/4 time to 4/4 time. This is well documented and I'm wondering whether it should be mentioned in the article? I dunno though, maybe you feel it's a little too technical, rather like Dylan's guitar being in open tuning with a capo on the third fret was. --Kohoutek1138 (talk) 00:41, 10 November 2009 (UTC)
Having heard both clips, I think the difference in time signature is plain, although I last looked at music theory *&^% decades ago. I think it's significant. --Philcha (talk) 09:40, 10 November 2009 (UTC)
I think I'll leave it out then. --Kohoutek1138 (talk) 11:02, 10 November 2009 (UTC)
If you guys thank that's better, I'll agree. --Philcha (talk) 13:06, 10 November 2009 (UTC)
Oh, I think I misunderstood your previous comment. I'll add a mention of the time signature change and if we decide that we don't like it, we can just take it out again. --Kohoutek1138 (talk) 16:31, 10 November 2009 (UTC)
  • I now think there's an even bigger elephant in the room - How many GAs? I'm starting a new section section of this GA under that heading below. I think we should discuss "How many GAs" first, and then see where any of my comments on "The Byrds' version" fit? I apologise to you for changing my mind(s) again, I started with the standard book / film article model in mind, and underestimated how special this topic is. --Philcha (talk) (amended section title "How many GAs" --Philcha (talk) 10:11, 12 November 2009 (UTC))
We decided against. --Philcha (talk) 10:20, 22 November 2009 (UTC)
  •  Done "Dylan himself disliked the term "folk rock" ..." has lost the direct connection to The Byrd's version of this song. An earlier version of the article was a little more explicit that the Dylan quote was in response to the press creating the term "folk rock" to describe The Byrds' "Mr. Tambourine Man". --Philcha (talk) 09:38, 12 November 2009 (UTC)
I see that this quote has now been removed. While I agree that it was better where it was originally located, as part of the "Legacy" section, it seems a shame to loose the quote completely. It's an interesting point and illustrates Dylan's attitude towards the subgenre that he'd helped to create. --Kohoutek1138 (talk) 14:19, 17 November 2009 (UTC)
I like the quote too, but I now think it belongs more in a general folk rock article than in this specific article. Rlendog (talk) 14:56, 17 November 2009 (UTC)
  •  Done Under "Conception", the "with" structure ("with the band changing their name to The Byrds") has recently public enemy one with the MOS police, and I suggest e.g "and they changed ...". --Philcha (talk) 09:38, 12 November 2009 (UTC)
  •  Done Also under "Conception", Kohoutek1138's comment in this GA said the Dylan version was 3/4, but the artciles now says 2/4. Which is right? --Philcha (talk) 09:38, 12 November 2009 (UTC)
  •  Done The phrasing "started developing a fusion of their own pop influenced material and folk music, with arrangements in the style of The Beatles" looks a bit clumsy to me. ? e.g. "started developing a fusion of folk-like lyrics and melodies with arrangements in the style of The Beatles"? --Philcha (talk) 09:38, 12 November 2009 (UTC)
This has been sorted now but I have to say that I'm still not 100% happy with this sentence. It's seems a little misleading because it doesn't come out and say that these "folk-like lyrics and melodies" were a product of their individual folk backgrounds. I'll leave as it is for the moment but just be aware that I might tamper with this sentence a little more. --Kohoutek1138 (talk) 14:19, 17 November 2009 (UTC)
  •  Done I think sub-section "Production" could group more clearly the organisational (studio's) and creative (band's) contributions. Was "... the song was given a full, electric rock band treatment ..." the studio's or the band's? "McGuinn's jangling, melodic guitar playing ..." and "The group's complex harmony work ..." look part of the band's contribution. I think the sentences "Although Dylan's version contains four verses, ... just short of two-and-a-half minutes" is also a distinct element, the influence of current views of what a single should be. Perhaps beteen the studio's and band's contributions? --Philcha (talk) 09:38, 12 November 2009 (UTC)
You're right, this does need clarification and possibly greater detail. The "full, electric rock band treatment" was essentially the band's (and Jim Dickson's) idea and, as detailed in the article, this rock arrangement was already in place a few months before the Columbia session that produced the single took place. However, to muddy the waters slightly, the single's producer, Terry Melcher, did make some fairly important changes to the song on the day of recording as well; replacing Michael Clarke's "marching band" style of drumming with a standard rock beat, coming up with the distinctive, "swooping" bassline for the intro & outro and also modifying Crosby and Clark's harmony vocal parts in the chorus. So, you're right that "McGuinn's jangling, melodic guitar playing" and "The group's complex harmony work" were essentially the band's contribution but the harmonies were certainly improved by Melcher on the day of recording. The length of The Byrds' version was totally their own idea (again with input from Jim Dickson) because, as the article states, this intro/chorus/verse/chorus/outro arrangement was already in place months before the Columbia recording session. I don't have my books with me at the moment but I'm betting I can assertain exactly who's idea this shortened arrangement was. I'll have a look. --Kohoutek1138 (talk) 14:19, 17 November 2009 (UTC)
OK Philcha, I've had a go at expanding upon these points you've mentioned with the exception of Terry Melcher's slight changes to the structure of the group’s harmonies. I couldn't figure out a way to introduce that information without overly complicating matters and ultimately, I'm not sure it's that relevant anyway - it could be considered trivia. Anyway, sorry that I've been away a lot internet connection is fixed now, after a catalogue of sheer incompetence on the part of my ISP, and shouldn't cause me any more problems (fingers crossed). So, what else do I need to do to get this article ship-shape and meeting GA criteria? You mentioned before that the Byrds section looks like it's been written to a word limit and isn't as relaxed as the rest of the article, so do you think it needs expanding some more? Obviously I tried to condense things a while back but perhaps it's gone too far the other way now? --Kohoutek1138 (talk) 22:46, 24 November 2009 (UTC)
That section is good, thanks. --Philcha (talk) 07:28, 25 November 2009 (UTC)
Oh, OK. So you're happy with the structure of the prose in The Byrds section now? I thought that you felt that it was not as relaxed as the rest of the article? --Kohoutek1138 (talk) 11:18, 25 November 2009 (UTC)
Quit while you're aready :-) I think the restrucute make it flows more smoothly, and that's help a lot. --Philcha (talk) 11:43, 25 November 2009 (UTC)
  •  Done I'd move "The single reached #1 on the Billboard Hot 100, and #1 on the UK Singles Chart.[26][27][28] It thus became the first recording of a Dylan song to reach #1 on any pop music chart" to the "Reception" sub-section. --Philcha (talk) 09:38, 12 November 2009 (UTC)
    Thanks. --Philcha (talk) 10:20, 22 November 2009 (UTC)

