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33 Revolutions Per Minute by [Lynskey, Dorian]
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33 Revolutions Per Minute Kindle Edition

4.3 out of 5 stars 16 customer reviews

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Review

'[Dorian Lynskey] has painstakingly fashioned a social record of the past 100 years out of pop songs, paying tribute to the music that both reflects events and plays a part in changing them ... a fascinating journey.' --Sunday Times

'Majestic new history ... so panoramic is the sweep that it opens with Strange Fruit and closes with American Idiot ... The book is profoundly moving.' --Sunday Telegraph

'A thoughtful study of protest songs ... lucidly and authoritatively describing how they came to be written, the state of the artist's mind and career, and the political and musical context.' --Guardian

'33 Revolutions Per Minute is a scrupulously researched, elegantly written and highly absorbing account of the intersection of politics and music built around 33 key songs, and the events that yielded them.' --Independent

"This book is impressive in scope." --New Yorker

'An admirable piece of work ... There are songs of love, loss, longing, triumph, despair, exultation and rejection here.' --Irish Times

'[A] glorious, hilarious history of the protest song ... Extensive, thoughtful, beautifully written and often wryly funny ... Anyone with any interest in rock n roll or politics will find multitudes to enjoy here: would that all books about rock n roll were so intelligent, and all books about history such fun.' --New Humanist

'Superbly written and expertly researched, it's a fascinating insight into the makings of some of the most provocative songs ever produced.' --Shortlist

'A compelling, informed and enlightening read.' --The Big Issue

'A panoramic view of music, politics and social history that's wonderfully well-written, informative and often surprisingly funny, despite the book's ultimately serious intent.' --Uncut

'A vibrant and hugely informative narrative.' --Q

'Dorian Lynskey's excellent overview of protest songs ... He mixes interviews new and old with diligent research ... The book also doubles handily as a countercultural history of the West.' --Time Out

'Lynskey persuasively argues that the protest song is pop music in which 'the political content is not an obstacle to greatness, but the source of it.' --Independent

'Beginning with Billie Holiday's electrifying Strange Fruit, this hefty study of 33 protest songs [delivers] an engrossing account of how music can galvanize social movements.' --Benjamin Evans, The Telegraph Books of the Year

'This book, with its wry awareness of the fallibility of protest songs, stands out from the pack.' --Sunday Times

'Lynskey dedicates a chapter each to thirty-three protest songs, lucidly and authoritatively describing how they came to be written, the state of the artist's mind and career, and the political and musical context.' --Guardian

'Lynskey persuasively argues that the protest song is pop music in which 'the political content is not an obstacle to greatness, but the source of it.'' --Independent

'Lynskey dedicates a chapter each to thirty-three protest songs, lucidly and authoritatively describing how they came to be written, the state of the artist's mind and career, and the political and musical context.' --Guardian

Book Description

33 Revolutions Per Minute by Dorian Lynskey is an astounding, critically-acclaimed history of protest music, told through 33 momentous songs.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 3722 KB
  • Print Length: 864 pages
  • Publisher: Faber & Faber; Main edition (3 Mar. 2011)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B004QGY410
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Not Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars 16 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #321,155 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is a vast and meticulously researched book which is accessible enough to sustain interest through many periods and styles of music in search of protest songs on a wide range of issues. It is both good music criticism and fascinating social history. The reader's pleasure is further enhanced by the opportunity to read whilst listening to the songs in question and make one's own judgement on their impact. There is perhaps over-sensitivity to potential criticism about which songs have been "left out" by the inclusion of sprawling appendices and lists of other worthy songs. The writer could have more confidence to stick to the chosen 33 songs, all of which merit their place in a general survey, including an interesting turn away from Britain and the US in the middle. Having said that, one of the joys of such a book will be the pub debate about what should be in it: where, for example, is "Gimme Shelter"?!
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Dorian has produced a very well researched and well written book covering the history of protest songs from Billie Holiday and Woody Gutherie in the US, through disco (yes, not what I would have thought of as a hotbed of the protest song), rap, punk (including the wonderful Crass) and much more.

The sections that cover my personal music tastes (such as the chapter that looks at The Clash, particularly comparing them to the Sex Pistols) are of more immediate interest in some ways but the whole concept is very well conceived and conveyed in writing which, to my mind, stands above much of what I've read in non-fiction recently.

I didn't give it five stars only because there are times where it is perhaps a little too much like a history text book with very detailed dates on who did what on which day which demonstrates a thorough approach to research and a knowledge and understanding of the subject matter (which is partly what you're paying for) but can impact on the readability.

Overall, however, it's a great social history. There is a common thread through all the artists featured, despite the huge disparity in musical styles, which pulls the whole thing together into what is a great read for anyone with an interest in music.
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Format: Paperback
They say don't build your hopes don't they - having seen this talked up by Lynskey's fellow journalists I bought the hype, and the book, and as with the equally lauded Rob Young's 'Electric Eden' and Alex Ross's 'The Rest Is Noise', found the content erring on the cut and pastey papier mache side of things. It's curious to find a book so long which deals so lightly with its subject - perhaps the author tried to cut the cake too many ways in order to agree with the snappy title. I'd read much of the stuff on Strange Fruit before in David Margolick's brilliant book on the song, and overall Lynskey's book reads like 33 newspaper columns stitched together. Which, as he is a newspaper writer, it may well be, for all I know. So, a coherent book on this very important subject still needs to be written, and I'll be browsing more closely before buying the next tome championed in the press.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Love this book - in a world of disposable nappy music blasted out on mp3s and heard through cheap tinny speakers just for a few moments you can connect to another world where musicians tried to make sense of the madness around them. The chapters where I had no initial interest in the musician but which had me hooked from start to finish are numerous - eg Fela Kuti and his fight against the military, persuaded me to search and listen to his music,; others who were famous eg Billie Holiday and Strange Fruit, made me listen again and re-live the meaning behind the lyrics; and even in England where Lynton Kwesi Johnson whose era I lived through but didnt pay attention to, comes alive as I recall the racism and the riots.

It's a shame Mr Lynskey didnt devote a whole chapter to Phil Ochs whose songs burn with protest and anger. I guess he has to devote a chapter to Dylan because he's expected but frankly thats my own personal opionion, but I doubt Dylan ever protested about anything more than the size of his royalty cheque. Dylan called Ochs a journalist, but its a shame Ochs never had the guile to retort that Dylan was just an advertising man.

But even if you arent a keen music listener, or into "protest" whatever that may mean (and frankly today it probably is as dead as a dodo) the writing style and coverage of songs that meant something to their writers and belonged to a particular period of history, I think you will find this a book that stimulates your mind and soul.

Me, I couldn't put it down, and I was enthralled by the passion that rages in some musicians hearts, and I wish it still did (though perhaps I do an injustice to Eddie Vedder whose energy to benefits and causes seems to hark back to another age).
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
As one or two other reviewers have said the songs here are a structure on which to hang a history of protest songs in the modern era where pop & politics became mixed. At times the songs themselves are almost incidental to the story Lynskey wants to tell around them. So if you are looking for detailed writing about the songs mentioned you may well be disappointed.

It is well researched and pretty well written though, perhaps a little academic and lacking in passion. But like all good music books it will send you out to listen to the music discussed which is perhaps the greatest pleasure of all.
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