30. ‘Ballad Of Easy Rider’ by The Byrds

The opening track and single from the California folk rock giants’ soundtrack album of the same name, ‘Ballad Of Easy Rider’ was released back in 1969 and became an instant classic for the road. The song was written by Roger McGuinn and Bob Dylan (though the latter was uncredited) and featured prominently in the movie Easy Rider. After lead actor and scriptwriter Peter Fonda tried to get Dylan to write the theme song for the movie, the reluctant Minnesotan handed a few scribbled lines of lyrics on a napkin to McGuinn, who finished the job before re-recording his initial solo version with the whole band. The end result was a plaintive, weary lament that Rolling Stone editor David Fricke accurately described as capturing the social mood of late 1960s and the “dashed expectations of a decade’s worth of social insurrection.”

Available on: The Byrds Ballad Of Easy Rider (Columbia, 1969).