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The Encyclopaedia of Classic Eighties Pop Hardcover – 1 Nov 2002


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Product details

  • Hardcover: 360 pages
  • Publisher: Allison & Busby (1 Nov. 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0749005343
  • ISBN-13: 978-0749005344
  • Product Dimensions: 20.3 x 14 x 3.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 102,809 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Review

'A great slice of witty nostalgia for thirtysomethings and an indispensable source of trivia for pop quiz buffs.' -- South Wales Argus, December 14, 2002

'A tongue-in-cheek but evidently affectionate look at a largely under-rated decade.' -- Sheffield Star, November 29, 2002

'It's a must-have for all music fans and is as comprehensive as it gets.' -- bbc.co.uk

'Knowledgeable, funny and intelligent… Great fun and just the thing to brighten 2003.' -- Hampstead & Highgate Express, January 17, 2003

'_The Encyclopaedia of Classic 80s Pop_ is indispensable for anyone who adores that fantastic decade.' -- Southern Daily Echo, November 13, 2002

About the Author

Daniel Blythe was born in Maidstone in 1969. The first single he will admit to buying was Souvenir by OMD, although the first single he actually bought was Making Your Mind Up by Bucks Fizz. Daniel currently lives in Yorkshire with his wife and their small, noisy and loveable daughter. He can often be found wandering the hills of the Peak District, musing on such life-affirming questions as how Heaven 17 got their name, which was the best Transvision Vamp album and who was really the most fanciable one out of Bananarama. And he gets paid for this.

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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By "the_walrus73" on 29 Jun. 2003
Format: Hardcover
"If you can remember the 80's, you were probably there" opens this book, and for those of us who grew up arguing over whether Duran Duran or Wham were best, and hearing our dads exclaim 'is that a man or a woman?' when Boy George appeared on Top of the Pops, this encyclopaedia provides a nostalgic look into the music of our childhoods.
Blythe states from the start that this is not meant to be a serious tome, and his sense of humour generally makes the book a very enjoyable read. He also admits to leaving out musical giants such as Queen whose music spans the 80's but was not confined to it; but I don't think this is such a bad thing, as it leaves more room for obscure acts such as Nu Shooz - now I thought my memory was good, but this book has certainly revived a few dusty corners of my mind. It's well researched too; Blythe has included interesting facts, quotes and relevant websites in some of the sections.
After all this, why only 3 stars? Well, for me anyway there is one big problem with the book - it's clearly aimed at men, as it is peppered with laddish comments and observations about the physical appearance of some of the female stars of the 80's. From my recollection, about 50% of us growing up in the 80's was female, and although the popular stereotype that encyclopaedic-type books appeal more to men may sometimes be true, I do think that this book alienates some of its potential audience. It certainly did me; I got tired with all the 'phwooar' type references, as I do feel that way too much emphasis is placed on looks in Western society; after all, we get our looks from a random combination of genes; having fashionable ones does not make us any better than those who do not.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By I. H. Smith on 20 Mar. 2003
Format: Hardcover
It's not often that I read an 'Encyclopaedia' from cover to cover, let alone in one sitting; but, of course, this is no ordinary book of names and dates. This is a book of memories. Wonderful memories, at that! Daniel Blythe has, with warmth and affection, taken that most maligned of decades and given it the loving homage it deserves. Within these pages, you'll be taken back (assuming,that is,you're between 30 and 45) to a time when being a rebellious teenager meant admitting to enjoying Culture Club; having a silly fringe; and wearing a jacket with its sleeves rolled up.He writes informatively and with great humour about pop acts you remember vividly and about those you'd hoped you'd forgotten (but, in retrospect,are so glad they existed). From the undisputed greats (Eurythmics, Ultravox, Spandau Ballet), to the one-hit wonders (Karel Fialka anyone?) each one is treated with affection and (on the whole) respect. His knowledge of even the most obscure act to ever grace the charts (and some that didn't even make it that far) is astounding; and his opinions are constantly entertaining (and required reading, particularly those relating to the final, musically sterile, years of the decade).In short, this is an essential read for anyone to whom the phrases "I bought a ticket to the world", "I was working as a waitress in a Cocktail Bar" or "Bless my cotton socks, I'm in the news" bring a nostalgic shiver down the spine.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Frank Gaertner on 8 Dec. 2002
Format: Hardcover
I picked up a copy of this book on my recent vacation to the UK and it was well worth the money. Daniel Blythe is a hilarious writer and his takes on some of the '80s most notable acts are interesting, funny, and original. He clearly has great affection for most music from the 80s and so the jibes he takes are more from affection than dislike. I heartily recommend this to any music fan - you won't be disappointed.
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