Rock Around the World: Britain

by Jette-Mari Anni

Oh, the days of The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, and The Who! British artists have influenced the rock scene for decades. But how did Britain rise to take over the world of rock, and who should we look out for today?

British Rock Then:

In the 1950s, rock ‘n’ roll took off as the sound as it combined influences from a variety of genres. In fact, many of the early songs were rewrites of previous jazz and blues hits. At the time, Britain didn’t have a blooming music scene of its own.

In the 1960s, however, Beatlemania spread across all borders and paved the way for many British acts. The explosion of British hits and artists, the British Invasion, lasted for decades as their mix of hopeful and angsty tunes provided an expression for the people drained by the tensions of the Cold War.

The Second British Invasion came along with the rise of MTV. In the mid-80s, 16 of the Top 40 Singles were British acts. The previous record was set in the middle of Beatlemania, with 12 top singles dominating the chart. While new music featured acts like the Police and David Bowie, the underground scene with garage bands and heavy metal sounds gained a cult-like following. Led Zeppelin and Deep Purple still have a loyal fanbase who are convinced they were the greatest bands to ever exist.

British Rock Now

British music has continued to influence the music landscape as a whole. In the early 2000s, British artists like Estelle gained popularity in the r&b and soul music genre. With social media and YouTube, artists were able to expand their reach on their own, as well as through popular singing TV shows like The Voice or Britain’s Got Talent. In 2010, One Direction became one of the finalists on the British X Factor. They didn’t win, but they enjoyed bigger success worldwide than any of the other finalists that year.

Today, the lines of the music world are even blurrier as most artists gain recognition and momentum through online platforms. Popular sounds are somewhere between nostalgic riffs, indie rock, and lo-fi beats. Still, many of the top singles have British artists behind them.

Here are three bands you could check out!

Paris Youth Foundation – This Liverpool band is “like all your favorite indie bands rolled into one,” as stated on their Facebook page. And it’s true! Their music reminds me some of the early The 1975 sounds and can be either really uplifting and carefree, or perfect for winding down after a long day.

The Pale White – Perfect for you if you love bands like 30 Seconds to Mars. The songs have more spin in their step, cool guitar riffs, and the drums get more glory than in most bands.

Tape. Rewind. Repeat – Ideal for those who can never turn their brain off and enjoy being in the flow. Their music has so much good stuff going on at once and it’s the perfect thing to have on repeat. They’re definitely a band I’d like to see live once concerts are back to being a thing!

Do you have any current British favorites? Let us know on our Facebook or Twitter!