1970 till the Present Times – A Brief Overview


Led Zeppelin performing in 1975

In the 1970s British musicians played a major part in developing the new forms of music that had emerged from blues rock towards the end of the 1960s, including folk rock and psychedelic rock. Several important and influential sub-genres were created in Britain in this period, by pursuing the possibilities of rock music, including electric folk and glam rock, a process that reached its apogee in the development of progressive rock and one of the most enduring sub-genres in heavy metal music. While jazz began to suffer a decline in popularity in this period, Britain began to be increasingly influenced by aspects of World music, including Jamaican music, resulting in new music scenes and sub-genres. In the middle years of the decade the influence of the pub rock and American punk rock movements led to the British intensification of punk, which swept away much of the existing landscape of popular music, replacing it with much more diverse new waveand post punk bands who mixed different forms of music and influences to dominate rock and pop music into the 1980s.


Dire Straits in 1985.

Dire Straits, 1985.

Dire Straits, 1985.

Rock and pop music in the 1980s built on the post-punk and new wave movements, incorporating different sources of inspiration from sub-genres and what is now classed as World music in the shape of Jamaican and Indian music, as did British Jazz, as a series of black British musicians came to prominence, creating new fusions like Acid Jazz. It also explored the consequences of new technology and social change in the electronic music of synthpop. In the early years of the decade, while sub-genres likeheavy metal music continued to develop separately, there was a considerable crossover between rock and more commercial popular music, with a large number of more “serious” bands, like The Police and UB40, enjoying considerable single chart success. The advent of MTV and cable video helped spur what has been seen as a Second British Invasion in the early years of the decade, with British bands enjoying more success in America than they had since the height of The Beatles’ popularity in the 1960s. However, by the end of the decade there was a fragmentation, with many new forms of music and sub-cultures, including Hip Hop and House music, while the single charts were once again dominated by pop artists, now often associated with the Hi-NRG hit factory of Stock Aitken Waterman. The rise of the Indie rock scene was partly a response to this, and marked a shift away from the major music labels and towards the importance of local scenes likeMadchester and sub-genres, like gothic rock.


Gallagher brothers of Oasis on stage

In the 1990s, while the singles charts were dominated by boy bands and girl groupslike Take That, and Spice Girls,British soul and Indian-based music also enjoyed their greatest level of mainstream success to date, and the rise of World music helped revitalise the popularity of folk music. Electronic rock bands like The Prodigy andChemical Brothers began to achieve a high profile. Alternative rock reached the mainstream, emerging from the Madchester scene to produce dream pop, shoegazing,post rock and indie pop, which led to the commercial success of Britpop bands like Blurand Oasis; followed by a stream of post-Britpop bands like Travis and Feeder, which led the way for the international success of bands including Snow Patrol andColdplay.


Coldplay, considered to be the most commercially successful British Rock act of the 2000s.

The Police, March, 2012.

At the beginning of the new millennium, while talent show contestants were one of the major forces in pop music, British soul maintained and even extended its high profile with figures like Joss Stone, Amy Winehouse and Adele, while a new group of singer/songwriters, including KT Tunstall and James Blunt, achieved international success. New forms of dance music emerged, fusinghip hop with garage to form grime. There was also a revival of garage rockand post punk, which when mixed with electronic music produced new rave.

2010s to present



The success of UK artists in the US during the early 2010s led to some claiming a new British Invasion was taking place, as British musicians took their largest ever share of the US album charts year-on-year between 2011 (11.7% of US market), 2012 (13.7% of US market), 2013 and 2014. Notable British musicians achieving global success at the beginning of the 2010s include One Direction, Adele and Mumford & Sons.

Adele‘s album ’21’ became the UK’s best-selling album of the 21st Century and its 4th best-selling album of all time in 2011, certified platinum 16 times. During the same year, the Grammy-award winning album Back To Black by British singer Amy Winehouse became the UK’s second best selling album of the 21st Century and its 13th best-selling album of all time following her death in 2011, certified platinum 11 times.

In 2013, despite the trend of declining album sales persisting, the British music industry saw a 9% growth in revenue which could be traced to “individual revenues by musicians, singers, composers, songwriters and lyricists”,[23] adding £3.8bn to the UK economy. In 2014, the UK’s top 10 albums were all by British artists, including releases by Ed Sheeran, Sam Smith,George Ezra, Paolo Nutini, Coldplay and One Direction.


One Direction

Sam Smith’s debut album In the Lonely Hour, released in 2014, peaked at number one in the United Kingdom, New Zealand and Sweden, and number two in Australia, Canada, Denmark, Ireland, Norway and the United States. In the same year, Ed Sheeran‘s second album X charted at number one in twelve countries, topping both the UK Albums Chart and the US Billboard 200, and reaching the top 5 in eleven other countries. Also in 2014, One Direction‘s album ‘Four’ reached number 1 in the UK, became the top charted album on iTunes in 67 countries and debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard 200chart in the US. As a consequence, One Direction became the first band to reach number one on the US Billboard chart with each of their first four albums, British or otherwise.

Source: http://www.youtube, Adelle, ‘Someone like you’


Source used: http://en.wikipedia.org/


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