(comment) I removed the pink box round the last few comments, as we've resolved the "How may articles?" issue. --Philcha (talk) 14:30, 13 November 2009 (UTC)

Not sure where this note should go, but in scanning the right 'Sidebar' with info for the Byrds' version of "Mr. Tambourine Man" (Release date, Recording date, etc.), I noticed that the length is listed as "2:29." That is incorrect. The original mono 45-single had a length of 2:18, whch can be verified by checking the liner notes (pg.13) of the Columbia/Legacy reissue cd of the album "Mr. Tambourine Man" (CK 64845). There is a pictire of the promo "Radio Station Copy" single, with the running time clearly showing. When the song was re-mixed in 1992 from the eight-track's by Vic Anesini and Tim Geelan, it was extended to a length of 2:29, due to a much longer fade (Columbia/Legacy CK 47884; "20 Essential Tracks From The Boxed Set"). This was perpetuated on the 1996 re-issue cd of the MTM album (CK 64845). Just wanted to set the record straight and avoid 'revisionist history.' Otherwise, this is an excellent article on a classic song.

Frank60s (talk) 18:28, 1 April 2012 (UTC)

How many GAs[edit]

We discussed, decided against splitting. --Philcha (talk) 10:23, 22 November 2009 (UTC)

As I said, I apologise for having more second thoughts. The difficulties I feel are:

  • The Byrds version is easily enough for an article in its own right. In fact the The Byrds content looks disproportiate in the current combined version, although we've all worked to make it focussed and concise - the Dylan section looks relaxed in style and The Byrds content loks like it was written to a word limit and/or deadline.
I've not had time to think about this too much, having only just seen your comments, but here are my initial knee-jerk reactions to your points. I'm not quite sure how to take the comment "The Byrds content looks like it was written to a word limit and/or deadline". Are you referring to the fact that there appears to be a lot of info being crammed into the smallest possible space? If so, yes, I agree. However, I would be strongly against splitting Dylan's and The Byrds' version into two separate articles. The song is the song; it's only a single composition and as such, all details pertaining to it and the various covers should be located in the same place I feel. --Kohoutek1138 (talk) 11:44, 12 November 2009 (UTC)
  • I think there's enough about the Dylan version in its own - lyrics, imagery, and influences on these; various Dylan's recordings and performances.
  • Then there are the items that look common between to the 2 versions, e.g. "Other covers and references" section (see next comment), "... It is one of three songs to place twice ...".
  • I don't know how section "Other covers and references" splits between the Dylan version, The Byrds version and other treatments - suggestions?
Not sure on this as I've not heard all of them, although I can say that Odetta and Melanie's covers are based on Dylan's version while Les Fradkin and Gene Clark's (obviously) are based on The Byrds'. --Kohoutek1138 (talk) 11:44, 12 November 2009 (UTC)

If "Other covers and references" splits mainly into Dylan-like and Byrds-like, I think we have 2 articles. Please comment, and I won't object to complains about my bumbling. --Philcha (talk) 10:09, 12 November 2009 (UTC)

Again, I would be against splitting this subject into two articles. I just can't see that it's justified. I agree that there's currently some big problems with the article (especially The Byrds section) but I'm sure these can be sorted out. Also, just to address one of your points in the pink box above, Dylan's version is definitely in 2/4 time and not 3/4 as I initially stated...I knew it was 2/4 really but for some reason I kept saying 3/4, so my mistake. By the way, have you seen my last posted comments in "The Byrds' version" section of this GA talk page Philcha? I explained this error there and also went into a bit of detail about the changes I'd made to the article based on your recent sub-section recommendations.
I don't think it would be appropriate to split this into two articles. It is one song that has been covered by many different artists, most prominently Dylan and The Byrds. Other songs covered by multiple prominent artists, such as "Little Wing" or "All Along the Watchtower" or "Can't Help Falling in Love with You" have a single article that incorporates all the covers. Splitting the "other covers" would be artificial, since they are all ultimately based on the song Dylan wrote and on a Dylan version, and since the song was released by both Dylan and The Byrds so close together, many of the subsequent covers almost had to be influenced by both versions, even if subtly. And several other prominent artists covered the song during 1965, and their versions may have also influenced subsequent covers to some extent. Rlendog (talk) 03:33, 13 November 2009 (UTC)
As an aside, Am I allowed to post responses to your comments in the pink box above? I have comments I'd like to make regarding your points but I'm not sure whether I should tamper with that part of the talk page. --Kohoutek1138 (talk) 11:44, 12 November 2009 (UTC)
Of course - can I stop you? I make the horrible pink box to flag that there were other issues that I thought should be considered first, in case major restructure made smaller-scale changes redundant. I still think it would be sensible consider how many GAs. If, after you've had some think time, you still think is one is better, your experts and I'm just the reviewer. --Philcha (talk) 13:31, 12 November 2009 (UTC)
I addressed the issues in the pink box, except for the next to last bullet. I will actually be away for the next couple of days, so I will probably not be able to address any more items until Sunday or Monday evening. Although most of the comments lately have been on The Byrds' section, which is mostlyKohoutek1138's expertise, so hopefully my absence will not impede progress. Rlendog (talk) 03:53, 13 November 2009 (UTC)
I'm actually away too...well, actually I'm not going anywhere but my internet conection has gone down at home. It should be up and running again by Tuesday or Wednesday next week at the latest I would've thought. I will be checking in between now and then as often as I can but just be aware that I might not be able to respond to comments left here as quickly as I normally do. --Kohoutek1138 (talk) 12:35, 13 November 2009 (UTC)

