Cheat Sheet: The Birth of Folk-Rock
Time to travel back to the mythical mid-1960s, when the folk revival stumbled into the British Invasion and Phil Spector's wall-of-sound pop, resulting in a three-way collision that produced the now-legendary folk-rock boom.
In addition to collecting the movement's landmark albums from Bob Dylan's Bringing It All Back Home and The Byrds' Mr. Tambourine Man to The Mamas and The Papas' If You Can Believe Your Eyes and Ears and Simon & Garfunkel's Sounds of Silence I've rounded up a short list of artists who exerted a profound influence on the folk-rock sound despite never rising above cult status. I'm referring to under-appreciated visionaries like Fred Neil, Richard & Mimi Fariña, Love, and The Beau Brummels, a quartet from San Francisco who nailed West Coast folk-rock's blend of jangly guitars and tight harmonies in late 1964. That was months before The Byrds entered the studio to record the great "Mr. Tambourine Man" single, the release of which is generally considered folk-rock's birth.