Set You Free This Time (The Byrds)

10 JANUARY 1966


The ballad ‘Set You Free This Time’ - a country-tinged song from the Byrds’ album ‘Turn, Turn, Turn’ - was released in the USA, where it only reached #79 on the charts. Some reviewers felt this song was perhaps a bit too slow and understated to ever be a big hit and that the up-tempo B-side ‘It Won’t Be Wrong’ was better, and so most radio stations started playing the other side instead and the single subsequently climbed to #63.

In the UK the record was initially released with 'Set You Free This Time’ as the A-side before being reissued two weeks later with 'It Won't Be Wrong' as the A-side, causing confusion at radio stations that contributed to the song not charting there.

‘Set You Free’ was written and gorgeously sung by the late great Gene Clark, who was at the time the Byrds' chief songwriter, baritone, and general tambourine man. He left the group in early 1966 because of internal squabbles and his chronic fear of flying. The Byrds were never quite as good without him. They still put out some excellent material, but 1965-'66 with Clark was their commercial and critical heyday.

Recorded: 16 September 1965, Columbia Studios, Hollywood
Released: 10 January 1966
Highest chart position: #63 (US)
Length: 2:49
Label: Columbia
Writer: Gene Clark
Producer: Terry Melcher

Set You Free This Time (The Byrds)

'The first thing that I heard you say when you were standing there
Set in your way was that you were not blind
You were sure to make a fool of me cause there was nothing there
That you could see that could go beyond your mind
Now who's standing at the door remembering the days before
And asking please be kind
It isn't how it was set up to be but I've set you free this time

I have never been so far out in front that I could ever ask for what I want
And have it any time
Knowing this you found a thought for me that told you just what I should be
And there I stood behind
With all the ones that went before and memories that always seems to
Tear me from my mind
In front of what it is you seem me to be I've set you free this time

I could never find a chance to choose between a way to win or a
Thing to lose because there was your stand
On top of all the love you took
There was only something you can look at lying in your hand
Now who's wondering what has changed and why it can not be arranged
To have each thing work fine
It isn't how it was set up to be but I'll set you free this time'