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Yeah! Yeah! Yeah!: The Story of Pop Music from Bill Haley to Beyoncé

Yeah! Yeah! Yeah!: The Story of Pop Music from Bill Haley to Beyoncé [Kindle Edition]

Bob Stanley
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (42 customer reviews)

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Product Description


Bob Stanley loves and finds surprising connections between a thousand kinds of pop. He makes me want to run to the nearest record store and move in. --Stephin Merritt of the Magnetic Fields"

Book Description

The complete story of the modern pop era: the era of vinyl, the Top 40, the NME, Smash Hits and Top of the Pops - when pop music defined pop culture.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1013 KB
  • Print Length: 624 pages
  • Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company; 1 edition (7 July 2014)
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Not enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (42 customer reviews)
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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
4.6 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
23 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Yeah Yeah Yeah 16 Sep 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
It is surely no coincidence that the title of this book comes from one of the most exuberant and joyful pop records ever made, because this is certainly written with boundless enthusiasm and a real love of music, which shines through. In five parts, the author takes you on the journey of popular music from 1952 until the early 1990's. The book begins with the first UK singles chart, the advent of the 45 and early rock 'n' roll. In the first part the author looks at the importance of skiffle, Larry Parnes and fledging British rock, Joe Meek, Phil Spector, the Brill Building and Elvis, among others.

Generally, each part of the book concentrates on a decade - the fifties, sixties, seventies, eighties and the start of the nineties. I have to admit that I found the first half of the book the most interesting, but that probably just reflects my musical tastes. However, whether you are a fan of the Beatles, Dylan, Motown, Glam Rock, Punk, Britpop or anything in between, they are all covered. Although the author obviously cannot give detailed biographies of every artist involved in popular music, he puts bands and styles of music in context and assesses their legacy as well as listing musical influences and who, in turn, each successive generation influenced. Also, despite the huge time period and amount of musical styles and bands covered, there is an abundance of interesting and funny stories, which bring each section to life. This is a book that you will be quoting from for some time if you read it and I cannot think of a better gift for a music lover. Considering the task that the author set himself, this is a magnificent achievement.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Difficult to see how it could be bettered 4 Nov 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I loved this book, and I love it even more the more I think about it. He just gets so much right. A proper appreciation of Nat Cole, Philly soul, Todd Rundgren, Big Star, The Beach Boys, Abba, Red Bird records,'Sugar Sugar', the KLF, Pistols over Clash, Blondie over Patti Smith, etc etc etc, is balanced with a magisterial dismissal of Queen ('more a multi-national company than a band') post 'Exile' Stones ('forty years a Stones tribute act') and the woefully over-rated post Syd Floyd. Metal is equated with country (Stanley rightly sees them both as conservative genres,) and I've spent a few happy few days revisiting acid house, SOLAR, early-mid-period Bee Gees and Fleetwood Mac, and facing up to my enjoyment of Beyonce's 'Crazy in Love' and Whitney Houston's 'It's Not Right But It's OK'.
I spotted one sort of mistake, and even then I saw his point. John Waite's 'Missing You' was mentioned in the chapter on American Rock; but John Waite is a Lancastrian (and as an adopted son of Lancaster and a pal of his brother Jo, I just wanted to give credit to the Bay City). But I guess if you're going to mention John Waite at all, American Rock is very much the place for him, given the absence of a chapter devoted to Lancaster's rock aristocracy.
With its excellent bibliography and index, this deserves to be the standard introduction to the subject for years to come.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Delves deep 7 Nov 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Some may be put off by the sheer size of this book - but it's an easy read and not a word is wasted. The story of modern popular music is told from the 1920s on to the present day with plenty of Temptations, Abba, Nirvana and Josh Wink along the way. By necessity it does tend to skip over some periods, genres and key artists more quickly than others but the end result is a clear and entertaining overview of the progression of popular music over the past century.

The story is told in a series of digestible nuggets with chapters which are more than manageable. It crosses continually back and forth from one side of the Atlantic to the other, with continental Europe touched upon reasonably regularly as well.

The author is thankfully unafraid to express an opinion, usually subtly but occasionally not, which gives the story a human touch. It's clear throughout that this is written from the point of view of a genuine lover (and maker) of music rather than that of a detached snob with a holier-than-thou record collection.

