Youth Culture in Modern Britain.

Alex Korelev

We can't understand the youth culture today if we don't know its history.... Music has played the main role in development of generations... All it started when the first rock band in history appeared. Yes, we all know them - it's THE BEATLES. In the year 1962 they started their musical careers. Their first concerts were held in England but later on they became very popular and went abroad. Concerts in USA, Europe ... they traveled almost all over the world. Their careers were very successful. They were very popular among the young people especially young ladies. These women went completely mad during THE BEATLES concerts; they used to throw their underwear on the stage. People still listen to their music nowadays.

In 1961 the war in Vietnam started, it lasted almost 10 years and ended in 1970. During that time the Hippie movement first appeared. This movement was very peaceful. In general these people were against the war. "Children of the flowers" were they called. The most famous band of that time that was appreciated by the hippies was "Grateful Dead". Their Leader was Johnny Garcia. It was a time of peaceful demonstrations, free love and rock festivals.

Later in the year 1962 the Rolling Stones started their career in England. Under the influence of such musicians as Chuck Berry Rolling Stones represented Rhythm'n'Blues. Their first record was made in 1963 and they played their first concert in London Marquee Club. Later on in 1965 their song "I can't get no satisfaction" made a revolution in common society. During that time it was forbidden to talk about sex on radio and TV). The same year they released their first self-titled album it was a complete success. After having released 44 albums, in spite of their age they are still going strong.

In 1967 Jim Morrison and the legendary Doors released their first album. The Doors were very popular among the hippies. The band made a great success. In 1969 Jim Morrison died in the bathroom in Paris. By that time he was 26. The cause of his death is still a mystery. They became world famous: even now people (even young people) still listen to THE DOORS.

In the year 1973 Malcolm Young formed a band in Sydney, Australia. Later on his brother joined the band at his request. Their sister gave the name AC/DC to the band. She saw the sign with these letters on a sewing machine. Later she suggested Angus to appear on the concerts wearing a school uniform. As a consequence to that school uniform became popular among AC/DC fans. Later another Young - George, joined the band. He used to play drums, bass and even sing. Now he is a producer of the band. Bon Scott was a lead singer in AC/DC but he accidentally died in 1980 and was replaced by Brian Johnson. They released their Debut album "High Voltage" in 1975. Their last album was released in 2001 and was called "Stiff Upper Lip". AC/DC represented the new wave of rock Hard Rock.

In the mid '70s two bands appeared at almost the same time. In different parts of the world (United States and United Kingdom) they represented the new aggressive style of rock: PUNK ROCK. United states: Johnny Ramone formed his band and called it simply The Ramones. They released their debut album in 1975, probably one of the innovative albums in rock history. It consisted of 14 tracks of raw rock'n'roll, which lasted in general 2.30 minutes. United kingdom: The same year 1975 Johnny Rotten organized his band. Sex Pistols made a triumph in the UK and blew the charts with "Anarchy in the UK" and "God save the queen".

In the year 1977 Glen Matlock (bass) was replaced by Sid Vicious. They achieved enormous success and held their gigs around Britain and in the United States. People think of them as the one and real true punks in history and they started the punk movement too.

1980-1985 The Madness formed in North London. Madness were the first representatives of Ska in Europe. Their first videos and music tracks consisted of dynamic music with minimum amount of words "one step beyond". Later many other bands retook their smashing style. Also Madness were popular among skinheads. They disapproved their movement because their texts and had nothing to do with racism. Originally Ska appeared in Jamaica. Ska is a mix of Reggie and Twist. The first band that played Ska and created this music were...

The Skatalites

They appeared in 1964 in Jamaica. Roland Alfonso was the former and the leader of the band. Don Drummond was also one of the fathers formers of The Skatalites. Don was the author of the most melodies of the Skatalites. They played under different names during their career: Roland Alfonso's Alley Cats, Don Drummond Allstars etc. Don Drummond used to love drugs and alcohol. As a result he died in 1969. He left melodies and wonderful musical themes, which are now used with pleasure by musicians. Roland Alfonso died in 1998. In spite of that fact the remaining members of The Skatalites are still playing their beautiful and peaceful music.

