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I’ll admit I approached this title with more than a bit of bias, as 1971 was big year for me personally. I was 16, and was facing my last term in a school I loved, before setting off into the wide world of working for a living (University not being an option for ‘the likes of us’ as my old Mum said)
My first job was as a darkroom assistant on a local newspaper. This consisted mainly of spending the best part of my day in a dimly-lit darkroom filled with the odour of developer, stop-bath and fixative. My only company all day was the radio, which was permanently tuned to Radio 1, and which played the same 20 records (the dreaded BBC playlist) every 2 hours, all day long.
I suppose all 16yr-olds consider the music of their adolescence more profound than anyone else’s, and I was certainly no different. But David Hepworth’s excellent book has actually got me believing I was right. So many landmark albums released, so many new artists discovered (most of whom are still with us today) and songs that were a benchmark of their time. We had ‘Tapestry’ by Carole King, ‘After The Goldrush’ by Neil Young, ‘Madman Across the Water’ by Elton John, ‘Who’s Next’ by The Who, ‘Every Picture Tells a Story’ by Rod Stewart, and many, many more. And all the while, the career of a Mr David Bowie gains momentum…
This book has been a real joy to listen to, being both a reminder of the music itself but also a glimpse into the back stories of how the songs were made.
If I were to make one minor gripe it would be that author David Hepworth seems to have forgotten he’s narrating an audiobook (in which he’s talking to just one person) and instead he has a tendency to project as if he’s addressing a conference room full of people, which often verges on shouting.
That aside, this is an excellent title and a must for any music lover, but especially those who were 16 in 1971. Now, where’s my turntable?....
7 of 7 people found this review helpful
Where does 1971 - Never a Dull Moment rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?
I tend to go for fiction so no comparison
What did you like best about this story?
Obvs.not a story but I liked ed how Hepwrth took it from what was clearly a bumper year for lps to seeing it as the year that rock started appealing to a different demographic than the single buyer and the fuse was lit on the current rock landscape.
What aspect of David Hepworth’s performance might you have changed?
He was a bit slurry (run it at 0.75 speed for the pub bore version) and a bit rushed but generally good.
Any additional comments?
The USA referenced elements were thinner interms of cultural resonance but still interesting and there's a bit of a sniffy "they would never be this good, again" element to reinforce the point but it's a good listen.
4 of 4 people found this review helpful