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Frock Rock: Women Performing Popular Music [Hardcover]

Mavis Bayton
3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
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Book Description

17 Dec 1998
This is the first ethnographic study of women's popular music-making. It is based on over 100 in-depth interviews as well as participant observation by the author, a sociologist, who has herself played in various bands since punk. Bayton covers the period from the late 1970s until the mid 1990s, focusing mainly on women instrumentalists in female and mixed bands. Amongst others, interviewees include Skin from Skunk Anansie, Debbie Smith from Echobelly, Candida Doyle from Pulp, Gail Greenwood from Belly and L7, Natasha Atlas from Transglobal Underground, and Vie Subversa from Poison Girls.

Although female vocalists have always been common, women playing instruments in bands are still proportionally rare. Frock Rock explores the social factors that keep women from playing and those routes that have enabled women's involvement. The book then examines the everyday worlds of women's music-making from bands just starting up to the professional stage: songwriting, rehearsing, the first gig, getting a manager, record companies, recording, and touring.

Easy to read and packed with fascinating quotes, Frock Rock makes an invaluable contribution to the field of popular music studies and will become a key text in cultural studies, media studies, women's studies, and sociology of culture courses.

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 260 pages
  • Publisher: OUP Oxford (17 Dec 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 019816615X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0198166153
  • Product Dimensions: 16.2 x 2 x 24.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,378,533 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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Product Description


an interesting overview of the involvement of women in popular music from technician to talent scout.../ The book is free from obscure jargon and unneccessary terminology, a rare quality in an academic study of this subject./ ... I admire this book for being systematic, leaving no aspect of the industry unprobed./ There is no other serious up-to-date study of women in popular music to rival 'Frock Rock'. Ronita Dutta, THES, 05/02/99

This is the best study I know of the everyday life of the popular musician, packed with insights about the sheer hard work of music making, and salutary reading for anyone who's ever thought that rock stars are just lucky. (Simon Frith)

About the Author

Mavis Bayton is Tutor in Sociology, Ruskin College, Oxford

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2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars disappointing 3 Oct 2009
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
this book was not properly researched. For example it states that Marion of The Mission Belles split from her jealous husband. Marion and Terry celebrated their golden wedding this year - it was Margaret who divorced her jealous husband.
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Amazon.com: 4.0 out of 5 stars  1 review
1 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An insider academic 6 Nov 2002
By Richard Arridge - Published on Amazon.com
My landlady in Oxford was Mavis. I had known her for years as my younger brother was a drummer in one of her bands (Jane goes Shopping).I am a native of Oxford although I live now in Vietnam via the Sudan,Spain and France.
Her book contains the perspective of a respected academic at Ruskin College,Oxford with the experience of a performing artist with a recording carer behind her.Check out the LP "The Mistakes at the Caribbean Club".It is a hard to beat combination.A unique and valuable book
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