British Invasion: The Crosscurrents of Musical Influence
Before The Beatles landed on American shores in February 1964 only two British acts had topped the Billboard singles chart. In the first quarter of 1964, however, the Beatles alone accounted for sixty percent of all recorded music sold in the United States; in 1964 and 1965 British acts occupied the number one position for 52 of the 104 weeks; and from 1964 through to 1970, the Rolling Stones, Herman’s Hermits, the Dave Clark Five, the Animals, the Kinks, the Hollies, the Yardbirds and the Who placed more than one hundred and thirty songs on the American Top Forty.
In The British Invasion: The Crosscurrents of Musical Influence, Simon Philo illustrates how this remarkable event in cultural history disrupted and even reversed pop culture’s flow of influence, goods, and ideas—orchestrating a dramatic turn-around in the commercial fortunes of British pop in North America that turned the 1960s into “The Sixties.” Focusing on key works and performers, The British Invasion tracks the journey of this musical phenomenon from peripheral irrelevance through exotic novelty into the heart of mainstream rock. Throughout, Philo explores how and why British music from the period came to achieve such unprecedented heights of commercial, artistic, and cultural dominance.
The British Invasion: The Crosscurrents of Musical Influence will appeal to fans, students and scholars of popular music history—indeed anyone interested in understanding the fascinating relationship between popular music and culture.
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