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The British Invasion Essay

There were plenty of music coming out and showing up in the 1960’s. It was time; time for a new form of music, a new sound, it was time for a revolution. There was all types of music being played and new music being formed. There were all sorts of bands playing different kinds of music and playing with their own styles while taking over the airwaves. Whether it be rock, soul, or any other type of music, it was a revolution. This also led to new bands forming and breaking into the industry.

In the sixties rock music comes of age and dominates the popular music charts. Elvis Presley continued to score hits in the early part of the decade, but the music continued to diversify with the folk revival, the Brill Building sound, Phil Spector’s wall of sound, girl groups and surf music, all impacting the early part of the decade. The Motown, Stax and Atlantic labels bring more African-American artists back to the forefront of the pop charts.

By 1964 American artists are sharing the top of the charts with U. K. bands led by the Beatles and The Rolling Stones. In the U. S. garage bands emerge, inspired by the British Invasion sound. There were many bands that were ruling the airwaves and even just beginning and making their name in the music industry. From the Beatles to Led Zeppelin, all the way to Black Sabbath in the category of Rock. Songs ranging from “Hey Jude” to “Whole Lotta Love”. In Soul/Motown; the Temptations to Smokey Robinson and the Miracles, all the way to Aretha Franklin.

Songs ranging from “Respect” all the way to “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough”. The two types that showed the most in this decade are rock & roll and motown/soul. One thing that helped along and start it all was the British Invasion. The British Invasion was a musical movement of the mid-1960s composed of British rock-and-roll (“beat”) groups whose popularity spread rapidly to the United States. The Beatles’ triumphant arrival in New York City on February 7, 1964, opened America’s doors to a wealth of British musical talent.

What followed would be called—with historical condescension by the willingly reconquered colony—the British Invasion. Like their transatlantic counterparts in the 1950s, British youth heard their future in the frantic beats and suggestive lyrics of American rock and roll. But initial attempts to replicate it failed. Lacking the indigenous basic ingredientsrhythm and blues and country music of rock and roll, enthusiasts could bring only crippling British decorum and diffidence.

The only sign of life was in the late 1950s skiffle craze, spearheaded by Scotland’s Lonnie Donegan. Skiffle groups (like the Beatles-launching Quarrymen) were drummer less acoustic guitar-and-banjo ensembles, jug bands really, who most often sang traditional American folk songs, frequently with more spirit than instrumental polish. The “Motown Sound” and popular R&B music had a major significance in terms of the Civil Rights movement and integration in American society during the sixties.

Motown started as a Detroit-based record label in the late fifties and early sixties, but it quickly turned into much more as the acts gained popularity worldwide. Motown records consisted mainly of African-American groups, singers, songwriters and management and their musical and business success proved in breaking down the barriers of segregation and granted AfricanAmerican performers and musicians a chance to appropriate much of the success that had been credited to white rock ‘n’ rollers and pop artists who had success in singing “black music” during the previous decade.

Two of the most influential groups to come out of the Motown sound were Smokey Robinson and the Miracles and Diana Ross and the Supremes, both of which had as much chart success as any of the rock groups that dominated the airwaves during the sixties. The success of Motown also paved the way for R&B singers and groups who were not necessarily a part of the movement to also enjoy mainstream success. Roots rock emerged in the mid to late 1960s as a combination of several genres and subgenres of rock music that were popular at the time.

Roots rock combined elements of folk music, Blues, Country and Rock ‘n’ Roll. The genre was exemplified by its “back to basics” sound. Bob Dylan is thought to have pioneered the genre with the release of his 1966 album “Blonde on Blonde” that demonstrated what roots rock was to become. Many of the most popular bands of the time joined the “roots revival” and crafted albums of their own that featured and experimented with a roots sound.

Some of the bands that created music in the style of this broad genre including some of the great bands like The Rolling Stones, The Doors, The Beatles, The Band, and Creedence Clearwater Revival. 1960s music h. caused great impact on this current time also, the music is still playing today, some of the bands from then still creating music, and have led to inspiring many new bands, genres of music, and songs. The rock back then has inspired some great songs from later eras. Some bands have even inspired new bands to be formed, like tribute bands, who try to cover the original band’s music and may even do some originals.

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