I’ll Feel a Whole Lot Better (1965) – The Byrds

I’ll Feel a Whole Lot Better is one of the most buoyant sounding songs about a break-up I have heard. It was released in 1965 as a B side to All I Really Want to Do (Bob Dylan). The Byrds were going to town on Dylan’s songwriting, achieving unprecedented success with their version of Mr. Tambourine Man which I enjoy listening to especially Roger McGuinn’s version at Bob Dylan’s 30th Anniversary concert. I’ll Feel a Whole Lot Better charted (even though a B Side) and was included on their debut album Mr. Tambourine Man. It has been covered by a host of artists and is considered one of their best songs by fans.

The reasons why, oh, I can’t say
I have to let you go, babe, and right away
After what you did, I can’t stay on

And I’ll probably feel a whole lot better
When you’re gone

The song was written by band member Gene Clark, who also sings the lead vocal. How Clark ended up writing the song is quite whimsical..He remarked: “There was a girlfriend I had known at the time…and everything was changing so fast..and I knew we were becoming popular. This girl was a funny girl … and she started bothering me a lot. And I just wrote the song, ‘I’m gonna feel a whole lot better when you’re gone,’ and that’s all it was, but I wrote the whole song within a few minutes.” There you go, and that’s a hit.

I just have to say here, I love the sound of Roger McGuinn’s jangling 12-string Rickenbacker guitar. I remember watching him talk about it in an interview decades ago and I could understand why he was so obsessed by its sound. On the Tambourine Man recordings, it sounds especially impressive. Rolling Stone magazine ranked I’ll Feel a Whole Lot Better at number 234 on their list of The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time.

1. I’ll Feel a Whole Lot Better – Wikipedia

“The more I live, the more I learn. The more I learn, the more I realize, the less I know.”- Michel Legrand

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45 comments on “I’ll Feel a Whole Lot Better (1965) – The Byrds
  1. Badfinger (Max) says:

    I absolutely love this song and I love the Byrds. That jangly sound gets me every time and is the backbone of most power pop.

    • Exactly, it’s that jangly guitar sound from McGuinn (12 stringer right?) which really does it for me apart from the harmonies.

      • Badfinger (Max) says:

        That is why I love power pop so much Matt…many of the songs have that 12 string Rickenbacker which makes that magical sound.

      • Yep, I needed your confirmation… you being an instrumentalist since I wasn’t sure if this song included it although thought it probably did based on McGuinn’s Tambourine performance.

      • Badfinger (Max) says:

        It’s funny Matt… The Byrds and Beatles are considered the Fathers of power pop…but not power pop…which makes no damn sense to me. For me….this song IS a power pop song just like If I Needed Someone.

      • For me, only since reading your blog the ‘genre’ Power Pop music became news to me. I like your comparison to ‘If I Needed Someone’. To me ‘If I Needed..’ is the far superior song of the two, but both represent great Powerpop music.

      • Badfinger (Max) says:

        Pete Townshend of the Who came up with the phrase “Power Pop” and he was talking about their song “Pictures of Lily”
        Critics will say power pop began with Badfinger, Big Star, and The Raspberries….bands that were influenced by the Byrds, Beatles, Beach Boys, and The Who.

        For my taste…my all time power pop song is Baby Blue by Badfinger.
        A song can have the Jangly or crunchy guitars in a catchy song. It’s a hard genre to pin down.

      • ‘Baby Blue’ I will listen to right now since I have a few by Badfinger in my collection. Thank you for clarifying the term and it makes perfect sense in a sub-genre perspective.

      • Fantastic song ‘Baby Blue’ – it gets a bit too Beatles on the bridge, but the rawness in the sound is impressive. Thank you so much. Added!

      • Badfinger (Max) says:

        The Beatles signed Badfinger to Apple but they got unfairly compared to them just because of that. I thought you would like that one. I love that guitar riff.

      • I really like it. It’s an imitation of ‘It’s All Over Baby Blue’ made to PowerPop Music. It’s that song just made different.

