America absolutely invented rock and roll. If you want to dispute that, history is against you. Evolved during the early 1940s, rock and roll smashed up the country’s most popular genres — blues, gospel, jazz, and country — into something kinetic, exciting, and new. Sure, America absolutely invented rock and roll, but it was perfected on a small island in the middle of the Atlantic. It was in Great Britain that rock and roll really found its legs and then soared to heights never thought possible. America might be able to lay claim to some of the genre’s most impressive performers past and present, but when compared to the unending tidal wave of talent coming out of Britain, even Jack White and Jimi Hendrix don’t add up to much of a defense. Even when you include the fact that Britain saddled the world with atrocities like U2 and Coldplay, their combined contribution to rock and roll is indisputably more important than America’s. Here are thirteen reasons why.
1. The Who Turned An Excruciating Art Form into Solid Rock Genius
Admit it, if you were born this side of 1900, you probably think that opera is a total waste of time, and if you do like it, you probably wear a monocle and attend galas. The last option is that you’re Roger Daltrey and you want to funnel your brand new sober perspective into a kaleidoscopic journey through a deaf guy’s life. And Tommy is just one album in a series of songs sung through the eyes of a litany of every day people interchangeably confused, angry, exhausted, elated, or turned on.