British Rock Music

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British Music
The evolution of rock music
1920s - Young people listened to ragtime and jazz.
1930s - Swing became popular. Benny Goodman and his Orchestra were the 'King of the Swing', as were Glenn Miller and Artie Shaw. The music was fast and frantically paced and led to dances being banned from dance halls, as the young women being flung into the air by their partners showed their stocking tops and underwear. Jazz continued to be popular. 1940s - The Second World War brought fast, frantic (and often American) dance music - boogie-woogie or jitterbug. Dances were held in church halls, village halls, clubs, Air Force bases - everywhere! But slower, romantic songs were also popular as loved ones went away to fight, such as Vera Lynn's 'We'll Meet Again' and the song about coming home again, 'The 'White Cliffs of Dover'. After the war 'skiffle' bands became popular. These bands used household items, such as washboards and tea chests, as part of their set of instruments! Tommy Steele, who later became very famous, first played in a skiffle band. 1950s - Rock and Roll became very popular.

1960's - The Beatles began their career. They leapt to fame in 1963 with 'Please, Please Me'. The Beatles moved through the late 1960s as favourites of the 'flower power' generation - many young people enjoyed 'hippie' music. Other teenagers preferred the music of the 'Mods' - ska music and The Who. 1970s - The first big new sound of the 1970s was “Glam Rock”, the main figures of this were David Bowie, Elton John and of course Gary Glitter. In the bleak political backdrop, these larger that life British bands and characters brought a welcome relief with their platform boots, sequins, nail varnish and colourful hair. Punk

The punk movement of the late 1970s began in England. Great British bands of this scene were The Sex Pistols and The Clash. The Punk style was Mohicans, bondage clothes, safety pins, piercings and bovver boots. 1980s - The 1980s saw the rise of hip hop and rap music, with American influences powerful once again in the form of such groups as Run DMC and Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five. It also saw the rise and fall of the 'New Romantics', typified by groups like Adam and the Ants, who dressed as pirates and highway men and wore huge amounts of makeup. 1990s - Britpop - This was the general name given in the 1990s to a new wave of successful British bands who made a big impact in the United States and Europe, as well as in England. The most successful have been Radiohead, Oasis, Blur, Pulp and Massive Attack. Beat music

In late 1950s Britain a flourishing culture of groups began to emerge, often out of the declining skiffle scene, in major urban centres in the UK like Liverpool, Manchester, Birmingham and London. This was particularly true in Liverpool, where it has been estimated that there were around 350 different bands active, often playing ballrooms, concert halls and clubs.These beat bands were heavily influenced by American groups of the era, such as Buddy Holly and the Crickets (from which group The Beatles derived their name), as well as earlier British groups such as The Shadows. After the national success of the Beatles in Britain from 1962, a number of Liverpool performers were able to follow them into the charts, including Gerry & The Pacemakers, The Searchers, and Cilla Black. Among the most successful beat acts from Birmingham were The Spencer Davis Group and The Moody Blues. British Blues Boom

In parallel with beat music, in the late 1950s and early 1960s a British blues scene was developing recreating the sounds of American R&B and later particularly the sounds of bluesmen Robert Johnson, Howlin' Wolf and Muddy Waters. Initially led by purist blues followers such as Alexis Korner and Cyril Davies, it reached its height of mainstream popularity in the 1960s, when it developed a distinctive and influential style dominated by electric guitar and made international stars of several proponents of the...
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