Call for Essays About Any Aspect of Popular Culture, Present or Past



The Lears
The Story So Far…
(Get Hip)
by Sarah Zupko


Yeah, I know, every movie set in the 1960s rehashes “Turn! Turn! Turn!”—to the point its actually become a soundtrack song and not a Byrds song. But there’s a good reason for that; The Byrds perfectly captured the mood of their time. Besides which, they are so massively influential that you can pretty much kiss goodbye to R.E.M., The Connells, the Southeastern jangle pop scene, and the Southern California Paisley Underground groups without them. All the essentials are here—“Mr. Tambourine Man” (the line “jingle jangle morning” spawned the name for jangle pop), “My Back Pages,” “Turn! Turn! Turn!,” and “Eight Miles High,” perhaps one of the best psychedelic songs ever.

If you love the Byrds or even R.E.M., then you’ll undoubtedly like the Lears as well. With these guys, it’s almost like Roger McGuinn never laid down his 12-string Rickenbacker. This Florida band adds a strong dose of psychedelia as well, favoring “Eight Miles High”-era Byrds. Perhaps surprising for a group so indebted to one of the masters, The Lears are much more than a sound-alike band. These 14 songs are no slavish imitation, but brim with vitality, enthusiasm, and great musicianship.

Related Articles
13 Mar 2015
By showing the range and the influence these session musicians had on the hits from the '50s to the '70s, The Wrecking Crew proves their place in rock 'n' roll history.
13 Nov 2011
The ambition of Pretty Escape is admirable, it but also reveals a gap between what the band is and what they seem to want to be.
25 Sep 2007
This documentary may not be an essential item for your DVD library, but because The Byrds are essential to rock history, it's worth a look.
By PopMatters Staff
22 Dec 2006
At long last, the annual rite of passage, the "best of" list... Here's PopMatters picks for the best 20 reissues of 2006. Stay tuned tomorrow and Thursday for ongoing genre top 10s with our coverage culminating in the year's best musical events on Friday.
Now on PopMatters
PM Picks

© 1999-2015 All rights reserved.™ and PopMatters™ are trademarks
of PopMatters Media, Inc.

PopMatters is wholly independently owned and operated.