Other covers and references[edit]

  •  Done "Mr. Tambourine Man" has been covered by many artists.[66] It was covered at least 13 times in 1965 alone ..." should be combined. --Philcha (talk) 10:43, 22 November 2009 (UTC)
    • I combined these. Rlendog (talk) 02:20, 23 November 2009 (UTC)
  •  Done Re Jason Casto's "I Shot the Tambourine Man", I'd roll up the 4 cites into 1 ref, e.g. as at this, which is ridiculous, but passed GA :-) --Philcha (talk) 10:43, 22 November 2009 (UTC)**I combined the refs. Rlendog (talk) 02:20, 23 November 2009 (UTC)
  •  Done You can find a better cite for the One Foot in the Grave episode - the current is WP:SPS and so are the others I found in Google. --Philcha (talk) 10:43, 22 November 2009 (UTC)
    • The best ref I found was the CD track listing of the Christmas specials on Amazon. But I am not sure this would be valid. I removed the sentence but could restore if you think the Amazon ref would be appropriate. Rlendog (talk) 02:20, 23 November 2009 (UTC)
The trouble is Amazon will probably drop the product when there are no further "new and used" copies, and I'd bet Amazon excludes its sales pages from Inernet Archive. So regretfully I have to agree with dropping the sentence. --Philcha (talk) 08:43, 23 November 2009 (UTC)
  •  Done "The students in the movie Dangerous Minds ..." also looks good for rolling up the cites into 1 ref. --Philcha (talk) 10:43, 22 November 2009 (UTC)
    • Rolled up. Rlendog (talk) 02:20, 23 November 2009 (UTC)
  •  Done Guess what, I also rolled up the cites for Rolling Stone's 500 Greatest Songs of All Time :-) --Philcha (talk) 08:43, 23 November 2009 (UTC)


  •  Done I think you'll need to give all the URLs for "It is one of three songs to place twice ..." as the navigation at The RS 500 Greatest Songs of All Time is messed up - what a pain. --Philcha (talk) 11:04, 22 November 2009 (UTC)
  •  Done Is "Acclaim has not been limited to the United States" needed? --Philcha (talk) 11:04, 22 November 2009 (UTC)
    • Removed. Rlendog (talk) 02:24, 23 November 2009 (UTC)
  •  Done I'd roll up the cites at "Other UK publishers that have listed this song ..." --Philcha (talk) 11:04, 22 November 2009 (UTC)
  •  'Done In "As for Dylan's version, in a 2005 reader's poll reported in Mojo, "Mr. Tambourine Man" was listed ...", "As for ..." looks superfluous, e.g. "In polls published by Mojos readers in 2005, readers ... and artists ...".--Philcha (talk) 11:04, 22 November 2009 (UTC)
    • I reworded. Rlendog (talk) 02:24, 23 November 2009 (UTC)
  •  Done Guess what, I rolled up all but the first of the cites to Rolling Stone's 500 Greatest Songs of All Time :-) --Philcha (talk) 08:49, 23 November 2009 (UTC)
  • I'm not sure but in my paper italian version of the Rolling Stone magazine the Bob Dylan versione is ranked at position 107 rather than 106, I'm sure that the chart is the same as the international (i.e. there isn't an Italian Top 500 version), but i would like to now if also in the international the song is ranked 107 in which case the corresponding text should be changed (as well as the links to the RS Top 500 chart) — Preceding unsigned comment added by Skimmoz (talkcontribs) 09:07, 17 December 2010 (UTC)

Reception for Dylan version[edit]

