In Perfect Harmony: Singalong Pop in ’70s Britain

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In Perfect Harmony: Singalong Pop in ’70s Britain

In Perfect Harmony: Singalong Pop in ’70s Britain

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album releases, perhaps hoping to cop a bit of his accessible glamour in an era when it was in short supply. The woman who ran the nursery school I attended must have gone off for a bit of sun at some stage as I can remember dancing around to that classic in her front room, all those years ago. In Perfect Harmony takes the reader on a journey through the most colour-saturated decade in music, examining the core themes and camp spectacle of '70s singalong pop, as well as its reverberations through British culture since. In Perfect Harmony takes the reader on a journey through the most colour-saturated decade in music, examining the core themes and camp spectacle of '70s singalong pop, as well as its reverberations through British culture. During the era of the three-day week, strikes, and - Oi, Oi - energy shortages, British ears turned en masse to cheery and optimistic fare, and who could blame them?

In Perfect Harmony is a loving paean to the artists of the time set against the volatile historical backdrop; an evocative and insightful book in which author Will Hodgkinson brings to life the hardships but also the fun and frivolity of the time. It’s all very well for pretentious rock snobs like me to prattle on about Gram Parsons, Big Star, or even The Clash, but that’s not what people were really listening to in the 1970s.In Perfect Harmony takes the reader on a journey through the most colour-saturated era in music, examining the core themes and camp spectacle of '70s singalong pop, as well as its reverberations through British culture since. From bubblegum to brickie glam, suburban disco to cabaret pop, this is the music that soundtracked everyday lives and for that reason it has a story to tell.

The story of how Kenny Everett’s constant lampooning of the Bee Gees proved to be “…the death knell for the band who took disco to the masses as a serious proposition for years to come.Singalong pop in ’70s Britain is a massive subject, especially given the constant juxtaposition of the music and the historical context. To the art school-educated Bowie/Roxy Music fans," or those pretentious sorts we mentioned in paragraph one, "Slade might have seemed hopelessly recherché; the kind of people for who a shag carpet in the bathroom and a personalised number plate on the Roller were the height of sophistication" but, as our guide points out. Pete Selby, publishing director, Nine Eight Books, said: “Will has lovingly crafted a truly exceptional and labyrinthine text on a most misunderstood period in British musical history. He is a regular contributor to The Guardian, Mojo and Vogue and presented the Sky Arts television series Songbook. Against a rainy, smog-filled backdrop of three-day weeks, national strikes and IRA bombings, this unending stream of novelty songs, sentimental ballads, glam-rock stomps and finely crafted pop nuggets offered escape, uplift, romance and the promise of eternal childhood - all recorded with one goal in mind: a smash hit.

Rampant inflation, perpetual strikes, fuel shortages, pollution, nuclear threats and racial tension – sounds familiar doesn’t it? These were the songs you heard on Radio 1, on Saturday-night TV, at youth clubs, down the pub and even emanating from your parents' record player.In Perfect Harmony is a definitive work; the rosetta stone for anyone interested in the true cross generational people's pop soundtrack of the 1970s. While bands such as the Eagles and Fleetwood Mac were ruling the albums chart, the singles chart was swinging along to the tune of million-selling blockbusters by the likes of Brotherhood of Man, the Sweet and the Wombles. Punk does happen but, much like the swinging sixties, it doesn't happen for the majority so it doesn’t warrant the same space as The New Seekers, Tony Orlando or the "lingering ennui" of The Carpenters. Writing about Sweet producer, Phil Wainman, he quips “…he favoured rhythmic thumps so brutal they sounded like a cave-dwelling Neanderthal mum banging on a couple of rocks to let her kids know it was time to come home for some roast woolly mammoth. Against a rainy, smog-filled backdrop of three-day weeks, national strikes, IRA bombings and the Winter of Discontent, this unending stream of novelty songs, sentimental ballads, glam-rock stomps and blatant rip-offs offered escape, uplift, romance and the promise of eternal childhood - all released with one goal in mind: a smash hit.



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