The Beatles

The Beatles were an English rock band from Liverpool that released twelve albums between 1963 and 1970. They had seventeen No. 1 hits on the UK Singles Chart and twenty No. 1’s on the US Billboard Hot 100. With global estimated sales of 600 million units, they are the biggest-selling musical act of all time. […]

The Rolling Stones

The Rolling Stones are an English rock band formed in 1962 by guitarist Brian Jones with singer Mick Jagger and rhythm guitarist Keith Richards. They emerged in London’s R&B–beat boom with bassist Bill Wyman and drummer Charlie Watts. In November 1963, they scored their first UK hit with The Beatles cover “I Wanna Be Your […]

Cream

Cream was an English rock trio that was active for 28 months between July 1966 and November 1968. They released three proper albums — Fresh Cream, Disraeli Gears, and Wheels of Fire — and the leftovers roundup Goodbye. Their most recognized songs include the much-covered “Badge” and the FM evergreens “I Feel Free,” “Sunshine of […]

The Who

The Who are an English rock band that released ten studio albums between 1965 and 1982, including the rock operas Tommy and Quadrophenia. They started during the early sixties beat boom when singer Roger Daltrey, guitarist–songwriter Pete Townshend, and bassist John Entwistle evolved from West London hopefuls The Detours. In 1964, drummer Keith Moon joined […]

David Bowie

David Bowie (January 8, 1947 – January 10, 2016) was an English singer, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, and actor with a career in music and the performing arts that spanned more than fifty years. He played in a sequence of mid-Sixties beat groups and released two self-titled albums, charting first with the 1969 opus “Space Oddity.” Between […]

The Kinks

The Kinks were an English rock band that released twenty-four studio albums between 1964 and 1993. Singer–guitarist and songwriter Ray Davies formed the band with his guitarist–singer brother Dave Davies. The original lineup featured bassist Pete Quaife and drummer Mick Avory. They burst on the scene with the twin hits “You Really Got Me” and […]

The Moody Blues

The Moody Blues were an English rock band active from 1964 to 2018. The original lineup included singer–guitarist Denny Laine and three mainstays: keyboardist Mike Pinder, flutist–harpist Ray Thomas, and drummer Graeme Edge. Their second single, “Go Now!” (UK No. 1), made them part of the British Invasion. After the 1965 album The Magnificent Moodies […]

Pink Floyd

Pink Floyd was an English rock band that released twelve studio albums and two soundtracks between 1967 and 1994. They emerged in the psychedelic era with the album The Piper at the Gates of Dawn, a showcase for the writing, singing, and guitar talents of original frontman Syd Barrett. His replacement, David Gilmour, headed the […]

Van der Graaf Generator

Van der Graaf Generator are an English rock band, formed at Manchester University in 1967 by singer–songwriter Peter Hammill. On their 1969 debut album, The Aerosol Grey Machine, they crossed psychedelia with darker, haunted sounds, which they codeified on the 1970 albums The Least We Can Do Is Wave to Each Other and H to […]

The Animals

The Animals were an English rock band that released three albums and nine singles between 1964 and 1966 on Columbia and Decca. They formed in Newcastle and conquered London just in time to play a key role in the 1964 British Invasion that swept the US. They topped charts in multiple territories with their second […]

Procol Harum

Procol Harum was an English symphonic-rock band that released nine studio albums between 1967 and 1977. Functioning for most of its existence as a quintet with a non-performing lyricist, the band played a pivotal role in rock’s maximalist trajectory by recording the world’s first side-long multi-movement suite, “In Held ‘Twas in I,” in 1968. Members: […]

Small Faces

The Small Faces were an English mod-psych band that placed ten singles on the UK Top 20 between 1965 and 1968, including “All or Nothing,” “Tin Soldier,” “Lazy Sunday,” and the transatlantic pop-psych evergreen “Itchycoo Park.” Despite their relative late arrival on the beat-boom timeline, their quick maturity culminated in the 1968 concept album Ogdens’ […]

