Time-Life Music's The Folk Years: Reason to Believe is the third album in a four-volume set that surveys the 1960s folk revival in a manner typical of the Time-Life approach to compilations generally. That is to say that the selections consist mostly of hit singles; of the 30 tracks spread across two discs here, 25 were singles that made the Billboard Hot 100 between 1959 and 1970, and 20 were Top 40 hits. These selections are sequenced in no particular order, and the compilers have been liberal in what they chose to include, stretching the definition of folk to include country singers like Roger Miller and George Hamilton IV. Having used versions of some of the major folk songs of the era on the two previous volumes, the compilers here have relied on a smattering of lesser tracks by commercial folk acts like the Kingston Trio, the New Christy Minstrels, the Rooftop Singers, the Chad Mitchell Trio, and the Pozo-Seco Singers while devoting most of the collection to folk-influenced mid-'60s pop/rock by the Seekers, the Lovin' Spoonful, the Byrds, Spanky & Our Gang, and the Mamas & the Papas, as well as one-hit wonders like the Silkie's "You've Got to Hide Your Love Away" (one of two songs here written by those famous folksingers John Lennon and Paul McCartney!), the Singing Nun's "Dominique," Barry McGuire's "Eve of Destruction," and Norma Tanega's "Walkin' My Cat Named Dog." This is not a scholarly album that attempts to give a sense of the history of the folk movement, but it does contain a few significant songs of that movement and performances by some of the major artists, and it's full of hits, so it should appeal to music fans of a certain age who heard this material on the radio when they were young.
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AllMusic Review by William Ruhlmann
Track Listing - Disc 1
Track Listing - Disc 2