From The Beatles to The Who: The British Invasion Quiz


By: Staff

4 Min Quiz

Image: refer to hsw

About This Quiz

Looking back, it may seem that bands like The Beatles and The Rolling Stones have always been around. But they were part of a wave of British music that flooded the U.S. in the 1960s. See how much you know about the British Invasion with our quiz.

British invaders often pointed to individual American rockers as influencers, but there was one huge difference between Brits and Yanks. What was it?

While they identified Americans Chuck Berry, Elvis and Buddy Holly as influencing their music, the British sound came most often from bands that wrote and performed original tunes.


What event is seen as the start of the British Invasion?

One-hit-wonder Acker Bilk, a clarinetist from England, has the honor of being the first British artist to top the American pop charts with his song on May 26, 1962.


Following in Acker Bilk's footsteps can't have been easy, but this song, which went to No. 1 on the U.S. pop charts in January 1964, marks the start of the real invasion. What was it?

The Beatles tried repeatedly to breach U.S. shores in 1963 with songs that had topped the U.K. charts. But it was 1964's "I Want to Hold Your Hand" that finally led them to No. 1.


What U.S. tragedy is credited with making the time right for British — and The Beatles', especially — upbeat, catchy songs?

President John F. Kennedy was assassinated in November 1963, sending the country into national mourning. The Beatles' energy, wit and upbeat music helped bring the U.S. out of its depression.


Often described as the first folk-rock hit, this song about life gone bad in New Orleans was the first U.S. chart-topper for British pop group The Animals.

The Animals hit in 1964 with the most popular version of the folk song that has been around since at least the early 1900s and has been covered by everyone from Woody Guthrie to Andy Griffith.


From 1964 to 1966 this group placed 15 hits in the U.S. Top 40, giving The Beatles a run for their money. Which group is it?

DC5, as all the cool kids called them, first charted with "Glad All Over." By the time it was all over, they had sold more than 50 million records.


This group was a bit late to the invasion. Its biggest U.S. hits, "Gimme Some Lovin'" and "I'm a Man," came in late 1966 and 1967. Which band is it?

The biggest thing to come out of the band was Steve Winwood, who left in 1967 to form Traffic and then left that for a solo career.


This group invaded in 1964 with the song "Time Is on My Side."

The Stones seemed determined to be the band your parents warned you about, coming on unsmiling and raunchy. It seems to have worked for them.


This singer won the 1965 Grammy for best rock 'n' roll recording for "Downtown."

Petula Clark's song, written by Tony Hatch after his first trip to New York, is an upbeat tune about a nightclub that never closes.


This band, featuring brothers Ray and Dave Davies, had early success with songs including “You Really Got Me" and "All Day and All of the Night."

The Kinks' biggest hit came in 1970 with "Lola," maybe the only hit song (or at least the first) about an encounter with a cross-dresser.


This singer proved that you didn't have to be in a band to hit it big in the U.S. in the '60s with his songs "Sunshine Superman" and "Mellow Yellow."

Rolling Stone magazine called this phenom "the Dylan-esque folk singer turned psychedelic minstrel."


This band hit the charts at the tail end of the invasion with "I Can See for Miles" in 1967.

The Who was already enormously popular in England with hits like "My Generation" and "I Can't Explain" before storming the U.S.


While the men formed bands in the '60s, the women rode in as solo artists, including this one whose first hit was "As Tears Go By."

The song was written for Faithfull by The Rolling Stones' Mick Jagger and Keith Richards, along with their manager Andrew Loog Oldham.


This band was managed by The Beatles' manager Brian Epstein and had three consecutive No. 1 hits in the U.K. in 1963, starting with "How Do You Do It."

Gerry and the Pacemakers had their first U.S. hit in 1964 with "Don't Let the Sun Catch You Crying," which reached No. 4 on the Billboard charts.


Often, the recordings credited to this band were just lead vocalist Peter Noone and whatever session musicians were available.

Incredible musicians like Jimmy Page and John Paul Jones, who went on to fame and fortune themselves, backed Noone on many of Herman's Hermits' tunes.


This Brit hailed from Wales and topped the U.S. charts with songs including "What's New Pussycat?" and "With These Hands."

Tom Jones began life as Thomas John Woodward. His first U.K. hit, "It's Not Unusual," led to spots on "The Ed Sullivan Show," and the rest, as they say, is history.


