• British invasion: The crosscurrents of musical influence

      Philo, Simon; University of Derby (Rowman and Littlefield, 2014-11)
      Before The Beatles landed on American shores in February 1964 only two British acts had topped the Billboard singles chart. In the first quarter of 1964, however, the Beatles alone accounted for sixty percent of all recorded music sold in the United States; in 1964 and 1965 British acts occupied the number one position for 52 of the 104 weeks; and from 1964 through to 1970, the Rolling Stones, Herman’s Hermits, the Dave Clark Five, the Animals, the Kinks, the Hollies, the Yardbirds and the Who placed more than one hundred and thirty songs on the American Top Forty. In The British Invasion: The Crosscurrents of Musical Influence, Simon Philo illustrates how this remarkable event in cultural history disrupted and even reversed pop culture’s flow of influence, goods, and ideas—orchestrating a dramatic turn-around in the commercial fortunes of British pop in North America that turned the 1960s into “The Sixties.” Focusing on key works and performers, The British Invasion tracks the journey of this musical phenomenon from peripheral irrelevance through exotic novelty into the heart of mainstream rock. Throughout, Philo explores how and why British music from the period came to achieve such unprecedented heights of commercial, artistic, and cultural dominance. The British Invasion: The Crosscurrents of Musical Influence will appeal to fans, students and scholars of popular music history—indeed anyone interested in understanding the fascinating relationship between popular music and culture.
    • Not sucking in the seventies: The Rolling Stones and the myth of decline

      Philo, Simon; University of Derby (Taylor and Francis, 2015-10-29)
      This article reappraises the Stones’ “lost years.” However, in covering their reputation-imperiling half-decade between 1973 and 1978, it reaches back to the band’s fabled 1960s heyday and forward to its “revival” in order to identify continuities in practice and performance to counter the critical orthodoxy. Through the ’70s, the Rolling Stones released eight studio albums and one live set and toured almost annually; and, while their growing number of critics were keen to charge them with treason, their growing number of fans were evidently untroubled by the band’s often-cited crimes against the “ideology of rock.” I am not simply proposing, though, that healthy sales should be mobilized to bust the myth of decline. For, if not always “ahead of the game,” the Stones had a creatively meaningful relationship with some of the decade’s key musical developments—glam, disco, punk, and reggae. So, far from standing still artistically, gazing glassily at their elegantly wasted navels, stupefied by narcotics and cocooned by their bank balances, the Rolling Stones did some of their best work in this period—from the glam-ballad “Angie” through the funky dread of “Finger Print File” to the lo-fi energy of “Respectable.”
    • 'They got to go': SKA versus America

      Philo, Simon; University of Derby (Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2014-01)
      Dynamics of Interconnections in Popular Culture(s) is an eclectic and free-ranging collection of articles grounded in a combination of the social sciences with the populist humanities. The collection is further unified by an approach that considers changes and linkages within and between cultural systems as evidenced through their respective popular cultures. The key underlying assumption is that our collective popular expressions create an arena of global cultural exchange, further precipitating new cultural adaptations, expressions, and connections. The volume is divided into two sections. The first consists of articles investigating theoretical and methodological approaches to the dynamics of history and cultural changes. These include cultural anthropology, history, economics, and sociology. The second section is made up of explorations into a myriad of cultural practices and expressions that exemplify not only the wide diversity of popular cultures and their workings, but also the interconnections between and within those cultural systems. A wide variety of specific case studies are presented to evidence and support the more general points made in the previous section. The collection demonstrates that the everyday lives of ordinary people, while varying from culture to culture, are unified through their expressions of shared humanity.