The Byrds (1967)
Folk music in general would be best represented by a certain meek duo a couple years later, but the Byrds warped the genre into a sound entirely their own. At first, they represented its more traditional roots, but later on they were even more experimental than their aforementioned contemporaries Simon & Garfunkel. The Rickenbacker 12-string-guitar-based sound and ethereal vocal harmonies are their sonic trademark, and they’re well known for interpreting Bob Dylan songs as gorgeous pop numbers. But beyond that, they also inserted Indian raga, psychedelia, country and folk into pop before it became the norm (and they usually pulled it off pretty well). I’d say that whereas Simon & Garfunkel’s Bridge Over Troubled Water pointed the way toward fusing folk and beat poetry with numerous other styles in the 1970s, Younger Than Yesterday found the Byrds incorporating tons of genres into their rootsy comfort zone. It epitomizes 60s folk, and it’s a damn good record.
Key track: “Why”
See also: Mr. Tambourine Man – the Byrds (1965), 5th Dimension – the Byrds (1966), The Notorious Byrd Brothers – the Byrds (1968), The Gilded Palace Of Sin – the Flying Burrito Brothers (1969), Rumours – Fleetwood Mac (1977)