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Never a Dull Moment: 1971 The Year That Rock Exploded

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A rollicking look at 1971 - the busiest, most innovative and resonant year of the 70s, defined by the musical arrival of such stars as David Bowie, Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin, and Joni Mitchell

On New Year's Eve, 1970, Paul McCartney told his lawyers to issue the writ at the High Court in London, effectively ending The Beatles. You might say this was the last day of the pop era.

The following day, which was a Friday, was 1971. You might say this was the first day of the rock era. And within the remaining 364 days of this monumental year, the world would hear Don McLean's "American Pie," The Rolling Stones' "Brown Sugar," The Who's "Baba O'Riley," Zeppelin's "Stairway to Heaven," Rod Stewart's "Maggie May," Marvin Gaye's "What's Going On," and more.

David Hepworth, an ardent music fan and well regarded critic, was twenty-one in '71, the same age as many of the legendary artists who arrived on the scene. Taking us on a tour of the major moments, the events and songs of this remarkable year, he shows how musicians came together to form the perfect storm of rock and roll greatness, starting a musical era that would last longer than anyone predicted. Those who joined bands to escape things that lasted found themselves in a new age, its colossal start being part of the genre's staying power.

Never a Dull Moment is more than a love song to the music of 1971. It's also an homage to the things that inspired art and artists alike. From Soul Train to The Godfather, hot pants to table tennis, Hepworth explores both the music and its landscapes, culminating in an epic story of rock and roll's best year.

An Amazon Best Book of June 2016: Rock & Roll nostalgia is hot. Since Keith Richards’s Life appeared in 2010 (and set the standard for rock books, by the way), a torrent of biographies, memoirs, and retrospectives have followed in its wake. Many have been excellent-- Trouble Boys, Kill ‘Em and Leave, and The Sun and the Moon and the Rolling Stones are just three recent examples, and Never a Dull Moment: 1971: The Year That Rock Exploded by the venerable music journalist David Hepworth continues the hot streak. Hepworth, who was 21 years old in the year of his title, pulls together 12 months of events that closed the Age of Pop (i.e. The Beatles) and ushered in the Age of Rock, with its shift to album sales (vs. singles), arena acts, and erosion of race- and gender-based cultural boundaries. Rather than a fawning run-down of the usual 70s acts—though he does range from Carole King and the Carpenters to Zeppelin and the Stones to Marvin Gaye and Sly and the Family Stone, and more--NADM takes the high-altitude view, blending together seemingly disparate elements such as boomer demographics, feminism, emerging technologies, and the apparent ubiquity of hot pants to recreate the seismic events of the year that shaped the entertainment industry's next decade (or three). He’s quite sure he’s right, by the way, and it's hard to disagree. This book is smart and a lot of fun. —Jon Foro, The Amazon Book Review

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Brand Henry Holt Co