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Early British Pop/Rock
Early British pop/rock is essentially any British popular music that was influenced by rock & roll and that appeared prior to the Beatles (i.e. the late '50s to about 1963). Most early British rock was far more mannered than its inspirations, and its best performers not quite up to the level of American rockers -- simply because rock & roll was full of indigenous American musical ingredients that British performers weren't familiar with. Aside from the skiffle fad (which inspired many future rockers to pick up their first instruments), most early British pop/rock consisted of rockabilly imitations (some of the best of which came from Cliff Richard & the Shadows, Johnny Kidd & the Pirates, and Billy Fury) or string-dominated ballads sung by teen idols. Some of the most intriguing exceptions came from producer Joe Meek, whose space-age aesthetic and adventurous experiments with sound effects produced some of the most distinctive instrumental rock of the pre-Beatles era (it also produced the first British single to hit number one in the States, the Tornados' "Telstar"). But by and large, early British pop/rock's greatest importance was as an inspiration to the next generation of British rockers who would spearhead the British Invasion.