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1973: Rock at the Crossroads (Hardcover)

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Staff Reviews

With meticulous attention to detail, Andrew Grant Jackson covers not just the music, and there’s a lot of it, but also the significant historical and cultural events of 1973, the year that brought us glam, reggae, funk, disco and punk rock, to name just a few of the genres covered in his book. A fascinating read for music lovers of all ages.

— Marilyn


A fascinating account of the music and epic social change of 1973, a defining year for David Bowie, Bruce Springsteen, Pink Floyd, Elton John, the Rolling Stones, Eagles, Elvis Presley, and the former members of The Beatles.

1973 was the year rock hit its peak while splintering—just like the rest of the world. Ziggy Stardust travelled to America in David Bowie’s Aladdin Sane. The Dark Side of the Moon began its epic run on the Billboard charts, inspired by the madness of Pink Floyd's founder, while all four former Beatles scored top ten albums, two hitting #1.

FM battled AM, and Motown battled Philly on the charts, as the era of protest soul gave way to disco, while DJ Kool Herc gave birth to hip hop in the Bronx. The glam rock of the New York Dolls and Alice Cooper split into glam metal and punk. Hippies and rednecks made peace in Austin thanks to Willie Nelson, while outlaw country, country rock, and Southern rock each pointed toward modern country. The Allman Brothers, Grateful Dead, and the Band played the largest rock concert to date at Watkins Glen.

Led Zep’s Houses of the Holy reflected the rise of funk and reggae. The singer songwriter movement led by Bob Dylan, Neil Young, and Joni Mitchell flourished at the Troubadour and Max’s Kansas City, where Bruce Springsteen and Bob Marley shared bill. Elvis Presley’s Aloha from Hawaii via Satellite was NBC’s top-rated special of the year, while Elton John’s albums dominated the number one spot for two and a half months.

Just as U.S. involvement in Vietnam drew to a close, Roe v. Wade ignited a new phase in the culture war. While the oil crisis imploded the American dream of endless prosperity, and Watergate’s walls closed in on Nixon, the music of 1973 both reflected a shattered world and brought us together.

About the Author

Andrew Grant Jackson is the author of 1965: The Most Revolutionary Year in Music, and Still the Greatest: The Essential Songs of the Beatles’ Solo Careers. He directed and co-wrote the feature film The Discontents (2004) starring Amy Madigan. He has written for Slate’s ‘Blogging the Beatles,’ Yahoo!, music magazines Burn Lounge, Mean Street, Dispatch and the Hollywood monthly magazine Ingenue. He lives in California.

Praise For…

Praise for 1973: Rock at the Crossroads

"A many-versed love song to classic rock." —Booklist

"Bowie, Dylan, Marley, Aretha, Marvin, Elton, Neil, Iggy, Joni, P-Funk: Andrew Grant Jackson’s 1973 is a capacious, informative, amusing, broad-minded history of the musical landscape in a single year, caught between the explosive creativity of the past and the corporatized near-future. Jackson wisely knocks down the barricades between rock and soul and pop, between guitars and synthesizers, between gospel choirs and Rastafarian chants and crocodile rock, taking it all in sympathetically and judiciously. Read it and rediscover one of the great years in musical history." —Saul Austerlitz, author of Just a Shot Away

“Andrew Grant Jackson tells the whole crazed story of 1973, a year when every corner of the music world was changing at warp speed. This book covers the whole epic tale, from Funkadelic to “Free Bird,” from Iggy to Ozzy to Joni. It’s the excellent—and frequently hilarious—saga of a moment when the whole sprawling pageant of pop music was one great big band on the run.” —Rob Sheffield, author of Dreaming the Beatles

“If 1973 were a record album, it would be awarded a Grammy. Jackson hits the musical high points, providing illuminating anecdotes and thoughtful musical commentary. For added context he covers the period’s significant social and cultural events. A well-researched and engrossing read.” —Harold Bronson, co-founder Rhino Records; author of My British Invasion and The Rhino Records Story

“Marching carefully through the singular musical events and releases of 1973, Jackson not only weaves the sounds of the times into a shared tapestry, but provides an illuminating portrait of a particularly weird and wonderful year.” —Erik Davis, author of High Weirdness: Drugs, Esoterica, and Visionary Experience in the Seventies

Praise for Andrew Grant Jackson

“Jackson has a better ear than a lot of music writers, and one of the best parts of this book is his many casual citings of songs that echo others… a lot of the best insights come from writers who show us the familiar through fresh eyes, as Jackson does.” —The Washington Post

