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4.6 out of 5 stars71
4.6 out of 5 stars
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on 15 October 2013
Because of the time span this book covers it really only scratches the surface of the subject. This is good because it shines a light on lots of areas that encourages me to investigate further. The most exciting thing is reading about songs, and singers, I have not heard of before and then going to YouTube to listen. Lots of great finds
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on 14 November 2015
This is a massive undertaking - a book that covers it's subject with such breadth and depth that it could surely only take a superficial glimpse. Wrong. It is clever, informative, beguiling, involving and hard to put down.
The only thing negative I could say about it was that it proved profoundly depressing from time to time, due to the fact that I was trying to write a book about rock music at the same time.
But that needn't worry you - just go get it.
If I could only have one book about music and the business of music, this would be it...
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on 30 September 2013
This is a great and pretty entertaining account of the last 50 years of popular music. Covers a huge range of artists and genres within pop - there are (inevitably) some omissions which you probably will disagree with when reading, but then that's almost part of the fun.
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on 23 March 2014
Fantastic concise history of popular music as I know and remember it. A great read and only derogatory when really required. Superb.
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on 25 November 2013
A good read. Not many musicians can write well. This one can and it is a very interesting read that would put many critica to shame.
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on 31 August 2014
This book is packed with detail on just about every 'pop' artist of note from the last 50 years. I read it cover to cover apart from a few of the later chapters which didn't much interest me. I didn't agree with everything he wrote and sometimes it felt like working my way through an almanac of the NME but this is the nature of the work so it's not a criticism. The book is as far as I know unique, I can't think of another that covers popular music in such breadth and depth.
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on 28 October 2013
This is surely the music book of the year. Bob relates the story of the single from 1952 when the first "hit parade" was published to its virtual demise in the nineties. He's quite opinionated about his musical tastes but is spot on about certain "sacred cows". Though the book runs to 800 pages it's not an in depth study and as such skims over a lot of music. This isn't a criticism as you get a feel for all the types of music he describes. Perhaps some of the footnotes (some take up half a page) could have been included in the main text, but this is only a minor gripe. Anyone who has ever bought a 45 should buy this. It's an easy read and as other reviewers have remarked, it gets you searching for long over looked gems.
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on 25 April 2014
Easy to read, massively comprehensive history of Pop's 1950s to early 1990s. Written by a man who is a successful journalist and musician. I can't think of a book to rival it in scope and quality of analysis. Of course it's subjective, that's what makes you think about the subject for yourself, and there are a few factual errors, but it is informative and supremely enjoyable. Great stuff!
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on 27 January 2014
Totally engaged with this right from the start. Picking his way through the path of pop from the fifties to the nineties was brilliantly constructed then somehow he just managed to let the success of his Britpop 'peers' rankle which sour's the closing narrative.
Well worth the time to read and you'll be singing few classics in your head as you go too.
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on 22 December 2014
This book is amazingly well researched and I woild recommend it to anyone interested in modern music, not just pure pop but other genres that make up modern music like rock, hip-hop etc. the author must have spent a considerable amount of time listening to music of all sorts to have written such a detailed book. Really enjoyed reading it !
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