Wednesday, May 25, 2011

The British Invasion: 1963-1969

The Beatles wave to fans after arriving at Ken...Image via WikipediaBy Jim Serf

In 1963 rock 'n' roll was, well ... rolling right along. But very soon, almost overnight it seemed, a wave of change was about to take place. From across the Atlantic in merry-old England, rock 'n' roll had gained a foot-hold and the epidemic had infected British youth all throughout the United Kingdom.

The sound was very similar in many ways, but there was something different, something more grown-up about it. Whatever it was, American kids (especially girls), jumped all over it. At first, just a unique sound, this music, along with the bands that created it, would grow, evolve, alter, and forever effect pop music. This musical movement would create new genres of music and influence thousands.

Four lads from Liverpool, England, "The Beatles", led the way and would be at the fore-front of it all, not only of other British bands but of the entire musical arena through the '60's and into the '70's. Songs like 'Please, Please Me', 'I Wanna Hold Your Hand', and 'Hard Days Night', had teenage girls swooning, crying and fainting.

Not since Elvis Presley, with his great looks, unmistakable voice, and gyrating hips, was there such a spectacle. The older folks were properly disgusted but could do nothing. The Beatles, along with bands with names like "The Zombies", "The Animals", "The Kingsman", "The Hollies", "The Kinks", and the "Rolling Stones", had taken the U.S. by storm.

Then there were the songs, tunes like the Hollies melodic, 'Bus Stop' and the fast-paced, hard rocking, 'You Really Got Me' by the Kinks were giving fans more of a variety in their choice of style, which led to the growing appeal. In 1965, lead guitarist for the Rolling Stones, Keith Richards, hit 15 unforgettable guitar cords at the start of 'Can't Get No (Satisfaction)', and a No. 1 classic was born. The song was also an example of how more sexually explicit lyrics were becoming.

The Rolling Stones were a prime example of bands that were starting to follow this pattern. Not just the Brits though. American band, the "Doors" with lead singer, Jim Morrison at the helm, were considered very racy. And Morrison's onstage antics were becoming something of legend, getting him arrested at a few shows.

Besides a moral curve, America was changing fast, 'growing up' so to speak. Of course, growing pains came with this in the form of the sudden death of a young and popular president, an often violent civil rights movement, an unpopular war, and a growing distrust in the government.

Bands like the Beatles and the Hollies, who had started out as youthful and kind of giggly, were now grown-up and singing about the issues of the day. The Who's smash, 'My Generation', spoke to the ever-growing gap between the younger hip generation and the old fogies, who refused to let go of their old ways. The Beatles 'Revolution', was a glaring anti-government and anti war anthem.

The British invaders were beginning to branch out into different directions. The Beatles on a more self-aware, love yourself and others theme, while the Rolling Stones went their way toward a harder sound. Right at the close of the '60's, a late arrival to the invasion would appear with a hard rock and psychedelic sound that would appeal to present and future lovers of this hard driving sound. The group was Led Zeppelin. With high-noted and charismatic lead singer Robert Plant, and guitarist Jimmy Page at the helm, Led would entice and delight with sexy and off the wall lyrics and yes ... that unmistakable sound that got your attention and would not let go.

So alas, the music that came to us from across the pond and the artists that brought them, delighted us, made the girls scream, changed the music, and influenced present, future, musicians and artist. Oh, and yeah, maybe corrupted us a little along the way. It came, conquered, and never left. Probably never will.

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Wednesday, May 11, 2011

NEWS: Big Announcement: New Pink Floyd package!!!

Floyd Time Category:Pink FloydImage via WikipediaPink Floyd and EMI Music, whose association dates from 1967, announce a comprehensive release schedule, to be launched on September 26, 2011, encompassing CDs, DVDs, Blu-ray discs, SACD, an array of digital formats, iPhone Apps and a brand-new single-album 'Best Of' collection, 'A Foot In The Door - The Best of Pink Floyd'.

The Why Pink Floyd...? campaign will include super-deluxe immersive multi-disc box sets, containing alternate takes, unreleased tracks, restored live concert screen films and a live recording of the legendary The Dark Side Of The Moon performance at Wembley in 1974.

A series of different listening experiences have been specially created for this release: in addition to remastered CDs called 'Discovery' and the 'Immersion' CD/DVD/Blu-ray/memorabilia box sets will be a series of 'Experience' Editions – coupling one classic album with a further disc of related content from that album to offer a deeper listening experience.

To find out more about the releases, visit:

Additional fan bundles will be announced soon...
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