Stuart Maconie: The People's Songs The Story of Modern Britain in 50 Records



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The People s Songs The Story of Modern Britain in 50 Records would probably appeal most to those people who know very ittle about pop music I came to it as both a music addict and a music book addict and discovered very Ranchers Refuge (Whisper Falls, little that was new to me That said I really enjoyed the trip down memoryane The People s Songs The Story of Modern Britain in 50 Records is essentially music as social history 50 essays about 50 records Sometimes the song under discussion barely warrants a mention and is of a springboard for a broader discussion The topics include subjects Last Seen... like mass tourism racism folk devils and moral panics football etc The songs start with Vera Lynn s Wel Meet Again and end with Dizzee Rascal s Bonkers with a final 50th tacked on chapter voted for by the public which covers Slade s Merry Xmas Everybody and Xmas songs generally Towards the end of the book the concept began to pall and I wonder if even author Stuart Maconie began to have second thoughts about the concept Overall though I am very glad I finally read this book A splendid blend of music history and social history and whilst the actual selections might not always be the most obvious the broad coverage of the period c1940 2012 is very good and packs a Having Gabriels Baby lot in 45 This is a social history of Britain from WWII to the present day told chronologically in 50 chapters with each chapter centred around a song that represents its theme The themes cover topics ranging across post War austerity immigration unemployment and riots but alsoighter subjects such as package holidays and the rise of electronic music The book is a companion to a Radio 2 series from 2013 which included opinions from members of the public and the inclusion of some of these in the book would have enhanced it While I iked Maconie s wry style and felt he dealt with the controversial topics in a balanced and informative way his views did become slightly repetitive over the course of 50 chapters Nonetheless this is an interesting and thoughtful book which I found hard to put down especially once it reached the era of my own musical memoriesThere are a few inaccuracies in the book such as describing the ueen of Tonga as a guest from the Caribbean and a sackful of typos some are amusing ike scoolchiden and unconcoious while those involving missing words are distracting and irritating so better editing would have helped Overall well worth a read if you are interested in modern social history or the history of popular music I ve read several of Stuart Maconie s books recently as I enjoy his writing style and way of The Mediterranean Billionaires Blackmail Bargain looking at things This one is slightly difference from his other books as it s the written version of a radio series whichooked at Britain s history through the medium of popular songs Each chapter A Christmas Seduction looks at a particular song and considers what it tells us about the UK of the time It s written with perception and humour and I found much toike in each chapter even when I wasn t a fan of the song which was its subject I think it s a book for dipping into over a The Pregnant Midwife long period rather than one to race through from cover to cover as there s so much to enjoy in the discussion of each song that it would be a shame to dilute that by reading too much at a time This wonderful book covers seven decades of musicooking at songs that have tracked the changing times of the country It is a people s history of modern Britain told through shared musical memories and each chapter has an emblematic record Of course this book accompanies the radio series by Stu Pretty boring Song choices good mainstream but Maconie tends to focus too much on giving us The Simple Soul of Susan lumpy and dreary chunks of social history interspersed with oress extended discussions of other artists that the one nominally under discussion reminds him of In most cases a rather NetBeans IDE 8 Cookbook low proportion of the chapter discusses the actual song in uestion And then what he has to say is ofittle interestHe also spends an unnecessary amount of dull bookspace discreetly making the point that he is a good modern Master Locksmithing liberal anti elitist man of the people which is very nice for his neighbours I m sure but neither relevant nor interesting here I did not buy very many of the singles Stuart Maconie chooses for his trawl through the musical and social history of Britain some were before my time some I bought the vinyl or CD album and others I was perhaps not in touch with the zeitgeist of that year one I had never even heard of It does not matter it is his choice and it is not just about the music anyway This is social history told through music It isight and accessible an easy and enjoyable read but it does manage to cover the major events of the time as well as all the major musical trends I might have chosen some different songs but I could not have tied them into the social trends so wellThe chapters vary in emphasis Sometimes the particular track chosen is just a hook for a subject he wants to discuss 515 is not mentioned in the chapter it heads the ravers in the chapter on Ebeneezer Goode and the second Summer of Love were not buying the track ten year younger fans bought it three years Born to Blog later usually in an attempt to annoy their parents but it gives a good in to discussing draconianegislation which even the normally These are the songs that have been listened to The New Alpha laughed tooved to and Accelerated Learning labored to as well as downed tools and danced to Covering theast seven decades Stuart Maconie Fitzpatricks Dermatology in General Medicine, Eighth Edition, 2 Volume Set looks at the songs that have been the soundtracks for changing times and have just sometimes changed the wayisteners feel Beginning with Vera Lynn’s We’ll Meet Again a song that reassured a nation parted from their oved ones by the turmoil of war and culminating with the manic energy.

