Eight Miles High (The Byrds)

16 JUNE 1966

The Byrds’ psychedelic folk-rocker ‘Eight Miles High’ was at its peak UK chart position of #24. It had reached #14 on the US Billboard Hot 100 after being released there in March.

This was a fundamentally brilliant song that would probably have gone Top 5 if it hadn’t been somewhat commercially 'marred' by the experimental raga/jazz bridge and outro. In 1966, some established acts wanted to push their artistic boundaries, and the Byrds were moving away from their straightforward 'jangle' rock of 1965.

Another problem was a widespread US radio ban on this song because of alleged drug references (a fate also suffered by their '5D (Fifth Dimension)' single. Byrds' members have claimed the songs were not about drugs, but having two songs in a row receive limited airplay because of lyric choices seems like poor commercial judgement on their part.

This was the last Byrds release to feature Gene Clark, and by the time this song was brought out on their third album 'Fifth Dimension' in July they were a four-man band.

B-side: 'Why'
Released: 14 March 1966
Recorded: 24-25 January 1966, Columbia Studios, Hollywood
Highest chart position: #24 (UK), #14 (US)
Length: 3:33
Label: Columbia
Producers: Allen Stanton