Chart Toppers: The Great Performers of Popular Music Over the Last 50 Years

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9781554074969: Chart Toppers: The Great Performers of Popular Music Over the Last 50 Years

The ultimate guide to the music of the latter half of the 20th century.

Chart Toppers is a chronological survey of the most important popular music genres since the 1960s. The authors highlight the key solo musicians and groups, explore how their careers developed, survey their hit songs, reveal where they are now and show their influence on today's music.

In 12 sections the eras and genres cover:

  • 60s pop, from Bill Haley to the Beatles
  • 70s pop
  • 80s pop
  • 90s pop, from boy bands and girl groups to the revival of guitar bands
  • Blues, from Muddy Waters to Howlin' Wolf
  • Heavy metal, from Led Zeppelin to Guns 'N' Roses
  • Jazz
  • Reggae
  • Rock 'n' roll
  • Rock and rap
  • Soul, the civil rights movement and social issues of the day
  • World music.

The book is illustrated with extensive color photos and CD graphics from notable recordings, and it is jam packed with great information in abundant sidebars. Each section also includes a two-page "gazetteer" of many other examples of the genre or era.

Chart Toppers is a lively presentation perfect for browsing and also provides valuable historical and anecdotal information for serious readers.

"synopsis" may belong to another edition of this title.

About the Author:

Bob Brunning played bass with Fleetwood Mac and is a teacher.

James Pickering is the author of many books for children, including the Big Book of Mighty Machines.

Excerpt. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.:

Introduction to 1960s Pop

During the 1960s there was an explosion of talent in the popular music front in the UK and U.S. Young people were enjoying a lot more freedom than their parents had ever experienced, and the aftermath of the late 50s rock 'n' roll influence encouraged many teenagers to start making their own music.

With a modest outlay, four young people found that they could make a wonderful noise with a set of drums, a bass, a guitar and a microphone. There were certainly plenty of heroes to emulate. The Rolling Stones, the Beatles, the Who, the Shadows, the Kinks and many others achieved phenomenal success in the early 60s and proved that if you had some basic talent, however raw, there was a real chance that you could achieve pop stardom.

In the U.S. the Beach Boys, Jimi Hendrix, the Supremes and Little Stevie Wonder were among the most successful performers of the decade. Many of the performers and musicians were becoming confident enough to write their own songs, something quite new. During the 50s very few performers thought of doing this and relied instead on established songwriters to provide them with suitable material.

The 60s opened the door for huge numbers of young musicians to display their talent, and we are still listening to the great music they produced today.

"About this title" may belong to another edition of this title.

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