One of my children is very much interested in music and, because I listened to a lot of what we now call ‘classic rock’, he is also quite fond of this music period. We’ve talked about it quite often and how I always felt that there was a real strength of music and musicians in the early 1970’s. I don’t think I realized quite a how strong that period actually was.
This is an incredibly detailed account of the pop/rock (with some crossover to other genres) music scene in one very specific year. Author Andrew Grant Jackson has selected 1973 for a reason, which he expresses in the book (I won’t spoil the read).
I listened to a lot of music on radio in 1973 (there weren’t a lot of options for a junior high student back then) and I’ve long felt that this was a great period for music and Jackson proceeds, month by month, to show just why this really was a remarkable year. Putting it together like this, really provides a nice timeline for everything that was happening. More than once I had the thought: “That was in 1973, too?!”
There were moments that I found just a bit dull, but this was specifically only when Jackson was writing about artists whose work I personally didn’t care for or follow. Even so, it was really interesting to note that such music and performers were working at this same time.
I requested this book based on the theme of rock music, but this book works very well as a history book (narrowly focused on music, of course) and as a social studies book of 1973. So many different things were happening in 1973 and music, specifically rock music, was at the forefront of commentary about what was happening.
It was interesting to me that (according to Jackson), “In 1973, AM still garnered more listeners than FM. On many AM Top 40 stations, rock, R&B, pop, easy listening, and country coexisted.” When my small town got their FM station I couldn’t say, but I did listen to it a LOT during my high school years. Back when live DJ’s and call in shows/requests were common.
Really a great book and easy to recommend.
Looking for a good book? 1973: Rock at the Crossroads by Andrew Grant Jackson is a well-researched, fascinating history of a really important year in rock music. You should read it.
I received a digital copy of this book from the publisher, through Netgalley, in exchange for an honest review.
* * * * * *
1973: Rock at the Crossroads
author: Andrew Grant Jackson
publisher: Thomas Dunne Books
hardcover, 448 pages