British rockers worthy of being placed in their own category

I have so many personal favorites when it comes to music that I can’t keep track of them all.

They come from all genres of music, all walks of life and from all over the world.

Today, I’ll focus on my favorites from across the pond. The British Invasion changed music in many ways.

Some British bands were the first to recognize the talent and relevance of the black American blues artists. Then, by covering their songs, with or without the artist’s permission, the British bands were mostly responsible for re-introducing Americans to the blues.

John Mayall & the Bluesbreakers and Peter Green’s Fleetwood Mac were some of the first British bands to cover blues. They were followed by bands such as The Kinks, Rolling Stones, Animals, Who, Yardbirds, Cream, Led Zeppelin and others.

There was a lot of other great music from Britain in the 1960s and 1970s.

The Dave Clark Five was one of the finest pop/rock groups to come out of Britain in the 1960s and at one time was considered the biggest threat to the supremacy of the Fab Four (the Beatles).

In fact, I recently wrote an entire column about the Dave Clark Five.

Donovan Leitch, who in my opinion was unfairly labeled the British Bob Dylan, was underappreciated for his work and underrated for his talent. I still listen to Leitch on a fairly regular basis and own his incredible box set.

The Kinks, which originally started out as an R&B/Blues band before adding elements of country, folk and pop, was one of the most influential of the early British bands.

In fact, the Kinks almost single-handedly created heavy metal with the opening riffs of its classic song “You Really Got Me.”

Ray Davies always has been a clever and witty songwriter, and it was really evident in the Kinks’ earlier recordings.

All in all, the band released 35 records in 30 years. I personally own more Kinks vinyl than that of any other band.

I really like the early music of the Rolling Stones. What I mean by that is that the albums the band made prior to Brian Jones’ death in 1969.

When Jones was in the band, the Rolling Stones were a lot more musical. And, for the most part, after his departure the band steered more toward a bluesy rootsy, raunch and roll sound that did not appeal to me as much.

“Aftermath” is a masterpiece of an album.

Pete Townshend and the Who always have had a special place in my heart as one of the greatest rock ‘n’ roll bands.

Considered punks when they started, the Who had an amazing 10-year streak of incredible music from 1965 to 1975 highlighted by “Who’s Next” in 1971, which is in my top five rock ‘n’ roll LPs of all time.

I still listen to it all the time, turned up loud, to clear out the cobwebs.

Led Zeppelin’s first album was one of the first LPs I owned, and I have been a big fan of the band ever since.

It is considered by many to be the greatest hard rock/heavy metal band of all time. However, if you look at the band’s body of work you will see that the majority of its music was made with acoustic instruments.

You don’t think of folk rock when considering Led Zeppelin, but maybe you should.

As usual, I can’t get to them all today, so look for more on this in future columns.

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Rock Cesario owns Triple Play Records, 530 Main St., and hosts “Acoustic Sunday” from 9 a.m. to noon Sunday on Drive 105.3 FM. E-mail him at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).


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