The British Invasion

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I Want to Hold Your Hand People enjoying the music of today, whether it be on an Ipod, in their car, or even at work, tend not to know the origin of which popular music came from. Perhaps they didn’t know that much of the music that Elvis made derived from early blues artists, such as Muddy Waters, and “Big Mama” Willie Mae Thornton, who originally sang the song “Hound Dog” (wikipedia). Yet, the most influential of all music origins, came from a small island off the west coast of Europe. That country was England, and the musical influx that erupted, was known as “The British Invasion”. The term “British Invasion”, is much easier to define as a cultural term, than a musical one. Culturally, it refers to the wave of bands that arrived…show more content…
They mixed the American blues with early British bluesmen like Alexis Korner, and Cyril Davies (Unterberger). These bands took the bulk of their songs from obscure blues and R&B recordings, and added much more active tempos, and a reckless guitar sound, to create an unheard of infusion of Chicago-based blues, with the new London-based R&B. The most famous of these bands were The Rolling Stones. The Stones, as they were affectionately called, primarily consisted of Mick Jagger (vocals), Keith Richards (lead guitar), Brian Jones (keyboards, vocals), Dick Taylor (bass guitar, vocals), and Charlie Watts (drums). The Stones formed in 1960, and have sold over two hundred million records since (Rolling Stone Magazine). In the late 1960’s, The Rolling Stones referred to themselves as “the world’s greatest rock and roll band” (Rolling Stone Magazine). For The Rolling Stones, it was their up-tempo R&B sound, along with their bad-boy image, that makes the Stones’ impact on the British Invasion just as important as The…show more content…
The Beatles), were the groups that favored neither the R&B, or the beat band approach, better known as the in-between bands (Bruce Eder). These groups focused on a more masterful straightforward rock sound. While they did have roots, and ties to both types of sound, it was chaotic guitar, and the wild improvisation that set this group apart. Who better to use as an example of wild improv, and chaotic guitar, than The Who. The Who formed in London in 1964, but did not gain notoriety until the late 1960’s. Their members included Pete Townsend (lead guitar, vocals), Keith Moon (drums), John Entwistle (bass guitar, vocals), and Roger Daltrey (lead vocals). For The Who, it was the way Townshend jumped in the air with his guitar, using a windmill motion to strum. It was also Keith Moon, kicking his drums, Entwistle standing in one place the whole show, or the thuggish, yet sexual manner in which Daltrey canvassed the stage. The Who has sold over one hundred million records (Rolling Stone Magazine). While seen as the weakest link of the big three in the British Invasion, the hard edge guitar, wild shows, and extraordinarily loud sound, gave birth to a whole new group of music, called heavy metal. In the end, the British Invasion is indelibly tied to a time and a place. In reality, though, the British invasion has never stopped. Artists from the British Isles continue to invade the American audience at a rapid

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