Wednesday, 1 March 2017
David Hepworth 1971 Never a Dull Moment (2016) By Mark Ellen's partner-in-crime in the magazine world and co-presenter of Whistle Test. An enthusiastic month-by-month account of the musicians, the music industry and most importantly, the long players put out during one year that Hepworth wants to claim as the most significant in the history of rock and roll. He's probably right when you look at some of the exhibits he puts forward: There's A Riot Going On, Tapestry, Led Zeppelin IV, Tago Mago, Loaded, Sticky Fingers, Aqualung, What's Going On, Electric Warrior (first lp I bought), Master of Reality, Fog on the Tyne, Inner Mounting Flame, Meddle, American Pie etc. I get the impression that Who's Next and Hunky Dory are probably his favourites, but he makes good cases for many more. He's not a fan of progressive rock, but that year saw the appearance of such genre classics as Tarkus, Pictures at an Exhibition, The Yes Album, Fragile and Nursery Cryme.
It's interesting to be reminded of prices and the way of life at a time when I was alive: eg. pint of bitter 15p, house in North London £20,000, very little obesity. He has some insightful observations, most notably about the beginnings of 'heritage rock' and its absorption into show business even at that point, although he does describe the unpleasant conditions at the majority of music festivals and it's easy to forget that until relatively recently some rock concerts could be pretty violent and dangerous.
Edward Lucie-Smith Symbolist Art (1972)
Paul Strathern The Knowledge: The Periodic Table (2015) Another bargain from The Works.
Michael Oliver Benjamin Britten (1996) Thought I should vary my diet of music biographies.
H G Wells The Time Machine (first published 1895) Always worth rereading, now and again.
Denise Hooker Nina Hamnett, Queen of Bohemia (1986) See posts below.