European female singers’ skirt hems may have risen considerably in the 1960s, but their standing in the music industry didn’t. Often relegated to a second division of pop, many remained consigned to a musical diet of salty tears, secret loves and stolen kisses.
Britain dominated the pop world in the 1960s, leaving the rest of Europe to strike a balance between the new beat boom and ditties aimed squarely at domestic markets.
In the Netherlands and Scandinavia, for instance, saccharine Schlager remained popular. Nevertheless, a number of female singers and girl groups opted for the garage sound, which proved less commercially successful at the time but has since drawn a cult following. (Many of the Scandinavian girls also found great success in Germany.)
Over in Ireland, girl singers often joined traditional showbands – but many of those that didn’t, caught the ferry across to England to join London’s bobbed babes.
Meanwhile, in parts of eastern Europe, female singers often became part of the government-controlled music establishment or found themselves banned from the airwaves.
We’ve covered Britain, France, Germany, Italy and Spain elsewhere on this site. Here, we’ve brought together a selection of some of the best that the rest of Europe had to offer, visiting songstresses from the rest of the world and some pan-European specials.