Soft Machine

Soft Machine was an English jazz-rock band that was active between the late 1960s and early 1980s. They were among the first rock acts to make use of asymmetric and compound meters. Due to numerous lineup changes, the first and final Soft Machine albums feature none of the same members. Nonetheless, the nameplate was passed […]

Traffic

Traffic was an English rock band fronted by singer–keyboardist Steve Winwood. They appeared with the 1967 psychedelic album Mr. Fantasy and the hits “Paper Sun,” “Hole In My Shoe,” and “Coloured Rain.” Songwriter Dave Mason, an on-off early member, contributed four songs to their 1968 second album Traffic, including the much-covered “Feeling Alright?” In 1969, […]

Yardbirds

The Yardbirds were an English rock band that emerged in London’s R&B–beat boom and released twelve 1964–68 singles. Their sonic innovations include harpsichord riffing (“For Your Love”), sitar-guitar tones (“Heart Full of Soul”), and explosive reverb (“Happenings Ten Years Time Ago”). They launched the careers of three guitar legends: Eric Clapton, Jeff Beck, and Jimmy […]

The Move

The Move was an English rock band from Birmingham that achieved UK fame with the 1967–68 pop-psych singles “Night of Fear,” “I Can Hear the Grass Grow,” “Flowers In the Rain,” and “Fire Brigade,” all written by guitarist Roy Wood. After their long-awaited album Move, they charted with the non-album 1968–69 singles “Blackberry Way,” “Wild […]

Spooky Tooth

Spooky Tooth was an English rock band that was active for two separate periods during the late 1960s and early 1970s. The band released four albums on Island between 1968 and 1970 before their initial breakup. A reformed lineup of the band released three further albums during 1973 and 1974. Due to numerous changes in […]

The Creation

The Creation was an English rock band that released the 1966 singles “Making Time” and “Painter Man” on Shel Talmy’s Planet label. Guitarist Eddie Phillips played solo passages with a violin bow. Their recorded work is now revered among devotees of “freakbeat.” Members: Bob Garner (bass, vocals, 1966-68, 1993-2000), Kenny Pickett (vocals, 1966-67, 1968, 1985, […]

The Idle Race

The Idle Race was an English pop-psych band from Birmingham, best known for the 1967 single “Imposters of Life’s Magazine” and the 1968/69 albums The Birthday Party and Idle Race. Singer Jeff Lynne joined Roy Wood in The Move, which morphed into the Electric Light Orchestra. Members: Greg Masters (bass, vocals, 1966-72), Roger Spencer (drums, […]

The Graham Bond Organization

The Graham Bond Organization was an English R&B–beat combo that released the 1965 Columbia albums The Sound of ’65 and There’s a Bond Between Us. The members, distinguished by their jazz-crossover pedigrees, achieved virtuoso status on their respective instruments. Bassist Jack Bruce went over to Manfred Mann and relinked with drummer Ginger Baker in the […]

Nirvana

Nirvana was an English orchestral-pop duo comprised of Patrick Campbell-Lyons and Alex Spyropoulos. They debuted with the 1967 rock opera, The Story of Simon Simopath, recorded with the four-piece Nirvana Ensemble. After their 1968 psych hit “Rainbow Chaser,” they released All of Us and the string-laden opus Dedicated to Markos III. Campbell-Lyons continued the name […]

Eyes of Blue

Eyes of Blue were a Welsh psych-rock-soul band that released two singles as “The Eyes of Blue” on Deram, followed by the 1968/69 Mercury albums Crossroads of Time and In Fields of Ardath. A name-change to Big Sleep produced the 1971 Pegasus release Bluebell Wood. Keyboardist Phil Ryan became an on/off member of Man and its […]

Skip Bifferty

Skip Bifferty was an English pop-psych band from Newcastle that released three singles on RCA, culminating with a popular 1968 self-titled album. They moonlighted as Heavy Jelly for the 1969 Island single “I Keep Singing That Same Old Song,” a record-breaker for longest a-side. Select members also recorded with Every Which Way, ARC, and Glencoe. […]

