Every now and then, the WTIT Blog brings you our feature we call A DJ’s Take and today it is another of our “Best of” lists. Today we bring you WTIT’s Top 10 British Invasion Bands. We will name the band, do a mini bio, and tell you our favorite song of the band. Tell us what we missed! Please feel free to “take this feature” and do it as a meme to present your opinions. Today, we will share. Let’s cue up today’s A DJ’s Take.
10. The Searchers. If you go on their website (and, of course, I did) they explain that the only group with more influence than they, were The Beatles. After I got up from falling down laughing I thought that they we lucky made our top fucking ten. John McNally (still in the present incarnation), Mike Pender, Chris Curtis and Tony Jackson on bass and lead vocals were with the group for its first recordings. Tony left in 1964 to be replaced by Frank Allen who still tours today. Our Favorite: Needles and Pins.
9. Gerry & the Pacemakers. Gerry Marsden formed the group in the late 50’s. They were the second group Brian Epstein would sign. This explains their first hit. The Beatles were recording and were asked to record the song How Do You Do It. John hated the song. He was told that if he could write a better song to do it at lunch. John wrote Please Please Me. So he did write a better one, by a lot. How Do You Do It was given to the Pacemakers. The Beatles version was on bootlegs but not officially released until The Anthology ten years ago. Our Favorite: Ferry Cross the Mercy.
8. Herman’s Hermits. Peter Noone was a child actor in England. He was only 15 when Herman’s Hermits were formed in 1963. Their first hit was I’m into Something Good. The biggest hit they would have was an album cut originally. Back in those days everything was about the singles. It was not until DJs started playing, Mrs. Brown You’ve Got a Lovely Daughter that the song was released as a single. The record company did not think they were great musicians and hired some session musicians for some albums. Jimmy Page, of all people, was one of those people. Our Favorite: Henry VIII
7. Dave Clark Five. They were the second big invasion band. Until the Stones, that is. Dave Clark was the drummer, but Mike Smith was the singer and star. He toured with his own band, doing DC5 songs until an accident left him a quadriplegic on 2003. He passed away earlier this year. But he lived long enough to learn that The Dave Clark Five had made the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. He died a dew weeks before induction. They were huge with the rock fans, but not well respected in the business. Where most of the groups had played the same clubs in Liverpool and Hamburg, the DC5 were formed to take advantage of the invasion. It worked. They had a ton of hits. Our Favorite: Glad All Over.
6. The Hollies. Allan Clarke became friends with Graham Nash at five years old. Together they would form the Hollies in 1962, some fifteen years later. Although there is a rumor that their name was a tribute to Buddy Holly, the story is simpler. Graham Nash’s family had SO much holly up for Christmas it became a joke of the guys, and later their name. Their first U.S. hit was Look Through Any Window. There have been some almost thirty guys who have played in the group over the years, but nothing would top the original band. Our Favorite: Carrie Ann.
5. The Kinks. A threesome originally of brothers Ray and David Davies and Peter Quaife, first burst into the scene in 1964 with You Really Got Me and by then Mick Avory on the drums. David released a new album last week (We have not heard it) and Ray in 2006. Ray’s album was fantastic and could easily been from the Kinks era and is called Other People’s Lives. He released another this year and it is on our Christmas “Wish List”. Our Favorite: Tired of Waiting for You.
4. The Animals. Eric Burdon and the boys were playing London in 1964 when the Beatles hit American. By June they had the mega hit “House of the Rising Sun”. They’ve had a ton of hits, but unless you dive into the band you won’t know what a strong blues influence they had. When you think of all their hits, including We Gotta Get Outta This Place and their cover of Nina Simone’s Don’t Let Me Be Misunderstood you have to give it up to them. Our Favorite: House of the Rising Sun.
3. The Who. In 1965 I Can’t Explain launched The Who. Peter Townshend, Roger Daltry, John Entwistle and Keith Moon rocked the world ever since. Besides a ton of hits, The Who took the Beatles “concept album” to the next level and wrote and performed the rock opera Tommy. There can be no list of best albums of rock that Tommy would miss. They had a top ten album in 2006 named Endless Wire. Moon passed away in 1978 and John in 2003. Their current drummer is Zak Starkey, Ringo’s son and The Who still tour. Our Favorite: Won’t Get Fooled Again.
2. The Rolling Stones. “I roll a Stonie. You can imitate anyone you know” John Lennon wrote in the song I Dig a Pony off the Let It Be album. They mimicked and spoofed the Beatles (The White Album led to Beggar’s Banquet, Let It Be to Let It Bleed) but still they managed to rock us for all these years and still tour, write and perform great albums and have an impact. Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Brian Jones, Bill Wyman and Charlie Watts were the original band. Our Favorite: Sympathy for the Devil.
to the early sixties today.