In 1985 The Mighty, Mighty Bosstones were the first band to mix the punk and ska styles and as a result of that Ska-Punk appeared. The same year Bad Manners appeared. Like Madness they came from North London. They are representatives of ska-punk and are still doing their music. The 1980's are the beginning of the new wave of rock. The hippie movement is completely finished. The era of experimental music, the era of metal and hard rock. 1980 Iron Maiden appeared and released their first self-titled album. 1981 Lars Ulrich and James Hetfield formed Metallica. Their first "Kill 'em' All" was released only in 1983. These two bands are supposed to be the fathers of metal and hard rock.

Nick Cave was one of the experimentalists at that time. He participated in such bands as The Boys Next Door and The Birthday Party. The band he is now in is called: Nick Cave and The Bad Seeds. The other well-known experimental band of that time was Die Ensturtzenden Neubauten. Experimental music is something defiantly unusual to the human ear i.e. different sounds of any kind, such as chainsaws, falling stones and bricks, metal pipes, many different kinds of percussion, scratching sounds of guitars and of course drums etc. All that and many other things mixed together and we get the experimental music. The end of 1980's is when the rave movement appeared. Up to the middle of 1990's huge rave parties were held all over the world especially in Britain. Open-air rave parties sometimes included up to 20,000 people. This was the time of drugs (LCD, Skunk etc.) acid music, underground DJ's and time of THE PRODIGY.

They formed themselves as a band in 1989. Their first small album was released in 1991. It was called "What Evil Lurks". Later on they were releasing various singles, which turned out to be very successful. They released THE PRODIGY Experience album in September 1992. It was so successful that it was number 12 in Top 40 for six month. Soon it became platinum. Shortly afterwards they became world famous. Their videos were shown on MTV all over the world. Their last album was released in 1997. It was called "The Fat Of The Land". Because the rave movement disappeared and rave music died they haven't got any other albums. But this year The Prodigy's new video "Baby's got a Temper" appeared which means that probably they will release a new album. The Prodigy characterize their music as an electric punk. They are mainly the first band to mix electric bit with heavy guitars, bass and voice samples.

In 1989 Tom York Ex-member of punk band TNT offered Tom Greenwood and Ed O'Brien to join his project. In a one-year time Phil Selway joined their band. Johnny Greenwood harassing the band members to let him join. He wore them down and they let him join. They called themselves On A Friday because they were playing only on Fridays. Later on they had to change their name to Radiohead and in 1992 the release their first small album Drill EP which was not so popular. Next year they release their real album Pablo Honey. Their third album "The Bends" was released in 1995. It got good recommendations from the critics and Radiohead started to get their popularity. Their third album "Ok Computer" turned out to be very successful. Soon it would be platinum. Radiohead became well known abroad and very popular in England.

In the year 2000 the Radioheads fourth album was released. To say that it was just special is just to say nothing. On one hand all the ideas and thoughts of Radiohead remained the same on the other music was completely different from the previous albums. The music consisted of electrical tunes and samples, unreal and unknown sounds; weird, creepy and strange feelings. Their last album Amnesiac (2001) was made with even more use of the computer. It was more depressed and aggressive than the previous albums. Radiohead are famous for trying to experiment with their music, for mixing their music rhythms and styles. Radiohead is one of the bands that are not afraid of changes.

The 1990's are also the time of new metal, alternative rock, hardcore, industrial, rapcore, hip-hop, soul, rap, old-school, drum'n'bass, punk, ska-punk, pop-punk, ska, reggie, dub and so on and so on.... Korn representing the new metal. They are one of the best nowadays. Such bands as ill nino (Brazil), Pitchshifter (UK), Deftones are also representatives of the same style. Limp Bizkit, Clawfinger (Sweden) and Rage Against The Machines are representatives of Rapcore. Rammstein (Germany) are represanting indusrial as well as Slipknot. But talking about Slipknot - they are more like New Metal. They mixed hard metal music with percussion and scratches (turntables (DJ)) as a result we can call them industrial.

