Friday, January 21, 2011

The Byrds: What's Happening?!?!

Our Friday flipside comes from the very first single I purchased – The Byrds “Mr. Spaceman.” Its flip, an esoteric song written by David Crosby, was titled “What's Happening?!?!” It was the first song solely written by David Crosby to appear on a Byrds LP. The album, by the way, was “Fifth Dimension” – their first not to feature a Dylan song. While the album is somewhat disjointed, it is still one of my favorite albums by the band.

Although “Mr. Spaceman” barely charted in the top 40, “What's Happening?!?!” did not chart. The lyrical content is sparse and the instrumentation is reminiscent of Indian music; however, it is unlike the raga rock of “Eight Miles High” that also appears on the same album.


I don't know who you think you are
I don't know what you're doing here

I don't know what's going on here
I don't know how it's supposed to be

I, I don't have the vaguest notion
Whose it is, what it's all for

I don't know, I'm not crying
Laughin' mostly as you can see

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