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'It's Number One... it's Top Of The Pops', for every generation from 1964, until the show ended in 2006, that was the sentence every young television viewer sat down to hear. At its peak, a quarter of the UKs entire population was watching. 'Top Of The Pops' was the pivotal pop television programme over its 2,000 weekly episodes, the programme gave peak airtime to every act, from The Beatles to Beyonce... from Cream to Coldplay... from Pink Floyd to Pink! From its humble beginnings in 1964 from a disused church through to the programme's pan-global appeal in the 1990s, 'Top Of The Pops' became synonymous with the best in pop television. This book tells the incredible story of 'Top of the Pops'. It is not just the story of a long-running television programme. The story of 'Top of the Pops' is the story of British popular music. It is a shadow history of British rock & roll, and beyond. It is the story of how a 6-week show turned into a pan-global phenomenon and how for 40 years, 'Top of the Pops' was a British institution. With a span of nearly half a century, there are so many highlights: The Beatles only live appearance, in 1966, promoting Paperback Writer... the Who getting banned... the first colour edition in 1969... David Bowie's breakthrough performance of Starman in 1972... Nirvana's chaotic 1991 appearance promoting Smells Like Teen Spirit... the Blur versus Oasis battle... Justin Timberlake playing bass with the Flaming Lips in 2003... 'Top Of The Pops II' was launched in 1994, bringing the programme to a whole new audience. Around the same time, the BBC licensed the 'Top Of The Pops' brand to over 90 countries, with an estimated audience of 100 million. Though it ceased broadcasting in 2006, thanks to the internet, compilation CDs; and repeated viewing on BBC4... 'Top Of The Pops' lives on.
"In Albin J. Zak III's highly original study, phonograph records are not just the medium for disseminating songs but musical works unto themselves. Fashioned from a mix of copyright law, recording studios and techniques, the talent of musicians and disc jockeys, the ingenuity and avarice of producers, and the appetites of record buyers, the all-powerful marketplace Zak describes is an unruly zone where music of, by, and for the people is made and anointed."
---Richard Crawford, author of America's Musical Life: A History



"Wrestling clarity from the exuberant chaos of early rock 'n' roll, Albin Zak's I Don't Sound Like Nobody redefines our understanding of the record in the shaping of the post– World War II soundscape. Zak tracks the story which extends from Bing Crosby and Frank Sinatra through Elvis and Buddy Holly to the Beatles and Bob Dylan with excursions into dozens of lesser known, but crucial, players in a game with few established rules. A crucial addition to the bookshelf."
---Craig Werner, author of A Change Is Gonna Come: Music, Race & the Soul of America



"I Don't Sound Like Nobody is a superb account of the transformation of American popular music in the 1950s. Albin Zak insightfully explores what recording actually means in terms of the process of making and consuming music. His discussion of the legal, aesthetic, and industrial ramifications of changes in the recording process over the course of the 1950s will make popular music scholars and record collectors reconsider what they think they know about the period."
---Rob Bowman, author of Soulsville, U.S.A.: The Story of Stax Records



"Informative, original, and entertaining. Through a narrative that is not only enlightening but also compelling, I Don't Sound Like Nobody probes the sources and mechanisms of change within post-war American popular music, shedding a cultural and historical light on the convergence of musical idioms that created '50s rock and roll."
---Stan Hawkins, author of Settling the Pop Score



"From the birth of the record industry through the legacy of Presley, the development of rock and roll, and the Beatles 'stunning arrival on the world's stage,' Albin Zak takes us on a journey of exceptional scholarship. The breadth of coverage and deep examination of recordings and repertoire reveal the author's reverence and sensitivity to the many dimensions and origins of this complex musical soundscape."
---William Moylan, author of Understanding and Crafting the Mix: The Art of Recording



The 1950s marked a radical transformation in American popular music as the nation drifted away from its love affair with big band swing to embrace the unschooled and unruly new sounds of rock 'n' roll.



The sudden flood of records from the margins of the music industry left impressions on the pop soundscape that would eventually reshape long-established listening habits and expectations, as well as conventions of songwriting, performance, and recording. When Elvis Presley claimed, "I don't sound like nobody," a year before he made his first commercial record, he unwittingly articulated the era's musical Zeitgeist.



