Saturday, August 22, 2009

How pop music got here.

Did the Beatles really kill rock'n'roll?

That review in today's Guardian of this interesting book reminded me of two excellent TV series a few years back,
Howard Goodall's How Music Works for Channel 4 and Alan Lewen's Walk On By : The Story of Pop for the BBC which is apparently called "Soundtrack of the Century" in the US.

I love these programs that join up the dots in pop history and show its influences. I still have the Howard Goodall series on DVD but I'd love to find Walk On By. Does anyone know if it's available?

Here's the blurb about Elijah Wald's book
How the Beatles Destroyed Rock'n'Roll : A history of American pop music from the dawn of recording through the 1960s, which turns up new stories and provides a fresh outlook on old ones by looking at what people were listening to and dancing to over the years, rather than focusing on the usual histories of jazz and rock.

Cheers, Caitlin


barbryn said...

Don't know either of these, but if you're a fan of "joining up the dots in pop history", I'd recommend Paul Morley's "Words and Music", which charts an alternative history, or several, from Satie and Stockhausen through to Kylie's "Can't Get You Out of My Head". There's a lot of interesting detours and backtracking along the way. Most things go via Kraftwerk at some point.

Morley is a brilliant and infuriating writer. It's a lot of fun.

Dangerpuss said...

Yes! I like Paul Morley. Did he have a TV thing based on the London tube map?