A Brief History Through Decades Past 1 2 3 4 5 6 7
The 60’s The British Invasion The starting point, influenced by the American rock n’ roll of the late 50’s and early 60’s. By the mid 60’s British bands were finding success across the Atlantic in the US. The Beatles , The Rolling Stones , and The Kinks were the most prolific of these initial bands. They combined proactive fashions, rebel appeal, and catchy melodies into an ultimately influential exterior. Prog-Rock Progressive rock. Emerging out of the Psychedelic scene, Prog took the ideals of rock experimentation and brought it to another level, technically and conceptually. Combining elements of jazz and electronics (synthesizers first foray) bands such as Yes , Genesis , and King Crimson found niches in performing grand and complex music. British Psychedelic Although similar in concept and design, British Psychedelic was somewhat different from its American neighbor. Combining more experimentation within the pop structure of The British Invasion aesthetic, such bands as Pink Floyd and later day Beatles stretched the sonic possibilities within their songs and albums.
The 70’s Punk A faster, rawer, and more temperamental approach to the early influences of the rock n’ roll. A full scale phenomenon in the UK, Punk would define the second coming of British music just as The British Invasion had 15 years earlier. The Sex Pistols and The Clash would revolutionize the youth of England in ways that have not been seen since. Glam An exclusively British music craze of the early 70’s. Glam was structured around simplistic guitar riffs accompanied by theatrically dynamic melodies, reminiscent of early American rock n’ roll. What set Glam apart was “sexual ambiguity”, portrayed in part through their popular stars: David Bowie with his Ziggy Stardust persona and Marc Bolan of T.REX . Metal The most extreme in terms of volume and masculinity, Metal found its first roots in England during the late 60’s. Beginning with heavy guitar bands such as The Who and Cream , it would develop an even moodier exterior with the likes of Black Sabbath and Led Zeppelin . Heavy Metal would find a much greater audience in North America. 1 2 3 4
The UK’s 10 best selling UK albums of all time (The Official UK Charts Company)
The 80’s New Wave Directly following Punk , New Wave was accompanied with a softer approach all the while maintaining the unnerving edginess. Artists like Elvis Costello , XTC , and The Police we’re stylistically diverse in their approach marking New Wave as one of the more groundbreaking genres of the 80’s. New Romantic Created upon a sleek, danceable approach to pop- the New Romantics took their influences from New Wave but also Glam of the early 70’s. With make-up and stylish cloths, bands such as Duran Duran and A Flock of Seagulls set about the pathway for synthesized pop of the 1980’s. Madchester Catchy choruses, psychedelic nuances and danceable grooves is what Madchester (dubbed ecstasy music) was all about in the late 80’s and early 90’s. An extremely popular genre for its time, Madchester’s two most popular bands, The Happy Mondays and The Stone Roses would be cited by Blur and Oasis as major influences. 2 3 1 2 3 4
The 90’s Brit-pop The definition of English music in the 90’s. Dominated by such bands as Oasis , Blur , The Verve , and early Radiohead . Brit-pop kept up with The British Invasion approach, guitar driven songs accompanied by irresistible melodies. Brit-pop was mainstream in the truest sense -it was big, fun and all about rock n’ roll. Trip-hop The dance music of England circa 1995. Trip-hop was a term coined by the musical press to describe the bands that incorporated detached electronic beats with flourishes of jazz and R&B. Bands such as Portishead , Massive Attack , and Prodigy would lead the pack. 7 8 9 1 2 3 4 5 6