For decades, the story went that "Eight Miles High" was a commercial failure because it had been banned from radio due to its perceived pro-drug messages. Research presented by Mark Teehan on Popular Music Online
challenges this theory. Teehan instead blames the song's failure to chart on three factors:
First, its sound was too far ahead of its time, and radio stations didn't know what to do with it.
Second, the departure of Gene Clark led to Columbia Records significantly shrinking the scope of the band's advertising campaign.
Third, the success of Paul Revere and the Raiders' "Kicks
" further diminished Columbia's support for the Byrds and "Eight Miles High."