British Music Invasion of the 1960’s

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


Watch the video here

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


Watch the video here

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.


Watch the video here

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.


Watch the video here

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.


Watch the video here

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.


Watch the video here

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Sythpop songs that stay in your head

Every decade there are some songs that just stay in your head whether you like them or not. In this post we are going to look at some of these songs from the 80’s. 

All the bands in this list fall into the synthpop genre.

Most of the bands we are going to look at stretched the boundaries in many ways through lyrics, video and even the gender boundary.

SONG 1 - Pet Shop Boys - What Have I Done To Deserve This?

I remember thinking how un-dynamic the Pet Shop Boys were, they didn’t move around the stage at all.

Released in 1987 this song reached number 2 in both the U.K. and the U.S.

Taken from the album ‘Actually’.

Dusty Springfield is the female vocalist.

The song helped put Springfield in the spotlight again and led to her releasing a new album in 1990.

The Pet Shop Boys formed in 1981 but didn’t release their first album ‘Please’ until 1986

All their albums have a single word title.

They continue to perform today.


Watch the video here

SONG 2 - Bronski Beat - Smalltown Boy

Released in 1984 it reached number 3 in the U.K. and was a number 1 dance hit in the U.S.

Taken from the album ‘The Age of Consent’.

Formed in 1983 ‘Bronski Beat’ broke up in 1995 but Jimmy Somerville the vocalist left in 1985.

Jimmy Somerville went on to form ‘The Communards’ who were together for three years until 1988.

Jimmy Somerville continues to perform solo today.


Watch the video here

SONG 3 - Erasure - A Little Respect

Released in 1988.

The single reached number 4 in the U.K. and number 2 in the U.S. (Billboard Hot Dance Club Songs).

This is regarded as one of the bands signature tunes.

The song consist is heavily synthesized.

Erasure, were formed by Vince Clarke who had previously been in Depeche Mode and Yazoo.

Erasure, have been hugely successful having sold over 25 million albums.

Erasure, still perform today.


Watch the video here

SONG 4 - Frankie Goes to Hollywood - Two Tribes

Released in 1984.

The second single from ‘Frankie Goes to Hollywood’ it reached number 1 in the U.K. and number 43 in the U.S.

The song has relentless pounding bass line and guitar riff.

Their first three singles ‘Relax’, Two Tribes’ and ‘The Power of Love’ all reached number 1 in the U.K.

The band formed in 1980 and stayed together until 1987. They reformed in 2004 until 2007.

Holly Johnson the frontman for ‘Frankie Goes to Hollywood’ still performs today.


Watch the video here

SONG 5 - Japan - Quiet Life

Japan formed in 1974 and had commercial success in the late 70’s and early 80’s.

The single ‘Quiet Life’ reached number 19 in the U.K. in 1981.

As the band, were becoming successful they were having creative differences and would eventually break up in 1982.

They would briefly reform from 1990 to 1991.

Japan are regarded as a major influence for Duran Duran.

David Sylvian the frontman for Japan still performs today.


Watch the video here

SONG 6 - Thompson Twins - Hold Me Now

Released in 1983.

This single reached number 4 in the U.K. and number 3 in the U.S.

Taken from their fifth album ‘Into the Gap’.

They had commercial success in the 1980’s and split in 1993.

As individuals each band member is still active to different degrees.


Watch the video here

Support local radio by listening weekly on SineFM Radio to my show '(Music) Time Warp' every Thursday at 12pm (UK time).
Just click the button on the left and then click "LISTEN LIVE".