The central story line of I Don't Sound Like Nobody is change itself. The book's characters include not just performers but engineers, producers, songwriters, label owners, radio personalities, and fans---all of them key players in the decade's musical transformation.



Written in engaging, accessible prose, Albin Zak's I Don't Sound Like Nobody approaches musical and historical issues of the 1950s through the lens of recordings and fashions a compelling story of the birth of a new musical language. The book belongs on the shelf of every modern music aficionado and every scholar of rock 'n' roll.





Albin J. Zak III is Professor of Music at the University at Albany, State University of New York. He is the editor of The Velvet Underground Companion and the author of The Poetics of Rock: Cutting Tracks, Making Records, a groundbreaking study of rock music production. Zak is also a record producer, songwriter, singer, and guitarist.



Jacket design by Paula Newcomb



Jacket photograph © Eve Arnold/Magnum Photos

Winner of the Southwest Popular and American Culture Association's 2016 Peter C. Rollins Book Award in the category of Film/Television

The popular music industry has become completely interlinked with the film industry. The majority of mainstream films come with ready-attached songs that may or may not appear in the film but nevertheless will be used for publicity purposes and appear on a soundtrack album. In many cases, popular music in films has made for some of the most striking moments in films and the most dramatic aesthetic action in cinema, like Ben relaxing in the pool to Simon and Garfunkel's 'The Sound of Silence' in The Graduate (1967), and the potter's wheel sequence with the Righteous Brothers' 'Unchained Melody' in Ghost (1990). Yet, to date, there have only been patchy attempts to deal with popular music's relationship with film. Indeed, it is startling that there is so little written on subject that is so popular as a consumer item and thus has a significant cultural profile.

