Book Review: Different Tracks

tracksDifferent Tracks compares musical change and political change in the 1970s.  This is an interesting approach to a topic, but I think that if you explore the dynamic between the two for all the decades, there will be some sort of correlation.  (The author has also written a previous book about 1964 and this is the 2nd in a triology) The Beatles broke up, Simon & Garfunkel broke up.  People hoped the Vietnam War would come to an end.  Jimi Hendrix died.

The book looks at a lot of songs from this era as well as the state of the people and politics. The book consists of 8 chapters which look at different aspects of music and life. A very interesting read.  Lots of directories in the back with what music was mentioned in this book.

I received a free e-copy of this book in order to write this review. I was not otherwise compensated.

About the Book

Steve Millward continues to explore the dynamic between musical and political change in his new book, Different Tracks: Music and Politics in 1970.

1970 signaled the end of an era. The Swinging Sixties came to a crashing halt as the world seemed to be changing for the worse. Ideological and generational rifts became deeper and violent protest more commonplace. Politicians dealt with realities, not dreams. The Vietnam War dragged on. As ever, popular culture mirrored it all with the death of Jimi Hendrix and the break-up of The Beatles. Yet these apparent crises produced a climate in which new ideas could develop, pointing the way to a decade when creativity and tumult went hand-in-hand.

‘This was the year when James Brown defined funk, prog bands reached a peak of extravagance and the search was on to fuse rock with jazz, folk and classical music… From the increased militancy of the Black Panthers, the Baader-Meinhof Gang and the Angry Brigade to the new ways of living advocated by foodists, feminists and futurists – 1970 shaped the future in so many ways!’ observes Steve.

Manchester-based Steve co-wrote From Blues To Rock while teaching music courses at Manchester University. Since then, he has contributed to Women In Music Now, Juke Blues and, as jazz correspondent, the Manchester Evening News. His broadcasting experience includes a two-year spell as BBC Radio 5’s pop pundit.

Different Tracks is the second book in a trilogy that started with Changing Times: Music and Politics in 1964 and gives a comprehensive analysis of a thriving music scene where singer-songwriters such as Joni Mitchell and Nick Drake rubbed shoulders with innovators like Curtis Mayfield and Frank Zappa.

Category: Book Review
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