History, Politics & Society
Bill Leader’s big idea, to go where the music is playing and catch it on the wing, is comparable to the moment when technology freed film directors to shoot on location. It gets great results if you don’t mind roughing it. The third instalment of Mike Butler’s voluminous study of the legendary sound engineer, his life and times and our lives and times, is mainly concerned with field trips and traditional music making, but opens with the building of a recording facility on the top floor of the Workers’ Music Association in 1957.
Sounding the Century proposes a new way of writing about music and mixes the methodology of oral historian and music critic. Characters that have crossed Bill’s path are given pen portraits – from E.P. Thompson to Bob Dylan – and the writing is strong on the thrill of discovery. Mike Butler has even been compared to H.G. Wells…
‘In any number of books H.G. Wells goes into great detail explaining and describing the main character’s youth, upbringing, the world around him, his growing political awareness, alliances, disillusionments, etc. In a not dissimilar fashion to you. But yours is even more comprehensive and fascinating’ – Andy Nagy.
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