3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Impressive, comprehensive although occasionally subjective,
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This review is from: Yeah Yeah Yeah: The Story of Modern Pop (Paperback)
I'm a big music fan of types and so, at more than 700 pages, this was ideal holiday reading for me. Bob Stanley's book covers the first 50 years of "modern pop" (a broad definition, which covers most types of music which charted between the 1950s and 1990s) and he focuses on the main trends and trendsetters rather than the most popular. By and large, he does an excellent job and I was particularly interested in the new stuff: the 1950s (when I wasn't around) and emergence of house and techno in the late 1980s which passed me by at the time). The book is excellently researched and highly readable throughout. The only gripe I had with it was that the book was subjective when covering the formative years of the author (basically the late 60s and 70s) - which means you don't get any Bohemian Rhapsody (surely one of the most impactful singles ever), Janis Joplin (who blazed the trail for so many female singers), Peter Frampton (one of the best selling live albums ever), Steppenwolf (whose Born to Be Wild introduced the term "heavy metal") or Jackson Browne (despite a chapter on Laurel Canyon). There was also an amazing assertion that Led Zeppelin and the Sweet sound alike and that 1970 was a weak year (which works well as an "end of the sixties" storyline , but ignores the fantastic hard rock, motown, soul, reggae which came out that year, not to mention the emergence of T. Rex. In my book, 1970 was like any other year - some great, some good and some downright awful!
Overall, though, these are minor gripes and like every music fan, Bob has the right to be subjective and could not be expected to cover everything in these 700 pages. This book is highly recommended for music fans of all ages and will have you reminiscing and digging out all those old records once again!