“Written for music lovers who were there and for those who wish they were, the book is a well-researched cultural history that leaves no rolling stone unturned as it meanders through 1965, connecting dots to create a vivid picture of the cultural landscape as it looked a half-century ago ... [Jackson] goes beyond pop, rock, and the new "folk rock," showing how R&B, jazz, and country were also undergoing dramatic change in '65, and he foreshadows glam, funk, disco, and hip hop ... The most revolutionary year in music is under the radar no more.” —The Huffington Post

“[Jackson] documents the dazzling, turbulent times in his thoroughly researched new book ... 1965 is an engrossing account of a meeting at the crossroads of American music history and culture. If you were there, it will take you back; if you weren't, it may make you wish you had been.” —Book Reporter

“[Jackson] beautifully illustrates the overwhelming changes that music, counterculture and politics defined in 1965 ... It does well in explaining the end of a cultural innocence through the events surrounding a profound year in pop culture history.” —Salt Lake City Underground

1965: The Most Revolutionary Year in Music is a work of synthesis and interpretation... [Jackson] uses his sources well, weaving them into a clear and cohesive narrative, and his own assessments are thoughtful and convincing. He brings a fan's enthusiasm and a critic's considered judgment, which makes the book an enjoyable read and a useful reference work.” —PopMatters

“An entertaining exploration of the cultural events and music that defined a decade.” —Washington Independent Review Of Books

“Utilizing myriad sources, memoirs, and articles, Jackson weaves the story of a year... It will appeal to music fans and those interested in the Sixties.” —Library Journal

“Jackson combines personal stories with a panoramic historical narrative of the music and epic social change of 1965, a defining year for Bob Dylan, the Beatles, the Rolling Stones, The Who, James Brown, and John Coltrane.” —Publishers Weekly, "The Most Anticipated Books of Spring 2015"

“Andrew Grant Jackson makes a powerful case…This book is a welcome reminder of some truly great music. Recommended.” —National Review Online

“Jackson's rapid-fire jaunt through the musical highlights of 1965--the rise of Motown and Stax Records, the early music of David Bowie, the arrival of the Bakersfield sound--is a helpful survey for readers unfamiliar with the history of popular music.” —Publishers Weekly

“While Jackson wittily and eloquently presents his findings, he lets his readers decide for themselves whether 1965 was indeed the most revolutionary year in music. Either way, he makes a good case.” —L.A. Weekly

“Jackson presents a thoroughly entertaining romp through one mighty year in pop-music history.” —Booklist

“Lively… Jackson does a solid job covering the hit-makers.” —Kirkus Reviews

“Overall, I liked the book, including the sections on the scandal Bob Dylan caused by going electric; the Beatles going from "She loves you, yea, yea, yea" to "In My Life"; and their direction-changing album Rubber Soul. The author covered a lot more than many of the other books on music history I have read.” —The VVA Veteran

“From the Beatles to the Byrds, from Dylan to the Stones, from the Beach Boys to Motown, author Andrew G. Jackson brilliantly details how the year 1965 was essentially rock and roll's coming-out party. 1965: The Most Revolutionary Year in Music is filled with interesting insight and analysis into how a unique confluence of cultural events helped spur many of popular music's all-time greats to reach their artistic apex, all within one, short, action-packed twelve-month period. If you weren't there the first time around -- or even if you were -- sit back and prepare yourself for one heck of a ‘ticket to ride.'” —Kent Hartman, author of the Los Angeles Times bestseller The Wrecking Crew: The Inside Story of Rock and Roll's Best-Kept Secret, winner of the Oregon Book Award and the Audie Award

“1965 is a year that pop fans... revere [for] the sheer volume of innovative music and cultural transformation. A half-century on, it all remains astonishing but Jackson takes us through these 365 earth-changing days with steady hands and an addictive style. I started making a playlist almost immediately.” —Marc Spitz, author of We Got the Neutron Bomb and Twee

“The Beatles, Stones, Dylan, Coltrane, The Dead, Velvet Underground, Motown … what wasn't happening in 1965? Andrew Grant Jackson painstakingly chronicles this pivotal year in music with an eye for detail and the big picture – an exciting ride with a timeless soundtrack.” —Joel Selvin, author of Summer of Love

“In 1965: The Most Revolutionary Year in Music, Jackson lays folk, rock, funk, Motown and country music alongside tumultuous social and political events to offer strong, and highly entertaining, support for his argument.” —Arrive Magazine

“Jackson states a compelling case for 1965 as a key turning point in American music and society... [his] eye for eye-opening detail and telling anecdotes makes for entertaining and addictive history, especially for those who can hear the soundtrack of 1965 playing in their head as they read” —

Product Details
ISBN: 9781250299987
ISBN-10: 1250299985
Publisher: Thomas Dunne Books
Publication Date: December 3rd, 2019
Pages: 448