Every now and again, America comes under musical siege from the UK. It first happened in the sixties and seventies with the ‘British Invasion’, then ‘Cool Britannia’ ruled in the nineties and now the third British attack on American music is under way.
Lead by the trio of Adele, Mumford and Sons and One Direction, the British recording industry iis once again being encouraged to expand into the US, trying to emulate the massive levels of success that these three have gotten.
Mumford and Sons were perhaps the first of the three to really hit the headlines in America, with their first album actually selling more copies in America than it ever did in the UK and hitting the top of the Billboard 200 charts when ‘Sigh No More’ didn’t even reach the pinnacle of the UK rundown.
It’s not only chart success that Mumford and Sons have reaped in America, with the London quartet also scooping two Grammys and three Billboard Awards on their American escapade.
One Direction have also enjoyed better success in America than they have in the UK, with their debut album ‘Up All Night’ also selling more than double to copies in the US than it did at home, a level of success that they’ve excelled with their second album ‘Take Me Home’.
They both must bow before Adele though, as she’s enjoyed by far the most success of any British artist in recent memory, selling an incredible amount of albums, becoming the musical colossus that destroys all that lay before her when it comes to awards season and a cultural touchstone in America.
With her now taking home an Oscar she’s rounded of a two year span of domination that the world has barely seen over the last decade. With Skyfall, Adele’s continued to keep herself right at the very front of the biggest award shows on the planet, despite it being the only thing she’s released in close to two years.
That’s not stopped the album constantly being amongst the charts in America, with 21 being the best-selling album of not only 2011, but 2012 as well, despite no re-release or scheme to keep the album top of the pile.
In fact, four of the top five selling albums in America over the course of 2012 came from Britain, an incredible statistic that shows that America really is embracing this new wave of British talent that coming through.
But why are British artists making themselves so incredibly popular in America right now? It’s because they are taking some of the most high profile risks out there with what might even be considered American music.
Take Mumford and Sons for example. With banjos held high and proud, they’re currently the best country/folk band in America, despite growing up in London with no knowledge of blue grass music apart from on their record players.
Adele is the finest soul singer in the world at the moment. One Direction and The Wanted are beating American boy bands at the very game they used to do the best.
When the Brits are doing something different though, they’re finding an audience, with the fantastically flamboyant Florence and The Machine a cult favourite in America and Ed Sheeran’s fantastically DIY album ‘+’ another British album to have cracked the American top five. Muse and Coldplay have become big sellers in America as they offer something just different enough that it spices up the American scene without ruffling too many musical feathers.
As the UK continues to innovate with traditionally American styles of music, and British artists now getting more and more attention on their arrival to the Land Of The Free, we can’t see the British assault on the U.S charts ending any time soon.
Why do you think that America currently loves British music even more than we are? Let us know in the comments section as well as any artists that you think could be the next British charts success overseas.