  • I've just noticed that there's no "Reception" section for the Dylan version. --Philcha (talk) 07:47, 25 November 2009 (UTC)
    • The Dylan version was not released as a single, so it did not get the individual reception (separate from the Bringing It All Back Home album the way The Byrds' single did. The Dylan version was of course influential, but the initial influence was on The Byrds version, which makes up the next section, and beyond that the influence of the Dylan and Byrds versions were essentially comingled. I think that influence is appropriately covered The Byrds section, since that is the version that was released as a popular single and so would have been more widely familar. The Byrds' "Reception" section also covers the song's releases on other albums and video, but there is already am "Other Releases" subsection covering that within the Dylan section. Rlendog (talk) 15:59, 25 November 2009 (UTC)
      You're right. -Philcha (talk) 16:35, 25 November 2009 (UTC)

Check on consistency of formatting[edit]

  •  Done Saw a ndash w/o spaces in "Composition and recording". Probably easiest to automate w e.g. wikEd throughout the article, after text agreed. --Philcha (talk) 18:03, 6 November 2009 (UTC)
    • I reworded that sentence so the ndash is no longer there. Rlendog (talk) 21:44, 7 November 2009 (UTC)
      OK. -Philcha (talk) 07:35, 25 November 2009 (UTC)
  • I notice that the structure has left w-links in odd places. I'll check these when the content is done. --Philcha (talk) 09:39, 12 November 2009 (UTC)
    I think these were cleared while you guys were restructing "Conception" and "Production", as I see no more (tempting fate). --Philcha (talk) 16:33, 25 November 2009 (UTC)


(cmt) It all fits into the Infobox. --Philcha (talk) 16:59, 25 November 2009 (UTC)

