Troubador Different Tracks

BBC Radio Merseyside

Released: 28/09/2014

ISBN: 9781783064762

Format: Paperback

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Different Tracks

Music and Politics in 1970


1970 signalled 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. In Different Tracks, his follow-up to Changing Times: Music and Politics In 1964, Steve Millward charts the major events of 1970 and the reaction they provoked – 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. At the same time he makes the connections to a thriving music scene where singer-songwriters such as Joni Mitchell and Nick Drake rubbed shoulders with innovators like Curtis Mayfield and Frank Zappa. He shows how 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. Different Tracks is the second book in a trilogy spanning 1964-74. It will appeal to all music fans, especially those looking for fresh insights into a turbulent and dynamic epoch.

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4/5 stars, Amazon Vine review

This is a sober and serious appraisal of the popular music and historical events of 1970. I have no personal memories of that year, as I was only 8 at the time, but this book sets out the death of the 1960s in great detail. In some ways, 1970 was full of loss - the split of the Beatles for example, or the death of Jimmy Hendrix - and as the author says, 1970 put paid to the sixties, chronologically, culturally and communally.

If you have an interest in contemporary culture and history, you will enjoy this book. There is a good bibliography and it is thoroughly indexed musically, so you can track down all the songs mentioned in the book. The only gap really is the lack of photographs. For me, a picture is worth a thousand words, and I would have dearly loved to have seen the publishers produce an illustrated version of this book.

by Ms. C. R. Stillman-lowe

5/5 stars – Amazon Vine review

A interesting read that presents details of political events, history, culture, social changes and films, and how this will have effected artists at the time and how their music will have reflected the particular moment of time. I am surprised but the book does highly convince how the artists does reflect the times and what was going on. I do think that there are artists that are outside of influence, that have been propelled by technological change or just pushing the boundaries of music. But this book has changed my mind, music is reactionary and does make comment and highlight the times that they come from. We are presented with much facts and figures, a quite detailed book that has been well researched. An interesting and amiable read should you have some interest of music of this late 1960's and 1970. I am now quite interested to read the previous book to this edition, to gain understanding of the music of the mid 1960's and how that came about and the influences. An interesting read.

by R. Hallett

3 out of 5 stars

Different 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.

by Katie Wanta

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