      • The first 2 minutes are exemplary. Like.. Wow

      • Also, when listened to closely there are clearly intimations of Dylan’s ‘It’s all over Baby Blue’. The more I hear it, the more I hear Dylan’s original.

      • Badfinger (Max) says:

        Yes there is and I’m sure that is where Pete Ham got it from…plus he was going out with a girl named “Dixie” and that is why that name was mentioned. Badfinger has the saddest tale of any band period.

      • It’s a spin-off of ‘It’s all over now, Baby Blue’ totally! With other influences thrown in. This is Dylan Haha

      • Badfinger (Max) says:

        LOL… it very well could be. Baby Blue got popular again in the States…it was played in the Series finale of Breaking Bad.

      • There are zero doubts in my mind this is Dylan ‘It’s All Over Baby Blue’ (it’s a straight up imitation) with a ‘Powerpop’ sound and Beatles Bridge.

      • Badfinger (Max) says:

        It does work…that wasn’t their biggest hit either…Day After Day was their biggest hit but Baby Blue is probably my favorite by them…a great example of power pop.

      • Thanks for introducing it too me. I enjoyed listening to it. Now onto Day After Day lol

      • Badfinger (Max) says:

        It has George Harrison and Pete Ham (who wrote their hits) playing…and produced by Todd Rundgren.

      • Harrison’s guitar at the beginning yeh and his voice?

      • Badfinger (Max) says:

        His and Pete’s guitar…but no Pete is singing…him and George got along great

      • It’s a wonderful song

      • Badfinger (Max) says:

        I thought you might like it.

      • But this Harrison yeh? But by Badfinger?

      • Badfinger (Max) says:

        No George just plays on it…Pete Ham wrote it and sang it. He also wrote “Without You” that Harry Nilsson and Mariah Carey covered

      • He sounds like George

      • Badfinger (Max) says:

        Yes…he does…he was such a good songwriter.

      • Badfinger (Max) says:

        Did you hear about Loretta Lynn passing away? I met her also while much younger.

      • That’s sad. I don’t know anything about her apart from being a country music artist

      • Badfinger (Max) says:

        I’m copying this from my post about her…it’s a personal story.
        When I was eight years old, my mom took me to Loretta Lynn’s ranch…it was/is a public ranch. I actually had breakfast with Loretta Lynn. My mom knew someone who knew her… we were at her Ranch that was just opened to the public. She saw us and pointed and said “come in here” and we sat at the table and ate with her. She was very nice. She kept asking if I needed anything and if I was having a good time.

        She was one of the nicest human beings I’ve ever met. Even though I was young, she didn’t talk down to me…she talked to me. It was a wonderful experience and even I knew at that age it was special…that this didn’t happen all of the time.

      • That’s a lovely story Max. Thank you for sharing. What’s your favourite song by her?

      • Badfinger (Max) says:

        She had SO many number one hits…but I like when she teamed with Jack White when she was 72! Two songs…one called Van Lear Rose and the other called Portland Oregon. Here it is when they were on the Letterman Show

      • Amazing guitar! Just a brilliant performance. And my God, the band. What a live performance!

      • Badfinger (Max) says:

        I’m glad you liked it… she wrote 90 percent of her songs…I just loved that woman

      • That was so fkn good. Thanks buddy and for recalling your story.

      • Badfinger (Max) says:

        I’m happy that you liked it…I’m posting that song Sunday… Lynn was…and this is a southern-country saying….she was “as country as cornbread” lol… and genuine.

      • I got that sense about watching her and hearing the song, Coal Miners. Wow and you met her! Spectacular.

      • Badfinger (Max) says:

        She would get banned from Country radio a lot…because of songs about birth control Pills and other things back in the 70s. She was a pistol.

      • Badfinger (Max) says:

        Loretta’s most famous song is “Coal Miners Daughter”….that was a true story. They made a great movie about her and that song. The movie is fantastic with Levon Helm, Sissy Spacek, and Tommy Lee Jones.

  2. Very Beatles, takes you right back!

  3. Thanks Matthew! Still battling on with my health. However, I really hope you are making good progress with yours! Be well Matthew. Will catch you again. Sharon.

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