Magical Musical Tour is the first sustained and focused survey to engage the intersection of the two on both an aesthetic and industrial level. The chapters are historically-inspired reviews, discussing many films and musicians, while others will be more concentrated and detailed case studies of single films. Including an accompanying website and a timeline giving a useful snapshot around which readers can orient the book, Kevin Donnelly explores the history of the intimate bond between film and music, from the upheaval that rock'n'roll caused in the mid-1950s to the more technical aspects regarding 'tracking' and 'scoring'.
"There are no definitive histories," writes Elijah Wald, in this provocative reassessment of American popular music, "because the past keeps looking different as the present changes." Earlier musical styles sound different to us today because we hear them through the musical filter of other styles that came after them, all the way through funk and hip hop. As its blasphemous title suggests, How the Beatles Destroyed Rock 'n' Roll rejects the conventional pieties of mainstream jazz and rock history. Rather than concentrating on those traditionally favored styles, the book traces the evolution of popular music through developing tastes, trends and technologies--including the role of records, radio, jukeboxes and television --to give a fuller, more balanced account of the broad variety of music that captivated listeners over the course of the twentieth century. Wald revisits original sources--recordings, period articles, memoirs, and interviews--to highlight how music was actually heard and experienced over the years. And in a refreshing departure from more typical histories, he focuses on the world of working musicians and ordinary listeners rather than stars and specialists. He looks for example at the evolution of jazz as dance music, and rock 'n' roll through the eyes of the screaming, twisting teenage girls who made up the bulk of its early audience. Duke Ellington, Benny Goodman, Frank Sinatra, Elvis Presley, Chuck Berry, and the Beatles are all here, but Wald also discusses less familiar names like Paul Whiteman, Guy Lombardo, Mitch Miller, Jo Stafford, Frankie Avalon, and the Shirelles, who in some cases were far more popular than those bright stars we all know today, and who more accurately represent the mainstream of their times. Written with verve and style, How the Beatles Destroyed Rock 'n' Roll shakes up our staid notions of music history and helps us hear American popular music with new ears.
By the time Roger McGuinn, David Crosby, Chris Hillman, and Michael Clarke entered the studio to begin work on this album, they were basically falling apart at the seams. "Ladyfriend", a song written by Crosby, had just failed miserably as a chart single despite the fact that he lobbied hard to get it released. This - coupled with the fact that he made what the rest of the band considered an embarrassing political speech onstage during their set at the Monterey Pop Festival, and then sat in with rivals the Buffalo Springfield the following day - pushed McGuinn and Hillman in particular to the limits of their patience. Then, for the Notorious sessions, Crosby presented a song called "Triad", written about a threesome, and although McGuinn and Hillman reluctantly agreed to record it, they later decided to place a less controversial Goffin & King pop number called "Goin' Back" on the album instead. Crosby declared the song banal and refused to sing on it. A few too many studio flare-ups later, McGuinn and Hillman finally screeched up into the Hollywood Hills in their Jaguars and fired Crosby on the spot. Also brooding during this period was drummer Michael Clarke, who had always borne the brunt of the other band members' rage while recording. He was by far the least accomplished member of the band musically, and when they suggested bringing in a studio drummer to embellish some tracks (Jim Gordon, later of Derek & the Dominos fame), he finally declared he'd had enough and moved to Hawaii to get away from the music scene altogether. So, McGuinn and Hillman were left to cobble together an album with the help of producer Gary Usher (known for his work with Brian Wilson, the Millenium, Sagittarius and many others). The fact that it turned out to be one of the defining albums of the 60s psychedelic pop experience was either a sheer stroke of luck, or a testament to McGuinn and Hillman's determination to prove that they didn't need Crosby's help to construct their masterpiece.
This book is the first to explore style and spectacle in glam popular music performance from the 1970s to the present day, and from an international perspective. Focus is given to a number of representative artists, bands, and movements, as well as national, regional, and cultural contexts from around the globe. Approaching glam music performance and style broadly, and using the glam/glitter rock genre of the early 1970s as a foundation for case studies and comparisons, the volume engages with subjects that help in defining the glam phenomenon in its many manifestations and contexts. Glam rock, in its original, term-defining inception, had its birth in the UK in 1970/71, and featured at its forefront acts such as David Bowie, T. Rex, Slade, and Roxy Music. Termed "glitter rock" in the US, stateside artists included Alice Cooper, Suzi Quatro, The New York Dolls, and Kiss. In a global context, glam is represented in many other cultures, where the influences of early glam rock can be seen clearly. In this book, glam exists at the intersections of glam rock and other styles (e.g., punk, metal, disco, goth). Its performers are characterized by their flamboyant and theatrical appearance (clothes, costumes, makeup, hairstyles), they often challenge gender stereotypes and sexuality (androgyny), and they create spectacle in popular music performance, fandom, and fashion. The essays in this collection comprise theoretically-informed contributions that address the diversity of the world’s popular music via artists, bands, and movements, with special attention given to the ways glam has been influential not only as a music genre, but also in fashion, design, and other visual culture.
A comprehensive introduction to the inner workings of rock music, The Foundations of Rock goes back to the heart of the music itself from the time of its birth through the end of classic rock. Walter Everett expertly takes readers through all aspects of the music and its lyrics, leading fans and listeners to new insights and new ways to develop their own interpretations of the aural landscapes of their lives. Written with style, Everett does not depend on musical notation nor professional jargon, but rather combines text with nearly 300 newly written audio examples (performed on the companion website) and more than 100 expertly chosen photographs, to offer a rich text-and-web experience that brings new meanings to songs that have dominated music for a half-century. Through careful illustration, frequently citing the most familiar and pertinent examples from throughout the 1955-1970 period, The Foundations of Rock covers the nature and use of all musical instruments and vocal qualities; reveals the many different ways that phrases and sections of songs can be combined; discusses the materials and patterns in melodic, harmonic, and rhythmic invention; explains the many important ways that producers and engineers add to the artistry; and finally suggests paths for combining an understanding of all of these elements with interpretations of a song's lyrics. This is all done in thorough detail, and always with an ear towards the possible meanings such techniques convey in a music that has had a profound impact upon our world. In doing so, Everett helps readers create new depths of understanding and appreciation. Hundreds of memorable hit songs are referred to in order to illustrate every individual point, while twenty-five diverse classics of the period have been chosen for very close hearing from multiple perspectives. The reader will come away with a much deeper appreciation of the music of the Beatles and the Stones, the Supremes and the Temptations, the Dead and Janis, Elvis and Buddy Holly, the Beach Boys and the Rascals.
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