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For Those Who Don't Think The British Invasion Saved Music


I'm sure something better than this stuff was out there, but as a whole the British Invasion was certainly a game changer!


Hmm. Well I don't think you mean it this way but certainly Rock and Roll was more of a game-changer than the British Invasion - and without American Blues, Country, and Rock and Roll the British Invasion would have never happened - it would have been Skiffle bands or something.

I do however agree that the early 60s was sort of this nebulous "not sure what music wants to be" time period - which we've seen cycle in and out over the decades.

Once the British Invasion happened, there were a lot more imitators and it was "the" trend that carried us into the 70s and beyond.

It's another "between the wars" period that always has interesting cultural ramifications (between Korea and Vietnam roughly).

You basically had Surf as the new trend genre, with Instrumental music like Surf bands did, as well as Percy Faith and the Doo Wop vocal groups - which were more holdovers from the 50s (and in some ways, maybe reactionary to rock and roll - as you say - racism - and some of this was "safe" music while rock and roll had issues for those people - issues which weren't an issue on the other side of the pond which is why it had to come back through them - let's not forget what was also happening in 63 at this time in the US).


Hmmm, I was not aware that there exists any "movement" or even vaguely significant number of people who devote any time or energy toward expressing some kind of doubt or negative opinion of British pop/rock music from the early through mid-1960s. Thank goodness you're on the case. Or was your post merely intended to settle a disagreement with one of your equally bored neighbors?


Silver Supporting Member
The British being awesome notwithstanding, I think it was a kind of a case of playing tennis across the Atlantic: none of the British Invasion stuff would have happened without US rock and roll scene, then the BI was a game changer for US music of the mid 60s and the resulting US bands were critical to the UK psych and rock scene.

So to get music to where it was by the end of the decade the US needed the UK and vice versa.

Tony Done

Funny, I almost played that yesterday while Youtube surfing, I'm glad I didn't. My musically-formative years were 64-68, while I was at uni in the UK, I went the folk route rather than pop, and I have never really got past it. PP&M's "Puff" wasn't their best effort, and while I'm a sort-of fan of theirs, the concert I went to duing that period was a great disappointment. No spontaneity, and came away thinking I should have stayed at home and listened to the album. OTOH, you did have Bob Dylan emerging as a major force by then. EDIT And the blues revival, which eventually had a huge influence on me, was exclusively US-driven.
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there was a lot of truly mind blowing jazz in the early sixties.
Indeed! Music didn't need saving in the early '60s and it certainly didn't need saved by this sort of thing:

A healthy chunk of these bands didn't write their own material. Most of it was written by an established writing house without an individual artist in mind, then simply hawked around. Occasionally the ultimately famous version of one of these songs was battling another, less successful, version of the same song in the charts. The Yardbirds sang these songs, as did the Animals, etc. These bands were heavily manufactured, with their tailored suits and grim package-tour itineraries. They didn't save music as much as shift the bar lower.

You can't really blame the bands though as their managers were borderline gangsters. Some spiv finds a young boy with the right haircut down at the local coffee bar and decides he's the 'face' to go with the hit. Instant band! Stick the geeky art school guy with glasses on bass. This was 'pop music' circa 1964/5, which was seen as a fleeting get-rich scheme to be rinsed dry; exploiting teenage boys on breadline wages by getting them to record John Lee Hooker covers and sappy ballads to sell in bulk to other teenagers with the first vestiges of disposable income.

If you're looking for overall artistic integrity then you're sort of looking in the wrong place here, OP.


I know a keyboard player who has an encyclopedic knowledge of that era...ouch. The untimely death of Buddy Holly and the terribly slow acceptance of African-American artists kind of bogged the system down. I maintain to this day, though, that the record industry powers that be, hate people who write their own music.

When I watched The Wrecking Crew, I was struck by how much I disliked an awful lot of those hits and how there was a sameness coming out of LA. Same could be said for NY with Goffin-King-Greenwich-Sedaka sound. My personal mantra used to be Death To Novelty Songs.
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Silver Supporting Member
Not only Holly’s death but Elvis in the army, Chuck in jail, and Jerry Lee scandalized.

Pat Boone doing Tutti Frutti instead of Little Richard.

JFK murdered in November 63, Beatles on Sullivan Feb. 64. Sixth grade for me.

Beatles, Stones, Animals, Kinks, Yardbirds were the real. The rest was popular to a greater or lesser degree and while fun for many not lasting.

And yes it was huge. Way more than just music.


Silver Supporting Member
there was a lot of good music happening in 1963 (mostly by black artists), but the post-Elvis doldrums on the pop charts was real...the British Invasion was far from uniform in quality, but it definitely revitalized pop music in america

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