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Is Another British Invasion On Its Way?

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There’s interesting stuff heading across the Atlantic from the UK. The diversity of the British music scene seems to be striking a chord with the American public, and we over here love it!

Whether you’re a fan of pre-punk Bowie, a devotee of manufactured pop or a lover of really, really cool singer-songwriters, we’ve got the very best for you in 2012.

June sees the rerelease of David Bowie’s seminal 1972 album ‘The Rise And Fall Of Ziggy Stardust And ‘The Spiders From Mars’. For the purists among us, it’s coming out on both CD and vinyl.

At the same time, we’re sending you One Direction. Frankly, you can keep them – pretty boys who can sing a bit and seem to love life. You gave us The Monkees in 1966 and I think we do a bit better out of this exchange. No-one can doubt that the marketing team behind One Direction has learned the dark arts at the Bieber school of social networking and really know their stuff, but I can’t bring myself to like their music. Even I can’t deny that being the first British group to debut at number one on the Billboard 200 album chart definitely makes them a force to be reckoned with.

What we are letting you share, but definitely only on loan, is the fabulousness that is Emeli Sandé. One of the most inventive women on the British music scene (and we’ve got a few others we might let you listen to if you promise not to steal them), Sandé creates songs that get right into your soul. ‘Next to Me’ got to number 2 in the UK singles chart, but smashed into number 1 spot in her homeland of Scotland and also in Ireland.

‘Our Version of Events’ went straight into the album chart at number one in February and it’s already gone platinum. Listen to it. You have to. US release date is 5 June and it’ll light up your summer.
Sandé is touring the US and Canada with Coldplay in July and this is one support act you will definitely not want to sit out in the bar for.

So, does all this constitute a new music invasion?
In the 1960s, the Beatles infested the US charts, totalling 21 number ones – in 1965, 12 singles by UK artists made it to number one in the states and in 1968 ‘Hey Jude’ stayed there for nine weeks. No-one has come close to breaking that record yet, but my money is on Sandé rather than One Direction.

Oh yes, and in the 1970s and 80s we gave you the Bee Gees (let’s not argue about whether they count as Australian, we love them and call them ours), Elton John and George Michael. You loved them. Well, you are definitely not keeping George Michael – we revelled in the fun of Wham, the intensity of his solo albums (‘Faith’ will always be in my top ten) and forgave him his ludicrous drugs and driving offences. Just take a look at the love we showed when he was taken ill last year: there was a palpable sigh of relief when he returned to health just in time for Christmas.

The 1980s were a great period in British pop music. 1985 saw 13 UK singles in the US charts. Then who knows what went wrong as the new millennium hit and you just didn’t like our music. Actually, there was a lot that we didn’t like either.

But now, there’s definitely a hint of something new for us to share. If it’s not Adele (who’s already had three number ones in the US) or One Direction, it could be re-releases from 40 years ago.
It definitely could be something from the voice of Emile Sandé. If not, maybe from her pen – her songs have been hits for Cher Lloyd, Susan Boyle, Leona Lewis, Alesha Dixon, Cheryl Cole and Tinie Tempah and no doubt more singers will be keen to commission her talents. This woman is a prodigious talent and more than just a beautiful woman with a haunting, stunning voice.

Maybe an American singing a Sandé song. Maybe that’s the way this invasion will go. Exciting times ahead and we’re hoping for a long hot summer with some great British tracks pounding out of your speakers and headphones.