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Turn! Turn! Turn!: The '60s Folk-Rock Revolution Paperback – Jul 1 2002

3.9 out of 5 stars 10 customer reviews

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Harry Potter and the Cursed Child
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Backbeat Books; Softcover edition (July 1 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 087930703X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0879307035
  • Product Dimensions: 15.2 x 1.8 x 22.9 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 567 g
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars 10 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #407,766 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description


"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.

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Customer Reviews

3.9 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

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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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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Format: Paperback
First of all I was a little taken aback by one reviewer's comments that since Richie was only a toddler in the mid-60s that perhaps his perspective of the folk-rock music scene was somewhat skewed. To put it politely, Balderdash!
I've been an Unterberger fan for years and have bought several recordings based upon Richie's reviews. As far as this book is concerned, I'd say it is certainly the definitive work on the roots and evolution of folk-rock. However it's not for everyone. The casual fan may find it somewhat drawn out, with references to producers, session men and various minor players. Unless one has at least some vague familiarity with these folks, or has an genuine interest in learning about them, I think one might become bored and skip ahead to more familiar territory. But if you've got a fairly good handle on the 60s music scene and love the music I'm sure that you'll find this book a delight.
A lot of time is spent on Bob Dylan & the Byrds; but this is certainly appropriate since these are the quintessential performers that are most identified with the genre. Richie also includes more obscure artists like the Daily Flash, Bob Lind and P.F. Sloan and details their relatively unsung contributions to the music. The interviews are plentiful and insightful, whether you take some with a grain of salt or not. All in all this is a very enjoyable romp through a period that needed to be written about. Thanks to Richie's efforts it now has been!
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Format: Paperback
An amazing amount of research and organization went into this, including gazillions of interviews. Mr. Untermeyer, who at the outset adopts a healthy reverential attitude towards his subject, didn't actually live through the period (he was only around three years old when "Mr. Tambourine" hit). I think that this helps to explain why sometimes his sympathies aren't as glowing as they otherwise might be. Here and there his aesthetic judgements and character assessments fall somewhat flat; in some spots his prose (temporarily) gets thin and ragged. But in his defense, he had to backtrack to 'learn' this music, and in the process discovered how to genuinely love a good deal of it. What we end up with here is a serious and useful piece of journalism, almost a 'biography' of the period.
Here's one example of the kind of minor gaffs we encounter here: even at 15 years old, I sort of knew that Sonny and Cher weren't the profound artists that some of the others seemed to be, and neither was I ape[] crazy about them. But hey, they sounded really good anyway. And when DJ's Boots Bell ("your bearded buddy Bootsy"), Al Knight and others from WHOT radio ("the Hot Spot") in Youngstown, Ohio said that they were folk rock, none of my age group had any problem with the idea; in fact it seemed perfectly obvious to us. Having bassoons rather than 12-string Rickenbackers playing those staccato'd ostinados made no difference to us . . . it was all part of the new sound, which was [and it still does sound so] fresh, brilliant, and above all beautifully arranged. Most of all, it felt really right at the time. It really was aimed at us, not at the critics, and we didn't know nor would we probably have cared what they thought/wrote about "our" music.
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