More Music-Subculture Books

Following on from the previous blog entry, a list of favorite books on music and fashion subcultures. WE LOVE THIS STUFF.

1. Ready, Steady, Go!: Swinging London and Invention Of Cool by Shawn Levy
Shawn Levy documents the rise of swinging London through the rise of 7 people: Mick Jagger, Mary Quant, Robert Fraser, David Bailey, Videl Sassoon, Brian Epstein and Terence Stamp. – eddie

Rancid & Friends (Dance Crasher project)

2. The Way We Wore: A Life In Threads by Robert Elms
Besides being an amusing autobiography which focuses on Elms’ obsession with changing fashion trends and getting the right clothes; this book also serves as an engrossing history and etymology of London’s Youth Subcultures from the 50’s to the 90’s.  Teddy Boys, Rude Boys, Mods, Skinheads, Northern/Southern Soul Boys, Bowie/Glam types, Punk and its offshoots (Goth, Two-Tone, Rockabilly etc), New Romantics & Blitz Kids… there’s even an amusing mention of what he calls “Bedsit-Depression chic”… (that 80’s trend of looking as ordinary and glum as possible eg, Joy Division, The Smiths) – lili

3. The Legendary Joe Meek: The Telstar Man by John Repsch
Biography of England’s most innovative and tragic music producer.  RIP Joe, you crazy, gifted bastard!  John Repsch’s book has become THE source for everything that has since been produced about Joe Meek. – eddie

4. A Decade Of The Who by Pete Townshend/Fabulous Music
The Who in paintings, words and Pete Townshend’s hand-drawn fretboards that tell you how to play The Who’s best songs.  Altogether now…”Substitute me for him, Substutute my Coke for Gin…”- eddie

5. The Sharper Word: A Mod Anthology edited by Paolo Hewitt
A great and diverse selection of articles, short stories and excerpts  from different sources detailing Mod culture in the UK. – eddie

6. Soul City: A Novel by Toure
This is a city run by DJs, where souped-up cars are dedicated to musical legends (eg, The JamesBrownmobile, The Billiemobile, The Wu-Tangmobile etc), groovers drop bliss (a drug that enhances your hearing), are able to fly, and buy mind-altering shampoo from the Devil. – lili

7. Subculture: The Meaning of Style and Hiding In the Light: On Images & Things by Dick Hebdige
Although somewhat dry and academic in style, Subculture is the first,  most important POSITIVE book ever written on British youth subcultures that brings with it an inspiring knowledge of teddy boys’, mod’s and punk’s West Indian/Jamaican musical roots.  Hiding In The Light focuses more on consumer aesthetics and there is a cool chapter on the history of Mod aesthetics.

8. Back In The Days by Jamael Shabazz – lili
Awesome, fun and stylish photographs from the early days of hip hop. – lili

9. Made In the UK: The Music of Attitude 1977-1983 by Janette Beckman
A photographic showcase of Punk, Mod, 2Tone, Rockabilly in the late seventies and eighties – eddie

10. Cool Cats – 25 years of Rock n Roll Style by Tony Stewart
Great book – and awesome photographs – of the different decades of Rock n Roll, with an early eighties bias.  First time I ever heard of Northern Soul was when I read this.  Ian Drury (RIP) writes a great essay on the fifties. – eddie

11. Haircults: Fifty Years of Styles and Cuts by Dylan Jones
Hairstyle reference! – lili

12. Awopbopaloobop Alopbamboom – Pop From The Beginning by Nik Cohn
Rather than writing about Pop, this book is Pop.  Opinionated, witty, sometimes misinformed, and outdated as fuck, but still brilliant. – eddie
Next on MY reading list! – lili

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