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Britain / Music / Pop
Pop/rock music in Britain
Music (c)
  Concerts & gigs
  UK pop charts
  Buying CDs
  Downloading music
  Music magazines
  Finding song lyrics
  British/Irish pop music
  The Brits Awards
  Study English using pop music
Related pages:
Lyrics (the words and background notes for "number one" singles)


This section gives practical information about how to enjoy pop music while in the UK, and introduces some of the best British music from the 1960s to the present day.

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You can use the following links to book tickets for pop concerts:
- Ticketmaster
- TicketSwitch

Buy tickets for a pop/rock concert in your region:
London ; South England ; Central England ; Wales & NW England ; North & NE England ; Scotland ; Ireland ; UK

On most weekends during the summer there are outdoor music festivals at different locations across the UK.
For details, see: Life/Entertainment/Festivals

Rachel Stevens


Daniel Bedingfield

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Each week the new UK pop charts are announced on Sunday (these are based on sales - including download sales - in the week ending Saturday).

The Chart Show is broadcast on BBC Radio 1 (Sunday, 4-7pm). You can see the latest charts on these websites:
UK singles chart:
Albums chart:
Hit 40 UK ( is an alternative chart programme which is broadcast at the same time on some independent radio stations such as Capital FM.

For information on music/chart programmes on TV use the following links:
Channel 4:
MTV UK: Subscription channel which includes a lot of music videos/interviews (

For a complete list of number 1 hits in the UK since the 1950s, see: or the Official Chart website:

To find information about previous chart records (whether or not they reached number 1), use the search tool at: You can also refer to a directory called Guinness World Records: British Hit Singles and Albums (see below) which is updated each year.

Guinness World Records: British Hit Singles and Albums
Author: David Roberts
Publisher: Gullane Publishing
Date: June 2006


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The following are some of the main UK online music stores:
Amazon UK
CD Wow

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An increasing number of songs can now be downloaded legally at a reasonable price. Some sites which offer such a service in the UK are:
Amazon MP3

"File-sharing" websites have been popular in recent years but are not legal, do not pay the artists and can leave computers open to adware, virus attacks and Trojan horse programs, so they are not recommended.

The Rough Guide to iPods, iTunes and Music Online
Authors: Peter Buckley, Duncan Clark
Publisher: Rough Guides
Date: September 2005
The Art Of Downloading Music
Author: Steve Levine
Publisher: Sanctuary Publishing
Date: September 2005

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You can use the following link to find and subscribe to a music magazine:

Some popular British pop/rock magazines are:

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The words to a pop song are known as its lyrics. Lyrics to pop songs can often be found by using a general search engine such as Google ( with a search such as the artist's name, the song title and the word "lyrics", eg "beatles yesterday lyrics". Alternatively, use a specialist search engine such as LyricCrawler at (the title and artist should be used for the search term: for example, "beatles yesterday").

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Robbie Williams

Atomic Kitten

Will Young

Below is a list of some British pop groups or musicians from different generations. They are listed in alphabetical order, together with the name and year of one of the popular songs for each. How many do you know? If you click on the link for the artist's name you can see details of the albums and other products connected with the group. If you click on the name of a song you can listen to it and see a video.

