Notwithstanding one or two isolated exceptions, it wasn’t until the mid-Sixties that independent female voices really began to be heard within the music industry. The feminist movement naturally coincided with the first signs of genuine musical emancipation. In North America, Joan Baez and Buffy Sainte-Marie emerged through the folk clubs, coffee-houses and college campuses to inspire a generation of wannabe female singers and musicians with their strong, independent mentality and social compassion, while the British scene’s combination of folk song revival and the Beatles-led pop explosion saw record company deals for a new generation of pop-folkies including Marianne Faithfull, Dana Gillespie and Vashti Bunyan.
Ronnie D. Lankford, Jr. of AMG wrote of the lager 8 disc set: Time-Life's The Folk Years is a massive survey of folk, pop-folk, and folk-rock from the 1950s and 1960s spread out over eight discs. At 15 songs per CD – equaling 120 total – this chronicle offers a healthy sampling of popular folk music covering dozens of known and forgotten singers and bands. The emphasis of the collection is on popular folk and popular music influenced by folk, meaning that most of the songs here charted. This emphasis also gives The Folk Years a broader appeal than the average folk revival compilation, making it as fun as it is educational.
Harry Belafonte's first album features a solid variety of songs from American folk tradition, learned during his studies of folk music at the Library of Congress in the early 1950s. He had signed with RCA Victor in 1952, recording a series of well-received singles. Belafonte's new-found love for music of the West Indies can be found in songs such as "Man Piaba" (which he wrote) along with songs from English and Scottish tradition such as "Lord Randall" and "The Drummer & the Cook." Songs from African-American tradition include the chain gang song "Tol' My Captain" and the ubiquitous "John Henry." Mark Twain was a good initial effort, but Belafonte's repertoire and delivery would get stronger with the next album.
In America the golden season for music festivals ended up in late '69 with the Altamont's accidents, a few months after Woodstock. In the early seventies in Europe there was still space for some "good vibrations", as proved by the Kralingen Pop festival, near Rotterdam, on June 1970. The event, documented by the movie Stamping Ground, is often remembered as the European Woodstock, because of the presence of many artists that had already played on that historical three-days concert, like Santana, Jefferson Airplane, Canned Heat, Country Joe. But the Kralingen festival also showed how vital was the British scene on that period, offering great perfomances by bands like Pink Floyd, Soft Machine, East Of Eden, Caravan, Fairport Convention, Family, T. Rex…
This is a UK four CD repackaging of this excellent box set. Over a single weekend in June 1967, Monterey entered history as the very first rock festival. The paucity of official releases over the intervening years led to Monterey–like the Rolling Stones' Rock & Roll Circus–becoming as much a figment of rock & roll myth as hard fact. Finally though, in 1994, the British company Castle Communications put together this beautifully assembled 4 CD box set. Unfortunately, some acts (Simon & Garfunkel, Grateful Dead)–perhaps feeling their performances were below-par–refused to license their material. But with over four hours of music, this set still presents a vivid snapshot of the event. For once, the packaging is as important as the music: a booklet is bound in, complete with memorabilia, previously unpublished photos, and first-hand reminiscences from performers like David Crosby, Dennis Hopper, Steve Miller, Eric Burdon and John Phillips.