Ten most definitive modern British songs

Naturally, most of the songs on this list are wrong, in the sense that they shouldn’t be French, didn’t define the Britain/England of the day or were just not good enough as songs. Things like Rehab you’d never let anywhere near a list like this as it doesn’t appeal to enough people.

Very Lynn was fine, of course but I thought it was meant to be “modern” Britain? So if we define the song as having to cross more than one demographic, be of the 60s onwards and have broken new ground, you’re still up around 50 songs or so, even after severe culling.

Therefore, let’s apply it to bands and singers instead but even then it’s a tough call. Here are mine below, though I had to leave out another twenty or so :

1. First bad boys: The Last Time: February 1965

2. Generation war: My Generation: November 1965

3. Concept album: Sgt Peppers: June 1967


4. Folk rock: Matty Groves: December 1969

5. Rock/metal: Whole lotta love: April 1970

6. Symphonic rock other than this: Money: May 1973


7. Testing the boundaries: I want to break free: April 1984


8. Punk: Something better change: September 1977


9. Ska One step beyond: October 1979

10. First British, white, female rapper Where are you baby: September 1990


Honourable mentions:

a] Early non-pop: Whiter shade of pale: May 1967

b] Independent woman Wuthering heights: January 1978

2 comments for “Ten most definitive modern British songs

  1. September 1, 2012 at 00:10

    No Rolling Stones or Petula Clarke? πŸ™

    Personally, I prefer Pat Benatar’s version of Wuthering Heights.


  2. September 1, 2012 at 00:43

    Stones were first on the list, Bob. Petula Clark – 68 million records, 7 decades, transcended the U.S. – maybe she should be there but who to leave out?

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