Abid Daily Mail thought went too far and he does mention a few of the tracks they were dancing to Other tracks Rock Island Line Move It She Loves You Living in the Past Paranoid Starman Don t Cry for Me Argentina You Should be Dancing are emblematic of a musical trend A few Telstar Bye Bye Baby Rehab Bonkers contain personal biographies of the artists concerned as well as their musical credentials Most tie the chosen song to the social conditions and events of the time There are a few musical icons some one hit wonders and a few oddities Overall it is a mixed bag ike any good DJ s collection I enjoyed most of it The children now Clashing Views on Abnormal Psychology loveuxury they have bad manners contempt for authority they show disrespect for elders and Writing Matters! - Student Book love chatter in place of exercise Children are now tyrants not the servants of their households They noonger rise when elders enter the room They contradict their parents chatter before company gobble up dainties at the table cross their egs and tyrannize their teachersAttributed to Socrates by Plato Republic Book 4You can tell The People s Songs isn t a proper history because there are no acknowledgements not one even though Stuart Maconie uotes entire paragraphs from other books there s no bibliography no index And you can tell this isn t a muso critical 50 Greatest British Songs because even though every chapter is named after a song he only mentions casually who recorded it and when it was issued The songs are just hooks And there s a iberal sprinkling of turkeys Radio Ga Ga Another Brick in the Wall The Ying Tong Song And Je T aime because of all those Murder Shoots the Bull (Southern Sisters, liuid consonants breathy fricatives and soft slurred non guttural syllables even when sayingLike the irresolute waveI go I go and I comeBetween your kidneys What this seems to be and I ve read it but I m still not 100% sure is a gallop through British youth movements interesting personalitiesike Joe Meek shoots Hudson Valley Mediterranean landlady then self and Morrissey I m not afraid to say that I think Band Aid was diabolical or to say that I think Bob Geldof is a nauseating character and major political events since 1940 in the company of a motormouth who occasionally says surprising things such as a very uncompromising defence of prog yes Yes but mainly appears not to be pushing any particularine except one which says that British pop culture is always alive always well always in your face and always casually brilliant After all the British invented so much heavy metal rave culture gay pop stars what s that Oh yeah Where else could George Michael Elton John and Freddie Mercury come from Not to mention Boy George Holly Johnson from Frankie Goes to Hollywood the Pet Shop Boys The Doing Democracy in Indigenen Gemeinschaften list goes on Not so much for girls though Er where was I I got distracted It s that kind of bookTeds baggies crustiesaddism Northern soul mods skins goths ZZT 2 Tone merseybeat glam new romantics hardcore handbag dub bhangra miners striketoriesFalklandswarpirateradioacidhouselabourlandslideinvasionofiraecowarriorsfootballohfookinasis he crams it all in and hurtles off to the next song next chapter next pivotal moment next ohjust a moment till I catch my breathlet me sit down for a mo I m not as young as the youth movement I was once part of any I m not sure who this book is for but it s pretty good 35 stars and Happenings Ten Years Time Ago from mehttpwwwyoutubecomwatchvDrTl9psurely the best non hit of the 60s This wonderful book covers seven decades of music The Secrets of Boys looking at songs that have tracked the changing times of the country It is a people s history of modern Britain told through shared musical memories and each chapter has an emblematic record Of course this book accompanies the radio series by Stuart Maconie and if you enjoyed that then you will certainlyike this too It is not only a musical history of the country but also a social history encompassing many different aspects of our shared memories as a nationThe book begins with We Stop Whining--and Start Winning ll meet again and ends with hip hop In between many different musical styles are represented including skiffle rock and roll progressive rock heavy metal folk music disco Britpop and punk Some songs are truly universally known such as She Loves You by the Beatles an euphoric beginning to the Sixties Others are of importance for other reasons Move it by Cliff Richard which kicked off British rock or Rock Island Line by Lonnie Donegan which started the skiffle boom and caused so many great future artists to form groups all over the country Other songs are truly of their time and not remembered widely now unless you were actually around at the moment for example Dickie Valentine s In a Golden Coach which was hugely popular during the Coronation in 1953This is a fascinating account of the times and encompasses diverse events such as package holidays education the home and familyife Thatcherism Band Aid talent shows and music festivals It charts not only the history of the country but that of our music Charlie and the Christmas Kitty looking at the first singles chart radio those whose influenceasted and musical trends From Joe Meek the Beatles Bowie the Bay City Rollers boy groups to pop divas musicals and novelty records all are covered in this celebration of our musical tastes Stuart Maconie writes with humour and intelligence and this is a gr. Of Bonkers Dizzee Rascal’s anthem for the push and rush of the 21st century inner city The People’s Songs takes a tour of the UK's pop music and asks what it means to a BritonThe story of modern Britain is told chronologically over 50 chapters through the records that Il sale della vita listened to andoved during the dramatic and kaleidoscopic period from World War II to the present day This is not a rock critiue about the 50 greatest tracks ever recorded Rather it.

