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Turn! Turn! Turn!: The '60s Folk-Rock Revolution [Paperback]

Richie Unterberger
3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
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Book Description

July 1 2002 Book
(Book). Setting the scene with America's traditional folk of the early '60s, this book describes the sea of change that began in 1964 when the social consciousness of folk met the energy of rock. It concentrates on 1964-66, when the best, most popular, and most controversial folk-rock was created. The book explores the dizzyingly fast cross-fertilization of such giants as The Beatles, The Byrds, and Dylan; the passionate conflicts between folk devotees and folk-rockers; the sudden frenzy of the media; and the unforgettable music that was born. Turn! Turn! Turn! also examines how folk-rock continued to influence late '60s psychedelic rock, country-rock and the British scene, as well as its gradual, partial transformation into the singer-songwriter movement. Based on first-hand interviews with such visionaries as Roger McGuinn, Judy Collins, Donovan, John Sebastian, Arlo Guthrie, Janis Ian and dozens of others.

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Review

"Comprehensive and engaging…. Clearly, Unterberger has done his research." -- Billboard, on Unterberger's Unknown Legends of Rock 'n' Roll

"Incisive appreciations of scores of cult artists." -- MOJO, on Unterberger's Unknown Legends of Rock 'n' Roll

"These fascinating tales make you want to rush out to the record store--a hallmark of all great music writing." -- Chicago Sun-Times, on Unterberger's Urban Spacemen and Wayfaring Strangers

"Thorough research yielding fascinating mini-biographies of hipster heroes." -- Los Angeles New Times, on Unterberger's Unknown Legends of Rock 'n' Roll

"Unterberger uncovers the kind of tiny details that imbue his subjects with life and sound." -- San Francisco Weekly, on Unterberger's Unknown Legends of Rock 'n' Roll

From the Publisher

Turn! Turn! Turn! is devoted to the story of the first groundbreaking generation of folk-rockers, and particularly to the years 1964 to 1966, in which folk-rock originated, flourished, and peaked. It covers not so much folk-rock’s maturity as its birth and first full-force impact, stopping in mid-1966, when a motorcycle accident precipitated Bob Dylan’s withdrawal from the public eye for a year-and-a-half, leaving other folk-rock originators and newcomers to forge new directions all over the folk-rock map.

Richie Unterberger takes readers on the rest of folk-rock’s remarkable journey in this book’s forthcoming sequel, Eight Miles High: Folk-Rock’s Flight from Haight-Ashbury to Woodstock, also published by Backbeat Books, in 2003. Detailing the period from mid-1966 to the end of the 1960s, Eight Miles High portrays the mutation of folk-rock into psychedelia via California bands like the Byrds and Jefferson Airplane; the maturation of folk-rock composers in the birth of the singer-songwriter movement; the re-emergence of Bob Dylan and the inception of country-rock; the rise of folk-rock’s first supergroup from the ashes of the Byrds and Buffalo Springfield; the origination of a truly British form of folk-rock; and the growth of the live folk-to-rock music festival, from Newport to Woodstock.


Inside This Book (Learn More)
First Sentence
Walking around the intersection of Bleecker and Macdougal Streets in Greenwich Village on a hot summer night in 2000, you might not suspect this area was the launching pad for the folk music boom of the early '60s. Read the first page
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

3.9 out of 5 stars
3.9 out of 5 stars
Most helpful customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Essential popular music history. March 23 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
The best single book about the popular folk to rock period. Well written in terms of information and style, with many artists contributing first-hand accounts directly to the author.
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4.0 out of 5 stars take a sanity break Sept. 4 2003
By Eric
Format:Paperback
This is exactly the kind of book you want to own, not the kind you want to borrow or get from a library. You will want to go back to it often, when you hear a song and want to remember who played what and if someone else recorded it first or after.
It is very entertaining and informative. Unterberger is a great storyteller and he tells the reader story after story. Like how Neil Young and Bruce Palmer teamed up with Rickey James Mathews (a few years later to resurface as Superfreak Rick James) to form a Toronto band, the Mynah Birds, and how their break-up lead to the formation of Buffalo Springfield due to a chance meeting on a congested Los Angeles freeway. A lot of funny stuff in the details of just this story.
Unterberger connects the dots on scores of 60s bands. He tells you who played with who before and after they were famous. Who played what brand of instrument. He tells the reader who came from a folk background, or a jazz background, or a country background.
For those of us who lived through the era, he reminds us of the zeitgeist that drove the music. But keeps us grounded by also reminding us that Steve Stills tried out for the Monkees and Sonny Bono was a star. It is true that Unterberger's book mentions maybe hundreds of musicians and songs, some we remember, some we have forgot, some we wish we had forgot and some we never heard of. But that is not boring. It's fun.
I love this book. It's not a long read, 282 pages including discography. It is full of information that will probably not help you save the world, lose weight or cook a better soufflé; but will make you smile (and might save your sanity at least for a little while). And that my friend is what the music was about. My only caution, it will cause you to jump to the CD section of Amazon.com and want to buy a whole lot of CDs.
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1.0 out of 5 stars Folk-Rock Fans, Beware! Dec 21 2002
By Tom
Format:Paperback
As a huge Byrds fan, I was really looking forward to this book. I wanted to read about the excitement of 1965, when the opening jingle jangle of Roger McGuinn's twelve string guitar in Mr. Tambourine Man announced an entirely brand new style of music. Instead, what I got was 300 booring pages that seemed like 3000. What a disappointment! Turn! Turn! Turn! reads like a hardware catalog. The material is often booring, repetitive, or unnecessary. The author manages to include every obscure recording artist, record label, and producer of the early folk-rock genre, many, more than once or twice. Great. Ho-hum. Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzz. What he doesn't do is re-capture the magic of the moment. Reading this book felt like a prison sentence. DO NOT buy this book, folk-rock fans. Hey, you don't find this review helpful? Good! Buy the book and waste your ...time and money.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A Page Turn, Turn, Turner Oct. 16 2002
Format:Paperback
I love music but some books about music are better left unread. Some pop music aficinados are best advised to go back and just listen to the music as a few attempts to give a literary voice to the spirit of the sound can strike a dull and pedantic note. Not so with this book. I found myself often unable to put it away as the author packed each chapter with so many historical notes that I was not aware of; clearly he did his homework. Much of his information came straight from the source, the writers, musicians, producers, and other insiders who were the leading lights and inspiration of that musical genre known as folk-rock. Of course, if one is not a fan of this type of music (and I am)you may not be engaged by Joe Unterberger's writing. However, as someone who was entranced by the Lovin' Spoonful and the Byrds, I consumed Mr. Unterberger's book with great zeal. I think musicians will find his work especially appealing as Unterberger gives careful attention to the creative side of the artists featured in his book. But if you are like me, someone who merely loves to sing along with the marvelous tunes of the gifted artists who gave voice to folk-rock, you may enjoy reading about the historical aspects of the music that, to paraphrase John Sebastian, is magical and can set you free.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Everything you could want to know and more.... Oct. 2 2002
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
Fan of Dylan, The Byrds, Fred Neil, the Farinas? It's all here. Well written, keeps your attention, and makes you want to go out and buy some vinyl! Nice job Ritchie!
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