Before It All Went Rotten

The Music that Rocked London's Pubs, 1972-76

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Pub Date 21 Dec 2023 | Archive Date 31 Aug 2023

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Before It Went Rotten takes a trip back to the world before punk. When Anarchy in the UK appeared, London enjoyed one of the most vibrant music scenes in the world. A network of mainly Irish owned pubs and clubs provided music every night, much of it free of charge, whilst working as a testing ground for up and coming talent. This book traces the evolution of what was quickly labelled 'pub-rock': from rock and roll revival acts via late blues bands, country rock, funk, soul and art school bands to the sound that eventually burst on the scene as punk rock in 1976. Specific chapters cover the career of Brinsley Schwarz, the Southend bands and the step by step rise of the Sex Pistols. Among those interviewed are former members of Fumble, Darts, the John Dummer Blues Band, Blue Goose, Legend, Eddie and the Hot Rods, Brinsley Schwarz, Bees Make Honey, Ducks de Luxe, Kokomo, Roogalator, Burlesque, Kilburn and the High Roads, GT Moore and the Reggae Guitars, Clancy, the Fabulous Poodles, the Sex Pistols and Meal Ticket. Extensively researched, Before It Went Rotten bids fair to be the definitive study of an overlooked era.
Before It Went Rotten takes a trip back to the world before punk. When Anarchy in the UK appeared, London enjoyed one of the most vibrant music scenes in the world. A network of mainly Irish owned...

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ISBN 9780857305749
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Featured Reviews

Shine a light on me...

Defying the popular 'wisdom' that the UK music scene was a stagnant wasteland before the year zero of punk changed the world, this book shows that, all along, there were thriving, interlocking scenes bubbling away.
Not so much a genre as a state of mind, pub rock was just that – music based in varying proportions on rock, knocked out unpretentiously in a circuit of under and just-on the radar venues. Rather than there being any abrupt transitions in style and form, the sixties bled into the seventies and onwards into the punk 'revolution' and beyond. Given that punk bands merely played faster and messier than before, and were often veteran musicians sniffing the wind, the notion of a sea-change is a bit overwrought. As ever, the 'year zero' hype can be traced back to that arch-arse, Malcolm McLaren, who was simply making the same old hustler moves – only with tighter trousers. It was also in a lot of old musical lags' interests to have mafia-boss style memory losses when it came to their own recent pasts. The real paradigm shift in popular music came maybe a decade later as dance music became the dominant genre for the nation's youth. Rock became rock became rock – plus ca change.

Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for this ARC.

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This book includes some bands that I had never heard of, and I am researching them now. In fact I had only heard of the major bands mentioned in this book and major singers, for example Cat Stevens..
Some interesting memories of how life used to be in the early Seventies. This book filled a gap in my knowledge that I was not aware of. Thank you to netgalley and the publishers for giving me a copy of the book.

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