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Eat read for music My Favorite Things lovers If I could give half stars this would be a three and a half star review This book isn t bad and if you areooking for a nostalgic undemanding read it s probably worth buying It s just that it isn t as good as I hoped it would beThis is a tie in to a BBC radio series and that is probably key to the weakness of the book which without being a massive coffee table endangering tome is going to struggle to have the depth and richness of a 50 part radio series I didn t hear the radio series but the blurb about it on the BBC website suggests that it was centred around isteners s views Crucially that is an element missing hearOn the plus side Maconie is an interesting and engaging writer although perhaps not uite at his waspish best There is nothing here uite as funny or scurrilous as his comparison of Chris de Burgh writing Lady in Red and the eader of the Third Reich a comparison in which the former fares badly Further any book of The Nine of Us lists always generates the pleasure of disagreeing with inclusions and exclusions One undoubted strength of this collection is the extent of Maconie s net which spreads from the Bay City Rollers to Black Sabbath from My Boy Lollipop to Ebeneezer Goode A fascinating exclusion is a song which when I got to the end of the book I thought How can he call this the people s music and omit that However the book which claims to be the 50 people s songs only includes 49 For the radio seriesisteners were invited to propose the final entry Given the timing of the final show the identity of the chosen song was utterly inevitableBeing that eclectic is also one of the weaknesses of the book The vox pops of the radio series probably gave it a coherence which this doesn t have The stated aim in the introduction is that this will be the people s choices the pop music which meant something to the people of Britain That is certainly the case with some of the the choices which wouldn t appear in a classic rock history We l meet again Don t cry for me Argentina but that doesn t tell the whole story The book is veers between that andA straight history of British musical genres heavy metal punk goth rave etc etcA history of pale and interesting young men s music Bowie s Starman Bronski Beat and of course the mandatory inclusion under the Representation of Self important Misanthropes Act 1986 which states that no British musical book can omit Manchester Miserablist Morrisey of the SmithsA social history of post war Britain Silver Jubilee miners strike Labour s 1997 election victorySongs included simply because the author ikes them andor the artist The most glaring example of this is Solsbury Hill excellent song though it is justified on the wafer thin basis that people Hiding in the Bathroom like to go on country walks to think things through Another disappointment after the descent from breadth intoack of coherence is the fact that one would guess that the target demographic particularly as this was a Radio 26 project is people in their 40s to 60s but the book contains very The Perils of Pursuing a Prince (Desperate Debutantes, little that has not been repeated many times before and is not already well known to aarge proportion of the readership Again I suspect the problem here is that the missing new material was in the popular interviews in the Radio Series That said it is always entertaining to be reminded that the guitarist on 60s hit Telstar was George Bellamy father of Muse s MattOne of the pleasures of istening to Maconie is his iconoclastic view the world Here he seems to adopt some boringly currently trendy views Prog was actually uite good thoroughly sound position Live Aid is rubbished to an extent as ineffective mainly serving to promote the careers of washed up rock stars and amazingly being responsible for the birth of celebrity culture and middle class music festivals Gosh and I Thought it was a bloke trying todo some good after being shocked by a catastrophe Oasis rather than being musical magpies who produced two stonkingly good albums and ittle else of note were in fact single handedly responsible for the downfall of decent society and the growth of Becca and the Prisoners Cross (The Copernicus Legacy lad culture While giving views with which one can disagree could actually be one of the pleasures of the bookazy inaccuracies are The Commodore (Aubrey/Maturin, less ambivalent In the second chapter there is the stunningly crassly inaccurate description of the ueen of Tonga as being from the Caribbean He also uotes Jon Savageinking Nick Hornby with addishness Anyone who has actually read Fever Pitch knows that while it could be accused of contributing to football becoming middle class it is very definitely anti adIn summary while this book has its faults it is very readable and reading it really made me wish I d heard the radio series So a reuest to the BBC if issues with rights allow it can we have a download or a CD box set please Given that this is supposed to be a book about songs there s a surprising The Texas Rangers Heiress Wife lack of song related material Maconie isn t a particularly good writer some of his facts are just plain wrong and based on received wisdom rather than him making any effort to do research He doesn t give any new insights into modern Britain and the song choices are not that exciting either Why did I buy it and read it It was a uid and Iove music but it wasn t a great experience. Is a celebration of songs that tell us something about how Britons have felt about things in their ives down the eras work war class eisure race family drugs sex patriotism and In times of prosperity or poverty this is the music that inspired haircuts and dance crazes but also protest and social change The companion to Stuart Maconie’s andmark Radio 2 series The People’s Songs shows the power of cheap pop music­ one of Britain’s greatest exports.

Stuart Maconie is a TV and radio presenter journalist columnist and authorHe is the UK’s best selling travel writer of non TV tie in books and his Pies and Prejudice was one of 2008’s top selling paperbacks His work has been compared with Bill Bryson Alan Bennett and John Peel and described by The Times as a 'National Treasure'He co hosts the Radcliffe and Maconie Show on BBC Radio 2 every M