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David Hepworth
The year 1971 in music

I had already concluded on my own that 1971 was "best year in rock" a while back (anyone in doubt should Google "year in music 1971" and read the Wikipedia page for the albums released that year), so when I saw this book, I was curious to see how the author had covered the year where -- in many cases -- the biggest bands and artists of all time released their best albums.  I didn't know what to expect but was very pleasantly surprised. Hepworth has done more than just chronicle the list of releases, he takes you back in time and paints a picture that reminds one what the world and music business was like back in 1971 -- when "Rock" could mean anything from Joni Mitchell to Black Sabbath -- before music became all sub-genred to death.  There's a lot of great background here on many of the famous and not-so-famous artists of the period.  Hepworth talks about why certain events and album releases were important game-changers. For example, he points out that women were an insignificant record-buying demographic, completely ignored by the record industry. That all changed with Carole King's Tapestry. That one album alone doubled the potential record-buying market. He discusses the rise and development of various artists, labels, record producers, and other characters who were just starting to shape how music would be be made, marketed and sold in for the next decade and beyond.  Throughout, I found Hepworth's writing excellent.  Best GENERAL book on Rock Music I've ever read, and a terrific read for those who lived through 1971, and a nice history lesson for those who didn't.

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