This book was my partners and he read it in two sittings, which is unusual, so I thought I would give it a go. It is a history of 1971 told via 12 albums that were released during the year and is written by a music journalist and former presented of The Old Grey Whistle Test.
Hepworth goes through the year month by month telling anecdotes about the making of the albums he chooses, the music scene and the way pop-royalty was learning to live its new millionnaire lifestyle.
This is definitely a book for music lovers of a certain age; mainly, I think, blokes in their 60s who lived through the period and were into prog rock. I enjoyed reading it and recognising things I lived through but I was only 6 in 1971 and didn’t recognise a lot of the things Hepworth talks about.
What the book did make me do though was think and wonder about a couple of things. Firstly, does the current fad for “kidulthood” start with the rebellion of “not growing up” in young men in the US in the 60s and 70s, trying to avoid thinking about the Vietnam draft? Secondly, why do most of us live our lives as affluent zombies, drifting along without thinking what is going on beneath the surface of our lives? And have both of these things led to the Western world floating complacently along to the point where extreme politics and isolationism are increasing?
For a book I found “ok” it has certainly provoked some deep thoughts!
And, chaps of a certain age, I’d recommend it to you as a good read about music.