Tuesday, September 3, 2013

The British Invasion (1964 and 1965)

The British Invasion turned the music world upside down in 1964 ... that year alone, The Beatles placed over 30 songs on The Billboard Hot 100 Singles Chart.  (Of course, in all fairness, America was playing "catch up" to a degree here ... The Fab Four had already been hitting the British charts for 15 months before their first single made an impact here in The States.)   

But the wave of artists that followed was unprecedented.  Suddenly anything with a British accent seemed assured of a spot on our radio stations and record surveys, while many long-established and proven American artists couldn't seem to buy themselves a hit.  

The trend lasted through most of the decade ... but the greatest impact was felt during those first two years.  Sure, there were distractions ... American groups like The Beach Boys and The Four Seasons continued to have hits ... and The Motown Sound was alive and well ... but it wasn't until about 1966 that the trend began to shift again.  In 1966, we were introduced to domestic acts like The Mamas and the Papas, Paul Revere and the Raiders, The Turtles, Tommy James and the Shondells, Simon and Garfunkel, The Monkees and many others who gave The Brits a run for their money on the US charts.  By 1967 it was the Summer of Love and the dawn of the psychedelic age of music.  In 1968, things got a whole lot heavier as artists like Jimi Hendrix, Cream, Steppenwolf, Vanilla Fudge and many others started to hit the charts.  And by 1969, even The Beatles themselves were winding down ... and a new craze called bubblegum music seemed to be all the rage.  

While most surveys of this type cover "The Beatle Years" of 1964 - 1970, the REAL impact of The British Invasion was most felt during those first two years, 1964 and 1965.  And thanks to Dann Isbell's EXCELLENT book "Ranking The '60's", we've come up with a countdown of The Top 100 British Invasion Hits of this era.  (How big of an impact did it have???  So much so that even limiting our countdown to just the first two years, we had to eliminate several other favorites that also made their mark on the U.S. Charts.)  

Enjoy the ride as we count down many of these favorites (along with some long-forgotten gems) over the next several days in Forgotten Hits.  

BTW - if you love ranking things ... like WE do ... you'll find Dann Isbell's book full of indispensable information.  (We've already got several other countdowns planned or in the works!)  You can pick up your own copy here:

Click here: Ranking the '60s: A Comprehensive Listing of the Top Songs and Acts from Pop's Golden Decade: Dann Isbell: 9781492

Three that missed: 

Good tunes all ... but not good enough to make our Top 100 Countdown.  The REAL list starts tomorrow ... exclusively in Forgotten Hits!