3 Great British groups to listen to and learn English


Almost the entire world listens to English music. The English language is used by singers from all countries; from Chile to China. It is flexible in its pronunciation, has many different vocal sounds and the wealth of different vocabulary with many different patterns makes for a good singing language. This is the first in a series of music posts which will include American and International artists as well as more English groups.


It is also a wonderful gateway for English learners to begin their journey into learning and loving the English language. It highly likely that one of your favourite artists sings in English. Even Shakira and Enrique Iglesias still make English versions of their songs for an international audience. And, while my mum might love Enrique, I am sure that if you are reading this then you might be looking for some more authentic music.


So, here are just a few of the most important groups to learn English with. This edition will focus on some of the biggest and most famous British bands.


The Beatles


Obvious, I know. Everyone knows The Beatles. But this seminal pop group is not only important, but also really good. They have a very broad range of sounds, from I wanna hold your hand when they were very much a rock n roll group, to the psychedelia of Tomorrow Never Knows. They are relatively easy to understand because they have clear pronunciation when there are no effects covering the vocals. And if you don’t know The Beatles then you don’t know British music.




In the 90s, when I was a teenager, there was a significant musical event called The Battle of the Bands. When Oasis and Blur, the two biggest groups of Britpop, went up against each other in the charts in August 1995, the whole country was voting by buying single CDs of the two songs. It was close, but Blur won in the end with Country House while Oasis’ Roll With It came in at number 2. Oasis are probably more famous nowadays but Blur have the better catalogue of music by far, and they have much better pronunciation. And best of all, they tell stories in their songs so they make for great listening.


Damon Albarn is still pioneering African folk music and this shows his broad tastes opposed to the Mod-rock of Oasis. Some of the best, and lesser known, songs come from The Great Escape and Parklife: Best days, The universal, Parklife, To the end to name some.


The Smiths


In the 80s, the were some questionable fashions and musical trends, but one of the greatest English singers of all time was produced. Morrissey, the lead singer, is a poet who weaves words beautifully and has made some of the indie dancefloor hits that are still played at discos around the world today. Almost every song is a classic.


The Smiths could be a little more difficult, but if you are at an Upper-Intermediate to Advanced level then you should be okay. Some of my favourites: This charming man, Bigmouth strikes again, The boy with a thorn in his side and How soon is now.


Written by James R. McCance for Aston School

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