Mr Spaceman (The Byrds)


The Byrds’ ‘Mr Spaceman’ - a rather whimsical and jaunty song about alien abductions - was released in the US, where it reached #36 in the Billboard Hot 100 charts. It was not released as a single in the UK. This was their second consecutive single to fall outside the Top 30, and an ominous sign that their commercial career was on a downturn after the incredible chart-topping success they had enjoyed during the previous year.

This track was taken from their third album, 'Fifth Dimension', and the hints of country rock in this song indicate the future musical direction that the band would take, although they still had a couple of psychedelic-folk albums to come before they made the full switch. Both Jim (later 'Roger') McGuinn and Dave Crosby had a strong interest in the subject of extra-terrestrial intelligence, and 'Mr Spaceman' had started life as a much more serious 'melodramatic screenplay' concept before being whittled down to almost a novelty song.

Coincidentally, just two days later a new TV show called ‘Star Trek’ was aired for the first time.

B-side: 'What's Happening?!?!'
Recorded: 28-29 April, 3-6 May 1966, Columbia Studios, Hollywood
Released: 6 September 1966
Highest chart position: #36 (US)
Length: 2:09
Label: Columbia
Writer: Jim McGuinn
Producer: Allen Stanton

Mr Spaceman (The Byrds)