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The Beatles : American Music and The British Invasion

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Initial post: Nov 6, 2012, 1:43:47 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Nov 6, 2012, 3:14:24 AM PST
Hinch says:
Both John Lennon and George Harrison said hearing "Heartbreak Hotel" was what got them interested in playing music.

George first heard the song on the radio while riding his bicycle past a neighbor's house. He bought his first guitar a few days later.

"It was Elvis that really got me buying records. When I heard 'Heartbreak Hotel,' I thought, 'this is it'. And I started to grow sideboards and all that gear..."
-- John Lennon

Lennon has also stated that without Elvis, there would have been no Beatles.

"They weren't playing much of Elvis' stuff on the radio in those days. To hear 'Heartbreak Hotel' I had to go into a record shop in Liverpool and listen to it through headphones in one of those booths. It was a magical moment, the beginning of an era."
-- Paul McCartney

McCartney now owns the double bass played on "Heartbreak Hotel".

Chuck Berry was another big influence on The Beatles and other British bands such as The Rolling Stones.

"If you tried to give rock and roll another name, you might call it 'Chuck Berry'."
-- John Lennon

The Beatles were also influenced by American artists such as Buddy Holly, The Everly Bros, Little Richard and Carl Perkins.

Ringo was a fan of country music and sang lead on "Act Naturally" recorded earlier by Buck Owens.

The Rolling Stones, The Animals and The Yardbirds are among the bands influenced more heavily by American r&b and blues artists such as Muddy Waters and Howlin Wolf.

British bands such as The Kinks, Gerry and The Pacemakers, The Moody Blues, Spencer Davis Group, Dave Clark 5, The Hollies, The Zombies and The Small Faces were also influenced by American music.

Some of the British Invasion bands were never able to escape their original sound, but some such as The Kinks, The Moody Blues,The Zombies, The Rolling Stones and The Animals evolved and created unique sounds of their own and are counted among the greatest bands of rock. The Kinks became a major influence on other bands, including The Who.

By the time The British Invasion began in 1964, The Beach Boys, who formed in 1961, were already on the American charts. They would later be influenced by The Beatles' RUBBER SOUL. Brian Wilson described RUBBER SOUL as an album full of all good and all original songs, and said he was inspired to make a great album.

Brian told his wife, "Marilyn, I'm gonna make the greatest album! The greatest rock album ever made!" The results was PET SOUNDS, which McCartney calls his favorite album, and inspired The Beatles album SGT PEPPER'S LONELY HEARTS CLUB BAND.

Future members of The Byrds saw "A Hard Day's Night' and decided rock and roll was the music they wanted to play.

"When the Beatles had come out, the folk boom had already peaked," McGuinn notes. "The people who had been into it were getting kind of burned out. So the Beatles kind of re-energized it for me. I thought it was natural to put the Beatles' beat and the energy of the Beatles into folk music. I heard folk chord changes in the Beatles' music when I listened to their early stuff like 'She Loves You' and 'I Want To Hold Your Hand.' I could hear the passing chords that we always use in folk music: the G-Em-Am-B kind of stuff. So I really think the Beatles invented folk-rock. They just didn't know it."

David Crosby and Chris Hillman have said basically the same thing.

In February 1964, Dylan embarked on a twenty-day trip across the United States. Riding in a station wagon with a few friends (Paul Clayton, Victor Maymudes, and Pete Karman). According to Maymudes, Dylan "nearly jumped out the car" when "I Wanna Hold Your Hand" came on the radio and said "Did you hear that?..that was f'n great! Oh man.." Dylan had already been following The Beatles since 1963.

Bob Dylan was impressed by the Beatles' innovation,"They were doing things nobody was doing. Their chords were outrageous, just outrageous, and their harmonies made it all valid."

Dylan has more recently said, "I'm in awe of McCartney. He's about the only one that I am in awe of. He can do it all. And he's never let up... He's just so d--n effortless."

John Lennon and George Harrison as well as The Byrds and many others were influenced by Dylan.

I know there are many British and American artists I havent mentioned. I'll leave that up to you. Don't wanna make the initial post too long.


The point for me is, in the 60s, the many various artists were influencing each other, making the 60s one of the most creative decades in rock.

If The Beatles had not existed, or had not been the first to break through, do you think there would have still been a British Invasion, and who would or could have led it?

Who are your favorite British Invasion and/or American artists?

What American or 'British Invasion' artists have I not mentioned who you think were important to the development of rock in the fifties and sixties?

Posted on Nov 6, 2012, 4:15:40 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Nov 6, 2012, 9:28:14 PM PST
Bernard J. says:
My favorite British Invasion groups:

The Rolling Stones
The Kinks
The Beatles
The Animals ( also like the '2nd' Animals).
The Zombies
Manfred Mann ( R&B Paul Jones era in particular).
The Dave Clark Five
The Yardbirds

To name just a few. More will come to mind over time.

