The British Invasion was probably one of or possibly the most important areas 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 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 of my 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 I am going to check out.
I 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 this post is Billy J Kramer and the Dakota’s. Billy J Kramer had amazing teeth! Anyway the song was written by Lennon/McCartney.
SONG 1 - The Beatles - I Want To Hold Your Hand - 1963
Marsha Albert a 14yr old fan introduced the first airplay of the record on American radio in 1963.
A quarter of a million copies were sold in 3 days – 10,000 every hour in New York.
The single held the number one spot on the American Billboard Chart for 7 weeks
It was knocked off the number one spot by She Loves You another Beatles song
The single sold close to 5 million copies in the U.S. alone
SONG 2 - Dusty Springfield - I Only Want To Be With You - 1963
This was Dusty’s first solo single
She was the second British Invasion artist to have a hit on 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 2011 by the Scots singer Amy Macdonald
SONG 3 - The Animals - We Gotta Get Out Of This Place - 1965
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 made very little money and claimed mismanagement and theft from their manager Michael Jeffrey.
SONG 4 - The Kinks - All Day And All Of The Night - 1964
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”.
They have been the influence for bands like the Ramones, The Clash, The Jam, and Oasis.
SONG 5 - . The Rolling Stones - Paint It Black - 1966
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 was first used five years later in 1971.
Mick Jagger and Keith Richards are the only two original members in the band.
They have released over 100 singles and over 2 dozen studio albums.
SONG 6 - Billy J Kramer and the Dakota’s - Bad To Me - 1963 (U.K.) 1964 (US)
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 for the band some written by Lennon /McCartney (of the Beatles).
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.