The People's Songs: The Story of Modern Britain in 50 Records

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9780091933791: The People's Songs: The Story of Modern Britain in 50 Records

These are the songs that have been listened to, laughed to, loved to, and labored to, as well as downed tools and danced to. Covering the last seven decades, Stuart Maconie looks at the songs that have been the soundtracks for changing times, and have—just sometimes—changed the way listeners feel. Beginning with Vera Lynn’s "We’ll Meet Again," a song that reassured a nation parted from their loved ones by the turmoil of war, and culminating with the manic energy of "Bonkers," Dizzee Rascal’s anthem for the push and rush of the 21st century inner city, The People’s Songs takes a tour of the UK's pop music, and asks what it means to a Briton.The story of modern Britain is told chronologically over 50 chapters, through the records that listened to and loved during the dramatic and kaleidoscopic period from World War II to the present day. This is not a rock critique about the 50 greatest tracks ever recorded. Rather, it is a celebration of songs that tell us something about how Britons have felt about things in their lives down the eras—work, war, class, leisure, race, family, drugs, sex, patriotism, and more. In times of prosperity or poverty, this is the music that inspired haircuts and dance crazes, but also protest and social change. The companion to Stuart Maconie’s landmark Radio 2 series, The People’s Songs shows the power of "cheap" pop music,­ one of Britain’s greatest exports. These are the songs people have worked to and partied to, and grown up and grown old to—from "A Whiter Shade of Pale" to "Rehab," "She Loves You" to "Star Man," and "Dedicated Follower of Fashion" to "Radio Ga Ga."

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About the Author:

Stuart Maconie is a writer, broadcaster, and journalist familiar to millions from his work in print, on radio and on TV. His previous bestsellers have included Cider with Roadies, Pies and Prejudice, and Adventures on the High Teas, and he currently hosts the afternoon show in 6music with Mark Radcliffe as well as weekly show The Freak Zone.

Review:

 · "As funny as Bryson and as wise as Orwell." --Observer

 · "A very engaging writer with a remarkably broad frame of reference." --Mail on Sunday

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Maconie, Stuart
Published by Ebury Press (2013)
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Stuart Maconie
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