Originally Posted by Fourputt
It depends on what time frame you put on the British invasion. My favorite British bands were The Who, and the latter day Beatles and Paul McCartney and Wings, both of whom I saw live in the '70s.
When the invasion first started in late 1963 I was a senior in high school in Montana, and we had exactly one AM station playing rock and roll. I don't think they picked up on the invasion until summer or later in 1964. At the time my favorites were The Beach Boys and The Four Seasons. To be honest, we were fiercely provincial, and strongly resisted having our American bands supplanted by "foreigners". The music was good enough that it didn't take long for our attitudes to change, but a lot of the early stuff was not that much different from American rock and roll - what we were calling "bubble gum" music by 1967. We had started getting into the sounds coming out of San Francisco (Grateful Dead, Jefferson Airplane, Steppenwolf, Iron Butterfly), so the later Beatles and The Who slipped right into that mix. It was music with more "substance" to it.
I had in mind late 1963 through through 1965. Of course I loved the who and Wings but that was a whole different kind of music. Better in lots of ways, but didn't have the impact on my life as that earlier period. I was only 12 when the Beatles were on Ed Sullivan. I will remember it the same way I will always remember the Kennedy assasination.
I also grew up in New York, and like you the 4 seasons and the Beach Boys were my favorites to that point. As far as comparing that period to the bubble gum music that came later, bubble gum loses. Even the secondary groups like the Dave Clark Five, blew away the Ohio Express and 1910 Fruitgum Co.
If I had to pick my favorite year, I pick 1966. The British invasion groups were still rolling, the Beatles and Stones were getting better better with each album released. Motown was at its very best.
Who didn't like the great sounds of the Temptation, 4 Tops, Supremes, Martha and the Vandellas, etc. Add the underated Lovin Spoonful and the emergence of the Doors? Was there ever a better time to listen to music?