February 10, 2014

The British Invasion was a phenomenon that occurred in the mid-1960s when rock and pop music acts from the United Kingdom, as well as other aspects of British culture, became popular in the United States. The invasion brought forth what is, in my opinion, the golden age of rock and roll music. In the spirit of the anniversaries of these bands’ first US tours, here is a start list of the some British Invasion that you should all give a listen to.

The Beatles: Poster boys and the spark that started the fire, The Beatles are the classic and most recognizable band of the bunch. Clean-cut and full of love songs and soft rock, With the Beatles is a classic album.

The Who: Explosive and over-the-top, The Who were less of a band and more of four frontmen all playing their hearts out. Listening to the groundbreaking My Generation feels like listening to four people all playing separately, yet together.

The Rolling Stones: The seminal The Rolling Stones was a big hit and was easily the most blues and rhythm-inspired album. The Stones borrowed a lot from folk bands as well, and brought them all together perfectly on their debut album.

The Zombies: Much smaller in terms of international renown The Zombies pioneer a pseudo-psychedelic sound on Begin Here. Bringing forth the classic She’s Not There and shooting The Zombies to success, this album would inspire many bands in the future.

The Kinks: The Kinks produced some of the catchiest and most incredibly fun songs of this era on their self-titled album, Kinks.

The Animals: The bad boys of the Invasion, The Animals brought a very strong New Orleans and Missouri blues inspiration to their music. The Animals features one of my favourite songs from this era, The House of the Rising Sun.

While there were many bands during The British Invasion, these six defined not only music, but all of western society. From thousands of screaming girls waiting for the arrival of The Beatles to Keith Moon’s explosive drum solos, these bands have left their mark on history.