British Invasion on Rock and Roll Music in America

British Invasion on Rock and Roll Music in America


The year 1964 is described as ‘The sixties’ because it is significant in the musical arena. The foundation of rock and roll originated in the US through mixing of the black genre music, gospel music, blues and rhythm. Musicians like Alan Freed played blues and rhythm to multi-racial people and audience and therefore describing it as ‘rock and roll’ and for us to understand the music of sixties we need to investigate and do not overshadow the music of 1950s. According to James Curtis (1987) he said “Rock n’ roll a rose from a complex combination of racial, demographic, generational and technological development”.

British invasion occurred during the time (1960s) when rock music act from UK with other areas of British culture being conformed by US. The band like ‘The Rolling Stones’, ‘The Beetle’, ‘The Who’ and’ The Moody Blue’ could make impact in musical scene in the United States. This paper tries to shed light the influential groups during the invasion, the impact of British invasion, what could happen if British invasion could have not taken place and the difference between the British and their American counterpart.

Most Influential Groups in 1960s

In the history of music there are performers who have left impact on the musical scene and mark through there proficiency and exploration. The list is endless but the outstanding ones include: the Beetle; The Moody Blue; The Rolling Stone and The beach Boys.

The Beetle

The group’s influence on roll and rock was profound and the world culture. In 1960 many rock bands depended on professional songwriters but this group composed their own. Areas such as developing ideas and incorporate them in their music. Their music stood up since rock music was looked down upon by previous musician when they produced the album ‘Sergeant Papper’, it was criticized. The group inspired the current musician from all spectrum and the group experiment with new techniques of recording sandwiched with common phrases for example the guitar effects.

The Rolling Stone

From history this is the longest performing rock of all the time. As part of the British invasion Rolling Stone became ‘Bad boys’ taken to portray the image of drug, sex and queer behavior. The band influenced the school girls and school boys although parents were not for it. In 1965 when they had there mega hit the attitude of the music won a mixture of rebellion using tribal drum and sexual vocals which seduced the young and alarmed the aged. This group influenced teenagers who changed their lifestyle.

Moody Blues

Began in 1964 in England. This group led the endeavor and pursuit the fusion of rock n’ roll and orchestra music with first song achieving the success through the incorporation of electronic keyboard as well as flute in the sound. The group has influenced rock music for along time.

Impact of British Invasion

British invasion took place between 1964 and 1966. The British rock n’ roll influenced the working class to make instrument and coexist with musicians like Van Morrison to begin their music career. This dented the career of many. The Beetle initiated the British invasion. The Beetle re-invented the image of the rock to be palatable and enjoyable to audience. This changed the imagination of American parents to view the band as nice and none threatening. Through the British invasion Dustly Springfield invented female soul which was notable. This rock tended to change American culture more especially among the youth as well as rapid change in the musical scene like rise of different genre of rock based in drum and guitar. According to rock magazine of 1960s, British invasion was a new savior and simple way to rock as it brought slung and modern style of dressing. This led to commercial success of many rock musicians.

What if British Invasion was thwarted?

The rock production in America could have not grown without the influence of the British more especially ‘Brait’. At the same time bands like Rolling Stones was a bad example to the youth as their music was based around drugs and sex. This influence could not exist or emanate if the country music could be emphasized as it was contemporary and could be listened on the radio and television without problems.

Electric Dylan was powerful but his platform could not be established without the help of the British invasion as they revabished rock n’ roll possibilities otherwise American rocks could not be interesting and the black artist could not be identified because no body carried the aggressive war as they expressed dissatisfaction before the invasion. Others include ‘Don’t look back’ and Sir Douglas Quintet. Some argue that English lyrics is better in rocks than the British slang

The British Verses America Rocks n’ Roll

Historically the rock n’ roll emerged from America with musician like Muddy Water introduced to England. British only gave favor in ‘sixties’ as called British invasion.

British used heavy metal. Bands like ‘Deep Purple’ used it. In America the band like ‘Van Helen’ used the thrashed metal.

Geographically many Americans rock and roll was popular in England. Bands like ‘Nirvana’ was both popular with British rock fans but American bands washed them soon.

American roll and rock music was established by American then refined by British. More focus has been put by American. British rock uses generational terminologies like in sex unlike America and this influence the uncouth behavior that we experience.


Terming British music as inversion to some extent is inappropriate. It must be considered that US and Britain constitute the larger part of anglosphere by using common culture. It implies that rock n’ roll is emphasized for youth, sexual progress and technology.


Bertland M.(2000). The Race, Rock and Elvis. Urbana. University of Illinois press

James C.(1987).Rock Era. Interpretation of Music and Society.1954-1984. Green state.

University press.

Kirty D.(2009). The Birth of Rock n’ Roll. London. Continuum.

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