Tangent Sunset

The History of Conscious Music by Alex Cosper

The Beatles and the British Invasion


The surf craze lasted a few years and inevitably gave way to the several new strands of conscious music such as the British Invasion, Motown, folk/rock and jazz/rock. The Beatles led all the movements in popularity. Initially in the 1962-1965 period they were widely thought of as a band appealing to teens. Beginning with the Rubber Soul album in 1965, however, the band began to write songs dealing with more mature themes. This was no accident. The album was the first glimpse of a new direction for the band after John Lennon had met with Bob Dylan, who talked about the importance of meaningful lyrics while Lennon convinced Dylan that his melodies could be more adventurous.

The results of this influence came out on Rubber Soul in which the overall sound of the album sounded like the merging of folk and rock in songs like "I've Just Seen A Face," "I'm Looking Through You," and "If I Needed Someone." The album also featured unique ballads such as "In My Life," which reflected on a lifetime of friends and lovers. Another ballad was "Michelle," which had an acoustic guitar line that spanned most of the fretboard, which was rare for guitar pop in those days. One of the most innovative tracks was "Norwegian Wood," in which George Harrison played the sitar.
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