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! [firstname.lastname@example.org] 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 were 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
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
1. The Beatles. You know their story. Not only the greatest rock band ever, but also
had a huge social influence over an entire generation. As a DJ in the 70’s I was always
waiting for the next big band after the Beatles. It hasn’t happened. We’ve had great
bands since, but nothing even close to what was The Beatles. Our favorite: All.