Preferred British R&B to Mersey beat.
Found that many a group's best material was often the lesser known, B sides, LP cuts, and EP cuts.

Some American bands I like:
The Crickets
The Byrds
The Lovin' Spoonful
The Turtles
The Association
The Velvet Underground
Various psychedelic bands like Strawberry Alarm Clock etc.
Not as mad on The Beach Boys as are most posters on these threads, but respect them.

Let's not forget some Australian bands:
The Easybeats
The Zoot ( which featured a young Rick Springfield).

Posted on Nov 6, 2012, 4:21:03 AM PST
rokroller says:
American Music- Ian Hunter & Mick Ronson

Posted on Nov 6, 2012, 4:40:52 AM PST
Severin says:
There were also the more pop-oriented bands like The Hollies and Herman's Hermits that had a lot of chart success.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 6, 2012, 4:49:29 AM PST
Bernard J. says:
I was thinking of Herman's Hermits.
Although they were classified as 'lightweight' and accused of being limited in talent, some of their songs were quite good.
The songs I'm thinking about are not necessarily the hits, but some of the Bs, LP cuts, etc.
A few minor gems, or 'lost classics' can be found there.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 6, 2012, 4:51:15 AM PST
Eddie H. says:
rokroller....Love the album...Ian Hunter is one of my musical heroes(anyone who can sit down and write a song like I Wish I Was Your amazing)....Mick Ronson also was terrific....


Posted on Nov 6, 2012, 5:15:18 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Nov 6, 2012, 8:47:58 AM PST
Eddie H. says:
Off the top of my head the 1st bands I am thinking of are the following....(if I put some thought innto it it could change----these are my top 10 American and british bands that started in the 1960's(some the British Bands maybe not considered British Invasion bands!)
1-The Kinks
2-The Beatles
3-The Who
4-the Rolling Stones
5-The Searchers
6-The Zombies
7-The Bee Gees
8-The Yardbirds
9-Ten Years After

American bands
1-The Beach Boys
2-The Byrds
3-The Mothers of Invention
4-Tommy James and the Shondells
5-Jimi Hendrix Experience
6-The Rascals
7-Paul Revere and the Raiders
8-The Velvet Underground
9-Creedence Clearwater Revival
10-J. Geils band

Happy that there is a new thread....
This will be another cool ride!

Posted on Nov 6, 2012, 5:16:54 AM PST
rokroller says:
Eddie H...

I've seen Ian Hunter about 15 times, and was fortunate enuff to see him when The Hunter/Ronson Band toured at a little place in Asbury Park, New Jersey called The Stone Pony in 1980 and again in 1990

Mick Ronson was one of the greatest guitar players to ever strap one on...even Dylan tapped him for his "Rolling Thunder Revue".

and "I Wish I Was Your Mother" is one of my favorite songs of all time!

Ian Hunter/Mick Ronson - I WISH I WAS YOUR MOTHER...1980

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 6, 2012, 5:32:51 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Nov 6, 2012, 5:45:12 AM PST
Eddie H. says:
rokroller.. I also saw him many times...Hunter is one of my all time favorite of the most fortunate shows I ever saw..Ian Hunter opened for the Kinks(my favorite musical entity of all time) ---Ian Hunter is one of the greatest songwriters of the past 50 years, from early Mott to the If I were President...(his albums in the the 2000's have been remarkable and should be mandatory listening(Rant, Shrunken Heads, Man Overborad....all tremendous)


In reply to an earlier post on Nov 6, 2012, 9:31:58 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Nov 6, 2012, 9:36:02 AM PST
Joyce says:
Dear Bernard, Hinch, and All:
what about the Moody Blues and Pink Floyd?? i would add both, personally, but i realize many here may not agree....
btw, thanks to Hinch for beginning another awesome thread for us all to enjoy!!!!! :)
joyce :)
p.s., the thing with PF is (as i have said many times before), when they were good, they were very very good, and when they were bad, they were freakin awful!....ah, but when they are good.....they are outstanding!!!!!
p.s., i would also add 'Yes' to my own personal list, but that's just me.....

Posted on Nov 6, 2012, 9:37:33 AM PST
Joyce says:
Dearest Pete:
(hope you are safe/well!!!!! will continue to think of you/send my prayers and good vibes, until you are 'found', once again!!! :)
joyce :)

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 6, 2012, 9:56:19 AM PST
Severin says:
Joyce, I did a little research to get the timing of those bands right. Pink Floyd started in 1963 and the Moody Blues in 1964 but neither band got much attention until 1967. Yes didn't form until 1968 so those 3 would not be considered British invasion bands but I love all 3 of them. King Crimson and Genesis are other late starters.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 6, 2012, 9:59:12 AM PST
Gena Chereck says:
Your top three Brit bands would be my picks too. :)

Among your US bands, the BB's, Byrds and VU are my faves.

