Mod music | Obsessive about collecting records, music and obscure information

Somewhere on the way home from school or work, the mods went “missing”-they were absorbed into a noonday underground of cellar clubs, discotheques, boutiques and record shops which lay hidden beneath the straight world. Kids collected records obsessively, being as passionate about it as the acquisition of clothes. It was important to hear something first, before anyone else, and to be full of information about obscure recordings by obscure musicians. The sounds to be found in their haunts complemented their lifestyle

In the beginning, the kaleidoscopic world of modern jazz gave them hard bop, West Coast cool, subterranean hip, shades, smoke, drugs, and madness. From jazz, it was a small step to the blues. From the blues, it was a natural progression to soul and R&B, the quintessential mod music. Exploring other new directions, prospectors picked up on records from Jamaica, and danced to bluebeat and ska freshly imported to the best mod clubs. As the movement went overground towards the mid-60s, bands whose members had been mods themselves began to appear, providing a new classic English blend of pop, soul, and blues. In the 70s the revivals took a lot of their inspiration from the British R&B/pop sounds of the early/mid-60s, but also changed the mix to include large doses of punky energy and attitude; in a similar expansion, the original ska sounds of the 60s were given a more British feel as well as an increased tempo.

During the 80s there were brief flickerings of pseudomod scenes, most notably in the United States, largely as a delayed reaction to the British revivals. The late 1980s and early 1990s saw the coming of age of a new generation of British artists who had been strongly influenced not by the original classic mod sounds but via secondhand exposure through the new wave of the late 1970s. In the USA, on the other hand, the more traditional Britpop was complemented by a rising popularity in native 60s US-sounds such as surf and garage. These generally less conservative trends were balanced out by many purists who, going in the opposite direction, looked for inspiration to sounds much closer to the jazzy grooves of the original modernists.


  1. Delrond July 19, 2007
  2. Michael July 19, 2007

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