Beat music, British beat, or Merseybeat (after bands from Liverpool and nearby areas beside the River Mersey) is a pop and rock music genre that developed in the United Kingdom in the early 1960s. Beat music is a fusion of rock and roll (mainly Chuck Berry guitar style and the midtempo beat of artists like Buddy Holly), doo-wop, skiffle and R&B. The genre provided many of the bands responsible for the British Invasion of the American pop charts starting in 1964, and provided the model for many important developments in pop and rock music, including the format of the rock group around lead, rhythm and bass guitars with drums. The Beat Of The Pops - excellent selection of beat tracks.
Beatles fans love to explain that the key to the successful partnership of John Lennon and Paul McCartney was their contrasting songwriting personalities – Lennon was the tongue in cheek sardonic wit, McCartney the earnest balladeer. On John Pizzarelli Meets the Beatles, a sharply conceived tribute which sets the duo's classics in a jazz trio with big-band arrangements, the singer/guitarist hits the mark more often when he's taking on the Lennon persona. He approaches "Cant' Buy Me Love," "When I'm 64," and "Get Back" with a playful wink, jumping off his speedy melody lines and the rising brass sections for extended improvisational tradeoffs with pianist Ray Kennedy, and adding colorful touches like scatting and even ad libbing his own lyrical verses based on the originals. Likewise, he attacks the all-instrumental "Eleanor Rigby" with a jumpy, swinging aggression. Pizzarelli, however, becomes overly schmaltzy in presenting ballads like "You've Got to Hide Your Love Away" and "Long and Winding Road" too seriously, with maudlin, straightforward arrangements that grind the party to a halt. The one exception is the more percussive "Oh Darling," where his intense vocal helps the tune rise above the hotel lounge mentality.
Barclay James Harvest was, for many years, one of the most hard luck outfits in progressive rock. A quartet of solid rock musicians John Lees, guitar, vocals; Les Holroyd, bass, vocals; Stuart "Wooly" Wolstenholme, keyboards, vocals; and Mel Pritchard, drums with a knack for writing hook-laden songs built on pretty melodies, they harmonized like the Beatles and wrote extended songs with more of a beat than the Moody Blues.
Collection includes: Take Offs and Landings (2001); The Execution of All Things (2002); More Adventurous (2004); Under the Blacklight (2007).