The Masters Apprentices

The Masters Apprentices were an Australian rock band from Adelaide that emerged as one of the nation’s premiere beat groups. They issued five singles and one album on Astor between 1966 and 1968, including the Aussie rock classics “Undecided,” “Wars or Hands of Time,” and “Elevator Driver.” After a change in lineup, they advanced into […]

Elmer Gantry’s Velvet Opera

Elmer Gantry’s Velvet Opera was an English psych-rock band that released multiple singles and a 1968 self-titled album on Direction. After Gantry’s departure, singer/guitarist Paul Brett led them on the 1969 release Ride a Hustler’s Dream. The rhythm section joined the Strawbs and later recorded as Hudson–Ford. Gantry surfaced in funk-rockers Stretch. Members: Colin Forster […]

James Taylor Move

The James Taylor Move was an Australian psychedelic rock band from Adelaide that issued two singles in 1967 on Festival Records, followed by a stint behind blues singer Wendy Saddington. Guitarist Kevin Peek and rhythm players Alan Tarney and Trevor Spencer moved to the UK, where they teamed with fellow Aussie Terry Britten in Quartet. […]

The Spencer Davis Group

The Spencer Davis Group was an English R&B/beat band from Birmingham, fronted by teenage singer–keyboardist Steve Winwood. Signed to Fontana, they released three albums during 1965–66 comprised mostly of blues and soul covers. Though the band was democratic, they made guitarist/singer Spencer Davis their namesake because he was the only member willing to field journalists. […]

Locomotive

Locomotive was an English brass-rock/psych band that was active with multiple lineups between 1966 and 1970. Based in Birmingham, they initially drew from Jamaican ska/bluebeat on three non-album singles. In 1969, they recorded the album We Are Everything You See, released after the departure of keyboardist and bandleader Norman Haines. Bassist Mick Hincks and drummer […]

The Nice

The Nice was an English psychedelic rock band with keyboardist Keith Emerson. In 1968, they scored a UK hit with “America” and released two albums on Immediate Records: The Thoughts of Emerlist Davjack and Ars Longa Vita Brevis. In 1969, The Nice released a self-titled third album (aka Everything as Nice as Mother Makes It) […]

The Easybeats

The Easybeats were an Australian rock band that released five albums between 1965 and 1969 and scored national hits with “Sorry,” “She’s So Fine,” “Wedding Ring,” and “Heaven and Hell.” Abroad, they charted with “St. Louis” and the sixties anthem “Friday On My Mind.” The creative team of Harry Vanda and George Young went into […]

The Twilights

The Twilights were an Australian beat sextet that released thirteen singles and two albums between 1965 and 1968 on Columbia (EMI). Their concept album Once Upon a Twilight evolved from a planned TV series. They included future Axiom–Little River Band singer Glenn Shorrock and guitarist–songwriter Terry Britten, who later wrote hits for Cliff Richard and […]

Orange Bicycle

The Orange Bicycle was an English psychedelic pop-rock band that released five 1967–68 singles on Columbia (EMI), including the cult classics “Hyacinth Threads” and “Jenskadajka.” In 1969–70, they made four singles and a self-titled album on Parlophone, followed by a 1971 single on Regal Zonophone. Their recordings have since been gathered on retrospective comps, including […]

Tramline

Tramline was an English blues-rock band from Middlesbrough that released the 1968–69 albums Somewhere Down the Line and Moves of Vegetable Centuries, both on Island Records. Members: Micky Moody (guitar), John McCoy (vocals, harmonica), Terry Sidgwick (bass, vocals), Terry Popple (drums) Background Tramline formed when guitarist Micky Moody teamed with singer John McCoy after respective […]

Les Fleur de Lys

Les Fleur de Lys were an English mod-psych band from Southampton that released a string of singles on Immediate, Polydor, and Atlantic between 1965 and 1969, including one apiece under the alternate names Shyster, Rupert’s People, and The Chocolate Frog. Bassist Gordon Haskell launched a seventies solo career amid brief memberships in King Crimson and […]