10CC I'm not in love 1975
Adam Faith What do you want 1959 ; Alice Cooper School's out 1972; the Alan Parsons Project Time 1981; Alexandra Burke Hallelujah 2008; Alison Moyet All cried out 1984; All Saints Never ever 1998; Amy Winehouse Rehab 2006; Atomic Kitten Whole again 2001
Bay City Rollers Bye bye baby 1975; The Beatles Yesterday 1965; Bee Gees How deep is your love 1977; Billy Fury It's only make believe 1964; Black Sabbath Paranoid 1970; Blue One love 2002; Blur Song 2 1997; Busted Air hostess 2004
The Clash London calling 1979; Cliff Richard Miss you nights 1976; Coldplay Trouble 2000; Craig David Fill me in 2000; Culture Club Do you really want to hurt me 1982
David Bowie Space oddity 1975; Deep Purple Smoke on the water 1977; Depeche Mode See you 1982; Des'ree Life 1998; Dido Thank you 2001; Dire Straits Private investigations 1982; Duffy Mercy 2008; Duran Duran Save a prayer 1982; Dusty Springfield I only want to be with you 1963
Electric Light Orchestra (ELO) Hold on tight 1981; Elton John Candle in the wind 1997; Elvis Costello Oliver's army 1979; Eric Clapton Tears in heaven 1992; Eternal Stay 1993; Eurythmics Sweet dreams (are made of this) 1983
Five Everybody get up 1998; Frankie Goes to Hollywood Two tribes 1984
Genesis I can't dance 1992; George Michael Careless whisper 1984; Gerry and the Pacemakers You'll never walk alone 1963; Girls Aloud Jump 2003
Hot Chocolate So you win again 1977; The Human League Don't you want me 1981
Iron Maiden Bring your daughter to the slaughter 1991
Jamelia Thank You 2004; James Blunt Carry you home 2008; James Morrison Wonderful world 2006; Jamiroquai Virtual insanity 1996; Japan Ghosts 1981; John Lennon Imagine 1971; Joss Stone Fell in love with a boy 2004; Julie Andrews Do-Re-Mi 1965
Kate Bush Wuthering heights 1978; Katie Melua The closest thing to crazy; Keane Everybody's changing 2004
Led Zeppelin Stairway to heaven 1969; Leo Sayer When I need you 1977; Leona Lewis Bleeding Love 2007; Lisa Stansfield All around the world 1989; Lonnie Donegan Rock island line 1955; Lulu Shout 1964
Madness Our house 1982; Manfred Mann Do wah diddy diddy 1964; The Manic Street Preachers If you tolerate this your children will be next 1998; Mary Hopkin Those were the days 1968; McFly Obviously 2004
Oasis Wonderwall 1995
Paul Young Come back and stay 1985; Pet Shop Boys Always on my mind 1987; Peter Gabriel Sledgehammer 1986; Petula Clarke Downtown 1964; Phil Collins Against all odds 1984; Pink Floyd Another brick in the wall 1979; The Police Every breath you take 1983; Pulp Common people 1995
Queen Bohemian rhapsody 1975
Radiohead No surprises 1998; Ralph McTell Streets of London 1974; Rick Astley Never gonna give you up 1987; Robbie Williams Angels 1998; Rod Stewart Sailing 1975; The Rolling Stones (I can't get no) Satisfaction 1965
Sade Your love is king 1984; S Club 7 Don't stop moving 2001; Sex Pistols Anarchy in the UK 1976; Sheena Easton For your eyes only 1981; Shirley Bassey I who have nothing 1963; Soft Cell Tainted love 1981; Spandau Ballet True 1983; The Spice Girls Wannabe 1996; Status Quo Rocking all over the world 1977; Supertramp The logical song 1979
T Rex Bang a gong (get it on) 1971; Take That Back for good 1995; Tom Jones Delilah 1968; Tommy Steele Singing the blues 1956; Travis Sing 2001
UB40 Red red wine 1983
Vera Lynn We'll meet again 1939
Wet Wet Wet Love is all around 1994; Wham Last Christmas 1984; Whitesnake Is this love 1987; The Who Pinball wizard 1967; Will Young Evergreen 2002; Wings Mull of Kintyre 1977

Websites for some popular British pop musicians are listed at:
There is a guide to British pop and rock from the 1950s to the present on the website:

CD collections of British pop music include the following:

British Legends (2 CDs)
Artists: Various
Label: Virgin/EMI TV
Date: April 2003
B000068FQC Best of British (2 CDs)
Artists: Various
Label: Virgin TV
Date: June 2002

