Yeah! Yeah! Yeah! The Story of Pop Music from Bill Haley to Beyoncé

Bob Stanley. Norton, $35 (640p) ISBN 978-0-393-24269-0
For anyone who’s unfamiliar with the terrain of pop music, critic Stanley’s survey offers a solid introduction to many facets of popular music. While fans of musicians mentioned will not find much new, the author nevertheless provides an intriguing view of the shifting ground of pop music. Of the Lindsey Buckingham and Stevie Nicks incarnation of Fleetwood Mac, for example, he writes: Buckingham’s guitar “felt like a continuation of the Macs that had gone before... they still felt like a walk beside a seashore on a windy day, collar pulled up against the spray.” Paul Revere and the Raiders’ “noise was the most commercially successful variant of garage punk.” Stanley covers every musical style that makes up pop music, including country and western, new wave, hip hop, and grunge, and he devotes individual chapters to groups and individuals—the Monkees, the Beach Boys, the Bee Gees, Michael Jackson, Prince, Madonna—that changed the shape of pop music. In the end, he observes, that “pop music doesn’t have the desirability it once had; it’s not as wantable.” (July)
Reviewed on: 04/21/2014
Release date: 07/01/2014
Genre: Nonfiction
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