The Crazy World of Arthur Brown

The Crazy World of Arthur Brown was an English psych-rock band that released the single “Devil’s Grip” on Track Record in 1967, followed by a self-titled album (co-produced by Pete Townshend) and the single “Nightmare” in 1968. The band is best known for the shock theatrics of vocalist Arthur Brown, whose hair-lighting antics ignited performances […]

The Attack

The Attack was an English psych-rock band that released four 1967–68 singles on Decca. The first two (“Try It,” “Hi Ho Silver Lining”) feature guitarist Davy O’List, who departed for The Nice. Their third (“Created By Clive”) appeared on the same day as a similar version by The Syn. Guitarist John Du Cann joined for […]

Fire

Fire was an English psych-rock trio responsible for the freakbeat classic “Father’s Name Is Dad” (b/w “Treacle Toffee World”), released in 1968 on Decca. In 1970, they released The Magic Shoemaker, a folk-rock concept album on Pye. In 1972, frontman Dave Lambert joined Strawbs for a six-year, seven-album run. His solo album, Framed, appeared in […]

Second Hand

Second Hand was an English post-psych band that released the album Reality on Polydor in 1968, followed by Death May Be Your Santa Claus on Mushroom in 1971. They were the brainchild of keyboardist Ken Elliott and drummer Kieran O’Connor, who morphed the band into Chillum for an instrumental free-psych album. They later formed the […]

Tomorrow

Tomorrow was an English psych-rock band that released two singles on Parlophone in 1967, belatedly followed by a self-titled album in 1968. Guitarist Steve Howe attained virtuoso status in the ’70s lineup of Yes. Drummer Twink later co-founded the Pink Fairies. Members: Steve Howe (guitar), John “Junior” Wood (bass), Keith West (vocals), Twink [John Alder] […]

The Action

The Action was an English rock band that cut five 1965–67 Parlophone singles, including the mod-soul anthem “I’ll Keep Holding On” and the psych nugget “Shadows and Reflections.” They recorded more than three full album’s worth of material that later appeared on the archival CDs Ultimate! Action and Rolled Gold. In 1969, they morphed into […]

Johnny Hammond

Johnny Hammond (aka Johnny Smith, Dec. 16, 1933 — June 4, 1997) was an American jazz keyboardist who debuted in 1958 with a solo organ album as Johnny Smith. Adopting the name Johnny “Hammond” Smith, he released three soul-jazz albums on Prestige-subsidiary New Jazz in 1959/60, then switched to Prestige for 16 further albums between […]

Jason Crest

Jason Crest was an English pop-psych band that released five 1968–69 singles on Philips, later collected with six additional tracks on a retrospective disc by archivists Wooden Hill. They briefly morphed into High Broom for a 1970 standalone single on Island. Singer Terry Clarke released an album apiece with hard-rockers Orang-Utan and rustic-rockers Holy Mackerel, […]

Ike & Tina Turner

Ike & Tina Turner were the R&B/soul-rock duo of American guitarist/bandleader Ike Turner and his then-wife, singer Tina Turner. They came together in the late 1950s when Ike hired Tina as a backing vocalist for his band, the Kings of Rhythm. She first sang lead on the 1960 Sue Records single “A Fool In Love,” […]

The Dave Clark Five

The Dave Clark Five were an English beat group from Tottenham, named after drummer/businessman Dave Clark and fronted by keyboardist/singer Mike Smith. As part of the 1964–1966 British Invasion, they scored 13 Billboard Top 20 hits, including “Glad All Over,” “Bits and Pieces,” “Can’t You See That She’s Mine,” “Because,” “Over and Over,” and “Catch […]

Rainbow Ffolly

Rainbow Ffolly were an English popsike quartet that was briefly active during the late 1960s. The band demoed an embryonic concept LP that they had hoped to rerecord in a lavish studio setting. EMI, however, found the demos fit for release. Members: Johnathon Dunsterville (vocals, guitar), Richard K. Dunsterville (vocals, guitar), Roger Newell (bass), Stewart […]

Golden Earring

Golden Earring was a Dutch rock band that started life in 1961 as The Tornadoes. The band released two Nederbeat albums on Polydor between 1965 and 1967 under variations of the pluralized “Golden Earrings” banner before the arrival of vocalist Barry Hay. Between 1968 and 1981, the band recorded 16 albums for the label before […]