Ireland also has a very strong musical culture. Below is a small selection of Irish pop musicians and the name and year of one of their popular songs:

Boomtown Rats (Bob Geldof) I don't like Mondays 1979; Boyzone No matter what; Chris de Burgh The lady in red 1986; The Corrs What can I do 1998; Enya Orinoco Flow (Sail Away) 1988; Everything But The Girl Missing 1995; Gilbert O'Sullivan Alone again (naturally) 1972; The Pogues Fairytale of New York 1987; Ronan Keating When you say nothing at all 1999 ; Sinead O'Connor Nothing compares 2 U 1990 ; Thin Lizzy The boys are back in town 1976 ; U2 Pride (in the name of love) 1988 ; the Undertones Teenage kicks 1978 ; Van Morrison Have I told you lately (that I love you) 1989; Westlife The rose 2006


Ronan Keating

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The Brits Awards ceremony takes place in London each February. The winners in recent years for each of the "British" categories were:

Category 2010 Winner 2009 Winner 2008 Winner 2007 Winner
Male solo artist Dizzee Rascal Paul Weller Mark Ronson James Morrison
Female solo artist Lily Allen Duffy Kate Nash Amy Winehouse
Group Kasabian Elbow Arctic Monkeys Arctic Monkeys
Album Florence & the Machine:
Arctic Monkeys:
Favourite Worst Nightmare
Arctic Monkeys:
Whatever people say I am,
that’s what I’m not
Single JLS:
Beat Again
Girls Aloud:
The Promise
Take That:
Take That:
Breakthrough act JLS Duffy Mika The Fratellis
Live act - Iron Maiden Take That Muse
Critics choice Ellie Goulding Florence and the Machine ADELE -
Outstanding contribution Robbie Williams Pet Shop Boys Paul McCartney Oasis

Category 2006 Winner 2005 Winner 2004 Winner 2003 Winner
Male solo artist James Blunt The Streets Daniel Bedingfield Robbie Williams
Female solo artist KT Tunstall Joss Stone Dido Ms Dynamite
Group Kaiser Chiefs Franz Ferdinand The Darkness Coldplay
Album Coldplay:
X & Y
Hopes and Fears
The Darkness:
Permission to Land
Rush of Blood to the Head
Single Coldplay:
Speed Of Sound
Will Young:
Your Game
White Flag
Liberty X:
Just a Little
Breakthrough act Arctic Monkeys Keane Busted Will Young
Urban act Lemar Joss Stone Lemar Ms Dynamite
Rock act Kaiser Chiefs Franz Ferdinand The Darkness -
Dance act - - Basement Jaxx Sugababes
Pop act James Blunt McFly Busted Blue
Live act Kaiser Chiefs Muse - -
Outstanding contribution Paul Weller Bob Geldof Duran Duran Tom Jones

For more details about the Brit awards, see the official website:

Brits 2007 (2 CDs)
Artists: Various
Label: UMTV
Date: February 2007
Brit Awards 2006 (2 CDs)
Artists: Various
Label: BMG TV
Date: February 2006

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Listening to pop music can be a good way to learn English and to study new vocabulary. If you have a favourite rock group, you can read its website, join its fan club or post messages onto its message board. You can buy some albums of British pop music and study the words of the songs (but note than most CDs bought in the UK do not include the words to the songs - you may need to look online to find them).

The British Council's "Learn English" website also provides study exercises based on pop songs:
BBC World Service provide a free site which includes ideas about studying English through music at:

You can listen to British pop music by listening to a British radio station. If you are outside the UK, you can listen through the internet (for links to all the main stations, see: English/Listening).

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UK music festivals: Life/Entertainment/Festivals
UK concerts: Life/Entertainment/Concerts
The Beatles: Britain/Music/Beatles
West End musicals: Life/Entertainment/Theatre
Photos from Christmas lights ceremonies: Ideas/Album/ChristmasLights

Home page: Home

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