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Better than the average nostalgia fest
on 9 August 2013
Being something of an addict to post war British history, I had to buy this, although I was slightly worried by the fact that Jones is, or at least was, a contributor to the truly awful Daily Wail and, worse, openly supports David Cameron as if this was nothing to be ashamed of. Having reached the end I would certainly recommend it to you.
The text weaves together, skilfully for the most part, the 1985 Live Aid concert with various elements of the history of the decade - the chapter dealing with Paul Weller handles the left, Elton John discusses Princess Di, Queen discusses AIDS - you get the picture. The book has a strong slant towards popular culture rather than politics of course, with the day handled chronologically rather than the decade. Perhaps inevitably, there is a bit of a London thing going on here.
The writing is mostly good although there are a number of slightly annoying minor issues. One sentence paragraphs for journalistic impact and a tendency to repeat some phrases. On the other hand we are left in no doubt about where the author stands on some of the performers and I did wonder how many digs were the product of previous run-ins during his career as a journalist. There are many revealing insights and some great one-liners.
Readers who enjoyed this book should have a look at the work of Alwyn Turner who uses popular culture as a medium for his books looking at the 70s and 80s.