Thursday, December 04, 2008

Pop! The Weird, the Whacky, the Wonderful World of Pop and Rock

Christmas solved....well if you know someone who loves pop....

What is pop? Since the 1950s it’s been used in its abbreviated form to denote popular music. Before Bill Haley appeared on our shores, popular music was much more refined – and, of course, controlled by those nice people at the British Broadcasting Corporation. ‘The organist entertains in a thirty-minute programme of today’s most popular tunes.’ Gradually things changed and before long in New York, London, Paris and Munich, everybody was talking about pop music…

Because it’s short for popular music, what’s to stop us including any kind of music in this book? Absolutely nothing. Often as not, ‘pop’ is used in a kind of dismissive way – oh, that’s just pop; it’s as though other musical genres are far more important. However, pop is the single most appreciated art form in the world today. Creating music is an art form, just as much as painting pictures, some of which may even be pop art, or sculpting or opera or classical music, or, for that matter, any kind of art. Arguably, more people appreciate pop music than all other art forms put together.

Pop and politics really don’t mix. There was talk last year that the then Mayor of London, the man formerly known as Red Ken, was thinking of recording with the Cheeky Girls, one of whom was once engaged to Lib Dem Over MP, Lembit Opik. It’s yet another strange tale in the strange business of politicians attempting to ‘engage with younger voters’.

Pop is crammed with more than 600 pictures (many never previously published). Here you’ll find bubblegum pop, Brit pop, pop-rock, jangly pop, sub pop, sunshine pop, straight pop, pink pop; and all other kinds of popular music. Rock, soul, R&B, blues, jazz, folk, rap and hip-hop are all included – because if it’s music that’s popular, it’s pop!

Pop includes those that have brought us big hits, small hits and 'one-hit wonders. Pop celebrates the weird, whacky and wonderful world, the bad hairstyles, the pets, cars and fashion faux pas, the feeble attempts to get noticed and the pictures the performers would rather you not see. It’s a nostalgic light-hearted and sometimes irreverent look at the pop business.

You can get it from from Amazon

10 comments:

r morris said...

Hi Richard. This looks like a very good book. I'll be sure to buy a copy here in the States.
I was never a huge pop fan, but maybe that's because pop is kind of hard to define--after all, the Beatles were pop, and they are the Mozarts of Rock and Roll.
one pop group that you got me into was Dream Academy. Good stuff.
like you, i'm trying to work too hard and my latest book is moving along at the speed of a snail with arthritis.
hope all's good.

bigrab said...

Well done Richard. It sounds an interesting read.

r morris said...

Richard, this book is not yet available on US Amazon. I will buy several copies when it's available--one for me and one for my brother John, also a music fan.

James Higham said...

If one of those young voters were my daughter, I'm not sure I would want a pollie engaging with her.

jams o donnell said...

Sounds like a great present Richard. I shudder to think what Ken and the cheeky grils would have sounded klike. Possibly the person I am closest to online is from Cluj... She blenched when I first showed her fotage of the girls in action!

Mrs D said...

My copy has just arrived from good old Amazon. Can think of a few people it will keep quiet on Christmas Day and beyond.......It will also be useful for when Mr D does his New Year Quiz!!

Christopher Trottier said...

No mention of weird rock can be complete without Joey Welz, the pianist for Bill Haley, and the man responsible for giving the Beatles their name.

bigrab said...

I heard you on the radio again today Richard! You really are becoming a Radio Scotland luvvie!

Richard Havers said...

Would you turn down an offer to be on with the legendary Alan Gorrie? :)

Claire called me a Geek....i'm in recovery!

bigrab said...

I heard her saying that!

Yes The Average White Band/Alan Gorrie - brilliant