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For fifty years, pop music was created and consumed like this: you heard a record on the radio, or read about it in a music paper; you bought it on Saturday; you lent it to, or taped it for, a friend; and they reciprocated with another record. It was a secret network. It was how you made friends, how you met girls, and how you soundtracked your world.
Bob Stanley's Yeah Yeah Yeah tells the chronological story of the modern pop era, from its beginnings in the fifties with the dawn of the charts, vinyl, and the music press, to pop's digital switchover in the year 2000, from Rock Around the Clock to Crazy In Love. There was constant change, constant development, a constant craving for newness. It was more than just music - it could be your whole life.
Yeah Yeah Yeah covers the birth of rock, soul, punk, disco, hip hop, indie, house and techno. It also includes the rise and fall of the home stereo, Top Of The Pops, Smash Hits, and "this week's highest new entry". Yeah Yeah Yeah is the first book to look back at the entire era: what we gained, what we lost, and the foundations we laid for future generations.
There have been many books on pop but none have attempted to bring the whole story to life, from Billy Fury and Roxy Music to TLC and Britney via Led Zeppelin and Donna Summer. Audacious and addictive, Yeah Yeah Yeah is essential reading for all music lovers. It will remind you why you fell in love with pop music in the first place.
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The key to Yeah Yeah Yeah is the mix of erudition and brilliantly sharp perspective; a mind equally intrigued by Bill Haley and Beyoncé. Delightful and illuminating, this is the pop answer to The Rest is Noise. (Roy Wilkinson MOJO 2013-09-30)
London has the A-Z, and pop now has Yeah Yeah Yeah. Finally, pop music has its Boswell (Caitlin Moran)
Might be the best book about music I've ever read. (Alexis Petridis Guardian)
A good old romp through the late twentieth century's greatest art form. (Jeremy Deller)
For everyone who ever made a mix tape (Observer)
...Noel Coward talked of the potency of cheap music, and Yeah Yeah Yeah is a love letter to this potency, written by a besotted and discerning suitor...as Yeah Yeah Yeah proves on nearly every page, Bob Stanley is both a fine writer and an impassioned celebrant of pop in all its mongrel, misfit glory, sending you back to records you know and in search of ones you don't with the giddy adolescent expectation that no pop fan should ever lose (Stuart Maconie The Times)
There is an ache there as much a part of pop as its natural exuberance, and Stanley's book - funny, wise, almost encyclopaedic - is testament to both aspects of the form. (Independent)
Entertaining, informative and great...he's a fine writer with a jukebox brain and a sense of humour. Through Yeah Yeah Yeah's fantastic analysis and history of pop he makes brilliant observations....this book covers everything- from pop's beginnings int the 50s to Beyonce and beyond, via Top of the Pops, Smash Hits, rock, punk, disco...It's essential. (David Quantick Q Magazine)
If anyone is qualified to condense the history of pop music into a 747-page book and reclaim the subject from the MP3 vs. vinyl hand wringers, it's Stanley. As founding member of Saint Etienne, music press stalwart and owner of a notoriously extensive record collection, Stanley practically has A-Levels in rock 'n' roll. (The Quietus)
Firstly, what makes this a must-read is Stanley's habit of nailing exactly what gives pop its romantic attraction; by the end of his concise dissection of The Beatles, you need never read another word about them. Secondly, the breadth and depth of his knowledge is astonishing. Most pages feature enough recommendations to send you on countless musical tangents, ensuring that the book becomes as much a trusted reference point as it is a wildly entertaining read. (Jamie Atkins Record Collector)
The complete story of the modern pop era: the era of vinyl, the Top 40, the NME, Smash Hits and Top of the Pops - when pop music defined pop culture.
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