This band's biggest U.S. hit, "Long Cool Woman in a Black Dress," came in 1972, well after the invasion and long after many of its fellow invaders had fallen by the wayside.

Their rich harmonies of The Hollies led to 22 hits on Billboard's Hot 100 in the U.S. between 1964 and 1975, making them the No. 4 British hit-makers of the period.


The Beatles' debut album was recorded in one day in 1963 and spawned hits including "Twist and Shout" and "I Saw Her Standing There." What is its name?

The album features 14 songs — six covers and eight original tunes that highlight the band's range.


A much bigger star in the U.K. than in the U.S., she made her mark on this side of the pond with the theme song from the movie "To Sir, With Love." Who is she?

Born in Scotland, Lulu had her first British hit at age 15 with a cover of The Isley Brothers' "Shout."


This band with a name that sounds like it came from caveman days had a hit in 1966 with "Wild Thing."

While they became famous for their caveman sound, The Troggs also recorded ballads, including "Love Is All Around."


This band took its name from a city in Tennessee, though it hailed from Surrey in England.

The Nashville Teens' biggest hit, "Tobacco Road," was also American-inspired, taken from the 1932 book of the same name by Erskine Caldwell.


A lot of literate lyrics came out of the British Invasion, but there was a lot of nonsense too, including the 1964 hit "Do Wah Diddy Diddy" recorded by what band?

The band also reached No. 10 in the U.S. with "Mighty Quinn" in 1968. Manfred Mann later had success with his band Manfred Mann's Earth Band.


In other lyric silliness, the one-hit wonder The Swinging Blue Jeans made the big time with a tune that set hips to swinging as much as their blue jeans did. What was the song?

The band — from Liverpool, England, like the Fab Four — had more success in England, but it didn't manage to make hips shake again in the U.S.


Called the "best ever pop singer" by Rolling Stone magazine, this British invader hit the charts with "Son of a Preacher Man" and "You Don't Have to Say You Love Me."

Springfield peaked with the 1968 album "Dusty in Memphis," produced by Jerry Wexler, who had produced Aretha Franklin and Ray Charles.


At the height of the invasion (1964-65), how many weeks did British acts hold the No. 1 spot on Billboard's Hot 100?

After having held the top spot for only four weeks total before 1964, Brits took hold for more than half of the next two years. They also had 65 singles in the Top 40 in 1964 and 68 singles in 1965.


This band had three hits in 1965: "For Your Love," "Heart Full of Soul" and "I'm a Man."

In addition to a string of Top 40 hits, the Yardbirds graduated arguably the top three British guitar players of the era: Eric Clapton, Jeff Beck and Jimmy Page.


This duo, with its hits "A World Without Love" and "I Go To Pieces," defied the notion that you had to be in a band to hit it big in the U.S. in the mid-'60s.

It's no wonder the duo — Peter Asher and Gordon Waller — was a success with material like the Lennon-McCartney written "A World Without Love."


This walking-dead band had hits with "She's Not There" and "Tell Her No."

OK, this one was too easy. The Zombies also had almost as much staying power as the undead of today. They hit the U.S. charts with "Time of the Season" in 1969.


Looking back, this band is mentioned as one of the top three British bands of the '60s — and beyond, but they didn't tour in U.S. or breach the Top 40 until 1967 with "Happy Jack." What band was such a latecomer?

The Who struggled to get a foothold on American soil, until they landed with "Happy Jack" and never looked back.


Fill in the blank: As Life magazine put it in 1964, "In [1776] England lost her American colonies. Last week ______ took them back."

The Fab Four were the undisputed leaders of the British Invasion. Seemingly overnight in January 1964, Beatlemania had the whole country in a frenzy that was just the beginning of a love for all things English.


Explore More Quizzes

About HowStuffWorks Play

How much do you know about dinosaurs? What is an octane rating? And how do you use a proper noun? Lucky for you, HowStuffWorks Play is here to help. Our award-winning website offers reliable, easy-to-understand explanations about how the world works. From fun quizzes that bring joy to your day, to compelling photography and fascinating lists, HowStuffWorks Play offers something for everyone. Sometimes we explain how stuff works, other times, we ask you, but we’re always exploring in the name of fun! Because learning is fun, so stick with us!