Guide to British Music of the 1960s

February 2022

DVD Review

My Generation

My Generation

Lionsgate Home Entertainment

Released: 28 May 2018

The sixties were the decade when life changed from black & white to colour. Post-war rebuilding was well-advanced, rationing had finished and a whole new generation of creative talent was spearheading the revolution. London was swinging and young people were highly visible and making a statement. The DVD is a film and music montage showing how the 1960s changed, particularly in the creative area. Actor Michael Caine provides the narration and speaks as one of the key 1960s voices. Caine himself starred in two iconic British 1960s films, Alfie and The Italian Job. The film cycles through different creative industries from films to music, fashion, photography. Contemporary commentary comes from other 1960s icons including Paul McCartney, David Bailey, Twiggy, Marianne Faithful, Donovan, Mary Quant and Roger Daltrey.

One thing is very clear. This is the decade where a so-called "class war" became irrelevant or disappeared. These new faces typically came from what had been called the working class and they were the drivers of cultural change. Coming from a less privileged background was less important than talent and a desire to succeed. It no longer mattered if you came from the London docklands, from Liverpool or Newcastle. London became a melting pot for the cultural change.

All sorts of subjects are covered through the contemporary footage and the archive clips. Street vox pops show just how people viewed boys with long hair or girls' short skirts. John Lennon and Paul McCartney both talk about how they write songs together. Mary Quant discusses the fashion revolution. David Bailey was typical of an East End boy made good and he became, with Duffy and Terence Donovan, one of the photographers who captured the 1960s on camera. McCartney and Townshend discuss the impact of drug taking. The latter comes full circle later in the decade when the police catch up leading to Donovan and the Stones being busted.

Not surprisingly, there is an amazing soundtrack that includes the Beatles, Rolling Stones, Small Faces, Kinks, Donovan, Them, the Animals and, of course, the Who. The music choices fit extremely well alongside the archive footage of London.

This is fascinating viewing and an excellent overview of the cultural revolution of the 1960s.

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