Thursday, December 15, 2016

Books: Never a Dull Moment: 1971 - The Year That Rock Exploded by David Hepworth

The author makes a pretty convincing case that the year 1971 was a watershed in the history of rock 'n' roll and popular music. He takes a month by month approach, with many interesting diversions along the way. This project meant a lot to him, as he was 21 during that epochal year, and don't many music fans think the music of their young adulthood was world changing? It was a different time, when the lack of social media pressure allowed record labels to take risks, where the shadow of The Beatles recent breakup was a scar on the musical landscape that refused to heal despite individual solo albums by each member only fueled more speculation. In many ways it was the year of the singer-songwriter, Carol King's Tapestry, David Bowie's Hunky Dory and works by Cat Stevens, James Taylor and Neil Young as in contrast to The Who's masterpiece Who's Next, which rose from the ashes of the impenetrable Lifehouse project, the swaggering cock-rock of Led Zeppelin IV and Black Sabbath's Master of Reality and Paranoid and the rest of the nascent hard rock being produced. There are a number of interesting vignettes, like the amusing section about the wedding of Mick Jagger in France, as The Rolling Stones had to flee England to become tan exiles on the continent, hammering out new records deals and lawsuits agains the omnipresent Allen Klien, and it would lead them to create some of their finest music in that hothouse environment. It's a clear-eyed look back and a canny reassessment of the music that was created that year and that massive hold that it would gain over popular culture, as those evergreens are the foundation of the re-issues that are released today on a regular basis. Never a Dull Moment: 1971 The Year That Rock Exploded -

Send comments to Tim.