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But there were also several dozen such releases that stood up to all but the best folk-rock albums in quality and consistency, and if none of them were quite on the level of the mid-'60s Byrds LPs or Love's , there were barely-heard near-gems from all across the American folk-rock spectrum.
Some sounded almost commercial enough to have been mainstream hits given the right breaks, like the Byrds-meet-the Beau Brummels sound of the Blue Things' sole album and the Ian & Sylvia-go-electric approach of Jim & Jean's .
Never too widely exposed during its initial press run on Mercury, it was then quickly overshadowed by the Youngbloods' far more popular records on RCA in the late 1960s.
We all know about the brilliantly innovative -- and, often, massively popular -- work that American folk-rockers like the Byrds, Bob Dylan, the Lovin' Spoonful, Simon & Garfunkel, the Mamas & the Papas, Buffalo Springfield, and Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young would generate over the last half of the 1960s.
Less of a force on the hit parade, but of equal musical magnificence and nearly as influential in the long run, were the records by more cultish bands like Love, and pioneers of the singer-songwriter movement such as Joni Mitchell and Leonard Cohen.
The music that's covered in the following survey, however, isn't concerned so much with adhering to boundaries as with breaking them -- the one quality that all great folk-rock shared.
Before the Byrds and Bob Dylan blew the electric folk-rock door wide open in the spring of 1965, there were a number of far more ginger (and far more obscure) attempts to weld acoustic folk with electric music.
There was groundbreaking country-folk-rock on albums by Hearts & Flowers, the Gosdin Brothers, the Dillards, and Steve Young; acid folk from the skewed pen of "Get Together" composer Dino Valenti; some of the earliest, and still most underacknowledged, electric folk-rock experiments from Richard & Mimi Fariña; and pioneering singer-songwriter statements from Fred Neil.