8 of the Best British Bands From the ’60s

Before the 1960s, British bands and artists had a difficult time finding success with listeners in the United States. It was possible—a few brave Brits had found popularity in the States—but it wasn’t until the ’60s that these artists really got a hold of the average American music fan. It was soon dubbed the British Invasion.

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But who was a part of this cultural phenomenon? Read below for just a few of the bands who got their start in the ’60s.

1. The Beatles

This band’s inclusion on the list will likely come as no surprise. The Beatles were, after all, massively successful and remain so today. The quartet—John Lennon, Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr, and George Harrison—first formed in Liverpool, England, and officially worked as a band for a cool 10 years from 1960 to 1970.

2. The Who

Formed in 1964 in London, The Who‘s classic lineup consisted of members Roger Daltrey, Pete Townshend, John Entwistle, and Keith Moon. Together they created eight studio albums before Moon died in late 1978 from a drug overdose. In those eight albums, though, The Who became known for their ability to perform their rock operas loudly and with great guitar showmanship.

3. The Kinks

First formed by brothers Ray and Dave Davies in 1963, The Kinks arrived hot on the scene with hits like “You Really Got Me” and “All Day and All of the Night.” Shortly after, however, a string of less-than-favorable incidents resulted in a touring ban placed on The Kinks, which barred them from performing in the States for four years. Only after the bulk of the British Invasion in the U.S. would The Kinks see a revival of their careers.

4. The Hollies

In 1962, musicians Allan Clarke and Graham Nash first performed as The Hollies. Since then, the band saw several changes in the lineup, but The Hollies remain one of the few U.K. bands that never disbanded and continue to perform (as of this writing).

5. The Animals

Known for their version of “The House of the Rising Sun,” The Animals got their start in the early ‘60s. The band’s original lineup consisted of members Eric Burdon, Alan Price, Chas Chandler, Hilton Valentine, and John Steel. In 1994, The Animals were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

6. The Rolling Stones

The Stones are perhaps one of the most popular and prolific rock bands. After all, they’ve been performing and releasing music together since their genesis in 1962.

7. The Yardbirds

The Yardbirds formed in the suburbs of southwest London in 1963. The core lineup of Keith Relf, Jim McCarty, Chris Dreja, and Paul Samwell-Smith would change over the years and the band would eventually help establish the careers of Eric Clapton, Jimmy Page, and Jeff Beck. Page would go on to help form the band Led Zeppelin, which was originally called The New Yardbirds.

8. The Zombies

Rounding out this list (for now) is the Hertfordshire-founded band The Zombies. “Well, we chose that name in 1961, and, I mean, I knew vaguely that they were: sort of, you know, the Walking Dead from Haiti, and Colin didn’t even really know what they were,” band member Rod Argent said in a 2015 interview. “It was [original bass player] Paul [Arnold] that came up with the name. I don’t know where he got it from. He very soon left the band after that.”

Main photo of The Beatles by John Pratt/Keystone/Getty Images

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