  •  DoneCan you pls add refs for the points in the infobox. Some points are not in the main text, e.g. that The Bird's single was 7" vinyl - half the readers won't know what that was :-( --16:59, 25 November 2009 (UTC)
     Done Don't know what a 7" single is?!??! That's shocking! :-o I've got no problem with adding references to the infobox but I have to say that I've never before seen references in an infobox anywhere on Wikipedia. Even if you look at other single articles that have been certified as GA (like "Hold Me Now", "Hungry Like the Wolf" and "Laugh, Laugh" for instance) none of them have references in the infobox and they were all initially released as 7" singles. As far as the "Mr. Tambourine Man" article goes, there is a Wikilink on the mention of 7" single in the Byrds infobox, so if someone didn't know what that was they could theoretically click on it to find out. As I say, I really don't mind adding references to the infobox but I'm just questioning whether its necessary and whether its standard Wikipedia practice to do so on music articles. --Kohoutek1138 (talk) 12:30, 26 November 2009 (UTC)
    Some of our admins are very young, and may not even heard of cassettes :-)
    Re references to the infobox, they're becoming standard in other subject areas (e.g. Warcraft: Orcs & Humans, hope to be GA soon; Bryozoa). The issue is that infoboxes are becoming more elaborate, increasing the number of items not covered in the main text. --Philcha (talk) 13:50, 26 November 2009 (UTC)
    OK, but just to clarify, do you require a reference that states that The Byrds' version of "Mr. Tambourine Man" was originally released on 7" vinyl or a reference that explains what a 7" single is? As I say, if it's the latter, surely the wikilink already present in the infobox takes care of that? --Kohoutek1138 (talk) 15:44, 26 November 2009 (UTC)
    Pl ref 7" - it's already w-linked. Half our readers were born after 7" sides because obsolete :-) --Philcha (talk) 19:00, 26 November 2009 (UTC)
    Sorry if I'm being a bit dense here but I'm still not 100% sure exactly what I'm being asked to do. Do you want a reliable 3rd party reference explaining what a 7" single is or just an inline citation penned by me saying something like "The 7" gramaphone record was the dominant format for single releases during the 1960s when "Mr. Tambourine Man" was first issued".? --Kohoutek1138 (talk) 22:22, 26 November 2009 (UTC)
    Ideally one that says "Mr. Tambourine Man" was released on a 7". Failing that, 7" gramophone record was the dominant format for single releases during the 1960. With citation in whichever case. --Philcha (talk) 23:31, 26 November 2009 (UTC)
OK, I've had a go at doing this. Hopefully it's along the lines of what you wanted. I've included a citation showing that the single was issued on 7" vinyl but I can't find one that states that the 45 rpm 7" record was the standard format for singles in the 1960s...although that is obviously true. --Kohoutek1138 (talk) 02:07, 27 November 2009 (UTC)
  • Discogs is a user DB, a sort of WP for recordings, so WP:SPS. I got lucky (after several minutes) and found Understanding popular music (Roy Shuker; Routledge, 2001; p. 56) stating that the 45 rpm 7" record was the standard format for singles in the 1960s.
    •  Done I see the infobox says the Dylan recording is "Folk rock" - is that right? --Philcha (talk) 06:58, 27 November 2009 (UTC)
I've corrected the infobox ref accordingly. As for Dylan's version being Folk-rock, that's arguable I think. Myself, (and this is only my personal opinion) I'd say no, it's not folk rock because there's no bass, drums, organ or other traditionally "rock" instrumentation on the record. There is an electric guitar but it's background decoration really and isn't played in an overtly rocky style. What genre the song is though is harder to say. It's definitely more than just folk, being an early example of the singer–songwriter subgenre in my view, so I suppose that would make it rock but that doesn't seem like a good fit either. Perhaps Rlendog can offer some guidance on this. --Kohoutek1138 (talk) 13:24, 27 November 2009 (UTC)
