Pop/Rock  •  British Invasion


Technically, Mod refers to a lifestyle and fashion more than music itself. During the early '60s, legions of teenagers in Great Britain began dressing in stylish, neo-Italian fashions and listening to American R&B, particularly Motown. Soon, these teens were dubbed mods. The original mod bands were all R&B cover bands, but soon they began writing their own material that was generally in the vein of their influences. Mod bands played R&B harder and faster than the original recordings -- it was relentless, amphetamine-driven rock & roll. Many of the mod bands were barely heard outside of the United Kingdom, since the lifestyle was primarily a British phenomenon. Two bands -- the Small Faces and the Who -- were able to crossover to the United States market, but that was after both bands began developing and expanding their R&B-based sound. By the time psychedelia came around in the late '60s, mod had died out in Britain. However, mod -- both the music and the lifestyle -- came back in full force in the late '70s, thanks to the Jam.