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British rock: the short '1968' and the long

Moore, A (2013) British rock: the short '1968' and the long In: Music and protest in 1968. Cambridge University Press, pp. 154-170. ISBN 9781107007321

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The impact on British popular music of the ‘events of 1968’ took essentially two forms. The first was immediate, but seems in retrospect as desperately superficial as the attitude to these events of most of the British public. I outline the results of this impact in the first section below, with particular reference to the contemporary British music press, for whom the events of ‘1968’ got in the way of proper entertainment. The second had repercussions which continue to resound today. For the first time, some musicians working within British popular music developed a visionary attitude toward society. The larger legacy of ‘1968’, then, was the conviction it gave some musicians that popular music need not remain ephemeral in its concerns. Jon Anderson and Yes saw, and promoted through the 1970s, a utopian social vision. Peter Sinfield’s lyrics for King Crimson described a dystopic near future, which the band’s music matched. Almost the entire progressive rock movement from Genesis to Gentle Giant, from Emerson Lake and Palmer to Van der Graaf Generator, explored these twin themes with a passion matched only by the refusal of any vision at all in the ensuing punk rock movement; in developing progressive rock, musicians went beyond mere entertainment. My claim in this chapter is that their visionary impulse can be found inscribed in some of the music they produced.

Item Type: Book Section
Divisions : Surrey research (other units)
Authors :
Editors :
Kutschke, B
Norton, B
Date : 31 July 2013
Depositing User : Symplectic Elements
Date Deposited : 16 May 2017 15:27
Last Modified : 23 Jan 2020 14:53

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