The history and evolution of British rock music

If you are a Rock Music fan like me, you must love going to pubs that play rock music live. One of these great pubs is The Rocksteady, a live music venue with a very relaxed atmosphere. In this article, we will discuss the history and development of British rock music.

Rock music in the UK before the mid-1960s is somewhat lost behind ‘Beatlemania’ and the British invasion of rock and roll acts in the US. What is now abbreviated to simply “rock” music incorporates elements of R&B and blues and was, according to Rolling Stone Magazine, apparently already dead by the early 1950s, already in decline even as the genre gained popularity in the United States. United. . British rock artists like Tommy Steele were eclipsed by the emerging American rock and roll that dominated the music charts for most of the decade. The term “rock and roll” originated with Alan Freed in the 1950s, credited by the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame for “popularizing the R&B records that became the staple of rock” and a “tireless proponent of the genre”. Bands from the USA gained popularity in the UK with the rise of the “king of rock and roll”, Elvis Presley.


In the mid-1960s, what is now called the British Invasion took the United States by storm; the cultural phenomenon was led by rock and roll artists from the United Kingdom whose rise to popularity in the United States included the Rolling Stones and the Who, and, above all, the Beatles. Formed by John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr, The Beatles quickly rose to fame not just in the UK but in the US, and are considered the leaders of the British invasion of the 1960s and one of the most recognized and influential bands of all time. Their blend of 1950s rock and roll with influences from other musical genres including classical, pop and folk, such as their 1968 hit “Blackbird”, turned typical fan-fueled popularity into “Beatlemania”. . Rolling Stone calls them “Britain’s chief cultural export” of the 1960s, adding that “the trail they blazed to the colonies soon became well trodden”.

The rise of British rock bands’ fan base – and the influence of the Beatles – paved the way for other bands during the British Invasion such as the Rolling Stones and Led Zeppelin in the late 1960s. Rolling Stones contrasted with the style and appearance of The Beatles, what Rolling Stone Magazine (of course named after the band itself) called “the kind of band whose parents had every right to feel bad about themselves.” ease… back to rock and roll. Their songs embraced the sense of teenage delinquency and rule-breaking first associated with the genre by Bill Haley & His Comets with their 1954 recording of “Rock Around the Clock.” The Rolling Stones produced hits like ” (I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction”, “Paint it Black” and “Sympathy for the Devil” and were followed by other “bad boy” bands like the Who, making their US debut with this which Rolling Stone magazine called an “anarchic show” with included the destruction of instruments and equipment and appealed to the mindset of the young rebels of the time.


The success of British rock and roll in the United States also saw the emergence of sub-genres of rock, including punk, glam, hard, heavy and indie rock. Rock stars like Elton John and David Bowie wrote and performed songs in a mix of subgenres in the late 1960s and 1970s. Elton John, one of the best-selling musical artists of all time , is best known for hits like the 1972 rock ballad “Rocket Man,” as well as his work on several film scores, including Disney’s The Lion King (1994), and is considered by the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame as “one of the most successful acts of the rock era, arguably in a class with Presley and the Beatles”. David Bowie’s rock and roll style was far more varied, described by the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as having “bent rock & roll convention in so many imaginative and contradictory ways”. [with] constant evolution, brilliant innovation and enduring artistry” with hits like 1969’s Space Oddity and its memorable glam rock alter ego, Ziggy Stardust. After his death in 2016, Rolling Stone magazine called him “the greatest rock star of all time”.


The late 70s and 80s saw the rise in popularity of Queen, best known for songs such as “We Will Rock You” and “We Are the Champions”. The band are one of the biggest stadium rock bands in the world, their music is meant to be played in front of large crowds; the 1977 hit “We Will Rock You” in particular was to be accompanied by the audience’s participation in creating the song’s beat with two kicks followed by a clap. Their performance at Live Aid in 1985 is still considered one of the greatest rock performances by The New York Times and Rolling Stone Magazine. Queen’s rock version mixed both hard rock and heavy metal with incorporations of pop and – for their chart-topping 1975 song “Bohemian Rhapsody” – opera.

Today, British rock and the subgenres it inspired have evolved into new bands like Bring Me the Horizon and Enter Shikari, the former dubbed “UK’s leading rock export” by Loudwire and the second of “true strength in British rock”. Older artists now considered classic rock, including Queen and the Rolling Stones, continue to tour and perform around the world. The resurgence of interest in some of the biggest names in British rock history is the result of the attention given to films such as Yesterday (2019) inspired by the Beatles song and set in a fictional reality in which struggling musician Jack Malik (Himesh Patel) is the only one who remembers the Beatles. Biopics Bohemian Rhapsody (2018) starring Rami Malek as iconic Queen singer Freddie Mercury, and Rocketman (2019) starring Taron Egerton as Elton John also rekindled interest in older generations while simultaneously initiating the youngest to the genre. Queen continues to tour with current frontman Adam Lambert while Elton John announced in 2018 his plans for a three-year retirement tour. British rock of the 1950s and early 1960s was heavily influenced by rock stars from the United States, but is now unquestionably influential not only in American rock music, but in rock music as well.