British Music Invasion of the 1960’s

The British Music Invasion was probably one of or possibly the most important eras in British music history. There were so many influential bands that literally invaded America in the 1960’s and we are going to be looking at some of them in this post.

The Beatles in many people’s eyes were the band that started it all and we will look at the very song that started the invasion.

Next we will look at Dusty Springfield who was hot on the heels of The Beatles with a truly iconic song which I challenge even the youngest readers to not recognize.

The Animals were known for their gritty bluesy sound and got their name because they were considered wild on stage.

The Kinks were from North London and had an unmistakable sound. It was rumored for many years that Jimmy Page played the guitar solo on the track, we will look at.

We can’t talk about the British Invasion without mentioning the Rolling Stones. The Beatles were the clean boys and the Rolling Stones were regarded as edgy and even dangerous by the Americans.

The last band in today’s list is Billy J Kramer and the Dakota’s. Interestingly the song we will look at was written by Lennon and McCartney.

Here’s the list:

The Beatles – ‘I Want To Hold Your Hand’ – 1963

Dusty Springfield – ‘I Only Want To Be With You’ – 1963

The Animals – ‘We Gotta Get Out Of This Place’ – 1965

The Kinks – ‘All Day And All Of The Night’ – 1964

The Rolling Stones – ‘Paint It Black’ – 1966

Billy J Kramer and the Dakota’s – ‘Bad To Me’ – 1963 (U.K.) 1964 (US)

Let’s look at each song in more detail:

  1. The Beatles – ‘I Want To Hold Your Hand’ – 1963
    • Penned by Lennon /McCartney in the basement of McCartney’s then home at 57, Wimpole Street, London.
    • Marsha Albert a 14yr old fan introduced the first airplay of ‘I Want To Hold Your Hand’ on American radio in 1963.
    • It reached number 1 on the U.S. Billboard 100.
    • A staggering 1/4 million copies were sold in 3 days – 10,000 every hour in New York.
    • The track held the number one spot on the American Billboard Chart for 7 weeks
    • It was eventually knocked off the number one spot by ‘She Loves You’ another Beatles single
    • ‘I Want To Hold Your Hand’ sold close to 5 million copies in the U.S. alone
    • The single can be found on the album ‘Meet The Beatles’.
  2. Dusty Springfield – ‘I Only Want To Be With You’ – 1963
    • ‘I Only Want To Be With You’ was Dusty’s first solo single and reached number 12 on the U.S. Billboard 100.
    • She was the second British Invasion artist to have a hit in the U.S. Billboard chart after the Beatles.
    • She has been described as “the finest white soul singer of her era.”
    • The song has been covered and reworked many times over the years, the most recent was in 2013 by the Italian singer Lodovica Comello
    • This single was taken from the album ‘Stay Awhile/I Only Want to Be with You’.
  3. The Animals – ‘We Gotta Get Out Of This Place’ – 1965
    • ‘We Gotta Get Out Of This Place’ was hugely popular with United States Armed Forces GIs during the Vietnam War.
    • It reached number 13 on the US Billboard Hot 100 and number 2 on the UK Singles Chart.
    • Suffering from too many line-up changes and bad management the band broke up in the late 60’s despite several hits.
    • Before breaking up they had had 10 top 20 hits in both the U.K. and U.S. charts.
    • The Animals reportedly made very little money and claimed mismanagement and theft from their manager Michael Jeffrey.
  4. The Kinks – ‘All Day And All Of The Night’ – 1964
    • ‘All Day And All Of The Night’ reached number 7 on US Billboard Hot 100 and number 2 on the UK Singles chart.
    • The rumor that Jimmy Page played the guitar solo was false and was actually played by Dave Davies.
    • The song has been covered by The Stranglers, Metallica and the Scorpions to name a few.
    • The Kinks are regarded as “one of the most influential bands of the British Invasion”.
    • The Kinks influenced bands like the Ramones, The Clash, The Jam, and Oasis to name just a few.
  5. The Rolling Stones – ‘Paint It Black’ – 1966
    • ‘Paint It Black’ reached number 1 on both the US Billboard Hot 100 and the UK Singles chart.
    • Bill Wyman claims the song was a group effort but it is credited to Jagger and Richards.
    • The Rolling Stones were the most successful of the British Invasion bands other than the Beatles.
    • The famous tongue logo associated with The Rolling Stones was first used in 1971.
    • Mick Jagger and Keith Richards are the only two original members who remain in the band to date.
    • They have released over 100 singles and over 2 dozen studio albums and continue to rock.
  6. Billy J Kramer and the Dakota’s – ‘Bad To Me’ – 1963 (U.K.) 1964 (US)
    • ‘Bad To Me’ reached number 9 on the US Billboard 100 and number 1 on the UK Singles chart.
    • His real name was William Howard Ashton.
    • The name Kramer was chosen from a telephone directory and John Lennon suggested the addition of the ‘J’ to add an edge to the name.
    • There was reasonable success with other songs, some written by Lennon /McCartney.
    • Billy J. Kramer and the Dakota’s declined in popularity from 1965 due to competition with bands like The Who.
    • Kramer continued with a solo career working in cabaret and television.

I hope you enjoyed the list, if you did please share through your social media.

Thanks for reading

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