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The people's songs: the story of modern…
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The people's songs: the story of modern Britain in 50 records (2013)

by Stuart Maconie

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Very well written, entertaining book, merging interesting stories of classic pop songs with the recent history of Britain. ( )
  PhilipKinsella | Jul 19, 2015 |
This is a most enjoyable book which I read from start to finish, even though I don't know many of the records discussed from the mid-eighties onwards. Details about the songs themselves vary from chapter to chapter: 5.15 by The Who, for instance gets very short shrift, whereas Maconie went into the making of The Specials' Ghost Town in some detail. However, the good points far outnumber the bad and The People's Songs is packed with useless bits of information which I found irresistible. Did you know, for instance, that Harry Secombe couldn't sing on the Ying Tong Song because he had a contract with Philips Records and The Goons had signed with Decca? Or that Black Sabbath's Tommy Iommi lost the tips of his fingers during his last afternoon at work, only returning because his mother didn't want him to finish early? There's lots more where this came from and the author's enthusiasm for most musical genres is infectious. An ideal gift for anyone who cares about popular music. ( )
  cappybear | Sep 24, 2013 |
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For Ian Callaghan and Lorna Skingley
And with thanks of course to Bob Shennan
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 009193379X, Hardcover)

In The People's Music, Stuart Maconie argues that what we call pop music has a defiant, unsanctioned concept at its heart: the ability to speak to people, to affect people, to transform their lives. This book tells the story of modern Britain via the records that soundtracked this dramatic and kaleidoscopic period. The story is told chronologically over 50 linked chapters. At the heart of each is one emblematic song that is discussed fully. These are not the greatest songs ever recorded. But the records tell us something about how we feel and have felt about work, war, class, leisure, race, family, sport, drugs, sex, spirituality, politics, patriotism and more. These are the songs that people listened to, laughed to, loved to and laboured to, as well as danced to -- from Telstar to Y Viva Espana, Bluebirds Over the White Cliffs of Dover to Ghost Town, Wham Rap to A Whiter Shade of Pale, Two Tribes to My Girl Lollipop, God Save the Queen to Blue Monday, Do They Know its Xmas to Candle in the Wind.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:20:33 -0400)

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