|Stylistic origins||Rock and roll, blues, beat, rhythm and blues, soul|
|Cultural origins||Mid 1960s, Great Britain|
|Typical instruments||Electric guitar, bass, drums, keyboards, tambourine, harmonica|
|Derivative forms||Psychedelic rock, heavy metal, glam rock, punk rock|
The term freakbeat was coined in the 1980s by the music journalist Phil Smee to retroactively describe the music of certain harder-driving British rock bands, often those with a mod following, during the Swinging London period of the mid to late 1960s. Freakbeat has been described as the missing link between the early-to-mid-1960s UK R&B scene and the psychedelic rock and progressive rock genres that emerged later in the 1960s. Although it is most often used to describe lesser known British bands of the era, such as The Creation, The Action, The Idle Race, John's Children, Wimple Winch and The Pretty Things, it is occasionally applied to some of the more famous acts, such as The Troggs, Them or The Move. The term is now also routinely extended to include bands from Continental Europe during the era such as the Nederbeat groups Q65 and Group 1850.
Although the term remains nebulous, freakbeat can be considered as the British counterpart to the 1960s garage and psychedelic rock of American groups, such as The Seeds, The 13th Floor Elevators, The Electric Prunes, etc. and similarly, it was commonly created by four and five piece bands often with strong direct drum beats, proto-punk guitar riffs and extreme use of effects such as fuzztone, phasing, echo and flanging.
Some of the best-known examples include "Take a Heart" by The Sorrows, "Making Time" by The Creation, "Atmospheres" by Wimple Winch, "My Friend Jack" by The Smoke and arguably "I Can Hear the Grass Grow" by The Move. Much of the material collected on the Bam Caruso record label's 20 CD Rubble series and 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. The English Freakbeat series issued by AIP Records is a further group of compilation albums that feature UK recordings released in the mid-1960s.
Later uses of the term
Unlike the widespread garage rock revival that began in the 1980s, relatively few bands have directly cited freakbeat, as distinct from garage or psychedelia, as the source of their sound. 21st century freakbeat groups include Glasgow's The Fast Camels and from Blackpool in Lancashire, The Freakbeats.
- 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.
- Richie Unterberger (2011-11-29). "Looking Back: 80 Mod, Freakbeat & Swinging London Nuggets - Various Artists | Songs, Reviews, Credits". AllMusic. Retrieved 2015-11-29.
- Chris Nickson (2012-09-25). "Freakbeat, The Garage Rock Era". Ministry of Rock. Retrieved 2016-10-12.
- Thom Jurek (2003-07-01). "The Rubble Collection Vol. 1-10; Songs, Reviews, Credits". AllMusic. Retrieved 2016-10-12.
- D. Thompson (2002). The Music Lover's Guide to Record Collecting. San Francisco: Backbeat Books. p. 47. ISBN 978-0879307134.
- Kevin Rathert (2012). "Richard Allen Interview". psychedelicbaby.blogspot.com. Retrieved 2016-10-12.
- Dandy in Aspic (2012-11-25). "The New Psychedelics Part 4 Freakbeat". Retrieved 2016-10-12.
- Freakbeat information
- Essay about freakbeat
- Trans World '60s Punk:Cutie Morning Moon - Provides information mostly about garage bands from outside the United States
- The Fast Camels website
- The Freakbeats website