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Popular music of the 1960s

British beat music

The Beatles had a huge influence and pop groups sprang up all over the UK usually writing their own songs.

The Kinks were a four-piece band who had a string of hits during the 1960s including Waterloo Sunset, and Dedicated Follower Of Fashion.

Their songs were short and punchy with thought-provoking lyrics and elements of music hall. Songwriter Ray Davies' lyrics often used images of everyday British life.

Groups such as The Kinks, The Small Faces and The Who helped to establish a British tradition of:

  • guitar-driven pop groups
  • a classic line-up of lead guitar, bass guitar, drums and vocals
  • verse and chorus songs, rich in hooks and melodic interest
  • conventional chord sequences
The Kinks

The Kinks

The chorus:

  • sets the refrain of the lyrics and often contains the title words
  • usually returns several times, always with the same words
  • is normally the 'catchiest' part of the song

The verse usually has different words with each repetition.

  • a riff is a short, repeated melodic pattern, often forming the background to a solo or vocal line. It is usually one to four bars long.
  • a hook is a short catchy melodic idea designed to be instantly memorable
  • guitar licks are short solo phrases that can be heard at the ends of some of the vocal phrases
  • fills are short flourishes used to fill a gap between phrases and are often played on drums

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