The best music books covering late sixties and seventies

Ljubinko Zivkovic
By Ljubinko Zivkovic

The Books I Picked & Why

Never a Dull Moment: 1971 the Year That Rock Exploded

By David Hepworth

Never a Dull Moment: 1971 the Year That Rock Exploded

Why this book?

We’ve just closed 2021, 50 years on from 1971, many are now claiming was the crucial year for modern music. And they just might be right, particularly renowned British journalist David Hepworth, who published his book on the year back in 2017, actually under two slightly differing titles (and covers) — 1971 Never a Dull Moment was subtitled both as Rock’s Golden Year and The Year Rock Exploded. An excellent book and an intriguing read, whichever version you pick up.

The book was recently re-worked and expanded into Apple TV+ documentary series, which brought yet another title change, reflecting a wider musical spectrum — 1971 — The year that music changed everything. The series has some brilliant rarely seen or forgotten footage that is a must-see. Still, the key question here is — did 1971 have such a musical significance?


When you buy a book we may earn a small commission.

Main Lines, Blood Feasts, and Bad Taste: A Lester Bangs Reader

By Lester Bangs

Main Lines, Blood Feasts, and Bad Taste: A Lester Bangs Reader

Why this book?

Late Lester Bangs is probably the first name that comes to my mind when piercing, observant rock criticism is concerned, but it seems his books are currently collecting dust somewhere, even though they have not lost any of their relevance.

He is also one of the authors that not only shaped my personal views on music, but also the style of writing I’m trying to pursue.


When you buy a book we may earn a small commission.

Invisible Republic: Bob Dylan's Basement Tapes

By Greil Marcus

Invisible Republic: Bob Dylan's Basement Tapes

Why this book?

Greil Marcus is one of those authors that does not only look at music as an isolated phenomenon, but also details its cultural, social as well as political background. In Invisible Republic he covers the phenomenon of Bob Dylan’s Basement Tapes, both from their musical but also cultural aspects.


When you buy a book we may earn a small commission.

Any Old Way You Choose It

By Robert Christgau

Any Old Way You Choose It

Why this book?

In many ways, this book by one of the rock critic veterans covers almost exactly the period in modern music history that relates to my perspective book. It is a collection of his early writings, partly at the time when he was the music editor at Village Voice. Personally, Christgau is one rock critic that perfected the art of album/single reviews.


When you buy a book we may earn a small commission.

Memphis 68: The Tragedy of Southern Soul

By Stuart Cosgrove

Memphis 68: The Tragedy of Southern Soul

Why this book?

Scottish author Cosgrove wrote probably the ultimate trilogy of books covering the 1967-69 period of soul music, of which the ‘68’ tome dealing with the Memphis sound and southern soul is one. Cosgrove is another author that looks at all the cultural and social aspects of music with an easy and understandable writing style that keeps you turning the pages with ease.


When you buy a book we may earn a small commission.

Random Book Lists