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Freakbeat is a term sometimes used by record enthusiasts to describe the music of certain harder-driving British rock bands of the 1960s, often those who came in the later waves of the Beat music movement and attracted a sizable mod following during the Swinging London period in the years from approximately 1965 through 1968.[1][2] Though it is most often used to describe many lesser known British bands of the era, such as The Creation and The Action, it can also apply to some of the more famous acts, such as The Who or Small Faces.[not verified in body]


It is sometimes seen as the British counterpart to the garage and psychedelic rock of American groups, such as The Seeds. Freakbeat music was typically created by four and five piece bands. Elements of the freakbeat style include strong direct drum beats, loud and frenzied guitar riffs, and effects such as fuzztone. The term is also sometimes used to refer to bands from Continental Europe during the era.[citation needed]

CD cover artwork for Nuggets II: Original Artyfacts from the British Empire and Beyond, 1964-1969, a compilation featuring many examples of 60s freakbeat rock

The term was coined in the 1980s by the music journalist Phil Smee to retroactively describe the music style which has been described as a missing link between the early-to-mid-1960s R&B scene and the psychedelic rock and progressive rock genres that emerged in the late 1960s with bands such as Pink Floyd.[citation needed] Some of the best-known examples include "Take a Heart" by The Sorrows, "Making Time" by The Creation, "Atmospheres" by Wimple Winch and arguably "I Can Hear the Grass Grow" by The Move.[citation needed] Much of the material collected on Rhino Records's 2001 box-set compilation Nuggets II: Original Artyfacts from the British Empire and Beyond, 1964-1969 can be classified as freakbeat.[3]


  1. ^ Richie Unterberger (2007-04-03). "Joe Meek's Freakbeat: 30 Freakbeat, Mod and R&B Nuggets - Joe Meek | Songs, Reviews, Credits". AllMusic. Retrieved 2015-11-29. 
  2. ^ Richie Unterberger (2011-11-29). "Looking Back: 80 Mod, Freakbeat & Swinging London Nuggets - Various Artists | Songs, Reviews, Credits". AllMusic. Retrieved 2015-11-29. 
  3. ^ D. Thompson (2002). The Music Lover's Guide to Record Collecting. San Francisco: Backbeat Books. p. 47. ISBN 978-0879307134. 

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