I bought this after "Uncut" magazine featured it in their Top Books of the Year - and they were right. I love the Specials and 2-Tone, and other writers have described how the bands were influenced by politics. But "Wheels Out Of Gear" actually explains what that means, painting a vivid portrait of the nightmare of life (for black and white youth) during the first years of Thatcher's Britain, as they were caught between unemployment and racism, the National Front and the SPG. You read the book and at first you're incredulous - it couldn't have been that bad. But then you research a little further - and it was. The music was British youth's way of fighting back against the chaos... 2-Tone, Mod and Oi all flourished at this time, and now we know why. I don't normally like books that try to paint a cultural picture around the music (England's Dreaming is a typical example). But "Wheels Out Of Gear" isn't just an exception, it might be the most important rock book of the century so far. You NEED to read this!
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