I am not sure what to do there. Dylan's 1st 3, maybe 4, albums are clearly folk, but Bringing It All Back Home is clearly different. Side 1 could be called folk rock or rock, but side 2 is more in the folk camp - but not exactly, especially "Mr. Tambourine Man" and "It's All Over Now, Baby Blue", which use electric instuments. So they may be their own category, which I view as closest to folk rock. But if we can't get agreement for the genre, maybe best to leave that blank. Rlendog (talk) 21:57, 27 November 2009 (UTC)
I've been having a think about this and I agree that side 2 of Bringing It All Back Home is more folk, although all four tracks on side 2 are really stretching the boundaries of the "folk" the point where those songs pretty much become something else entirely. I really could go either way on this - our choices (as I see it) are either "Folk" or "Folk-rock" and I think I'm gonna cast my vote for "Folk", simply because of the lack of a rock beat or rock instrumentation on the song. As an aside, I notice that the Wiki article for the album lists the genre as Folk and Folk rock and side 2 (where "Mr. Tambourine Man" is located) is definitely seen as the folk half of the album in most people's eyes I would say. --Kohoutek1138 (talk) 23:31, 27 November 2009 (UTC)
I changed it to folk then. Rlendog (talk) 01:48, 28 November 2009 (UTC)
Thanks for analysed this - yet another puzzle in this complex article. --Philcha (talk) 13:12, 28 November 2009 (UTC)
    •  DoneThe rest of the Dylan part infobox is from article Bringing It All Back Home - which have no refs. I also noticed that Mr. Tambourine Man#Composition and recording does not include some items appearing in the infobo, e.g. role ofTom Wilson (producer). Can you please check that infobox items not in the main text have their own refs. --13:12, 28 November 2009 (UTC)
      I think the fact it was produced by Tom Wilson should be mentioned in the "Composition and recording" section because it's mentioned in the article lead, which is supposed to be a summary of the whole article after all. This would negate the need for a reference in the infobox. Likewise, the date of its release, as part of Bringing It All Back Home, should also be mentioned in this section. I don't mind adding this info if we're in agreement. --Kohoutek1138 (talk) 13:32, 28 November 2009 (UTC)
      That's fine, and it could improve the balance of coverage between the Dylan and Byrds sections. --14:26, 28 November 2009 (UTC)
OK, I've done this. Unfortunately Ive had to use an anonymous source for the inline reference supporting the fact that the original 1964 Another Side of Bob Dylan version of "Mr. Tambourine Man" was produced by Tom Wilson. The production credits on p. 56 of the The Bootleg Series Vol. 7: No Direction Home: The Soundtrack CD booklet clearly state that this is the case but there's no mention in the booklet of who compiled this information. I'm not sure if an anonymous reference like this adequate but if not, perhaps Rlendog can dig up a better inline reference. --Kohoutek1138 (talk) 16:10, 28 November 2009 (UTC)
I found a non-anon source, so I swapped that in. Rlendog (talk) 21:47, 29 November 2009 (UTC)
Thanks. Can you please the lead - I haven't formally checked the lead yet, but the lead says the song was in another album. --Philcha (talk) 22:36, 29 November 2009 (UTC)
The lead says that it was featured on Bringing It All Back Home but that it was originally attempted during sessions for Another Side of Bob Dylan and this is all covered in the actual article. It also says that Dylan recorded it live many times and it has been included on multiple Dylan and Byrds compilation albums. Again, this is covered later on in the article. So, I think that everything else in the lead is covered in the article, unless I'm very much mistaken. --Kohoutek1138 (talk) 12:50, 30 November 2009 (UTC)
All OK. --Philcha (talk) 13:51, 30 November 2009 (UTC)

