“Everybody’s Been Burned” (3:05)
Written by David Crosby
Produced by Gary Usher
From “Younger Than Yesterday,” Columbia Records, February 6, 1967. Also released as the B-side of “So You Want To Be A Rock ‘N’ Roll Star” on January 9, 1967.
David Crosby grew up listening to his parents’ large collection of classical and folk recordings. His musical palette was expanded further when his older brother introduced him to 1950s-era jazz – Gerry Mulligan, Chet Baker, Dave Brubeck, etc. – and Crosby never lost his love for the jazz genre. A good example is song #9 in our Byrds’ Top 25 Song countdown, “Everybody’s Been Burned.”
The Byrds’ third album, “Fifth Dimension,” saw Crosby begin to emerge as a creative force in the band. By the following album, “Younger Than Yesterday,” Croz felt comfortable enough to present this very un-Byrdsy jazz tune that he had actually written in 1962, two-years prior to the formation of the Byrds.
This is a bittersweet torch song about broken romance and emotional guardedness that most of us can readily relate to, but with a trace of optimism at the end. Crosby’s evocative tenor vocal here is stunning. Lead guitarist and nominal band leader, Jim (later Roger) McGuinn later disparaged the tune, calling it “Crosby’s lounge song.” That said, McGuinn provides an excellent accompaniment on his twelve-string Rickenbacker, including perhaps his very best solo interlude on a Byrds recording. Chris Hillman has downplayed his abilities as a bassist with the Byrds, but his running bass solo from the beginning to the end of this song is remarkable.
Byrds aficionado and biographer, Johnny Rogan, wrote of “Everybody’s Been Burned” that it “quietly threatened to dwarf everything else” on the excellent “Younger Than Yesterday” album, and that the song “stands alongside the greatest material recorded by the Byrds” (Byrds: Requiem for the Timeless, Vol.1, p. 321).
It’s my pleasure to present song #9 in our Byrds’ Top 25 Songs countdown, “Everybody’s Been Burned.”