In general this music is all about hate (Slipknot) protest against the system (Rage Against The Machines), Lies (ill nino), depression and suicidal feelings (Deftones, Korn) and all about this horrible things such as war, hunger, politics, lies..etc. that surrounds us. Texts mixed with rough music. Punk slightly differs.. Punk is more easy to listen to. Not so heavy for the ears. Punk texts are sometimes funny but the meaning of it remains the same. I'am not talking about such pop-punk bands as Blink 182 and Sum 41. I'm talking about real punk rock with serious meaning of the songs. The bands that are not commercial.


They appeared in Scotland. Their first album was called Punks not Dead 1981. They are true represantatives of working class. Always against the system. Always against the burgua class. Their last album was released in 1996 it was called Beat The Bustards. The first song was called also Beat The Bastards. Wattie (vocals) sings:

"Slaves to the system and there's no way out 
 Slaves to the system do you have a shout
 Just out of school don't have a clue
 No income support for you
 Can't get a job don't get a chance
 Sick of politics leaving you out

 Beat the bastards, beat them now..."

The Exploited call us to beat the bastards and fight the system to be free. They are representatives of the hardcore punk style.

Music like Rap, Hip-Hop, R'n'B, Soul, Trip-Hop was always popular among black people. But some bands and MC's were also very popular among the white. Snoop Doggi Dog, Busta Rhymes, Run DMC, Wu-Tang Clan, Nellie, Eminem are popular nowadays. Cypress Hill are popular especially among the white. This is the music of ghetto streets. Street Corners, Voice of the Streets. That's why this people are usually dressed not like a rich millioneares owners of the studious..No. They dressed as all these boys and girls form the same ghetto streets that they grew up in.

1990's is the time when so called "extreme sports" became extremly popular. There are different kinds of activities. Rollerblading, BMX-ing, Mounting Biking, Snowboarding, Surfing, Wake boarding and one and most popular is Skateboarding. Skateboarding appeared in 1962 in California in a place called Dogtown. The government closed the last beach and surfer boys and girls had nothing else to do. So they started to think. They made a piece of wood and took the wheels and made a tucks out of rollerblade parts. Then they begin to create tricks. In a time they started to skate in a pool. The first star of that time the person who is a legend of a skateboarding is Tony Alwa. Now he is 43. They called themselves Z-Boyz. But all the main tricks were created later. The evolution of the board continued. In 70's the guy called Ollie Gelfand created the first jump with the board and called it simply Ollie. Ollie is a key element of skateboarding. Without doing Ollie it's impossible to make any other trick. Later another famous person Rodney Mullen using Ollie creates all other tricks. Kickflip, HeelFlip etc...

Nowadays people can do impossible things such as sliding down the 20-stairset rails. Flips over the gaps. People became sponsored for their skating skills. Skateboarding and other extreme activities are not any kind of sport. It is street culture. The person who is skating probably wouldn't like if you call skateboarding a Sport. Skaters are proud that the skateboarding is not the part of the Olympic games. Skateboarding is very popular in Britain especially among punks. It is the part of the punk culture. Actually all kinds of people skate. Punks, Rappers, Rockers. Their styles are a bit different. Punks are the best riders. Being really sick and crazy they can do incredible things that common people wouldn't understand. It's better to do extreme then using drugs. It's never boring. So there is no need for the drugs. It's better then swallow LSD and go to a rave party. The whole culture of youth is the history of the past. The culture is based on music. All the music styles that we have now are all related to The Beatles. The are the fathers of everything we have today. In general alternative and rock music was much more popular during the time then the pop. Kids in England are listening to Slipknot, Pitchshifter and ill nino..etc. instead of Britney Spears. These staff was always popular among girls. We can't call it as music. As part of the main chillin activitie among all ages: young, old, middle-aged was pubbing. Drinking beer in the pubs was very popular during all the history in Britain.

Talking about youth culture the important thing mention football hooliganism. Football hooliganism and neo-racism movement are also popular among young people. It is all about the England being invaded by Chinese, black people, Indian etc. They can't get the work because the employee gave it already to some refugee. Actually these skinheads can go study politics and try to end it by becoming a politician and creating a new law. But they prefer getting drunk and go and destroy everything on their way. Actually they are a bunch of thugs that simply like fighting.