Posted on Nov 6, 2012, 10:00:54 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Nov 7, 2012, 9:29:37 AM PST
RegF says:
I will throw in some Canadian artists..........................

The Band , Gordon Lightfoot
Leonard Cohan , Steppen Wolf [Born To Be Wild & Heavy Metal Thunder] , Neil Young , the Guess Who , Blood Sweat and Tears , Joni Mitchell.

Posted on Nov 6, 2012, 10:03:04 AM PST
Joyce says:
a couple of examples of the awesomeness, that IS Pink Floyd:
(also posted this one on the mm thread, but bears repeating):
and another:
and finally: (i can even forgive the use of 'horns', but i still think the song would have been even better, without it...sorry, Lawrence!)
i could go on and on......but i won't (for now!)......
btw, PF and the Beatles shared Abbey Road Studios, some of the time (different rooms)....i can imagine they were each impressed with the other, and couldn't help but either wander down the hall, or listen in......... :)
joyce :)

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 6, 2012, 10:06:41 AM PST
Joyce says:
Dear Don:
yes, you are absolutely right...they were not part of the 'british invasion', but i would consider all 3 as british bands, that are awesome, in their own right....all 3 are great bands, imo...yes, there are indeed others!
joyce :)
p.s., does 'British Invasion' only mean those that came over initially, like the Beatles and the Stones, or any British band that made it big over in the States????? to me, it could be the latter, but perhaps Hinch meant the former???? good question! :)

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 6, 2012, 10:08:19 AM PST
Joyce says:
Dear R.F.:
true enough.....I LOVE Guess Who, and Neil Young is a force to be reckoned with, FOR SURE!!! :)
(nobody can whine as good as Neil! he is also just PLAIN AWESOME, imo!!)
joyce :)

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 6, 2012, 10:23:39 AM PST
Gena Chereck says:
"If you don't eat yer meat, you can't have any pudding!" :D

I'm not a big fan of the Floyd, but I like a few of their songs. A couple of early ones:

"See Emily Play" --

"Careful With That Axe, Eugene" --

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 6, 2012, 10:36:05 AM PST
Zimi Ahzrix says:
Replace The Searchers with The Moody Blues, Ten Years After with The Animals and Cream with The Dave Clark Five

Posted on Nov 6, 2012, 11:22:44 AM PST
Recently, on the Beatles' thread, we were asked to list our favorite Cover Songs performed by the Beatles.

So, to help inaugurate this new, expanded topic and explore how the British Invasion was inspired by American Artists, how about listing your favorite *Non-Beatles* British Invasion Covers of American hits.

When the British Invasion hit, I was just coming of age, musically speaking, and wasn't at all familiar with the American Originals and didn't even realize that these were actually Cover Songs and not Group Originals!

Here's a few of my personal favorites:

"Bring It On Home To Me" - Animals
"Not Fade Away" - Rolling Stones
"A Shot of Rhythm & Blues" - Gerry & The Pacemakers
"Just One Look" - Hollies
"Love Potion #9" - Searchers
"Everyday I Have To Cry" - Bee Gees
"I'm Into Something Good" - Herman's Hermits (Also "Silhouettes", "Heartbeat", "Wonderful World", "Sea Cruise" & "End of the World".)
"Sleepless Nights" - Peter & Gordon (Also "True Love Ways")
"You Must Have Been A Beautiful Baby" - Dave Clark 5
"Summertime Blues" - Who

Posted on Nov 6, 2012, 12:37:27 PM PST
It would have been an interesting time to be alive. The Beatles were a British Invasion by themselves. I also like early Rolling Stones, but feel the material took a step down after Brian Jones died. The Kinks "Village Green Preservation Society" was better than most American music of that year. Moody Blues "Days of Future Passed" to this day may be the best hybrid of rock and orchestra. Pink Floyd "Saucerful of Secrets holds up very well to my ears. The Who didn't really hit their peak until after the 1960's were over. In general I feel 1970-75 were the peak of electric music on both sides of the Atlantic.

Posted on Nov 6, 2012, 1:06:39 PM PST
Hey, Hey, Hey...

American Music-the Blasters

Posted on Nov 6, 2012, 1:12:28 PM PST
...and since the last thread, things haven't changed:


Posted on Nov 6, 2012, 1:21:01 PM PST
My 10 favorite British bands.

Rolling Stones
Led Zepalin
The Who


In reply to an earlier post on Nov 6, 2012, 1:29:01 PM PST
Gena Chereck says:
Rockin'! :D


The Violent Femmes, "American Music" --
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