Them

Them was an Irish R&B–beat group from Belfast fronted by Van Morrison. Between 1964 and 1966, they released eight singles and the Decca albums The Angry Young Them and Them Again. Their popular songs include “Baby Please Don’t Go,” “Here Comes the Night,” “Mystic Eyes,” and the much-covered “Gloria.” When Morrison launched his solo career, […]

The Supremes

The Supremes were an American soul-pop trio from Detroit, formed in 1961. Their classic lineup featured singers Mary Wilson, Florence Ballard, and frontwoman Diana Ross, who all grew up on the city’s east side. Signed to Motown, The Supremes were part of that label’s classic roster of chart-topping sixties artists, along with the Four Tops, […]

The Impressions

The Impressions were an American soul group from Chicago, formed in 1958 and initially a singles act for Abner. Between 1963 and 1968, the band released a string of albums on ABC-Paramount, followed by a run of titles on Curtom over the subsequent eight-year period. Members: Sam Gooden (vocals), Jerry Butler (vocals, 1958-60), Curtis Mayfield […]

The Delfonics

The Delfonics were an American soul group from Philadelphia, formed in 1965 and initially a singles act on Moon Shot and Cameo. Between 1968 and 1974, the group released five albums on Philly Groove Records. Members: William Hart (lead vocals, guitar), Wilbert Hart (vocals, 1965-75, 1980-85), Randy Cain (vocals, 1965-71, 1980-95), Ritchie Daniels (vocals, 1965-68), […]

Stevie Wonder

Stevie Wonder is an American R&B musician, vocalist, songwriter, and producer who began recording for Tamla/Motown in 1962 at age 12. During the mid-to-late 1960s, he scored a string of pop hits for the label, culminating with the decade-ending ballad “My Cherie Amour” and 1970’s “Signed, Sealed, Delivered I’m Yours.” Upon turning 21, he gained […]

Marvin Gaye

Marvin Gaye (April 2, 1939 — April 1, 1984) was an American R&B vocalist, songwriter, and producer from Washington, D.C., who was musically active for a quarter-century, achieving worldwide renown as one of Tamla/Motown’s leading performers. He first rose to fame with a string of duets, first with Kim Weston and then with Tammi Terrell, […]

Leon Haywood

Leon Haywood (Feb. 11, 1942 — April 5, 2016) was an American soul singer from Houston who initially emerged as a singles artist for Fantasy, Imperial, and Fat Fish during the mid-1960s. Early in the following decade, he re-emerged as a soul-funk album artist with four longplayers on 20th Century between 1973 and 1977, followed […]

Four Tops

The Four Tops were an American soul group from Detroit, formed in 1953. Members: Abdul “Duke” Fakir (first tenor vocals), Renaldo “Obie” Benson (baritone, bass vocals, 1953-2005), Levi Stubbs (lead vocals, 1953-2000), Lawrence Payton (second tenor vocals, lead vocals, 1953-97) The Four Tops assembled in 1953 Detroit when two students at Pershing High, Levi Stubbs […]

Wayne Shorter

Wayne Shorter (Aug. 25, 1933 — March 2, 2003) was an American saxophonist from Newark, N.J., who co-led the jazz-funk supergroup Weather Report with Austrian keyboardist Joe Zawinul between 1971 and 1985. Discography: Introducing Wayne Shorter (1960) Wayning Moments (1962) Night Dreamer (1964) Juju (1965) Speak No Evil (1966) The All Seeing Eye (1966) Adam’s […]

Rahsaan Roland Kirk

Rahsaan Roland Kirk — aka Ronald Theodore Kirk (Aug. 7, 1935 — Dec. 5, 1977) — was an American woodwind player from Columbus, Ohio. Discography: Triple Threat (1957 • Roland Kirk) Introducing Roland Kirk (1960 • Roland Kirk) Kirk’s Work (1961 • Roland Kirk With Jack McDuff) We Free Kings (1962 • Roland Kirk) Domino […]