I hope you are sitting down because you are about to get schooled. Welcome to Introduction to British Pop Music. During this course, I will teach you about lesser known British pop groups that you probably have heard of but don’t know that much about. Some will be well-known. Either way, it will be a good time. It’s also be known, that some of them aren’t “fully” British but from the UK. Either way, they are important to British Pop. Also, this isn’t a full bio on these bands or all the bands here. Let’s begin, and make sure to take notes. There will be the comprehensive final over all of this. (There’s a cheat sheet in the Power Pop Playlist).
Considered one of the top British bands of the 80s, Duran Duran gave the world extremely catchy pop music. I guess you could say that they were one of the leader in the British Pop movement that would take over the 1990s. Without them, we might not have the rest of the artist in this course.
Everyone knows about the power that the Spice Girls had in the late 90s. They were the British band to be. They influenced so many girl groups with their form of girl power. To put it into perspective for newer fans, they were the One Direction of their time. They even had a campy crappy movie “Spice World.” It’s a classic that everyone should see. It’s a treasure….one that makes you lose brain cells.
Considered to one of the top boy bands in the UK at the time, Westlife was a juggernaut. They came when the Spice Girls were starting to fizz and there wasn’t any Ginger in their life. Almost all of their single were in the top five of the charts in the UK. There only hit in the US was “Swear it Again.”
This is probably one of the lesser knowns of the bands on here but you do know them. Five’s song “Slam Dunk (Da Funk)” was featured in the greatest Disney Channel Original Movie ever “Smart House.” This actually helped them because their first two albums charted here in the states. They didn’t do very well, but they charted. So “yay for them” I suppose.
S Club 7
Probably the second most popular British band from the 90s. S Club 7 was a powerhouse and came very close to being in the same league as the Spice Girls. They had a hit television show that played all the time. It also happened to be 30-minute music videos for their albums.
The second biggest band to come out in the 90s. Steps were a machine of hits that followed a formula that works still to this day. They only have one single and one album chart in the States, but they were everywhere in the UK. You know you made in the States when you are on a Radio Disney compilation album and have a small concert on Disney Channel.
“Back Here” was the biggest hit that BBMak had in both the US and the UK. It placed higher on the US charts than on the UK charts. Actually, they were more of a hit here than in the UK. Both albums charted her and four of their singles placed in the top 50. They probably would have been a bigger hit if they didn’t break up after two albums. Oh, They also were on Disney’s “Even Stevens.”
Okay, so more than likely you never heard of them but you have at least heard of their song. Sugababes was the original singer of Miranda Cosgrove’s hit single “About You Now.” I know what you are thinking, mind blown. This was one of their biggest hits in the UK. It was only one of the few songs that reached number one. They had plenty of songs that made in the top 100.
The rebirth of catchy girl pop took form with Atomic Kitten. All three of their albums were in the top five of the charts. Most of their singles were in the top 20. Now, you’re probably wondering where you have heard them. Their cover is “The Tide is High” was heavily played throughout the early to mid-2000s. It was featured in “The Lizzie McGuire Movie.” So it seems like Disney is the breeding group for British pop.
While they weren’t as well-known as One Direction, The Wanted were a big hit. All three of the albums were top 10 hits in the UK. Their song “Glad You Came” was what made them a hit over here in the States. Their music was more of a hit than in their home country than in the US.
Probably the best known out of the new wave of British Pop in the 2010s, One Direction is what every act wants. They were the top act across the world with their records killing the charts. Tours sold out venues everywhere. They were just top dogs. They spawned so many items with their faces on it, it’s really unreal. They literally created an empire. It’s rather funny when you think they all started on the UK’s version of “The X Factor” as solo artists.
The newest British pop sensation to arrive on the scene, Little Mix stole America’s heart with “Black Magic.” All four of their albums have charted in the top 50 in the States and they are well on their way to become the next breakout hit. Also, you don’t want to tick them off. They look like they could beat you up.
Leave your thoughts on this class in the comments below. Also make sure you follow me on Twitter for sass and spilling of the tea.