As a child of the mid-90s, I was looking forward to reaching this part of the story and wasn't disappointed. It was also quite pleasing to see the likes of Pulp and Suede being given more attention than Oasis and Blur.

Where it does perhaps fall down slightly is in the post-90s chapters. American R&B is quite rightly covered in depth but the story finishes rather abruptly there, with an epilogue focussing on the new ways music tends to be digested since the advent of Napster and iTunes. Presumably the author feels that music produced over the last seven or eight years is still a bit too recent to be properly analysed and perhaps he's right - but nevertheless it does feel that the story finishes a bit prematurely.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
The best book about music since Simon Reynold's "Retromania". This really is that good.

Surprisingly, no-one has written a history of modern pop. After "Yeah Yeah Yeah", it is doubtful that anyone will. This is the definitive history. Erudite, complete and always putting pop into a social or economic context. It starts with the changes of the immediate post-war era, with chapters lovingly devoted to long-forgotten scenes, and moves through the years to, well, now. Criss-crossing the Atlantic between the UK and the US (with occasional forays outside the anglo-saxon world, to Jamaica, Dusseldorf or Sweden), most of the chapters are about musical genres. There are few devoted to persons or groups (obvious exceptions: Elvis, The Beatles, Rolling Stones, Beach Boys Bowie and Bolan ... but also Abba and the Bee Gees, Kraftwork, Pet Shop Boys or New Order).

There is a reason for this: Bob Stanley is in love with the single, rather than the rockist obsession with oeuvre. He manages to describe the sound of a song and the feelings it induces in you in a very personal fashion. There are fascinating details about the people involved and the way the songs were recorded, with some of the most delicious anecdotes reserved for the page notes. If anything, the book could have been longer, and Stanley would have managed to bring in even more detail. As it is, the 800-odd pages fly by in a style that is both reverent and irreverent, dry, funny and personal.

Bob Stanley's heart is very clearly on his sleeve in wanting to challenge the Mojo / Q consensus about what constitutes important music or musical events.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars There is no stone unturned in this comprehensive guide. ...
There is no stone unturned in this comprehensive guide. All key strands of popular music are untwined and deconstructed. Read more
Published 13 days ago by Birdola
3.0 out of 5 stars Over opinionated
The story of modern pop, a huge and reasonably comprehensive work, let down by far too many of the author's bitchy smiles at successful artists. Read more
Published 21 days ago by gwynne61
3.0 out of 5 stars Frustrating
One of my friends recommended this book to me as we're both music geeks. I'd read mixed reviews in the press but, swayed by his opinion of the book and the reviews here, I decided... Read more
Published 28 days ago by Peter Lee
5.0 out of 5 stars A great read
In my 50+ years on the planet I have read a great number of books about popular music and its history, but I have to say that this is one of the very best that I have ever read. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Timbo
5.0 out of 5 stars Yeah, Yeah, Yeah - yes, yes, yes!
If you like pop music - you will love this book.
Thoroughly researched and a facinating read from cover to cover. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Martin Kelly
4.0 out of 5 stars The soundtrack of your life, and why it was so good.
A fairly breakneck hurtle through 50 years of the soundtrack to the lives of anyone born after WW2. Broken down into easily digestible chapters about the rapidly changing fads and... Read more
Published 2 months ago by David Evans
5.0 out of 5 stars Good history of Pop music
A detailed and interesting read covering pop music from the 50's. Would highly recommend for anyone who is interested in pop music and it's evolution.
Published 3 months ago by Mark Broders
5.0 out of 5 stars Unique
Easy to read, massively comprehensive history of Pop's 1950s to early 1990s. Written by a man who is a successful journalist and musician. Read more
Published 3 months ago by hoofer
5.0 out of 5 stars Unsurpassable masterwork
Bob Stanley is not just a critic, he's also a proper musician, and has written a history of pop music (starting with the birth of the chart in the early 50s) that it will be both... Read more
Published 4 months ago by Tim Brooks
5.0 out of 5 stars Do you believe in magic?
Arresting, beguiling, comprehensive, diverting, exciting, fabulous, groovy, hit-filled, inspiring, joyous... you get the idea. Read more
Published 4 months ago by nigeyb
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