Liverpool has been synonymous with music since the Beatles burst on the scene in the 1960s, and of course, any road trip requires a banging playlist. Liverpool has been awarded a UNESCO City of Music status in 2015 for its influence on popular music that still resonates today, it seems that the only problem of making a playlist would be what songs not to include.
Liverpool’s famous sons are regarded as one of the most influential musical bands encompassing various styles of music and spreading ‘Beatlemania’ across the world.
Living is easy with your eyes closed, misunderstanding all you see – Strawberry Fields Forever by The Beatles
Not without heartache, drama and conflict, the Beatles still managed to sell more records than any other artist worldwide and really revolutionised the music industry at that time. Many modern day acts still refer to the Beatles as part of their inspiration.
- The Beatles – All You Need Is Love
- The Beatles – Let It Be
- The Beatles – Come Together
- The Beatles – Yesterday
- The Beatles – Eleanor Rigby
- The Beatles – Hey Jude
- The Beatles – She Loves You
- The Beatles – Help!
- The Beatles – Across The Universe
- The Beatles – Penny Lane
Merseybeat is the pop and rock & roll hybrid that developed around Liverpool and the River Mersey during this time, and further on to Manchester. The ‘British Invasion’ to America in 1964 stormed the charts before declining in the late 60s as Blues music became more popular.
So ferry ‘cross the Mersey / And always take me there / the place I love – Ferry Across the Mersey by Gerry and The Pacemakers
These songs have catchy melodies, doo-wop almost Barber Shop choruses and rock and roll drum beats.
- Gerry and The Pacemakers – I Like It
- The Searchers – Needles and Pins
- Cilla Black – Anyone Who Had A Heart
- The Swinging Blue Jeans – The Hippy Hippy Shake
- The Merseybeats – I Think Of You
- The Mindbenders – Groovy Kind of Love
- Billy J. Kramer – Bad to Me
The punk rock of the mid-70s, constructed a new genre of music in the late 70s to early 80s in New Wave. New Wave which although similar to punk rock distinctive with its disco, mod and electro influences. Liverpool were once again home to a new of artists from this movement, most notably Echo and the Bunnymen and Frankie Goes to Hollywood.
The power of love / A force from above / Cleaning my soul – The Power of Love by Frankie Goes To Hollywood
- A Flock of Seagulls – I Ran
- Frankie Goes to Hollywood – Relax
- Echo and the Bunnymen – The Killing Moon
- The Teardrop Explodes – Reward
- Frankie Goes to Hollywood – Two Tribes
- Dead or Alive – You Spin Me Round (Like A Record)
- Echo and the Bunnymen – The Cutter
The back bone of the ‘Cool Britannia’ movement in the 1990’s, emphasising ‘Britishness’ and alternative rock sounds. While neighbouring Manchester may have been the home of big bands like Oasis, Liverpool was still home to Cast, Space, Boo Radleys, The La’s, The Farm and the Lightning Seeds.
Maybe you’re the same as me / we see things they’ll never see / see you and I were gonna live forever – Live Forever by Oasis
From the success of the ‘Manchester’ music movement in the late 80s by Happy Mondays and The Stone Roses, Britpop blossomed during the early and mid 90s, before The Spice Girls in 1996 started their own music frenzy.
- The La’s – There She Goes
- The Boo Radleys – Wake Up Boo!
- The Lightning Seeds – The Life of Riley
- Cast – Walkaway
- The Lightning Seeds – Lucky You
- Space – Female Of The Species
- The Farm – All Together Now
The Home of CREAM
In the early 1990s, Liverpool was home to one the most famous nightclubs in the world, CREAM, promoting House music. Many famous DJs have hit the decks at CREAM before its closure in 2002 (although it does still host some events and there are touring CREAM club nights around the UK). During its most popular, more than 3000 people would attend per week, seeing the dance scene as a way of life, not just for entertainment.
Creamfields is still the ultimate electronic extravaganza, with a rich breadth of artists from across the spectrum. From techno to trance and drum & bass to dance
Expanding across international waters, CREAM hosted nights at world-famous clubs in Ibiza and then launching a festival CREAMFields over 15 years worldwide and releasing numerous complication albums. Not bad for the two lads who founded it as a place to party with friends.
- The Chemical Brothers – Hey Boy, Hey Girl
- Robin S – Show Me Love
- Paul van Dyk – For An Angel
- Tiesto – Adagio For Strings
- Sash! – Encore Une Fois
- Faithless – Insomnia
- York – On The Beach
Indie Pop and Post Britpop
Following the decline of Britpop in the mid 1990s, a number of indie or alternative bands emerged in the early 00s, gained more commercial success, as music tastes and interests changed, with more albums being purchased and increased interest in live music.
I’ve just had the craziest week / Like a party bag of lies, booze and then deceit – Moving To New York by The Wombats
Liverpool is the home to The Coral, The Zutons and the Wombats, with catchy choruses and mainstream radio airtime. Miles Kane (also half to The Shadow Puppets) and Kele Okereke of Bloc Party has had both individual and group success.
- Miles Kane – Come Closer
- The Wombats – Let’s Dance To Joy Division
- The Coral – In The Morning
- The Zutons – Valerie
- Bloc Party – Banquet
- The Coral – Dreaming of You
- The Last Shadows Puppets – The Age of The Understatement
Liverpool is renowned for its musical influence with its growth and evolution over the years this city which lives and breathes music. Liverpool has left its mark on the music world and I am sure that it will continue to for years to come.
Check out this playlist on Spotify