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)
What is striking about Yeah Yeah Yeah (as perfect a title for a book about pop as you could imagine) is that Stanley's interest is principally in the music. Yes, he writes about pop image, the music press and the record industry when he has to. But it all starts with the sound...Whether you agree with his judgements or not, you will stay for the writing. Stanley is able to sum up a singer or a song in a few well-chosen words...It is also a book full of wonderful I-didn't-know-that asides...glorious (Teddy Jamieson The Herald)
There are many candidates for the title of the last man to have known everything: Leibniz, John Stuart Mill, Archimedes, take your pick. It's entirely possible that the last person to have listened to everything - everything in pop, at least - is Bob Stanley...For readability and appreciation of scale, sweep and drama, Stanley is the Antony Beevor of pop...This book will change the way you think about a protean form of music that you have known all your life and I stand in awe of it. (New Statesman)
A book every bit as well researched and infectiously enthusiastic as you would expect ...From A&M to ZTT, Stanley has missed nothing and Yeah Yeah Yeah excels at offering both a broad overview of the subject as well as a devilishly detailed account. Either read the thing from cover to cover or dip in and out according to mood, but do check out the story of modern pop, because it's one that will never be told again. (Lee Bullman Loud and Quiet 2013-10-01)
'with his incisive and erudite eye, Bob Stanley manages to deal with the broad specifics of huge cultural and industrial changes during this period of recent history without losing sight of the smaller scale....make sure to pick up Yeah Yeah Yeah, a book which looks set to be an essential tome for any pop fanatic'. (Mark Corcoran-Lettice NARC Magazine 2013-09-25)
With births come deaths and the rise and fall of Top Of The Pops, Smash Hits, vinyl, cassettes and CDs show just how pop has developed and how it has changed the world.This encyclopaedic labour of love traces 50 years of contemporary chart music and it leaves no stone unturned. (Harry Hodges Daily Express)
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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