My theory of the British Music Invasion

I have always had a theory about rock music that evolved as a result of the so called British Invasion after the Elvis era.

The blues from the American south was instantly recognized and embraced by the musicians of my generation in Britain.  Young british musicians understood and related to the soul of the blues.  We understood the hardships of WWII and of the working class people.  The blues was a catalyst for us to build on.  We got the message.  Combine that with the Elvis and Buddy Holly rockabilly music of the 1950’s and you get the British Invasion.

The added bonus was the rise of the individual singer songwriter.  The message of the music was personal, insightful and meaningful.  An opening of the collective heart.  This was life expressed through music.  It is no wonder that the music energized an entire generation and beyond.

It was also the innovations of musical instruments, i.e. Les Paul and his guitar inventions, mellotrons, synthesizers, etc, that gave musicians the tools to explore the musical universe.

For young british musicians, who understood the blues, it was an explosion of expression from the heart, mind and soul reflecting the possibilities of the future.

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3 Responses to My theory of the British Music Invasion

  1. Mirek says:

    As someone who grew up listening to music, starting in the late 1950s, I can say that when the British Invasion arrived we in the States were pretty much bored with the then-current music scene. It was almost as if we were waiting for something new and refreshing to arrive. It may have been a universal activation.

    Later, substances like marijuana and hallucinogenics, which opened up hitherto unexplored mental and spiritual impressions (some would say knowledge), were channels in the development of what’s commonly known as progressive music, a giant leap from the beginnings of the British Invasion.

  2. Ken says:

    The phenomenon dubbed “the British Music Invasion” was both a catharsis and a catalyst. To a country mourning the recent loss of a young, dynamic leader, the messages of love helped heal. To a youth seeking answers, it brought energy and excitement. My 24 year old son recently told me that I was lucky to have grown up during the “golden age” of Rock and Roll. It’s hard not to agree!

  3. Ken Wasky says:

    The British Invasion started a massive global migration of young people. Even now young people still travel throughout the world seeking answers to it’s ancient mysteries. The 60’s was a special time for music and sharing, a time for love and hope, and a time to start creating a new world. We succeeded but didn’t get exactly what was planned, war has not gone away! So the new challenge for all us old cosmic rockers is to continue teaching the lessons we learned and to keep smiling.

    Thanks to all the 60’s artists, many who are British, for showing us the way.

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