Jump to content

The invasion continues


Recommended Posts



In many ways, the British Invasion is ancient history. There's no doubt The Beatles, Rolling Stones, The Who and others changed the face of not just music but society itself. But that was more than 40 years ago, a time long past, right?


Wrong. Two of the biggest concerts of last year? The Stones and Paul McCartney. Kinks leader Ray Davies put out a stunning new album this year and performed a stirring concert at the Paramount Theatre. Besides, if the Kinks hadn't happened, where would Gorillaz have gotten the sound for the hit single Feel Good Inc.?


The biggest acts today - U2, Neil Young, Green Day, Dave Matthews, Radiohead - all are musically shaped by the British Invasion. We have yet another wave of British acts making headway in America, including James Blunt, KT Tunstall and Corrine Bailey Rae.


And even if half the original band is no longer with us, The Who is still bringing the music strong. With a solid new album called Endless Wire that's better than it has any right to be, The Who is on tour, performing Tuesday at the Pepsi Center.


But before then, travel with us back in time to watch the waves of the British Invasion lap onto American shores.




• Feb. 9, 1964: The Beatles on the Ed Sullivan Show. Enough said.


• Aug. 4, 1964: The Kinks' You Really Got Me is released as a single, reaching No. 1 in Britain and No. 7 in the U.S. Van Halen's cover 14 years later would launch another career.


• Summer, 1964: With a couple of singles under their belts (including a gift from the Beatles in the Ringo-throwaway I Wanna Be Your Man), the Rolling Stones tour America for the first time in a downright tame mode compared with the debauchery that would come in '69 and '72.


• Early '65: Eric Clapton leaves the Yardbirds for careers with John Mayall, Cream, Blind Faith and solo, opening the door for Jeff Beck and Jimmy Page to launch higher-profile careers. Within a few years, Cream, Led Zeppelin and the Jeff Beck Group are extensively touring America.


• Aug. 27, 1967: Beatles manager Brian Epstein dies, marking the beginning of the end of the band. Everyone blames Yoko anyway.


• June 29, 1968: A Saucerful of Secrets, Pink Floyd's second album, marks the sanity-challenged exit of Syd Barrett and the entrance of guitarist David Gilmour, both of which set the sound and tone of Dark Side of the Moon in 1973.




The amount that Led Zeppelin makes at its U.S. debut on Dec. 26, 1968, in Denver's Auditorium Arena (since converted to the Buell Theatre). They are third on the bill, behind Spirit and headliner Vanilla Fudge.


• Feb. 15, 1969: Live tapes recorded by the Who at Hull University have technical problems, forcing them to use the tapes from the night before at Leeds. Live At Leeds is considered one of the best live albums of all time, further breaking The Who in the U.S. with heavy radio play of Summer- time Blues.


• October 1969: The "Paul is Dead" hoax takes off in America and spreads worldwide, until McCartney appears, quite alive, on the Nov. 7 cover of Life Magazine.


• Dec. 6, 1969: Flower power, on the other hand, dies with the free concert/fatal fiasco at Altamont Speedway in California, a clash of the Rolling Stones' huge egos and drunken Hells Angels with pool cues.


• Sept. 1, 1972: David Bowie gives parents coast-to-coast heart attacks with the release of The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders From Mars and its drug- fueled tour of theaters across the U.S.


• December 1974: The Faces splinter as Ron Wood leaves to join the Rolling Stones and Rod Stewart starts the long downward slog toward Da Ya Think I'm Sexy?, which fuels the disco movement in the U.S.


• July 4, 1976: America's Bicentennial and the Clash's first gig in London, opening for the Sex Pistols. A commercial force in England, the Pistols get virtually no U.S. airplay and their debut album quickly lands in cut-out bins.


16 million copies sold worldwide of Frampton Comes Alive. The album, recorded on the 1975 U.S. tour, debuts on Jan. 6, 1976, five years after Peter Frampton leaves Humble Pie. Ironically, the final album he released with Humble Pie was a live one, 1971's Performance: Rockin' the Fillmore. It didn't do so well.


• Mid-1977: The Police dye their hair blond for a chewing- gum commercial. The exposure boosts their debut single, Fall Out, which sells 70,000 copies and gets them signed to a record deal and relentless U.S. touring a year later.


• 1978: After using the names Feedback and Hype, four Dublin high- school seniors settle on the name U2. A U.S. tour follows in '81, but they don't take off until Red Rocks in 1983.


• Dec. 14, 1979: The Clash release London Calling, considered the classic punk album of all time, then storm the U.S. with a series of legendary shows. Train in Vain becomes a hit, setting up Combat Rock as a breakthrough years later.


• 1981: Duran Duran's leading-edge video for Girls on Film makes the song almost palatable and the band superstars on this side of the pond.


• 1982: Culture Club breaks through with Do You Really Want To Hurt Me?. Bow Wow Wow charts with a remake of I Want Candy, dooming us to two decades of dreadful commercials and further remakes by talentless teen idols.


• Summer, 1983: Annie Lennox of the Eurythmics scares the heck out of everyone with her cold stare and riding crop in the Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This) video. The song soars to No. 1 anyway as the Eurythmics sweep America.


• May 28, 1983: The Clash break up backstage after playing the US Festival in Southern California, though Joe Strummer will use the band name for three more years.


• June 15, 1986: The Police re-form for three final shows, the last being at an Amnesty International benefit at Giants Stadium in New Jersey. Broadcast live on MTV, it definitely showed the thrill was gone.


• 1993: Radiohead's self-loathing Creep becomes a hit on Southern California's KROQ and brands the band as a one-hit mope-rock wonder, but brilliant albums such as The Bends and OK Computer prove the naysayers very wrong.


• 1997: After becoming big in England, the Spice Girls launch a mini-invasion of the U.S. with Wannabe. If you can name all five spices, may God have mercy on you.


• July 10, 2000: Parachutes, the debut album from Coldplay, is released after the success of the single Yellow.


• November, 2006: James Blunt, KT Tunstall and Corrine Bailey Rae, all from Great Britain, are poised to be nominees for this year's Grammy Award for best new artist.



- Timeline compiled by News pop music critic Mark Brown


Waves of music


The British Invasion started in the early '60s, but waves keep coming:


• First invasion (1964-66): The Beatles, Rolling Stones, The Kinks, The Who, Dave Clark Five, The Yardbirds, Cream, The Faces, David Bowie


• Aftershocks (1966-70): Led Zeppelin, Jethro Tull, Moody Blues, Elton John, Peter Frampton, Bee Gees, Rod Stewart (solo).


• Second wave (1976-78): Elvis Costello & the Attractions, The Police, The Clash, the Sex Pistols, U2


• Aftershocks (Since 1981): Duran Duran, Culture Club, The Cure, New Order, Depeche Mode, Spice Girls, Radiohead, Coldplay


The Who


• When and where: 7 p.m. Tuesday, Pepsi Center


• Cost: $52, $77, $97, $202


• Of note: The Pretenders open the show


• Information: 303-830- 8497 or http://www.ticketmaster.com



Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Create New...