The third in the current run of books by David Hepworth is not really a sequel as such to the previous two. Rather than focussing on a specific year, as in 1971, or on particular characters, as in Uncommon People, this is a wide-ranging collection of essays, which look back over the last fifty years of music. I suppose Hepworth is something of a Marmite writer, but I as a rule like his work, although he has tended I think to become more stuck in his ways as the years have progressed, and he seems to have no intention or interest in changing his fixed opinions on his particular hobby horse topics. The first section of the book, for example, deals exclusively with The Beatles, while the second concentrates on the sixties, both topics on which he brooks no argument. Perhaps the most interesting section is a collection of talks he did for Radio 3’s ‘The Essay’ programme last year, which pose some interesting questions about the nature and significance of rock music and artists. The latter sections of the book skate further around the topics of music and life in general, and a few of the pieces wouldn’t be out of place on here – record shops you remember from your youth, best album trilogies, songs that work at weddings, best ever songs, most memorable gigs etc. All very readable, but it’s worth noting that all these pieces have been published previously, some in The Word, although some have been rewritten or added to. It doesn’t make it any less enjoyable to reacquaint yourself with them of course, but there’s nothing entirely new as such in this collection, which is a bit of a shame. Nevertheless, this is an enjoyable read, and the format of numerous short, loosely connected pieces make it one that you can easily dip in and out of as the mood dictates.
Length of Read:Medium
Might appeal to people who enjoyed…
One thing you’ve learned
Time flies but good music endures.