Links validity check[edit]

Link checker report fine. --Philcha (talk)

Check for disambiguation and other dubious wikilinks[edit]

Dispenser's checker for disambiguation etc. report shows no disambiguation links (and I won't get be concerned about redirects). OK. --Philcha (talk) 14:00, 30 November 2009 (UTC)

Use of images[edit]

And sound clips, in this case.

  • Non-free files has FURs - fine. --Philcha (talk) 14:05, 30 November 2009 (UTC)
  • All files have explaining captions (except for files in infobox, where not use) --Philcha (talk) 14:05, 30 November 2009 (UTC)


  • Mostly fine. --Philcha (talk)
  • But nothing about folk rock in the lead. Is that was you intended. --Philcha (talk) 14:10, 30 November 2009 (UTC)
Good call! I've now ammended the lead with a brief mention of its influence on folk rock. --Kohoutek1138 (talk) 15:13, 30 November 2009 (UTC)
Thanks. --Philcha (talk) 19:31, 30 November 2009 (UTC)


I'm very pleased to say that this article meets or exceeds the Good Article criteria: it provides good coverage, is neutral and well-referenced, clearly-written, complies with the parts of WP:MOS required for a GA and uses appropriate images that have good captions and comply with WP's policies on images. Many thanks for the work you've put into this. I really enjoyed it (2nd round, as I enjoyed it the first time in the 1960s :-/). And thanks for the chance to work with both of you - and for your patience with some of my confusions. --Philcha (talk) 19:31, 30 November 2009 (UTC)

(plug) If you've got 2 or more articles to GA status, please consider reviewing some other GA candidate articles. You'll find a list of candidate articles at WP:GAN, grouped by subject area. In addition to the instructions there and the Good Article criteria, I recommend that you read Wikipedia:Reviewing good articles. If at any stage in a review you are uncertain about how to handle something, ask at WT:GAN, where experienced reviewers will be happy to help.

Hi Philcha! That's great news about "Mr. Tambourine Man" passing GA review. Rlendog and I have put a lot of work into the article (especially Rlendog) and I think it now looks and reads like a very well balanced and informative piece. Thanks ever so much for your time and effort in reviewing the article and thank you also for the barnstar. I'm not sure I quite understand your "get well soon" comment on my talk page but c'est le vie! :-/ Many thanks again. --Kohoutek1138 (talk) 20:34, 30 November 2009 (UTC)
Well done to all concerned, good work all round. BTW I understand that Dylan used his rights to stop a single release of the duet version - if anybody can reference it (I can't find a good reference for it) I can explain it. Would be nice to see in the article. --Richhoncho (talk) 11:36, 2 December 2009 (UTC)

- - - - - please add review comments /responses above this line - - - - -

If you want to start a new section of the Talk page while this review is still here, edit the whole page, i.e.use the "edit" link at the top of the page.

  1. ^ "The Other Side of the Mirror". allmusic. Retrieved November 7, 2009. 
  2. ^ "No Direction Home: Bob Dylan". Retrieved November 7, 2009.