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
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.
“Cleverly crafted chapters form a glittery, boisterous month-by-month calendar of the ‘annus mirabilis…the busiest, most creative, most innovative, most interesting, and longest-resounding year’ of an era that produced music we are still listening to.”
“Hepworth brings rare perspicacity into the business machinations of the era, whose movers and shakers were, as he points out, often from a previous, less starry-eyed generation…Never a Dull Moment lives up to its title.”
“One of the many strengths of Hepworth’s book is that it combines both perspectives: emphasising how much a part of 21st-century life these albums remain, while also reminding us that, back when they were made, what most people took for granted was pop’s lack of a shelf life… Near the beginning of this richly enjoyable book, Hepworth argues that 1971 saw the pop era giving way to rock. Even so, his own approach is much more like the best pop: never taking itself too seriously, essentially out to entertain — but also an awful lot smarter than its absence of solemnity might lead you to think.”
“An engaging and thought-provoking read… Hepworth points out more than once that at the time he had no idea how lucky he was. He knows now – and so do we.”
“Fascinating cultural history… Vivid, irreverent prose and analytic insight.”
“[An] entertaining exploration of the year in music that was 1971… [Hepworth] painstakingly recounts the album releases, Top of the Pops performances, and endless touring dates that defined the year… [His] chronicle of the year is loaded with gossipy anecdotes, adroit criticism, and earnest affection for the musicians, record executives, and technicians who defined it. An exuberant tour through a pivotal year in the development of popular music and culture.”