Ambitious and groundbreaking, Electric Shock tells the story of popular music, from the birth of recording in the 1890s to the digital age, from the first pop superstars of the twentieth century to the omnipresence of music in our lives, in hit singles, ringtones and on Spotify.
Over that time, popular music has transformed the world in which we live. Its rhythms have influenced how we walk down the street, how we face ourselves in the mirror, and how we handle the outside world in our daily conversations and encounters. It has influenced our morals and social mores; it has transformed our attitudes towards race and gender, religion and politics.
From the beginning of recording, when a musical performance could be preserved for the first time, to the digital age, when all of recorded music is only a mouse-click away; from the straitlaced ballads of the Victorian era and the ‘coon songs’ that shocked America in the early twentieth century to gangsta rap, death metal and the multiple strands of modern dance music: Peter Doggett takes us on a rollercoaster ride through the history of music. Within a narrative full of anecdotes and characters, Electric Shock mixes musical critique with wider social and cultural history and shows how revolutionary changes in technology have turned popular music into the lifeblood of the modern world.
No artist offered a more incisive and accurate portrait of the troubled landscape of the 1970s than David Bowie. Cultural historian Peter Doggett explores the rich heritage of Bowie's most productive and inspired decade, and traces the way in which his music reflected and influenced the world around him. From 'Space Oddity', his dark vision of mankind's voyage into the unknown terrain of space, to the Scary Monsters album, Doggett examines in detail Bowie's audacious creation of an 'alien' rock star, Ziggy Stardust, and his increasingly perilous explorations of the nature of identity and the meaning of fame.
Mixing brilliant musical critique with biographical insight and acute cultural analysis, The Man Who Sold The World is a unique study of a major artist and his times.
When Paul McCartney told the world in 1970 that he had no plans to work with the Beatles again, it was widely viewed as a cultural tragedy by the media and public alike. But one of the most fascinating phases of the Beatles' story was just about to begin.
Now, for the first time, You Never Give Me Your Money tells the dramatic story of the Fab Four post 1969. It charts the almost Shakespearean rivalry of the Lennon and McCartney families, the conflict in George Harrison's life between spirituality and fame, and Richard Starkey's efforts to conquer his personal demons. It also chronicles the transformation of their multi-media company, Apple Corps, from a bastion of 1960s counter-culture into a corporate behemoth.
From court battles to chart success, the best of rock'n'roll writers, Peter Doggett traces the untold story of a group and a legacy that will never be forgotten.
Peter Doggett has been writing about popular music and social and cultural history for more than thirty years. His books include the acclaimed There's a Riot Going On: Revolutionaries, Rock Stars and the Rise and Fall of '60's Counter-culture and The Man Who Sold the World: David Bowie and the 1970s.