Top critical review
3 people found this helpful
on 25 July 2014
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 to try it for myself.
It's an easy read divided into sections roughly devoted to decades, and each chapter focuses on a particular band or genre of music popular at the time. Even in a book as thick or long as this some acts are given short shrift, whereas others get more coverage, sometimes deservedly so but in other instances it feels as though they are favourites of the author. The chapters feel almost like self-contained essays or articles, and if a particular genre or act isn't your cup of tea you could always skip that chapter rather than read every page as I did.
Sadly I found the book to be rather disappointing, even dull. There are several factual errors (also formatting errors on the Kindle edition) and much of the content is subjective, the author's personal opinions skewing the narrative as he often dismisses acts as being dull or irrelevant, whilst others who barely made an impact are apparently great. There are also times when it seems that some editing has been done but the text hasn't been checked, such as at one point it mentioned that a particular artist had "returned to England" but it didn't say where from, so it felt as though something was missing. I'd have preferred the book to have been written in a different way, perhaps in more of a chronological style based on what was popular in each year, and without the personal bias.
For me, "Yeah Yeah Yeah" was a long book but was frustratingly brief about too many acts, as though it had tried to cover every act under the sun in a single book, as though - as another reviewer commented - the author had tried to write a rough guide to pop music. Maybe the author should have written this as a number of books, each devoted to a decade, and then he could have done the subject justice. As it stands I found it easy to read but fragmented, sketchy, and ultimately rather dull. Looking at the reviews though it appears I'm in the minority, but we're all different.