British Invasion Essentials

British Invasion Essentials

Few musical revolutions can be pinpointed to a specific date in history, but the first strike of the British Invasion verifiably occurred on February 9, 1964—the night The Beatles played The Ed Sullivan Show. The ensuing hysteria opened the transatlantic floodgates for a wave of British acts who, like the Fab Four, combined their loves of American rhythm ’n’ blues and harmony-rich UK skiffle into a style of rock ’n’ roll that forever elevated the genre from teen fad to countercultural force. Overnight, Americans became smitten with the quintessentially British charms of merry melody makers like Herman’s Hermits and The Hollies, but the British Invasion also unleashed a more primal undercurrent coursing through post-war youth culture. In the nasty, distorted riffs of The Rolling Stones, The Kinks, and The Who, you hear an attitude and aggression that—through the subsequent explosion of garage-rock bands across the land—sparked the fuse for punk and metal.

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